A beautiful village tucked away in the Troodos mountains of central Cyprus, Platres is an idyllic holiday destination. Waterfalls, nature walks, and forests make it an enchanting spot to really disconnect and recharge your batteries. Ideal for hikers and mountain-bikers, the area is covered with fantastic walking trails and cycling routes. Many famous people, from the king of Egypt to Daphne du Maurier, have chosen to summer in Platres, which, despite its increasing popularity in recent years, preserves all its quiet charm intact. And, if you’re in the mood to hit the beaches for the day, you can be in the lively resort of Limassol (only 25 kilometres away).
Visitors flock to Platres to soak up its peaceful atmosphere, breathe the fresh mountain air, and to explore the surrounding peaks on foot or by bike. Set in the Troodos mountains, the village is within easy reach of Mount Olympos (1952 metres), the highest peak in Cyprus, and is surrounded by magnificent waterfalls, including the Caledonia Waterfall, which is accessed by a 3-kilometre long trail, and the lovely Millomeri Waterfalls, which plunge for 15 metres into a pool. The Troodos mountains are also known for their painted churches, 10 of which have been inscribed on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. There is a host of enchanting little villages to explore in the area, including Pedoulas, which is home to the spectacular Kykkos monastery.
There are lots of wonderful, traditional restaurants in Platres and the surrounding villages where you can tuck into delicious local cuisine. Meals often start with meze, a platter of different dishes that might include grilled haloumi, koupepia (stuffed vine leaves) and dips such as talattouri, made with yogurt and mint. For the main course, you might want to try some moussaka or stifado, a tender beef stew flavoured with herbs, or perhaps afelia, which is pork simmered in wine and coriander. You could even try karaoli yahni, the tiny snails which are a prized local delicacy. The classic snack is souvla, grilled meat kebabs served with pitta bread, and, if you’re spending the day at the beach at Limassol, you’ll be able to tuck into all kinds of wonderful fresh seafood.
Fresh air, plenty of sunshine and natural swimming pools fed by waterfalls to jump into – what could be nicer? Platres is the kind of village where the local kids bring out a football and everyone joins in. Perfect for a relaxed family holiday! You can take a picnic to the river or the waterfalls, do some gentle sightseeing in the local villages, head out for a tramp along the nature walks, and enjoy delicious dinners at the family-friendly local restaurants. There’s also a forest adventure park with climbing circuits in the trees (suitable for all ages). If you’re in the mood to hit the beach, make for Limassol, where you’ll find superb strands with plenty of facilities. In turtle-nesting season, you could even make for Paramali beach to watch the hatchlings scuttle for the ocean.
Action & Adventure
The Troodos mountain range around the village of Platres offers a huge choice of fantastic activities for adrenaline junkies. Ideal for hikers and mountain-bikers, the region is packed with stunning routes to explore, which are suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Much of the area is preserved in the Troodos National Park, which is renowned for its wildlife and flora. You could also go climbing on the slopes of Mount Olympos, the highest peak in Cyprus, which has a small ski resort in winter with a handful of runs for skiing and snowboarding. Other activities in the region include canyoning and paragliding, and lots of local companies offer jeep safaris to Mount Olympos and other locations in the Troodos range.
Platres is a rural village tucked away in the mountains, but you can swim in the natural pools fed by waterfalls if you want a dip. If you want to spend the day at the beach, head to Limassol, which is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city blessed with several fantastic beaches. Akti Olympion is the main beach, a 2kilometre-long stretch of golden sand, with plenty of facilities, including sunbed and parasol rental. If you prefer to head to a quieter cove, you’ll be spoilt for choice along this stretch of coast: a local favourite is the Paramali Beach (also a nesting site for loggerhead turtles) or the glorious Zapalo beach, which is set in a protected nature reserve.
Visitors don’t come to Platres for the nightlife, at least not the bar and club variety. But if your idea of the perfect night out is to tuck into some tasty local food at a restaurant, and then relax over a few drinks with your new-found friends (you’ll find the locals extremely hospitable), then this village is for you. You can sit out on a pretty square, drink in hand and watch the world go by, or drift from tavern to tavern in the slow, easygoing style of the locals. If you fancy letting your hair down for a night, you can head to Limassol, which has scores of bars and clubs to choose from.
Platres is ideal for a peaceful, relaxed holiday in the mountains. Stunning scenery, plenty of wonderful hiking trails, wonderful waterfalls and enchanting villages to explore make this a perfect spot to unwind with your partner. No crowds, lots of peace and quiet, and a tranquil pace mean that you’ll be able to enjoy each other’s company to the full. If you like history, you’ll be thrilled by the area’s enchanting painted churches and medieval villages. If you’re into hiking, you couldn’t find a better base, with scores of superb walking routes. And, if you fancy a night on the town, you can pop into the vibrant resort of Limassol.
The little village of Platres has a surprisingly active cultural scene, with a full programme of art exhibitions, concerts, and festivals. It preserves a charming little medieval bridge, and you can explore other historic villages in the area. Among them is Pedoulas, which is home to a beautiful, UNESCO-listed church dedicated to the Archangel Michael, which preserves a breathtaking 16th-century iconostasis. Pedoulas also has a clutch of fascinating museums, including one dedicated to Byzantine art and another with exhibits on local folk traditions. The spectacular Kykkos monastery, established in the 11th century and rebuilt in the 1920s, sits on a dramatic peak 20km west of the Pedoulas.