While many associate Cyprus with endless summers, pristine beaches and year-round sunshine, the island does get its fair share of winter weather. And though lounging poolside is undoubtedly fun, there’s a certain kind of otherworldly magic to seeing the island’s mountains regions covered in a blanket of glistening snow. We’ve rounded up the best wintertime activities for you to get the most out of the snowy weather, so bundle up and let’s go!
Have a snow day
This month, temperatures have plummeted and the Troodos Mountains have received record amounts of snow. So why not grab the family and head up to the snowy peaks to experience these magical mountains dressed in their finest white garb? The little ones can delight in building snowmen and launching snowballs at each other, while adrenaline junkies can try their hand at some skiing or snowboarding. The Troodos Ski Resort on Mount Olympus offers two ski slopes, Sun Valley and North Face, depending on skiers’ experience levels.
Take in the scenery
The Troodos Mountains are a sight to behold on any ordinary day, with their lush greenery and dense forests, but when that landscape is blanketed in a carpet of pure white snow, it becomes nothing short of breathtaking. Those who wish to escape the wild crowds on Mount Olympus and just take in the quiet splendor of this mountain range are in for a treat, as there are a number of hidden spots in the area that are truly Instagram-worthy. Check out the watery forest scene and frozen, jagged cliffs of the abandoned asbestos mine, discover the shimmering, frozen surface of the Prodromos dam, or simply take in the snow dusting the terracotta rooftops of the homes in the many picturesque villages dotting the Troodos slopes.
Warm up next to a fire
Once you’ve had your fill of the snow and your fingers have started to turn blue, it’s time to step into one of the many cozy taverns around the Troodos area and tuck into a delicious meal. Most mountain eateries have a roaring fireplace that will have your cheeks rosy and red in no time, and often adapt their menu to the cold weather. So you’ll find hearty dishes of ‘moussaka’ or ‘makaronia tou fournou,’ winter treats such as sausages and local cured meats grilled over the fire, and warming soups like ‘avgolemono’ or ‘trahana’ that are sure to fill you right up. In a hurry to warm your insides? Try a stiff shot of the local spirit Zivania, a mighty tipple that the locals swear by, and that is certainly not for the faint of heart!
Check in for the night
For the true winter experience, why not cozy up in a traditional Agrotourism getaway. From Kalopanayiotis to Pedoulas, Kakopetria to Platres, there is an endless list of mountain villages that offer lodgings in traditional homes that are bursting with local character. So choose from an array of gorgeous retreats where you can put your feet up and snuggle up by the fire to watch the snow fall softly outside your window.