The Green Heart of Cyprus

Friday 8th May, 2020 - Full day excursion (9h00-19h00)

PRICE: €60,00 per person (lunch, snacks and drinks, entrances and taxes are included)

Visits to:

  • Omodos village
  • Rose factory in Agros village
  • Troodos Botanical Garden
  • Kykkos Monastery
  • Paphos Forest
A day spent far away from the coast in the green heart of Cyprus where everyone will discover that the island is one full of contrasts!

Visits to:

  • 9:00-10:00 Transfer by bus from Paphos to Omodos village
  • 10:00-11:00 Omodos - Coffee break and visit of the village
  • 11:00-11:45 Transfer by bus to Agros village
  • 11:45-12:30 Visit of the Rose factory
  • 12:30-14:00 Lunch in a Traditional Tavern in Agros village
  • 14:00-14:30 Transfer by bus to Troodos Geopark
  • 14:30-15:30 Visit of the Troodos Botanical Garden
  • 15:30-16:00 Coffee break with two talks:
                  "Priceless flora, endemic plants of Cyprus and threatened plants in Cyprus".
                  "Air pollution and climate change effects and challenges".
  • 16:00-16:45 Transfer by bus to Kykkos Monastery
  • 16:45-17:30 Visit of the Kykkos Monastery
  • 17:30-19:00 Transfer by bus to Paphos via the Paphos forest
The excursion will take everyone up to Omodos Village, a traditional wine producing village of Cyprus, at an altitude of approximately 700m, and walk through the cobbled streets to reach the village square lined with cafes and shops selling wines, olive oil and other local products (e.g. zivania and soutzouko, a sweet made from grape must). Saint Helen founded a monastery here in the 4th century, where she left pieces of the Holy Cross. There will be time to visit the Monastery of the Holy Cross (one of the oldest monasteries of Cyprus), old wine press and enjoy a coffee in the square.

Omodos Village

The excursion will take everyone up to the Rose Factory in Agros. For 70 years, on the slopes of the Agros village, Tsolakis family has been cultivating its own rose bushes. About a century ago, Nearchos Clerides, saw in the bushes of the rose that grew in the region a new industry, and perhaps a new income for the locals. On his initiative, he created a nursery and has given students the necessary knowledge for the cultivation of the plant. Starting with some rose bushes, the knowledge from his teacher Nearchos Clerides, a cauldron and lots of passion, Nicodemus Tsolakis, started in 1948 with the renowned Agros rosewater, rose essential oil and spirits "grafted" with roses.

The Rose of Damascus (Rosa Damascena)

A bush with resilient branches, the Rose of Damascus with the 30 petals, reaches a height of 1.5-2.0m tall, its leaves are composite, egg-shaped and piliferous on the underside. The thorns are particularly dense, the twin buds have a pale pink colour and the flower has a particularly strong fragrance. It blossoms in April-May. As in all the Mediterranean countries, the Rose of Damascus grows in bush lands, at the edges of roads and in Agros at the foot of mountains, protected from strong winds and ice.

Harvesting the Rose of Damascus

For one kilo of rose petals, 400 - 500 roses have to be picked. Harvesting lasts between 20 and 25 days. At the Tsolakis plantation, roughly between 27,000 and 30,000 roses are hand-picked per day. This is done before the sun heats them up, causing their fragrance to evaporate. The roses have to be placed in the cauldron for distillation as soon as possible. Harvesting has the sweetness of a festival, where friends are present, and where acquaintances and strangers are welcome.

the Rose of Damascus (Rosa Damascena)
Harvesting the Rose of Damascus
Harvesting the Rose of Damascus

Troodos Botanical Garden A.G. Leventis

The Troodos Geopark is located in the central part of Cyprus and its area is approximately 137,000 hectares (1,370 sq.m.), covering 45% of the total area of the Troodos range and 15% of the total areaof Cyprus.

The first botanical garden was created by Theophrastus (371 BC - 287 BC), a successor to Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC) in the peripatetic school in ancient Athens. Theophrastus is considered today as the father of the botanical science.

The Troodos Botanic Garden "A.G. Leventis" is located in the Troodos National Forest Park, included in the "Natura 2000" network of protected areas of Cyprus. Around 150 flora species can be found today at the Garden but in the near future this number is expected to be greater than 500.

The Troodos botanic garden is targeting towards the conservation and promotion of the Cypriot botanical heritage, focusing on the Troodos native flora. It aims to be a research, educational and recreational platform. The flora is the richest in Cyprus and, for this reason, the Troodos mountain range is considered one of the most important mountain habitats for plants in the whole of Europe. This rich biodiversity is due to the great variety of habitats that are formed because of the differences of altitude, particular geology, the presence of water and the local terrain.

Across the whole area of the Geopark, 92 different endemic plants of Cyprus have been recorded from a total of 143 on the island, i.e. about 64% in an area that represents only 12% of its territory. Of these, 37 are found exclusively in the Geopark and nowhere else in Cyprus or indeed in the world. It is also worth noting that 87 endangered species have been recorded out of 238 mentioned in the Red Data Book of the Flora of Cyprus.

Chionodoxa LochiaeChionodoxa Lochiae
Crocus hartmannianusCrocus hartmannianus
Crocus cypriusCrocus cyprius

The excursion will take everyone up to the pine-clad Troodos Mountains through wine country and mountain villages offering them panoramic views out to the north-west coast. It is a most exhilarating experience! Troodos is the largest mountain in Cyprus, with its highest peak, raises 1952 meters above the sea level. Highlight of the day is a visit to Cyprus' most famous and richest monastery Kykkos founded at the end of the 11th century by the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos. Located at an altitude of 1318 meters, it houses a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary apparently painted by St. Luke. The monastery also produces its own wines and spirits and is in fact a world in itself, being a very significant place of pilgrimage for the Greek Orthodox world.

NOTE: The dress code at Kykkos Monastery is strict, and no shorts are allowed. Women should also cover their shoulders, and men should wear a shirt or similar.

monastery Kykkos
monastery Kykkos
monastery Kykkos

Paphos Forest

The area is located in the northwest part of the Troodos mountain region. Its boundaries overlap with the boundaries of the Main Forest of Paphos, which represent 96% of the site. It covers a large area from sea level up to the peak of Tripylos at 1352 m. This particular area is the most important area of Cyprus for nesting raptors. The area supports the highest number of breeding Bonelli's eagles and Goshawks as well as the Cypriot mouflon (Stavros tis Psokas), a wild sheep. This breed of animal was almost extinct during the 20th century, yet the mouflon is now healthily populated within the Paphos Forest.

Paphos Forest
Paphos Forest

Accompanied Persons

An Accompanied Persons' Program may become available. Please note on your registration form if persons accompanying you are interested in attending group visits to local attractions.

The travel agency (https://qualiday.com) responsible for the full-day excursions on May 8, will propose various programs (individual/group).

All correspondence should be directed to reservations@qualiday.com with the code of the event (APPC2020).