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The hidden Venetian bridges in the Paphos Forest are testimony to the Venetians rule from 1489-1571. They formed part of the old camel trail and were used to carry goods across villages and towns. There are actually 3 bridges (i) Roudias, (ii) Tzelefos and (iii) Elia. The most famous and most spectacular one is the second one (Tzelefos).
The Cyprus Department of Forests has opened up a trail from the deserted village of Vretsia -that goes past the 3 bridges. Its a great walk or 4×4 drive. Its It’s also used as a Special Stage for the Rally of Cyprus!
The details for the nature trail are as follows:
|End Point:||Vretsia village|
|Estimated Duration:||6 hours|
|Difficulty Rate:||Category 3: High degree of difficulty. Route with difficult terrain such as sudden changes in gradient (uphill and/or downhill), course along particularly rough and/or slippery, and/or narrow, and/or steep terrain. Suitable for adults in very good to excellent fitness levels. Unsuitable for young children.|
|Trip Length:||17 kilometres|
The area of the bridges is accessible in various ways due to its location - on the border of the Paphos, Limassol and Nicosia Districts.
From the village of Platres (big village, well signposted), you drive towards and past the village of Mandria and then follow the signs for the village of Agios Nicolaos (Paphos District). Then look for the signs for the Pera Vasa Picnic area and soon after, signposts for Tzelefos Bridge (the main of the 3 bridges) will appear. There is a parking lot 3 minutes away from the bridge. The drive from Platres takes approx 40min.
You can also reach the village of Agios Nicolaos from the village of Omodos (a well known village in the Limassol District).
The route to the bridges area is very very nice. You drive through green forests and go past a dam of Arminou (you see it in the valley below - see picture below). The road is decent (asphalt all the way).
From the bridge of Tzelefos you can also drive to the bridge of Elia 5-10min down the road. Its smaller and not as impressive. There are pictures below!
The area around the bridge of Tzelefos is like fairy tail land. You get the impression that little elfs are about to jump out of the forest in anytime. Its so peaceful and quite and the river is flowing almost throughout the year - even in the hot summer months.
The scenery changes from season to season but its always beautiful.
If you are looking for something beautiful that is off the beaten track - this is your spot!!!