CONTENTS 4 A resplendent alternative
8 A magical journey full of aromas and sensations
10, 12 When art becomes faith
14 Marvellous Moments
16 Explore the mountain shelters of Crete
24 A Captivating and Magical Escape
26 Only one of its kind
30 Break the myth ...have your vacations off season
Protaras is the tourist resort of the Paralimni district, in the south east of Cyprus. The town of Protaras can easily be explored on foot. Additionally, it has a fairly comprehensive local bus service, although the frequency of buses varies. A handy local route runs from Agia Napa to Paralimni via Protaras. Longer distance buses link the town to Larnaca, the Larnaca Airport, Limassol and Nicosia. Before becoming a tourist resort, Protaras was essentially uninhabited; the area was mostly covered by a multitude of windmills, some of which still stand, adding to the character of the Protaras landscape. Protaras became an idyllic holiday resort largely due to the beautiful sandy beaches in its vicinity. There are several excellent beaches, each developed to appeal to a particular type of holidaymaker. For instance, the main beach called “Fig Tree Bay”, which is regarded as one of the most popular beaches on the island, offers a wide range of watersports, while to the north of the coastline, the tranquil waters of “Skoutari Beach” make for great snorkelling. Many of Protaras’s shops are unashamedly geared towards holidaymakers and stock everything from beachwear to silver handicrafts, ceramics and woodcarvings. The retail experience in the nearby town of Agia Napa is more eclectic, with good jewellery stores and shops selling designer clothes joining the mix. Protaras’s myriad bars and nightclubs keep the beautiful town buzzing into the early hours of the morning, especially during the summer time. The sea caves along the Protaras coastline are brilliant for those who like to explore. There are unique rock formations, arches and
hidden coves to appreciate and photograph. While some can only be classed as small crevices, others are ample caverns that you can actually go into. In addition, there are also little islets just off the shoreline to admire and one in particular is big enough to serve as a retreat for those who prefer to avoid crowded beaches, or to enjoy swimming, as the sea by the main beaches can be packed with people taking part in watersports. The coastal location of Protaras lends itself to various interesting daytime activities. Boat trips to Capo Greco, the south-easternmost point on the island is definitely worth to experience. The “Sea Caves” area of Capo Greco, where the sea has eroded parts of the limestone cliff and has created arches and caves, is great for swimming and especially for a romantic sunset. Arguably the “Sea Caves” area is considered to be the most beautiful spot on the Capo Greco, therefore it absolutely worth’s a visit. Despite the sudden commercial development of Protaras, hiking is still a popular daytime activity at this resort as the rugged coastline towards Capo Greco remains mostly untouched. There are a couple of nature trails from Protaras which are worth undertaking. The longer trail of the two is 8.5 kilometers long, taking approximately 3 hours to complete. The trail begins at the limestone chapel of Prophites Elias, which was re-built in the 1980s on the foundations of an ancient church. The chapel’s lofty location, on the summit of an enormous rock, offers breathtaking views of the entire town of Protaras. The trail then moves south along the coast ending at “Konnos Beach”. The second trail
is 2.3 kilometres long, taking approximately 45 minutes to complete. The trail is circular and therefore begins and ends at the chapel of Agioi Anargyroi. Exotic plants are the most memorable feature of this trail, particularly the fragrant shrubs of Phoenician Juniper. In addition, Protaras offers delicious traditional Cypriot meze (local dishes that include vegetables, meat and fish). You may also find in Protaras Thai, Italian, British, Indian, Chinese, Japanese and American restaurants, which provide a high-grade service. Most eateries have outdoor terraces for an enjoyable view that overlooks the Mediterranean. Protaras also includes high-quality hotels with a first-rate service, such as the luxurious Capo Bay Hotel, that will surely provide you with an unforgettable experience. The Capo Bay Hotel is exceptionally located in the heart of Protaras. Modern features and amenities blend in with the traditional excellence in service and holiday accommodation. This beach hotel emphasises on an aura of tranquillity - beautiful gardens with running waters and fish ponds that lead down to the waterfront. The Capo Bay Hotel has earned an enviable reputation with Cyprus holiday makers for its style and attention to detail within the guest accommodation and quality of service. The weather in Protaras is warm all year round, the summers are long and hot and the winters are very mild. Even during spring and winter, you will surely experience temperatures of around 18C and benefit from around six hours of sunshine per day. Moreover, the Mediterranean Sea is still warm enough to swim in right up until November.
