Hitch-hiking to Troodos from Platres

Trip Start Mar 03, 2010
Trip End Feb 06, 2011

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Where I stayed
Forest Park Hotel Troodos
Read my review - 5/5 stars
What I did
Walking and enjoying nature in the Troodos Mountains

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hitch-hiking to Troodos

I have the pleasure of having breakfast with Mr. Hercules, the owner of the Forest Park Hotel and his brother Antony this morning. Breakfast here at the Forest Park Hotel is adequate and there is a variety of different goodies to choose from. We talk about different things, about the history of the hotel and the significant guests coming here. I tell them about life in Greece, my family and how I love traveling, writing and good wine.

It is 10:00 am when I leave the hotel and today's plans are to get to Troodos square. Of course I don’t drive here and I don’t intend to call a taxi.  I plan to walk up to a certain point and if tired, hitch-hike.

The hotel is about 3 kms from Psilo Dendro, the point where the Kalidonia Falls start, and from there it is 10 more kms for the Troodos square.

I cover the distance of the 3 kms easily and from here on the road leading to the mountains is even steeper. I must have walked another km when I really got tired. To be honest I am curious to see if somebody offers to drive me up.  I signal with my hand to the first car I see and the driver stops a few metres further. They are a young couple who have hired a car and are touring around the island. On the way up they tell me of places they want to visit and I suggest spots not to be missed. As we greet goodbye, the young driver tells me that my tips were enlightening, and he feels thankful and lucky to have me in the car.

It seems that there will be rain coming soon and I want to take pictures before the rain. I spot the place to go to when the rain starts so, I continue walking in the park and the whole square until the rain starts. Oh no! I am not going to sit in a café or a restaurant. I go straight to the hotel and ask to see the manager. I am glad that this new hotel is operating out here and it sounds promising. I believe it will attract many guests the whole year round. For those of you who wish to have a look on what I am talking about, here is the thread:


Mr. Lefkos the Manager suggests that I go and see the Troodos Visitor Centre and he tells me that there is a very interesting trail which I will surely enjoy.

I ask for an umbrella and I get down to the Visitors centre which to my disappointment I find closed. I spot the trail but today it is not the right day. I am leaving that for another trip when I visit this hotel I will surely have time to walk to several trails around this area

I meet Lefkos again at the hotel when I return the umbrella and tell him that I am going to walk all the way back to my hotel in Platres. He advises me not to attempt this for different reasons and especially with such variable weather conditions not knowing how much I enjoy this and how I am used to walking a lot. I greet him goodbye and off I go. 

Of course I don’t take the trail, I am returning back on foot from the main road. It is a downhill walk anyway, although this is worse than walking upwards sometimes, but I take the risk.  The sun is out again and shining brightly and it is so pleasant being up here with all the birds singing and the fresh clean alpine air!

I am walking for more than 30 minutes and suddenly it becomes foggy.  It is not long when hail starts falling and I am all alone in the road. Of course cars passing by stop and ask if I want to get in but I smile and say that I enjoy what I am doing, thank them and they drive off. More than 10 people offer to drive me down but I refuse.

Of course there were so many cars passing by every few minutes that if I really needed help it would be quite easy to stop one and get in.  It would have been scary only if there was no traffic. The falling of hail lasts 10 minutes and I really enjoy it, and then the sun is out again.  I cover the 10 kms in one hour and forty minutes and when I reach Platres I decide to wander around, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. There are benches here and there in some lovely locations and this is how I spend the rest of the day until very late afternoon when I go for lunch.

The chocolate workshop is just a few metres from the "Village Restaurant" where I have lunch and I drop by to meet John’s wife, Praxi. John is in England this time. Praxi only knows me by name as John has told her about me and the visit I had at the workshop on a previous trip. Five minutes after you meet Praxi you feel like you know her years back. She is cheerful, open hearted and very sociable. Our chatting is frequently interrupted by customers coming to buy chocolates.

Before leaving, Praxi packs me a nice collection of different flavors of chocolates. I am a person who avoids eating anything sweet and when I brought them home I cut each one in half and shared with my husband out of curiosity to check on the quality and taste. Believe me, they are exceptional!!

It is 7:00 p.m when I reach the hotel, and Mr. Hercules is surprised seeing me coming in so late. I tell him where I had been the whole day long and he tells me that he wants me to taste something which he is sure I will like.  It is the 50 year old Commandaria of the family. I feel honored tasting it but since it is so old it is also too strong. I ask if I can take it up to my room since I am planning to go to the swimming pool for at least one and a half hours. So, I am off to my room and later on at the indoor swimming pool….but this time I ask for some music in the room as well. Music surely keeps me good company.

I skip dinner and when I return to the room I feel happy and very fit. What an interesting day this was indeed!

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derrick241 on

Sounds like a great day out, nice photos, I like the hotel views and the food layouts
What is Commandaria ?
I saw the photo of it, brandy, whisky ?
At least its nice to know the people are friendly enough to offer you a lift
I know the language is Greek, but how is their English ?
I mean could I start a conversation with anyone you met on your day out and travels ?

laorfamily on

What a wonderful adventure Popi, the chocolates look delicious.

rossport on

what an awesome day out Popi and loved the photo,s the scenery is marvelous and i hope u kept a chocolate for me

Martin on

It's so restful reading your blogs, Popi. You make travel relaxing, even though you walk many kms in the hail!

venoth on

I can see that you are really enjoying yourself out there, having good long walks amidst beautiful nature. As I read your entry, I felt as if I was following you on a trail for the day. Great work Popi. By the way, what is the Commandaria? Is it somekind of whiskey or local wine?

icunme on

Lovely trek here with you! This hotel is a gem! :)

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