Platres is a mountainous village in Cyprus. It is located on the southern slopes of the Troödos Mountains and is one of the Krasochoria (wine villages). Platres is the largest Troodos resort, situated about 5km from Troodos square, north-west of Limassol and south-west of the capital Nicosia. Platres is a very old village and is mentioned among the 119 villages of the Limassol district that existed during the Lusignan Era (1192-1489 AD) and the Venetian Era (1489-1571 AD). Platres or Pano Platres (Upper Plátres) is the principal hill resort of Cyprus. The town has a resident population of fewer than 300, but this can swell to 10000 during tourist seasons.
Pano Platres (Upper Plátres) is a name given to the village in the recent years after the village of Tornarides (which is a smaller residential settlement situated some 3km to the south-west) was renamed to Kato Platres (Lower Plátres). Despite this change everyone (locals and non-locals) refer to the village of Pano Platres with its original name of Platres.
In the past the villagers were mainly shepherds and vine growers. Later most vine fields were converted to orchards, producing cherries, apples, pears, peaches and more. However, since the early 20th Century many people have dedicated themselves to the booming tourism sector. Platres has been a popular hill resort since the British took control of the island of Cyprus in 1878. In the arid hills of the Troödos range, Platres is relatively unusual in straddling a perennial stream, providing a reliable source of drinking water and allowing a profusion of foliage not commonly seen on the island. Importing their taste for cool retreats, away from the heat of the coast, the colonial settlers rapidly established a network of hotels, bars and shady walks around the small village that previously existed on the site.
Over the years, Platres gained a reputation as the destination of choice for many notable people, including King Farouk of Egypt and the Nobel Prize-winning poet Giorgos Seferis. The Brandy Sour cocktail, a drink intimately associated with Cypriot cuisine, was developed for King Farouk during the late 1930s, at the Forest Park Hotel which is situated in Platres. The same hotel is also known as the location at which British writer Daphne du Maurier composed the majority of her acclaimed novel Rebecca. These are some of the reasons that Platres have been recently called "The Village of Kings and Poets". The resort retains many hotels and bars today, and operates as both a cooler alternative to the major coastal resorts during the summer, and as a skiing base during winter months for the nearby ski slopes of Mount Olympus.
Platres are the starting point for many nature trails as well as the Troodos Cycling Routes. Through the path of the Troodos Cycling routes, as well as some of other hiking trails is the area of Ayia Irini (located in the northeast of the village on the road leading from Psilodentro Area to Mesa Potamos). From the rock of Ayia Irini you can see Platres village and enjoy the outstanding natural beauty. It is said that in the area during the Middle Ages ( Frank Rule) a Frank monastery with a small settlement existed at the area. Very popular nature trails are the Kalidonia Nature Trail which passes from the Kalidonia Waterfall as well as the Millomeris Nature Trail that leads to the Millomeris Waterfall .
The village Old Municipal Market was renovated in the last years and transformed to a fully functional modern equipped Cultural Center. The main area was renamed at Giorgos Seferis Hall and it can host all kinds of events such as exhibitions, conferences, seminars, concerts, plays and audio-visual projections.
Platres Athletic Sports Center is located at an altitude of 1050m in the heart of the Troodos Mountains making it one of the ideal locations for sport events. This modern sports center has a football pitch, mini football, basketball, tennis, volleyball, handball, bicycle center as well as fitness and Spa facilities. It has spacious locker rooms and a Coffee shop. The center hosts the yearly 'Cyprus Junior Tennis Tournament', 'Cyprus Downhill Race' as well as many other tournaments. Its football pitch is the main practice location for most of the Cyprus 1st division football teams during the hot months of Cyprus. The recently opened bicycle center, in combination with the nearby Milia Bridge Trail (used by MTB Cyprus Downhill community in addition to hikers), the Troodos Cycling Routes and all the year round events have made the Platres Athletic Sports Center one of the landmarks on all year round sports.
MILIA Bridge is one of the old surviving landmarks that still stand intact. It's situated just below the village inside the forest. It provided a crossing point over Krios Potamos. Krios Potamos (Krios River) starts at Mount Olympus peak and is the life giving river of Platres, since it is one of the very few rivers in Cyprus that flow all year round.