If you love to travel and would like to try a hiking adventure, Artemis Trail in Cyprus is a great way to start your love affair with hiking.
If the name of the trail sounds familiar, it is because it is named after the Greek goddess Artemis, daughter of Zeus and Leto. What makes the trail more exciting and intriguing is that it takes you to the top of Mount Olympus, the home of the gods from Greek mythology and known locally as Chionistra. Getting to the top takes you a little over 1800 meters above sea level. This means that you will be in a great vantage point for the spectacular scenery, including views of iconic towns such as Paphos and Limassol.
Connected to the Atalanti Trail, Artemis Trail is actually a rough circular loop and covers 7 kilometers. It starts and ends in the small parking lot next to the road to the top of Olympus. The trail leads to shady but also open areas that offer stunning mountain views. Although Artemis takes about three hours to complete, the trail is relatively flat and that is why it is perfect for new hikers of varying fitness levels.
Mount Olympus is not the only highlight of the trail, Artemis also leads to the “old town walls” (Teisia tis Palias Choras), which are actually the ruins of an old temporary Venetian fort, believed to have been built during the last 16th century. The fortification was built as the main defense against the Ottoman invaders. The trail also features endemic plants, geological formations, and black pine forest. An added attraction of the trail is the old black pines, which are around 500 years old.
The Artemis trail is located in the Troodos National Forest Park, part of a protected area called NATURA 2000. The trail is well marked and even has proper information signs that will give you more information and knowledge about the forest and the journey. The most suitable period to travel this splendid trail is from March to November. And while Artemis has a lot to offer in the summer, also consider coming in during the winter for some serious skiing fun as the trail is located near a ski lift and club.
Before tackling the Artemis trail, don’t forget to bring water, a hat, and your preferred sunscreen. Smoking, eating, and making excessive noise are not recommended when hiking this nature trail. You can also walk as long as you like without the worry of being run over, as bicycles and motorcycles are prohibited.
If you want to spend the night in the area, you always have the option of staying in one of the camping areas with facilities. You will also find some hotels and other types of accommodation in the villages located in the Troodos mountain range. The villages have small local restaurants or taverns where you can have some traditional Cypriot dishes. If you head to Plaza Torrodos, there is a collection of restaurants, shops, and hotels to choose from. Near the square there is an Environmental Information Center.