Cyprus boasts an extensive range of health and welfare spas, which offer a broad range of traditional and alternative treatments and therapies. It is after all, the birthplace of the Goddess Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, thus it is quite reasonable for Cyprus to be a “vigorous paradise”. By luxuriating in these oases of tranquility that are situated at some of the island’s top hotels, where beautiful surroundings overlook the lush gardens or stunning views, you may be pampered to your heart’s content. The myriad of facilities designed for your absolute wellbeing include: indoor and outdoor pools, freshwater and saltwater pools, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, hammams, fullyequipped gyms, aerobics studios, treatment rooms and beauty salons. Friendly and attentive staff will fulfill your every need, by revitalizing and energizing you with beauty and health treatments to tone your body and clear your mind. You will be given counseling and fitness assessments that fit your own specific requirements and personalized sessions to make you feel special. You are bound to feel rejuvenated with the wide array of services on offer. Below is a description of some of the magnificent and purifying treatments that are offered at the spa hotel “Le Méridien Limassol Spa & Resort” in Cyprus, which was voted as the best Spa in Europe and in the world. The palm trees and swimming pools with rocks, where the water flows like a waterfall, create an exotic landscape and the perfect setting for your ultimate renewal. The Jewel in the resort's crown is the 3,000-square metre “Le Spa” with seven elegant mosaic
indoor-outdoor seawater pools, each with its own temperature and salinity, 34 treatment rooms, discreet and personal attention, tranquil environment, relaxing area with breathtaking views of the sea, hammam, saunas and a state-of-the-art health club facility with a heated indoor pool. Thalassotherapy Thalassotherapy comes from the Greek word “Thalassa”, which means sea. This treatment is considered to be the medical use of seawater as a form of therapy. The properties of seawater are believed to have beneficial effects upon the pores of the skin. In thalassotherapy trace elements of magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium and iodide are found in seawater and are believed to be absorbed through the skin. The benefits to your health are amazing improved circulation, boosting of the immune system, reduction of cellulite, toning of skin, detoxification, muscle relaxation, improved sleep and increased energy. Watsu This unique treatment is performed in the high-density pool of Le Méridien Spa and Resort, where the body is supported by the natural buoyancy of the water and the capable hands of the masseur. The treatment takes the form of mobilization and stretching movements to return the skeletal system to a natural balance, whilst applying both pressure and manipulation techniques to the meridian lines and points in the body thus encouraging the circulation of energy within 40minutes.
Four Hands Harmony Massage From Hawaii, traditional Lomi Lomi Massage movements sweep the length of the body like a synchronized dance. The experience of having two intuitive therapists working at the same time is the closest that one could imagine to such a mystical experience of the sublime. Four expert hands complement and follow each other to caress and comfort your body's energy flow, resulting in the ultimate experience of the power of touch. Journey of the Senses From the Mediterranean shores of Cyprus, warm, volcanic stones are used to give balance, energy and relieve tension. Cypriots traditionally use the riches of the island to protect, nourish and moisturize their sunkissed bodies, conditioning their skins with the most exotic aromas and textures imaginable. Drench yourself in the natural nourishment and sensuality of milk and frangipani scented oil and take your senses on a journey of pure indulgence.
10 ties to the pilgrims. Examples of Byzantine art and architecture are displayed in churches that are found on the Troodos Mountains. Ten buildings are found on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. THE TEN BUILDINGS ON UNESCO’S WORLD HERITAGE LIST Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis at Kakopetria The church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis "Saint Nicholas of the Roof", near the village of Kakopetria, belonged to a monastery. It is completely painted with murals dating back from the 11th to the 17th centuries and it is considered to be one of the most interesting Byzantine churches on the island. The church took its name from the steep pitched timber roof that was built to protect it from the weather.
