Mount Olympus is the towering peak that marks Cyprus’s highest point, reaching up to 6,404 feet (1,952 meters) in the Troodos Mountains that form the backbone of this eastern Mediterranean island. Being the highest of the range, Olympus now has a British Army radar station on its summit.
Known as Chionistra in Greek, Olympus is snowcapped in winter, when it becomes the Cypriot number-one skiing destination with four ski slopes of differing levels from green for beginners to the aptly named Zeus black run on the mountain’s north face.
In summer, however, the mountain’s forested slopes become the domain of walkers who follow trails along the Troodos range. Hikers can start a day’s walk from Troodos village, along way-marked pathway leading through steep, scented pine forests to the summit of Olympus for sweeping panoramas over Cyprus and across to the sea. Other walking paths meander around the base of the mountains, and from time to time wild moufflon sheep can be spotted in the lowland scrub and meadows.
For those who don’t fancy the hike uphill, these days there’s also a road that snakes up to the peak of Mount Olympus to catch those Mediterranean vistas.
Mount Olympus is in the Troodos Mountains about an hour’s drive north from both Cyprus’s coastal resort of Limassol or from the capital Nicosia. It’s also close enough to the much-frescoed Kykkos Monastery to be combined in a day tour of central Cyprus.