Kayaking in Memi Mine, Troodos, Cyprus

Skill level:
Beginner to Advanced
Fair to difficult
515m / 1689ft
Organised excursions:
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Northwest of Xyliatos village, up on Troodos Mountains in the Nicosia district and less than 1000 m / 0.62 mi from the village center, lies a huge circular crater; a remnant of the mine that was once there from 1954 to 1990. The crater is located right where the ore export point used to be. Following an initiative of the local Community Council, the mine has been filled with rainwater. The result is phenomenal. A peculiar lake dominates now the surrounding mountains.

Xyliatos is a village up on the Troodos mountains, at an altitude of 515 m /1689 ft, in the Nicosia district. It is located at about 50 km / 31 mi southwest of the capital, Nicosia. The village is mostly known for its famous Xyliatos waterdam; a location at which many people resort to escape from their everyday routine.

Memi Μine, also known as “Alepou” (fox), is the copper and ore mine that was once operated in the area; around 1000 m / 0.62 mi from the village’s center.

The rain water that now ends up in the mine’s crater is forming a truly unique lake. Because of the copper alloy that still lies at the bottom of it, the lake’s water changes its color depending on the season. Dark green in Winter, deep ocean blue during Spring. Spring’s deep blue slightly fades in the Summer giving a wonderful turquoise color allover the lake. In Fall, the color of the water changes completely again, taking a light green shade preparing it to welcome again the forest green color of the Winter.

The way to the lake and Memi mine is considered a dangerous one. To get there, it is highly recommended to stay on the wide dirt road leading there and avoid entering the lanes formed by the mine’s debris.

Besides that, the lake is considered of the most beautiful ones on the island of Cyprus and an alternative way to keep active around the water, yet avoid the busy beaches during the high Summer season.