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Platres is situated at a height of twelve hundred metres on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains. It is a village that attracts visitors throughout the year with skiers in the winter and hikers throughout the year. Being only a little over half an hour to the seaside resorts on the south coast it is possible to combine walking with lazy days on the beach. There are good road links from the airports and to the main towns of Larnica and Paphos. Many Cypriots visit Platres at the height of the summer as the air here is fresh and the temperatures cooler.
Platres lies in an area of exceptional natural beauty. It mountains are clad in pine and cedar forests which fill the air with their scent and the mountain villages have a charm of their own. They are very different from some coastal resorts which are at times geared towards foreign visitors at the expense of Cypriot culture.
A Platres holiday appeals to walkers and climbers. The green forested hills offer excellent conditions for walking as the shade and the altitude reduce the summer temperatures. There are beaches providing water sports that lie within a thirty minute drive for those who want to sample Cypriot coastal hospitality.
The summer season begins in April and continues until the end of September. Winter is the rainy season in Cyprus but the mountains at that time are generally snowbound and are popular with skiers. There are two ski runs on Mount Olympus.
Platres was once a very upmarket village where the rich and powerful from the North African Continent came to escape the harsh summer temperatures of their homeland. Political unrest in various quarters brought this to an end but the advent of package holidays in the nineteen sixties brought renewed interest to the area. There are some excellent hotels in the area which have been refurbished since their glory days.
Platres is an ideal base for walking and hiking through the forests, enjoying the waterfalls and streams and the wealth of flora and fauna.
Apart from the many charming inland villages where the pace of life has changed little over the years, visitors to Platres can reach the wonderful beaches of the south west coast in approximately forty minutes. The beaches are mainly sandy and provide a range of water sports.
Those with an interest in history will find many important archaeological sites in the south west of the island.
Platres nightlife is fairly low key with much of it being hotel based. There are a small number of bars, tavernas and family run restaurants serving traditional food.
Platres shopping caters mainly for holiday essentials. Those wishing for a shopping trip should make the short journey to Paphos which has a wide range of boutiques and specialist shops as well as a market. Cyprus excels in handcrafted goods and the government have recognised the value of this by creating the Cyprus Handicraft Service. There are a number of official shops around the island. There are of course many more unofficial shops in all resorts selling good quality goods that are reasonably priced. Popular gifts and holiday mementoes are the embroidered linens, the Lefkara lace and ceramic pots.
There are a small number of restaurants in Platres serving a variety of dishes. Fish features prominently on Cypriot menus with calamari, red mullet and sea bass being particularly popular. Halloumi, a cheese made from goat and sheep’s milk is an island speciality. It is often served grilled and served as an appetiser. The Cypriot equivalent of the Spanish tapas is mezze, and it is a good way to sample the variety of local food.
Local wines are tasty and inexpensive.