Platres is located on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains, and is approximately 25 kilometres north-west of Limassol and 45 kilometres south-west of the capital Nicosia.
The name of Platres derives from the Greek word platía,
which means plain area, due to the town's many flat fields in-between steep,
mountainous terrain. The town is divided into two parts: Pano Plátres , the
principal hill resort of Cyprus; and Kato Plátres , a smaller, residential
settlement, some 3 km to the south-west, downhill from the main town centre. The
town has a resident population of fewer than 300, but this can swell to more
than four times this number during tourist seasons.
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. Plátres has been a popular hill resort since the British took control of the island of Cyprus in 1878. 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.