On Thursday, September 8, 2011, conference participants had the chance to get to know historical and current Cyprus on a pleasant and interesting one-day excursion by bus:
Kolossi Castle, Troodos mountains, Omodhos, Platres & Kykkos Monastery.
Leaving from the Conference venue, the excursion traveled along the seafront road past Limassol town, continuing west through the Phasouri citrus plantations and vineyards to Kolossi Castle. There we had an opportunity to briefly explore the castle and enjoy the views of the surrounding countryside. Then we made our way inland towards the mountains to Omodhos, one of the most beautiful traditional Cypriot villages in the wine making districts of Limassol with cobbled streets, the 17th century Holy Cross Church & Monastery, and lots of ‘kafenions’ (traditional coffee shops). The excursion then continued climbing further into the Troodos hills, to the popular mountain resort of Platres where we stopped for lunch at the renowned ‘Psilo Dendro’ (tall tree) Restaurant to enjoy their fresh trout, lamb kleftiko (lamb baked in the traditional clay oven) or charcoal grilled chicken.
After lunch we continued even higher into the Troodos mountains, through Troodos Square and onto to visit Kykkos Monastery where the first President of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios was a monk in his younger days. The monastery is famed for the beautiful frescoes, the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary, and it is just below Throni, the burial place of Archbishop Makarios where there are magnificent views all over Cyprus. The tour then slowly started meandering down through the mountains, through Trimiklini, past Kouris Dam, the largest dam in Cyprus, back towards the coast and Limassol.