The location of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean gives it a special religious significance. The island keeps hold of religious icons, mosaics and artifacts, as well as ecclesiastical architecture, such as Byzantine churches with important iconography and rare icons, chapels and monasteries that speak for the intense dedication to traditions and the close interconnection of art with religious worship, throughout the centuries. The Orthodox Church of Cyprus is the predominant Church on the island. The overwhelming majority of Cypriots belong to the Orthodox Church of Cyprus. The presence and the contribution of the Orthodox Church are significant to the historical, cultural and social life of Cyprus. Byzantine Art and Architecture Byzantine art and architecture is featured widely in many churches and monasteries in Cyprus. A window mural or a mural wall-painting will relate a story. The frescoes were created originally for the poorer community, many of whom were unable to read and write. The icons hold a very religious significance and some of the religious art work are even believed to possess miraculous powers. Pilgrimages are made to certain sites in order to be able to light candles and pray before the icons and some of the larger monasteries still provide overnight accommodation facili-
Agios Ioannis Lampadistis at Kalopanagiotis Originally a monastery, this complex consists of three churches – Agios Herakleidios, Ioannis Lampadistis and a Latin chapel, all of which share a single enormous timber roof. The monastery is situated centrally in the region of the Troodos Mountains, just off the village of Kalopanagiotis. The core monastery church, which dates back to the 11th century, consists of an arched cross-in-square structure. The Agios Ioannis Lampadistis chapel was built in the 12th century to the north of the first church and rested on the tomb of the Saint. Later on, the chapel collapsed and was for its most part rebuilt in the 18th century. A new chapel was constructed to the north of that of Agios Ioannis during the second half of the 15th century. It later became known as the “Latin chapel” as it was believed to have been built for the Latins. The timbered roof that completely covers the roofs of all the three churches and that gives the complex its unique appearance was added at a later date. Furthermore, the Agios Herakleidios church has excellent 13th and 16th century frescoes. Panagia tou Araka at Lagoudera The 12th century church of Panagia tou Araka stands just outside the village of Lagoudera and boasts some of the finest Continue on page 12
12 tors can obtain the key from the adjacent house. Archangelos Michail at Pedoulas The church of Archangelos Michail at Pedoulas was built and decorated in 1474. It is a very small building with a usual sloping mountain roof. The church is completely decorated on two levels, with 11 compositions from the Festival Cycle on the top and depictions of the saints at the bottom. The Crucifixion and the Ascension are depicted in the pediments. It is an example of post-Byzantine paintings, 15 years before the Venetian rule. The key can be found at the adjacent house. Timios Stavros at Pelendri The church of Timios Stavros is situated in a central area of the Troodos mountain range, at
frescoes of the late Comnenian style (1192). Together with the churches of Panagia Asinou and Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis, it is considered to be one of the most important Byzantine churches on the island. Visitors should ask for the priest - who can be found on the premises next to the church to escort them to the church. Panagia Asinou at Nikitari The famous Byzantine church of Asinou has some of the finest examples of Byzantine wall-painting on the island. Asinou comes from the Greek â€œAsineâ€?, which is an ancient city that was founded by immigrants from the Greek city Argolis, in the 11th century BC. The church dates back to the early 12th century and the murals inside date back from the 12th century to the 17th century. Visitors should ask for the priest of the Nikitari village to escort them. Panagia tou Moutoulla at Moutoullas The tiny 13th century chapel of Panagia tou Moutoulla is found in the Moutoulla village. This chapel of the Virgin Mary has rare frescoes of Saint George and Saint Christopher - both arrayed for battle in Byzantine armour and of the Virgin Mary and the infant Christ. As yet unrestored, they are redolent of history. The church is one of the earliest dated examples of its type, with a steep pitched wooden roof. Visi-
the south end of the village of Pelendri, which is attested in the sources since the late 12th century. The 14th century church of Timiou Stavrou is decorated with exquisite wall-paintings of the Paleological period. Panagia Podithou at Galata This church is situated near the village of Galata, in Troodos. Furthermore, the church was erected in 1502 and it once belonged to a monastery. Its paintings are of the Italo-Byzantine style, which appeared on the island towards the end of the 15th century. Stavros tou Agiasmati at Platanistasa The 15th century church of Stavros tou Agiasmati is situated about 3 kilometres outside the mountain village of Platanistasa. The church retains the most complete cycles of mural paintings of the second half of the 15th century in Cyprus. The key to the church can be obtained from the village priest. Metamorphosis tou Sotiros at Palechori The Metamorphosis tou Sotiros Church (Transformation of the Saviour) is an early 16th century chapel, which is found on a hill overlooking the beautiful old village of Palechori, in Troodos. Its interior is completely painted with one of the most complete series of murals of the post-Byzantine period, in Cyprus.
