Of course, there is a trail that is named after the goddess Artemis, daughter of Zeus and Leto, the patron of forests, mountains and wild animals.
The Artemis nature trail is a 7-kilometre-long trail that follows a circular path around Chionistra at an average altitude of 1850 metres. The estimated duration time is around 3 hours. The starting point is 250 meters from where the Chionistra road meets the Troodos - Prodromos road. It is an easy route which becomes slightly uphill only towards the end of it, after the Ski Centre.
The trail is interesting because of the alternation of the sceneries throughout the route and the information signs that are placed along the way. You will have the opportunity to explore the flora, the fauna and the rock formation of the area. The viewpoints throughout the trail allow you to take a rest and relax while viewing from afar different areas of Limassol, Paphos and Nicosia district. Particularly breath-taking is the viewpoint where Prodromos village is visible, the village at the highest altitude of Cyprus, along with the Verengaria kings’ hotel, the landmark of the area.
The entire route is in the zone of black pine which is the dominant forest tree. You will also encounter the “Invisible” or Troodos Juniper (Juniperus foetidissima), the Agriomilia (Sorbus aria), the Barberry (Berberis cretica) and Agriokydonia (Cotoneaster nummularia) and more. Moreover, you will also find two perennial black pine trees (Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana) that are around 500 years old and an 800-year-old Troodos Juniper. Worth-noting is the fact that many of the plants in the Troodos area are endemic, since they are not found anywhere else in Cyprus. The fauna is also rich having various species in the area. Some of them are mammals like hares, foxes, hedgehogs, birds like eurasian jays, wood pigeons, bonelli’s eagle, partridges etc., and reptiles like vipers and Cyprus snake.
The rock formation of the area is incredibly rare. The dominant rock is harzburgite where small dunite bodies appear within. Harzburgite is the remaining fragments of the oceanic crust, after the partial melting of the upper mantle at about 60 kilometres below the Tethys Ocean which caused the formation of basaltic magma. This is how the other complex of Ophiolite rocks was formed, around 92 million years ago.
Of historic interest within the trail is the ruins of “Teisia tis Paleas Choras” (meaning “Walls of Old Town”). According to tradition, the “Teisia tis Paleas Choras” are ruins of temporary fortifications that were built in the last year of the Venetian rule (in 1571 A.C.) by a group of Venetian generals in order to defend themselves against the Ottomans.
The nature trail of Artemis is one of the most beautiful, well-organised, and easily accessible trails that local and tourists can follow in order to explore the Troodos area and get closer to nature. The whole trail is within the Troodos National Forest Park which is part of the European network of protected areas, Natura 2000. The Artemis nature trail can also connect to the Atalanti nature trail.