Whilst you enjoy your sun-filled holiday by the sea, consider a visit to the Troodos Mountains—they provide a delightful contrast and can be sampled in a day trip by car. Rising some 2000 metres above sea level, the forested range is dotted with picturesque villages along with churches and monasteries from the Byzantine era. Begin your drive from Pafos on the southern coastal highway, then climb up through the Diarizos River Valley. The valley’s vineyards grow eighteen varieties of grape, with mavro predominant; you can sample the local wine at the Nelion Winery in Praitori. Your next stop might be Platres, the mountain resort town developed by the British in the nineteenth century and known for its hiking trails and colonial era architecture. Then you might head to a monastery. The largest and best known, Kykkos, affords panoramic views of the mountain range. A lovely alternative, though, sits in Kalopanagiotis village. Its Church of Agios Ioannis Lambaditis is nestled in a valley next to a rushing stream. Examine the intricate frescoes of the eleventh-century monastery and explore the adjacent Byzantine museum. Then take a stroll on the cobblestone streets of the neighbouring village, stopping for a bite to eat. Every season reveals something new in the Troodos Mountains—spring wildflowers, summer breezes, fall colours, and winter snow (and yes, it is possible to ski there). Whatever your destination, be sure to take a deep breath and take in the scenery around you.