The Troodos National Forest Park covers an area of 9,147 hectares around Mount Olympus. The highest point is Chionistra (1,952 m) and the lowest is Moni forest (700m). It is an area of great natural beauty, suitable for activities such as hiking, winter skiing, biking, nature study, camping and picnics.
The area is renowned for its rich flora and fauna. It is home to 750 species of plants, 12 of which are indigenous within the park. Park animal life is protected. Of particular interest are the Griffon Vulture, the Raven, the Bonelli΄s Eagle, the Cyprus Warbler, the Scops Owl, the Short - Toed Treecreeper, and the Cyprus Pied Wheatear. The moufflon (Ovis orientalis), is a species of wild mountain sheep with thick sinuous horns, that lives in the wider area.
The region’s rare geology includes a well-preserved ophiolite complex, created from oceanic crust about 90 million years ago. Elements of this complex can be viewed walking along one of the many Park nature trails.
Machairas National Forest Park
Machairas Park in the Pitsilia Region contains over 600 plant species, including 27 indigenous to Cyprus. The dominant forest trees are the Calabrian pine (Pinus brutia), the native Golden oak (Quercus alnifolia) and other shrubs. The fauna includes foxes, hares and hedgehogs, snakes, lizards and rare endemic species of butterflies. Birdlife in the Park includes the Bonelli’s Eagle, the Cyprus Warbler, the Cyprus Wheatear, the Coal Tit, the Scops Owl, the Jay and the common Chukar and Wood Pigeon. The island’s two most important rivers, the Pediaios and the Yialias, spring from the park.
Nature Reserves – Protected Flora and Fauna areas
In Troodos, five Nature Protection Areas have been declared. Nature Reserves totalling an area of 1,408 hectares. All have been included in the European network of protected areas “NATURA 2000”:
Chionistra, Cyprus’ highest peak, includes black pine forests, Phoenician juniper and Serpentinophilous grasslands. It also accommodates large numbers of the Cyprus crocuses included in the EU Habitat Directive.
The Presidential Summer House off the Troodos – Platres main road, is covered with stands of black pine, golden oak and riparian oriental plane trees. Two other types of flora are also found in the area, the Butterwort and Kennedy’s rock-cress (Arabis kennedyae), which have been included in the EU Habitat Directive.
Livadi tou Pashia off the Troodos – Karvounas main road contains turfs, wetlands developed in cavities flooded during winter which remain muddy and wet throughout the summer season.
Pikromiloudi off the Troodos – Karvounas main road, extending towards Solea Valley. It includes black pine forests and stands of golden oak. A rare plant found in the area the Butterwort (Pinguicula crystallina), is included in the EU Habitat Directive.
Madari in the Adelfi Forest (Pitsilia Region), contains unique forest ecosystems, such as the black pine forest, and stands of pure golden oak and juniper (Juniperus excelsa). Some 40 endemic species of flora and a large number of rare birds are found in the area, among them three endemic species.