Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Sun 22 Oct 2023 18:28

Sun 22nd  Oct


We returned on Friday from a 3 day road  trip around Cyprus.


Day 1: Heading 1st for the Troodos mountains we stopped in Troodos itself where I had booked a night in the only hotel in the village. It was a rather faded looking 1970’s style ski resort hotel but with decent enough reviews. I chose a 14km circular hike around Mt Olympus (the highest peak in Cyprus) that started and finished in the village. You can’t really call Troodos a village. Its more a junction, as apart from the hotel it has 2 or 3 restaurants, a few kiosks selling nuts and other mountain goodies,  and not much else.

The Hike is well marked with km posts and occasional signs offer names of rock outcrops and vegetation. We set out just behind young French couple and after we swapped the lead a couple of times as one or other pair took advantage of a rest bench, we decided that the English should strike for the finish line ahead and leaving them at their 3rd rest stop we ploughed on to the end to claim a secret French-English victory.


Great views in all directions.


Returning to the Hotel we were able to sit by a log fire and enjoy the local soup made with yoghurt and cracked wheat.


Sun shining through the clouds

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Day 2. Aiming for a sunrise pic from the mountain top I drove up to the ski club centre but only succeeded in driving into thickening cloud.

This was taken from our hotel bedroom window

when I got back. Diana had both a lie-in and the best sunrise views.



After a very decent breakfast we chose the easier route north and stopped for the Botanical gardens which are still developing but  nicely laid out with every pine, spruce and fir labelled  for instant forgetting which was which. Views of a disused asbestos mine scarring the mountainside, and a pretty church.

A landscape of a valley with trees and clouds

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A group of animals walking on a hill

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and an encounter with Moufflon in a large enclosure.

We missed the enclosure having turned off the road and drove about 5 miles along a rough unmade track passing men with buckets and baskets collecting something from the forest; berries? Pine cones? We decided eventually it must be mushrooms having spotted some broken specimens on the track. Eventually we turned back and found the enclosure within 50 yards of the road.

A person standing on a path in the woods

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We crossed the border and stopped in Morphou for lunch and a look at the monastery and rather forgettable museum. A few stuffed birds and some glued back together pottery.


We made our ‘Boutique’ Hotel in Kyrenia late in the afternoon and suppered overlooking the picturesque little harbour. The fishing boats just about outnumbering the tourist joy riders.


Day 3.

The castle in Kyrenia is a top class medieval castle with all the right bits that a proper castle should have.

Lovely courtyard, ramparts, tunnels and  horrid dungeons.

A stone wall with a dock and boats in the water

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A group of people in clothing

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The realistic figures entombed and tortured spared no sensitivities.


Our Hotel foyer was much more to our taste.


A display case with a boat in it

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The castle even had a wonderful maritime museum with the wreck of a 2500 year old trading vessel. The almonds in the hold perfectly preserved in the silt.  It was discovered near Kyrenia by divers in 1967.

Makes the Mary Rose and the Vasa mere youngsters.


Next onward to Bellapais which turned out to be quite a tourist hot spot with coach loads wandering around.


Another set of ruins- this time an abbey set on the hillside with far reaching views over the north coast. I was tempted to stay in the area for La Traviatta which was being performed in the restored chapel in the ruins the following evening. Filling the time either in little Bellapais or on the Casino laden coast would have been quite challenging so we moved on after lunch in the village centre.

We tried to find Lawrence Durrell’s house (Bitter Lemons) as he lived near the abbey for a while, but for once the brown signs let us down.





On the way back towards Farmagusta I found a picnic and camping site with google reporting a 20 min walk to an Armenian Monastery. Intrgued we parked up and asked the forestry workers, who were on their break, the way to the Monastery.

They waved vaguely up the hill but appeared at least to confirm the existence of a monastery. Setting off we then found a sign offering a 8km circular walk with Monastery, ruined church and view point. We took the wrong turn for the monastery but found the view point.


And the church.  

A few minutes before the church we found a signs of a settlement and a cave hollowed out of the rock. I like to think a hermit lived in the cave and built the church.


The signing for the route was thorough with green dots painted on rocks or trees, but some dots were just green while alternative route dots called B and B+ appeared from time to time leaving us guessing the  correct path. I think we did O.K. on the whole.


Views from the walk and final picture on the way home.


We’ve seen quite a lot of Cyprus and its certainly well worth the effort.