sections. During the time of the Venetian Occupation, around the beginning of the 16th century, a wealthy woman from the distinguished Famagusta family sought refuge in the monastery. She renovated the monastery and added a number of new buildings, a fountain and a sycamore tree. The monastery became her place of residence until her death and her tomb was later on found in the courtyard. The Agia Napa monastery gained importance throughout the duration of the Venetian Occupation and it was mentioned in many manuscripts from that era. Macronissos Tombs The “Macronissos Tombs” is an ancient burial site situated west of Agia Napa, which was discovered in 1989 and is a Unesco World Heritage site. The site consists of 19 excavated tombs and possibly more to be
Agia Napa is one of the most popular tourist spots in Cyprus. The city has developed into a popular pick for holidays, due to its beautiful clear blue beaches with golden sands and to its many tourist attractions. Agia Napa has become one of the world’s most popular destinations and has been visited by numerous people from all over the world. In addition, this stimulating town has also become very well-known for its outstanding nightclubs and bars. However, this cosmopolitan town is not only all about bars and clubs. If you look closely, you will discover that Agia Napa is full of history and tradition.
bour. The harbour is also the venue for celebration and festivity throughout the year, especially during “Kataklysmos” in June, when folk music, performers, dancers and fireworks are the usual fare for tourists and locals alike.
Agia Napa Square The centre of the town is built around a medieval monastery. This has been well-preserved over the centuries and a visit there will surely make u feel as if you are stepping back in time. Just to the side of the main square, traditional folk dancing takes place during the summer time. Towards the end of September, the Agia Napa Street Festival occurs and includes enjoyable singing and dancing performances. Furthermore, one of the most beautiful locations to visit in Agia Napa is the picturesque fishing harbour. A lot of money has been invested over the last couple of years to revitalise this area. The entire harbour has been made into a pedestrian zone, with superlative cafés and seafood taverns. At night, beautifully designed lights illuminate the area, thus setting the perfect scene for a romantic meal or a stroll along the har-
Agia Napa Monastery According to the locals, Agia Napa was founded around the 11th century. At that time, it was a heavily wooded area with many natural springs and its abundant wildlife made it a favourite hunting ground among villagers, who were living in the surrounding regions. One day, a hunter and his dog were in pursuit of a wild hare, which led them to a cave. Upon entering the cave, the hunter found a Virgin Mary’s icon that was illuminated by a miraculous light. When the nearby villagers received news of the discovery of the icon, they decided to build a shrine in the cave, which they named “Agia Napa”. Soon, the shrine became a well-known place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians. Archaeological findings show that the shrine was transformed into a church sometime around the 14th century and it was later expanded into a monastery with 2 separate
Agia Napa Water World Water Park Agia Napa is home to the largest themed water park in Europe. The park has a Greek theme to it and models of ancient Greek Gods and ancient buildings are situated around the park. The water park covers a vast area and is packed with slides and water attractions.
explored in the future. The tombs were used during the Hellenistic and Roman Period. Pyres were found on the surface of the tombs, as this was a characteristic of Greek burial customs. The tombs consist of a stepped path down to the entrance. There is room for at least four occupants in each crypt. Furthermore, there is a rectangular trench in the middle and three benches at the side in most of the chambers. To the east of the tombs lies a small sanctuary, which is a simple rectangular enclosure made of large irregular blocks. Adjacent to the tombs is an ancient quarry. Marine Life Museum The Marine Life Museum is situated at the Agia Napa’s town hall. It is the first natural museum of its kind in Cyprus and it exhibits past and present marine life and promotes the study and research of marine life, while also emphasising the importance of preserving the marine environment. The exhibits include a reconstruction of a dinosaur seabed, fish fossils, shells, sea urchins, sea turtles, sea plants and much more. Every year, the Marine Life Museum is visited by thousands of tourists and locals. Water Sports Agia Napa offers a range of water sports including scuba diving, water-skiing, windsurfing, sailing and canoeing. The waters that surround the island are warm and clear, thus divers can visit undersea prehistoric archaeological remains and explore magnificent rock gardens.
