|The Troodos UNESCO Global Geopark (www.troodos-geo.org) is located in the central part of the island, and covers an area of 1.147 km2 which corresponds to approximately 36% of the area of the Troodos mountain range and 12% of the total area of Cyprus.
The boundaries of this mountainous area are very well defined and cover altitude zones from 300 m to the highest peak of Cyprus, Chionistra summit, with an altitude of 1952 m. Administratively, it falls into four districts (Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos), including 110 villages and settlements with a population of approximately 25.000 inhabitants.
Specifically, the boundaries of the Geopark extent eastward to the villages of Malounta, Klirou, Fikardou, Agioi Vavatsinias and Vavla, northward to the villages of Mitseron, Kato Moni, Agia Marina Xyliatou and Katydata, westward to the villages of Kampos tis Tsakistras, Tsakistra and Mylikouri, and southward to the villages of Omodos, Trimiklini, Arakapa and Lageia.
|The Geopark area, includes walking trails and geotrails in addition to a significant number of sites (geosites), which are of geological, ecological and cultural interest, and are based on criteria of scientific importance, rarity, aesthetic attraction and educational value. The ultimate aim of the Geopark, in collaboration with competent governmental sectors, is to create environmentally friendly infrastructures necessary for: (a) promotion and protection of the unique geosites and (b) geotouristic and economic growth.
One of the primary infrastructures of the Troodos Geopark, is the Visitors Centre (renovated old school of Pano Amiantos village) inside the Amiantos Mine, which consists of a remarkable geological garden and an exhibition hall with informational signs, maquettes, rock and mineral collections, replicas of an 20th century mining shaft, an ancient furnace and a copper ingot, seismometers, microscopes and other exhibits. Furthermore, the Geopark has its own website, an ecotouristic guide, maps, documentaries and a geological demonstration kit for geoeducation.
Today, in the extent of the Troodos Geopark, fifty (50) geosites, eleven (11) abandoned mines and the archeological site in the Skouriotissa area have been declared as the most significant geological and mining features of the area. These features include the historic Αmiantos Μine in serpentinite rocks, which is the largest mine in Europe, abandoned chromite mining shafts in dunite rocks around mount Olympos, exceptional landscapes of parallel dykes and rotated epidotized dykes, sites with umbers and sulfide deposits in volcanic rocks with nearby scattered ancient slag heaps, seafloor spreading axes as well as the Arakapas fossilized transform fault.
Most of these geological features are of significant scientific value, which is not known and easily understood by tourists and locals. For this reason, informational signs with explanatory text, schematic graphs and maps have been placed in a number of geosites as well as in other sites of the geopark, in order to explain to the visitors in the simplest possible way the complex geological history of the area.
The Troodos UNESCO Global Geopark was inducted in the European and Global UNESCO Geopark Network in 2015 and was recognized as a unique World Heritage Site, combining the fascinating geology and unique natural environment of the Troodos mountain range, with the long-lived history of the inhabitants and their unique customs, traditions and folklore.