Rising to almost 2,000 metres above sea level, the Troodos peaks provide panoramic views, a refreshing break from the heat in summer and a place to go snow skiing in winter.

Picturesque villages with cobbled streets and folk architecture nestle on terraced slopes amid vineyards and orchards of almond, hazelnut and cherry trees, where visitors can stop off next to a burbling mountain stream and try one of the preserved fruit desserts served as a typical island welcome, or dine on the locally produced fresh water rainbow trout, a speciality of the region.

The Cedar Valley is home to an unusually large number of Cypriot cedars where the only sounds for miles around are those of nature.

Hidden away in the Troodos pine forests, are Cyprus' famous painted churches with their colourful frescoes on walls and apses, superb examples of Byzantine art. Ten of these have been put on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis in Kakopetria, together with those of Asinou and of Panagia tou Araka in the village of Lagoudera, are considered to be some of the finest on the island. Kykkos Monastery, the largest on the island, has an excellent Byzantine museum and a golden icon of the Virgin Mary, allegedly painted by St. Luke.

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