16 tural road is found 7.5 kilometres away from Askyfou. The path that connects the village with the shelter is one of the most beautiful places in Crete and is worth walking there through a dense forest of cypress trees that cover the village and ascent towards the mountainous region of Tavris. The route on foot takes around 1.5-2 hours. The shelter may host 45 people while in the summer months, camps for children as well as for other ages are in operation. Toumpotos Prinos Shelter At an altitude of 1.500 metres, to the west slope of Psiloritis, overlooking the White Mountains and the Livic Sea is found the shelter of Toumpotos Prinos of the Alpine Club of Rethymno. It is 3 hours and 45 minutes away from Fourfoura, while the access to the shelter is possible via the village of Kouroutes. In addition, the refuge has 28 rooms for hikers and climbers. From here starts the European Hiking Path E4 that begins from the Pyrinaia Mountains, passes through the Euro-
The words hiking and mountain climbing excite the people that love nature and have the passion to explore mountains, rivers, waterfalls, islands and ancient civilizations. In parallel, it is considered to be a great way to leave from the stress of everyday life. Due to the fact that mountain climbing is a physical activity that uses walking as a means of recreation and fitness, we must make it clear that this term does not only refer to difficult routes that require specialized knowledge and climbing mountains, but also refers to simple walks of nature. By seeking an ideal place for mountaineering, research has led us to Crete. It is regarded as an island that has mountains, ideal to satisfy even the most demanding hikers. The White Mountains, Psiloritis, Mount Diktis, the Asterousia Mountains and Madara isolate the beaches from the inner parts by forming a chain from west to east. A number of shelters, which seem like eyries, are found on these astonishing mountains. By being warm and hospitable, these shelters offer to climbers and travellers intense surprises with sounds, colours and a variety of aromas that are found in nature. Choose a route and rest in one of the astounding mountain shelters. Feel the emotions that these adventures offer and get to know a way of life that is more dynamic and has no compromises, filled with clean air and amazing natural images from the mountains of the island. Kallergi Shelter The Kallergi Shelter is considered to be the “gem” of the White Mountains. It is found above the National Forest of Samaria and the plateau of Omalos. In order to get there, one and a half hour of walking from Omalos is required or 5 kilometres, by driving on an un-
even agricultural mountain road. With an altitude of 1.680 metres, it has a unique view of the Samaria Gorge, in the White Mountains. This shelter was constructed in 1970, has 50 places for climbers and is open from April to October. Katsiveli Shelter – Svourihtis The Katsiveli Shelter is a small and picturesque refuge that is situated at an altitude of 1.970 metres, at the footsteps of Svourihtis, in the centre of the White Mountains. In order for anybody to arrive to the shelter, they need 6 hours of walking from the Kallergi Shelter and 7 hours from Xiloskalo. There is however, an alternative route from Anopoli Sfakion with 6 hours of walking. This can be reduced if we use the agricultural mountain road through which, you may complete the journey in approximately 3 hours. Furthermore, the shelter was constructed in 1992 and holds 25 places for hikers. Volika Shelter The Volika Shelter is the first mountain refuge that was built in 1958, in Crete. It is found in the area of Volika Keramion, in the White Mountains, at an altitude of 1.450 metres and has the capability to host 40 hikers. To access the shelter, 3 hours of walking are required on an ascending path from the village of Kambi or 1 hour of walking, if the agricultural mountain road from the Madaros village is chosen. Furthermore, the shelter has a view over the ancient town of Falasarna. Tavris Shelter In 1992, the Tavris Shelter was inaugurated. This refuge is found above the village of Ammoudari, in the plateau of Askyfou Sfakion, at an altitude of 1.200 metres. The agricul-
