The UNESCO Global Geopark area of Troodos is located around the centre of the island, with its highest peak (Mount Olympos) at 1952m and 57km from the capital of Lefkosia (Nicosia). The area covers 1,147km2 and is generally defined by the extent of the ophiolite complex.
The Troodos Mountains are well-known among geologists around the world as an elevated and set in a dome structure by the collision of the Eurasian and African plates 92million years ago. Throughout history, asbestos and umber have been mined, but it was the production and trading of copper from huge sulphide deposits similar to those found in Cyprus that made the island’s name synonymous with copper.
The Troodos Mountains are home to 110 villages, having a population of 25,000. The UNESCO Global Geopark, along with the related Government policies, are responsible for its sustainable development. The self-contained Geopark Centre includes geology and mining exhibits, a lecture room and a store, and it is housed in a renovated early 20th Century classroom of the rehabilitated Amiantos’ mine.
Every year UNESCO, along with the Environmental Information Centre and the Environmental Education Centre in Pedoulas village, welcome many children and guests helping country’s economic prosperity and educating people about the island’s cultural heritage. The Centre is also operated by the local community, which is represented by the Troodos District Development Agency. For the observant geotourist, local festivals, taverns, vineyards, traditional workshops, geology and nature trails, waterfalls, museums, monasteries, ancient bridges, and 11 UNESCO World Heritage Byzantine churches complete the image.