If you want to ski in Cyprus, you should come to the island during its short winter. Starting with December, the island turns into the southernmost ski resort in the EU. The Cyprus Ski Club runs all things related to skiing in the country. There are four slopes for you to enjoy and once you tire from the snow, you can go back down to the beaches below.
Best Times to Ski in Cyprus: Watch the Forecast
Snow starts falling in the Troodos Mountains sometime in December. If the weather holds, it comes down in early March. This gives you about three months to enjoy skiing at what is usually considered a prime destination for beach holidays.
It’s true that the ski season in Cyprus is rather short. However, the temperatures up in the mountains reach about -5ºC at night and the snow cover gets about 2.5 meters thick. This means that you can get a comfy ride down the snowy slope without being uncomfortably cold.
The only issue is that the weather doesn’t always hold. The temperature usually goes a few degrees above zero during the day. Therefore, without frequent snowfalls, the nice snowy mountain cover can melt quite fast. This happens more often due to the climate change. Therefore, it’s essential to watch the weather forecast. If your main goal is to ski in Cyprus, you shouldn’t book your trip too far in advance.
You also need to be aware of the holidays when planning your trip to a Cyprus ski resort. The island gets a lot of tourists around the New Year. Therefore, mountain slopes might be too crowded for you to enjoy yourself fully.
Note that skiing is extremely popular in Cyprus, so the locals go up to the mountains every weekend. You’ll need to beat the crowds to the top on these days. It’s also necessary to rent skiing equipment early in the morning. This way you’ll be able to get the best available pieces.
Where to Ski in Cyprus: Mount Olympus Is Waiting
The one and only destination for skiing in Cyprus is Mount Olympus. If you believe in myths, this means that you will be able to ski with the ancient gods. The four slopes that are under the supervision of Cyprus Ski Club are all named in their honor.
Mount Olympus, Cyprus offers:
This is the longest ski slope in Cyprus and most advanced one. Only skiers of above-average and high skill should use it. However, getting up on the North Face I lift is a good choice for everyone. This way you’ll come up nearly to the top of Mount Olympus. The view is amazing but the 500-meter long run down is a challenge.
To reach the Hermes slope you’ll need to take the Sun Valley II lift. This is an intermediate slope of 150 meters. It’s quite enjoyable and not complex, so low-to-above moderate skiers can succeed here.
If you come to ski in Cyprus as a complete beginner, this is the best place for you. The slop is only 150 meters and is very simple. You’ll need to take the Sun Valley I lift and then enjoy practicing basic moves.
If you take the North Face II lift, you’ll get to the Hera slope, which is also simple and suitable for beginners. It’s 350 meters, so if you are completely new to skiing, you should start with the Aphrodite.
As there are lifts to each slope, your going up and down Mount Olympus will be quite fast. You’ll have to face ques on weekends, so be prepared to wait for a bit.
Cyprus Ski Resorts and Hotels
Main Cyprus ski resorts are Troodos, Platres, Pedoulas, and Kakopetria. They have hotels, cafes, and shops to keep tourists entertained if snow doesn’t hold. However, as Cyprus is a tiny island, you can easily reach the beaches and various popular attractions, like parks and museums.
The Troodos resort is the biggest and generally the best choice if you come to ski in Cyprus. It’s closest to the Ski Club and has the best infrastructure.
Kakopetria is the one furthest from ‘skiing action’. However, it’s the coziest mountain resort on the island. It’s surrounded by a beautiful forest and offers spectacular views. The Old Village part of it is a historical monument that will provide a unique insight into the local culture.
Pedoulas is a lovely place about 17km from the Troodos Square. You will enjoy hiking around here in case the weather turns too warm for skiing in Cyprus. There are a few interesting museums in the area.
Platres is a big resort located not far from the club. It’s renowned for local wineries, so you will always have something to warm you up after a day of skiing. You can also find some of the most beautiful Cyprus waterfalls nearby.
Skiing in Cyprus: Final Thoughts
If you come to ski in Cyprus, you will be able to enjoy a unique experience. The island is a tropical beach heaven even in winter. However, from December to March you can spend your days going down snowy slopes or learning how to do this. There are a school and private skiing lessons available. Once you tire of it, you will be able to go down to the beaches and enjoy a pleasant night out near the shore.
Cyprus has a good skiing infrastructure for an island this small. This sport is extremely popular on the island, so the slopes are sure to get crowded on weekends. Plan your trip well and be an early bird to make the most of the short Cyprus skiing season.