pean Mountains, mountains of Greek origin and ends up in the White Mountains of Crete. This trail is considered by hikers, but also by mountain lovers, as the most appropriate path to reach the peak of Psiloritis. Prinos Shelter There are many choices to choose from so as to reach to the mountain shelter of Prinou, which is found in the mountains of Psiloritis, at an altitude of 1.100 metres. In addition, there are two routes that you may take in order to approach the refuge. The first one is a small path that starts from the village of Ano Asites and the second one is by driving a car through the village of Kato Asites. The route via the small path until the shelter takes 1.52 hours. By driving a car, you will arrive at the Gorgolaini Monastery and then, you will continue on the dirt road to Xerokampos, where you will find a cement water tank. There, you will have to leave your car and walk for around 20 minutes in order to reach the shelter. The shelter can accommodate 25 people and is heated by two wooden heaters. From here, you can reach a few of the peaks of Psiloritis, like “Kouthouni”, which is at an altitude of 1,860 metres and “Giristi”, which is at an altitude of 1,779 metres. Limnakarou Shelter Above the Lasithi, in the small and picturesque mountain range of Limnakarou with a wild and outstanding nature, at an altitude of 1.350 metres, lies the mountain shelter of Limnakarou, with a view of the mountain tops of Diktis. The shelter has 15 rooms and the nearest village is Avdou. The small mountain range of Limnakarou is also usable by people who paraglide as they can easily takeoff and land.
20 promenade, you may find traditional lace and souvenirs and enjoy a fascinating trip with quaint buildings and overhanging terraces. Other important shopping streets are Makarios Avenue and Anexartisias, where many prestigious boutiques and showrooms are located, as well as small shops of every type. Near the old port is the Limassol Castle, where Richard the Lionheart allegedly married Queen Berengaria of Navarre in 1191 and crowned her Queen of England - the first Coronation and Royal Marriage to take place outside England. Its grounds house the Medieval Museum of Cyprus with interesting pottery and tombstones amongst its numerous exhibits. Limassol also has an Archaeological Museum, with fascinating statues and pottery findings, the municipal Art gallery as well as a Folk Art Museum, where specially staged room-sets display the old clothes and utensils to their best. The Municipal Gar-
The south coast town of Limassol is regarded as the island's largest seaside resort. The Troodos Mountains are considered to be a magnificent backdrop to the city that spread for ten miles along the coast and whose fertile foothills are filled with most of the island’s mouth-watering grapes. Since the Middle Ages, Limassol has been known to traders for its wine and sugar cane. At present, this second largest city of Cyprus, with a population of around 200.000 is the centre of Cyprus’s wine-making industry and an important commercial and tourist centre. The town's carefree holiday atmosphere, with wide seafront promenades and bustling little shopping streets, is matched by the amusement and lively character of its people. By keeping hold of a fun-loving reputation and the best nightlife on the island, only Limassol stages some of the island’s best-known festivals: the annual Wine Festival, which takes place during the end of August beginning of September, when the various wineries offer free samples of their products for ten days (the ten day pre-Lenten Carnival with masquerade parties, balls and grand parades), the Limassol Festival in summer and the ancient Drama Festival at Kourion. Kourion or otherwise Curium was an ancient city, where there were baths (fifth century BC), fine pavement mosaics and a theater (50 - 175 AD), where performances of music and drama took place. Nowadays, the Kourion Theater is used for summer concerts and theatrical productions. Another archaeological site is the ancient city of Amathus, which was considered to be one of the most ancient royal cities in Cy-
prus. Amathus was built on the coastal cliffs with an amazing view to the sea. It flourished and became a rich kingdom since the early years of its settlement. During the Post Phoenician Era (800 BC) a port was also constructed there, which served the trade with the Greeks and the Levantines. High on the cliff a temple was built, this became a special worship site to Aphrodite, the Goddess of Beauty and Love. The excavators discovered the Temple of Aphrodite, which dates approximately to the first century BC. Presently, you may visit the remains of this ancient city on the southern coast of Limassol, in front of Agios Tychonas, but unfortunately they are not as well-preserved as those of Kourion. On the eastern side of Limassol, all types of holiday accommodation have been built close to the sea. These range from luxury hotels, to delightful apartments and villas. Near them are a wide range of taverns, pubs, discos and nightclubs. There are numerous beaches to choose from, some very popular during midsummer with the convenience of changing rooms, showers, cafes and bars, others quite uncrowded, particularly those on the outskirts of town, such as the sandy beach known as "Ladies Mile', west of the new harbour. Limassol also has an attractive marina that is located next to and owned by the St. Raphael Resort in Limassol and which is equipped with every facility for the yachtsmen. As an exceptional shopping centre, Limassol offers the full gamut from ultra-modern to traditional and handmade. At busy St. Andrew’s Street, not far from the seafront
