SOTA: 5B/CY-031 (Brachos Dora)

5B/CY-031 was coincidentally the thirty-first SOTA peak that I have activated in Cyprus. The day was not blisteringly hot and there was a nice breeze up there, so after activating, I just laid out on large rock and sunned myself before the drive back. It is not the greenest SOTA site — it does not have the elevation to support conifers, but of the dry, scrubby sites, it is among the prettiest and least disturbed: no shotgun shells or garbage anywhere up there.

Some conveniently placed rocks make this one of the most comfortable operating positions. There is event a bit of shade.
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SOTA: 5B/CY-029 (Tophoulia)

I followed 5B/M0BLF/P ‘s excellent account of his earlier visit to this peak and found it as described. As I approached the town, my first option was to head up a relatively steep hill. However, when I drove beyond this, I came to the town itself and just followed road signs to the Agia Marina church. The main roads through town were wide enough even for my Landcruiser, although some of the side alleys would be tight. Although I went up on a Sunday, my car was the only one in the church’s car park.

Flat, brambly, with a few bushes, one of which held up my antenna.
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SOTA: 5B/CY-039 (Mersinia)

Three sites north of Limmasol would make a good day trip: each is about 20 to 30 minutes from the other: CY-039, CY-029, and CY-031. I got a late start and dallied on the second site, so I only manage to get two in, but an efficient activator could easily manage all three in one outing.

I always guy the BuddiPole when is extended, but on this day with a light breeze I just hung a backpack on it for a little extra stability. In the vertical configuration (base, coil, one arm, whip), it is very stable. Beyond those bushes is a cliff. The sea is in the background.
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SOTA: 5B/CY-037 (Stavrovouni)

A photo of the mountain-top monastery as seen from the parking lot.

I thought it would be helpful to document that this summit can probably not be activated, which is a shame since it is a short drive from the capital, Nicosia. A Greek Orthodox monastery sits atop the mountain and all access to the activation zone is fenced off and controlled. The visitor parking lot is about 35 meters below the peak, so about ten short of the activation zone. Beyond that is a sign that prohibits the entrance of women and also forbids bringing almost any sort of technology beyond that point. Does this mean that it is impossible to activate? Perhaps not… some thoughts on that below, but let’s say it would be at least very challenging.

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SOTA: 5B/CY-040 (Koumana)

The trig point (and my operating position).

This two-point peak does make you work for those two points. It is located a bit north of Limasol or about an hour’s drive from Nicosia. GPS will get you pretty close along route F130 to a dirt road turn off. That dirt road runs around the mountain and climbs gradually along the way. When you have gone about halfway around the mountain, there are a couple of cut outs where you can pull over to the left but still leave enough room on the road for other vehicles to pass you on the outside of the curve.

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Return to Pipis

This past weekend, I returned to Pipis, 5B/CY-046 to try some new things. It was not entirely a disaster, but mostly. Pipis is about a half-hour drive from Nicosia if there is no traffic, but since Nicosia always has some traffic, figure 45 minutes to an hour. The road up the to the peak is pretty good except for the last hill which is a bit steep, and you can always walk up that one. This is my second time activating this one-point peak, but something like my fourth or fifth time up Pipis, since it’s a nice nature spot and I’ve brought the dogs up here to run around outdoors.

Here’s a picture from a more pleasant day, with the dogs exploring the hillside.
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SOTA: 5B/CY-035 (Mazi)

Mazi was a short drive from Vouni (5B/CY-033). As my GPS showed only a few minutes left to the peak along the highway, I turned a corner and saw a perfectly round, verdant hill in the distance (the sort of hill where the Teletubbies live).

The summit is likely on the flatter peak in the background.

However, it turned out that no romping creatures with television bellies lived there. I continued past and turned off the highway onto a dirt road leading through fields of vineyards and rising gently towards a gentle peak.

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SOTA: 5B/CY-033 (Vouni)

This four-point peak is a short drive from Paphos. The name “Vouni” means “mountain”, but it is more of a gentle grass-covered hill in the middle of a wine-producing region. The paved road up into the mountains is fairly steep, I noticed on the way back down that it warned of a 14% grade. The roads through town itself are a bit narrow, but I threaded the Landcruiser through carefully. A narrow road runs past the summit to the north. Although the road is dirt, it is well packed and not rutted, so I think any car would be able to manage it. When I got to the point marked “P” on the map, I pulled the car southward onto the grass. I then followed the tree line up to the top of the hill.

Pull off at P, then walk up along the tree line. There is a hint of old track just to the west side of the trees separating the fields.
Despite the rain, the field was not too muddy, so no problems backing out.
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SOTA: 5B/CY-013 (Profitis Ilias)

The first thing I have to say about this peak is “beware of false prophets”. Many hilltops and even many hilltop churches in Cyprus are named Profitis Ilias — he was a popular guy, so make sure you activate the right one. This isn’t hard, though, the GoogleMaps link from the SOTA Summit page took me right to the correct peak, an 8-point summit north of Paphos and about a two-hour drive from Nicosia.

My very comfortable operating position, with trig point at left and the church in the background.
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SOTA: 5B/CY-032 (Mosfileri)

This is one of the least scenic peaks, right up there with Xylias, since this peak is effectively in someone’s backyard and you are likely to find yourself activating on a small corner of land between power lines and a commercial antenna site. There are some nice views downward from that site if you peek between tall bushes, but this peak does not feel at all like a nature walk. On the other hand, it is very much a drive-on peak that does not require an off-road vehicle. It is not far from Limassol, so anyone visiting Cyprus for a weekend could easily rent a car and put this peak on their list.

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