If you love traveling and would like to try a hiking adventure, then the Artemis Trail in Cyprus is a great way to start your love affair with hiking.
If the name of the trail seems 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 it brings you around the summit of Mt. Olympus, the home to the gods of the Greek Mythology, and locally known as Chionistra. Reaching the summit takes you a little more than 1800 meters above sea level. This means you will be at an excellent vantage point for the spectacular scenery, which include views of iconic villages like Paphos and Limassol.
Linking up to the Atalanti Trail, Artemis Trail is actually a rough circular loop, and covers 7 kilometers. It begins and ends in the small car park just off the summit road of Olympus. The trail leads to shaded areas but also open ones that offer breathtaking views of the mountain. Even though Artemis takes about three hours to complete, the trail is relatively flat, and that is why it is perfect for new hikers with varying fitness levels.
Mount Olympus is not the only highlight to the trail, Artemis also leads to the “Walls of the Old Town” (Teisia tis Palias Choras), which is actually the ruins of an old temporary Venetian fort, believed to have been built during the later 16th century. The fortification was built as the main defense against the invading Ottomans. The trail also features endemic plants, geological formations and black pine forest. A bonus attraction to the trail is the old black pines, which are around 500 years old.
Artemis trail is housed in the Troodos National Forest Park, part of a protected area called NATURA 2000. The trail is marked well, and even has adequate information signs that will give you more information and insights about the forest and the journey. The most suitable period to hike this splendid trail is from March through November. And, although Artemis has a lot to offer in the summer, also consider coming in during winter for some serious skiing fun as the trail is located close to a ski lift and club.
Before tackling Artemis trail, don’t forget to bring water, hat, and your preferred sun protection. Smoking, eating and making excessive noise are not recommended when you are hiking this nature trail. You can also hike all you want without the worry of being run over as bicycles and motorcycles are prohibited.
If you want to stay overnight around the area, you always have the option to stay at 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 range. The villages have small local restaurants or tavernas where you can grab some traditional Cypriot dishes. If you head out to the Torrodos Square, there is a collection of restaurants, shops, and hotels to choose from. Close to the square is an Environmental Information Center.