dens, which also include a small zoo, offer a pleasant stroll amidst lush trees, plants and shrubs. The hilly and mountainous areas of the countryside of Limassol are rich in vegetation. The main kinds are Pinus Brutia, the Pinus Nigra and a kind of Cypress tree known as “Juniperus Oxycedrus”, which grows at an altitude of about 1200 – 1500 metres. The plane trees grow in the valleys of Troodos, while a kind of oak tree named “Latzia” and the “Trimithia” grow on the slopes of the hills. The most frequent kinds are the wild roses, the theme and the lentisk (bush). The inhabitants of the rural area of Limassol are occupied with agriculture, fishing and industry – handicraft. The main cultivations include citrus trees and other fruit trees such as cherry trees, pear trees, peach trees, plum trees, fig trees, apricot trees, pomegranate trees, avocado trees, kiwis and banana trees, vineyards, olive trees, almond trees, walnut trees, vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, melons, water-melons, carrots, beetroots, cucumbers, pulses such as legumes, beans, broad beans, chickpeas, lentils, cereals such as wheat, barley and oats. The face of Limassol by autumn 2012 will change as the island will welcome the new luxurious Limassol Marina. The Limassol Marina will be conveniently situated near the centre of Limassol and will be carefully designed to blend with the surrounding area of the Old Harbour, the Old Town and the Medieval Castle. The aim of this new deluxe invention is to become the most exclusive resort and Marina in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Wine has been made in Cyprus since at least 3500 BC making the Mediterranean island one of the oldest wine-producing countries in the world. Paphos is one of the key wine-producing regions in Cyprus along with Limassol and the Troodos region. There are about fifteen local and sixty imported varieties of vines. Of the local grapes, two namely the red “Mauro” and the white “Xynisteri” are used in making the world's oldest produced wine, the "Commandaria". The “Mauro” and “Xynisteri” grapes are dried in the sun for about two weeks leading to the shrivelling of the grapes, which in turn concentrates their sugar and intensifies their aroma. The grapes are then crushed and pressed. The juice is fer¬mented in large open tanks, where the high sugar content of the grape juice causes the fermentation to stop at around 18% of alcohol. The large wineries then buy the wine and take it to their cellars in Limassol, where alcohol is added for conservation. The wine is then left to mature in large wooden casks. Commandaria is a sweet dessert wine, which is made in a designated region; in the foothill mountain villages of the southern Troodos range. Commandaria derived its name from the Grand Commandarie, a huge estate at Colossi. Richard the Lionheart enjoyed the wine so much that he called it “The Wine of Kings and the King of Wines”. The first reference to Cypriot wine is in the Bible. In Solomon’s “Song of Songs” Chapter 1, Verse 14, it is stated that: “My beloved in unto me as a cluster of Cyprus in the vineyards of Engadi”. Furthermore, King Richard the Lionheart - who had liked the wines of Cyprus very much - had captured the island in
1191. In the same year he sold the island to the Knights Templar, who set up their headquarters or “Grand Commandaria” in the district. Hence, ever since, the best known wine of Cyprus, “Commandaria”, was being produced. The wine of Cyprus was first introduced to England by King Richard in the same year, 1191. In addition, the Cypriot wine was considered to be so pleasant that the Pharaohs of Egypt, the ancient Greeks and later on, the Romans placed orders for it. The mosaics at the House of Dionysus, God of wine, in Paphos - a private house with over 40 rooms that was believed to have belonged to a member of the Roman nobility - depicts the colourful history of the Cyprus vine and its mythological origins. Another famous traditional alcoholic beverage, which is made from the residue of grapes, is Zivania. This distilled clear drink has been produced for centuries in Cyprus and has played an important role in the everyday life of Cypriots. Since 2004, Zivania has been protected under EU regulations as a product unique to Cyprus, thus it cannot be produced in any other country or marketed under that name. Zivania is characterized by its typical taste and aroma. It is colourless and it has a pleasant alcoholic content with a light aroma of raisins. The typical alcohol content is 45% by volume. It is a pure drink that contains no sugars and has no acidity. Until 1949, wine producers used to sell zivania to merchants of wines and spirits. In that year, a colonial decree made the distribution of zivania by wine producers, illegal, thus sending production underground. As a result, zivania was produced domestically in
