You might think holidays in Cyprus are all about lapping up the high levels of sunshine and glittering golden sands of Coral Bay, or strutting your stuff on the dance floor in Ayia Napa, but you’d be wrong! Although beach holidays are the most well-known of Cyprus’s getaway offerings, you may be surprised to learn that Cyprus also has a lot to say when it comes to ski holidays.
In the summer, Cyprus enjoys temperatures as high as 36⁰C and in winter temperatures very rarely dip below 10⁰C; some areas still enjoy 20⁰C days in the depths of December. This gives it a unique edge as a skiing destination, as you can lap up the warmth of the morning sun on the beach before cooling off on the slopes in the afternoon.
Snowfall on Cyprus is almost unheard of except for in the Troodos Mountains, due to the altitude of the peaks here – the highest, Mount Olympus, stands at 6,404 ft. Between December and March most years the mountains will be covered in snow, particularly on the north facing slopes, allowing skiers to enjoy winter sports.
Troodos skiing resort on Mount Olympus is where most would-be-sunny-skiers head, although not all of them stay there. The island remains dry and warm throughout the year, so most visitors still choose to stay in nearby resorts such as Paphos meaning they can make the most of the sun and only dip in to the snow when it suits them.
There are four fantastic lifts to the slopes on Mount Olympus: two on the north face, which make best use of the snow coverage, and another two in nearby Sun Valley. As with any wintery skiing destination, equipment rental stations are provided, as are ski instructors who cater to a number of levels of ability, so whether you’re a diehard skier looking to conquer every slope you can, or just fancy trying out skiing for a few hours before returning to the beach, you will be well taken care of in Cyprus! We recommend advanced skiers take a turn down Zeus run on Mount Olympus, while beginners stick to the friendlier Sun Valley slopes.
The best time of year to enjoy ski holidays in Cyprus is between late January and March when the powder snow is at its best and temperatures have started to pick up again on the beach fronts as spring approaches: how many other holiday destinations can claim to have both stunning weather and excellent snow at the same time?
Have you skied in Cyprus? Which slope did you defeat? We’d love to hear about your experiences!