What to See in Cedar Valley

The Pafos Forest is a 70,000-hectare reserve occupying the northwest slopes of the Troodos Mountains.

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The Pafos Forest is a 70,000-hectare reserve occupying the northwest slopes of the Troodos Mountains. In its centre is Cedar Valley, a forest of the ‘cedrus brevifolia’ trees similar to the famed cedars of Lebanon. These trees grow to a height of 30 metres and can live up to 500 years. Cedar Valley is reached by car from Pafos in about one and a half hours. The winding road takes you through and above the forest’s canopy, affording you views of the lacy branches of the cedars, which spread out horizontally in distinctive patterns. Though the forest is largely untouched, there are several stops worth making. In Cedar Valley, one hairpin turn is paved with cobblestones. Here is the trail head for ascending Tripylos Peak (1452 metres); as you make your way up, take a closer look at the cedars and keep an eye out for mouflons, the notoriously shy wild sheep endemic to the area. If you fail to see any mouflons, it is worth driving further to Stavros tis Psokas, the forestry station in a former monastery from the nineteenth century. Here you’ll find a café, picnic grounds, and an enclosure for mouflons. Walk around the perimeter and you will eventually find about 30 of the sheep grazing. On the drive, you will pass the heads for the Moutti Tou Stavrou and the Chorteri trails and the Chapel of the Holy Cross. During your visit, be sure to take a deep breath and enjoy the scent of the cedars and pines.