The Troodos Mountain Range is the highest of the two mountain ranges in Cyprus, reaching a maximum height of 1952 metres at Mount Olympus.
The Troodos National Forest Park covers an area of 9 147 hectares around Mount Olympus with the lowest point of 700m in Moni forest. It includes indigenous pine and juniper forests on the mountain slopes, with plenty of hiking trails and picnic sites.
The Troodos mountain range, although much lower in altitude than the major mountains of Europe like the Alps and the Pyrenees, has a unique geology. The mountain range was formed 8000m deep underwater 90 million years ago as a result of the movement of the European and African plates against each other, creating an underwater volcanic mountain which then rose slowly out of the sea over a period of 50-million years, resulting in a mountain range with some exposed rock formations usually seen only deep underwater as well as a wealth of fossilised marine life up in the mountains.
So when zooming along the trails in the Troodos, runners are in fact taking a journey to the centre of the earth!
The Troodos range was designated by UNESCO in 2015 to be a Geopark. The criteria or a Geopark is that the area must have a special geological heritage and also be able to document the importance of the area through archaeological, ecological, historical or cultural interest.
The Troodos Geopark is located in the central part of Cyprus and its area is approximately 137,000 hectares (1,370 sq.m.), covering 45% of the total area of the Troodos range and 15% of the total area of Cyprus.
Much more information about the Geopark and the geology of the Troodos range can be found on the Geopark website: http://www.troodos-geo.org/