Escape to Something Different
Once you have walked around the city of Nicosia, do not hesitate to escape to its surrounding areas. Short distances and modern road networks will facilitate your trip and afford you the opportunity to experience the wild beauty of the Cypriot countryside. From Machairas Forrest and its historic monastery to the tip of the Troodos Mountains, there is much to discover. One place worth visiting is St. Panteleimonas Monastery (Ahera) that lies west of Nicosia and dates back to the 18th century. Also interesting is the Church of Varnavas and Ilarionos in the village of Peristerona, an excellent example of byzantine Cypriot architecture from the 9th century.
Although it was abandoned during the 19th century, Phikardou Village has been declared an important historical landmark and is a testament to traditional architecture and woodworks from the 18th century.
The village is also home to the Agricultural Museum. The village of St. Varvaras houses the last remaining workshop from the first Industrial Era, where homes and work areas were under one roof. It displays equipment dating back to 1920, including a flour mill, an olive crusher and a grape crusher. Taking a south-westerly direction, one will encounter the Royal Tombs of Tamassos. This village is known for the grand limestone statues from the 6th century that are displayed in its Archaeological Museum. Close by is the Holy Monastery of St. Heraklidou, built in 1773. During your expedition to the countryside, do not forget to sample some traditional delicacies and discover the culinary secrets of the Cypriot cuisine, famous for being the richest and most abundant of the Mediterranean.
The rich natural and cultural heritage of the region around Nicosia offers Walkers excellent opportunities for daylong expeditions. Two of the best walking routes in the area are Madari Circular Walk (13 km long) and the logistically more difficult route connecting the Unesco World Heritage churches of Stavros tou Agiasmati and Panagia tou Araka (a 7.5 km long linear route). The walks can be combined with stops at beautiful churches, picturesque villages and possibly watermills and/or medieval bridges.
Cyprus Walks Etc offers Guided Walking Trips in the region. For more information please visit this page