Although Cyprus is a Mediterranean island bathed in glorious sunshine, you can indeed ski there. Troodos Mountain is 2,000 metres above sea level; here we have a ski centre that is open in the winter months.! The ski season in Cyprus typically lasts between January and April. Based on Mount Olympus, with four ski lifts and eight alpine ski runs the Cyprus Ski Club accommodates skiers of all levels on its picturesque runs. It also operates ski schools on site whilst also offering cross-country ski tracks. Equipped with four ski lifts, the ski centre also offers a restaurant and cafes in a pleasant and relaxing environment. In the Troodos area there are 2 hotels close to the ski resort and many more in the wider area of the region. In the winter you can find bargain prices for these hotels. Mount Olympus is only a few kilometers from the Troodos hill resort and only a short drive to the coastal city of Limassol.
There’s nothing quite like the experience of the Troodos Mountains covered in a blanket of glistening snow. While beholding splendid greenery and dense pine trees is one thing, the magic of panoramic views tinged with brilliant white is enough to seriously take your breath away as the whole district takes on a rather otherworldly appeal. Choose your Cyprus gives you the inside track on all the great things you can do as you head up to the island’s highest peaks. Dress warm, and let the fun and memorable times begin!
1. Ski, even more skiing, and a bit of snowboarding just for good measure! From skiing to snowboarding, adrenaline junkies will be in for a treat. Just make your way up to the Troodos Ski Resort on Mount Olympus and you’ll see people of all ages having a blast in the snow. Whether you want to take it easy and unwind on the Sun Valley 1 and 2 slopes, or prefer more of a thrill on North Face 1 and 2, there’s endless fun to be had. *Bear in mind that Sunday, January 17th is ‘World Snow Day’. On this joyful occasion, celebrations come to life at the Troodos Ski Resort, either on the North Face or Sun Valley Ski Slopes. Children will be given a free introduction to the sport by the academy coaches and academy athletes. There will also be a snow sculpture competition for young and old alike to enjoy. For more detailed information on skiing in Cyprus visit: www.cyprusski.com.
2. Get some rest and unwind at an exquisite hotel or Agrotourism getaway. When it’s snowing outside, the warmth of fireplaces and snuggling up is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. There are many hotels in the Troodos area, and most are within close proximity to the ski resort – some feature prominently in Troodos square, others call Platres their home, and a spate of hotels command attention in the extremely popular village of Kakopetria. *If you’re not planning on skiing, you can always head somewhere a little further afield to enjoy the winter ambience. From Platres to Agros, Kalopanayiotis to Pedoulas, Kyperounda, to Arsos, there is an endless list of places to put your feet up for the night.
3. Warm up with…traditional village Zivania! If you fancy a real taste of Cypriot tradition while it’s snowing outside, there is no better way to heat up on the inside than with a stiff shot of Zivania. It is produced in the many traditional mountain villages producing the potent spirit in true homemade fashion. Just visit one of the many coffee shops, cafes or restaurants scattered across the Troodos region, and sit back and enjoy the drink that so many of the locals are proud of. *For the courageous of heart, this white spirit contains a whopping 45% alcohol but do keep in mind that the traditional village variety can be even stronger! Want to nibble on something with your drink? Zivania goes down a treat with local almonds or walnuts, raisins, soujouko (a local delicacy made of solidified grape juice and nuts) and slices of cured meat, like the delicious lountza.
4. Tuck into some winter comfort food in a picturesque mountain tavern When it’s cold outside and there’s snow on the ground, there is nothing better than stepping into a warm restaurant and tucking into a hearty meal chosen from a menu including traditional Cypriot dishes. Many eateries in the winter incorporate soup on their menu, especially avgolemono (an egg/lemon soup with chicken and rice), and trahanas, which is a delightful combination of cracked wheat and soured goat’s milk. *There are a whole host of other dishes that are a warming and delicious winter treat, including moussakas, makaronia tou fournou (pasta with béchamel and minced meat in the oven) and tavas (a traditional lamb stew).
5. Capture some great scenic shots on camera When it comes to capturing the best of Cyprus on camera, a picture of the snow-capped mountains is hard to beat. The mountaintops of Mount Olympus with its snow covered pines and idyllic gauges makes for an obvious choice, but we suggest you also do something more adventurous and go for off-the-cuff visits to some old-world villages high in the Troodos peaks. The cobblestoned streets and terracotta roofs take on a whole different character when covered in white. * Countless vineyards call out for attention when carrying your camera, where you can even warm up with some local red wine at a boutique winery once you’ve captured a few great shots of the vineyards in all their white splendor. Panoramic village views also make for terrific pictures – even the wine growing villages on the southern slopes of Troodos.
December – February
Weather: This period is considered winter-time for Cypriots, but autumn weather for some visitors. Winter is the rainiest season, although sunshine is plentiful during these months as well. Average temperatures range from 5 °C to 15°C (41°F to 59°F).
What to pack: Winter clothing is recommended.
What to do: Outdoor activities and excursions can be enjoyed. February is known as the best month for snow skiing on the Troodos Mountains.
It also operates ski schools on site whilst also offering cross-country ski tracks. Equipped with four ski lifts, the ski centre also offers a restaurant and cafes in a pleasant and relaxing environment. In the Troodos area there are 2 hotels close to the ski resort and many more in the wider area of the region. In the winter you can find bargain prices for these hotels. Mount Olympus is only a few kilometers from the Troodos hill resort and only a short drive to the coastal city of Limassol. There are 4 ski clubs in Cyprus: Nicosia, Famagusta, Limassol and Troodos ski club. Ski equipment can be rented.