small quantities for private consumption or it was sold to the government. The above-mentioned colonial decree was abolished in 1998 and ever since, the production of zivania has been legal, allowing producers to market it under its proper name. Quality control has been ensured by the Vine Products Commission according to the Rules and Regulations of 1998 for the control of zivania. These regulations have specified the requirements for obtaining the licence to produce and bottle zivania. Zivania can only be produced in industrial units, which have received approval from the Customs Department of the Government and its distillation apparatus has been approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment. As a result of the new regulation, zivania’s quality improved significantly, since it is now produced on an industrial basis and hence, consumption increased during the last decade. The Limassol Wine Festival: Every year, the Limassol Wine Festival usually starts from the 28th of August and ends on the 6th of September. This festival is more than just the juice of the vine. During this period, the city fills up with a two-week programme that includes cultural events, which are loosely linked to the glorious theme of wine. The festival consists of wine-themed songs by singers and choirs. In addition, there are concerts, satirical reviews, comedies and magic shows. A fireworks display gets things off with a bang from which point visitors can expect plenty to eat and drink in the grounds and pavilions of the Municipal Garden. Grape treading, Greek dancing and singing and copious amounts of free wine are enjoyed by up to 15,000 visitors, who attend the festival each year.
24 The Eleouthkia Park is a place of enchanting beauty. Uniquely, it combines the native flora with the culture and authentic traditions of Cyprus. This park was generated with gusto and professionalism with the view to providing an entertaining look into the Cypriot life. Additionally, it is an enjoyable experience, which captivates the senses of Cypriots and visitors. Enjoy daily: • Thirteen thematic gardens with more than 50,000 plants of over 1,800 different types. • Specialized tours conducted by experienced agriculturalists in Greek, English or Russian. • The Museum of Folk Art with exhibits of woodcarving, pottery, candles, traditional embroidery, etc. • An old farm house with a large collection of old and rare tools and other household items. • To listen to rare traditional music and songs.
The village of Maroni is found in the Larnaca district, between mountain and sea, on the route to Limassol - Larnaca. The village’s main church is called Saint George, which was built in 1878. The people who had built this local church are not known, but it
is certain that they were from the district of Nicosia. The church was not inaugurated until 1901 and the inauguration ceremony was performed by the Bishop of Kition, Kyrillos the First. Before this church was built, there was an older movies church and of Saint George, • Watch videos about customscan andstill traditions of Cyprus. which be found near the • Taste and purchase village’s cemetery andtraditionally which acmade food, delicacies andByzantine drinks. tually existed since the • Enjoy home-made ‘mezedes’ and period. Both of these churches food at the tavern. were dedicated to Saint George as it is said that he once saved the Every Weekend tradition enlivens village and its people from an at “Eleouthkia”! • Traditional Cypriot dance and music shows. • Live demonstrations of traditional occupations and folk art (basket weaving, pottery, etc). • Games (kamilos, ziziros, ditzimin). • Competitions (mandili, avgoulodromies, etc). • Observe how traditional food is being made such as resi, loukoumades, village pies, bread, etc. • Enactment of daily village chores. • Enjoy Sunday lunch at the tavern. • Wedding Receptions, Baptism & Birthday Parties. The Eleouthkia Park is a superb venue for wedding receptions and every important event in the life of a family. It is a unique place with all the necessary ingredients for a dazzling night and an unforgettable experience of flavours and entertainment. Your wedding reception, baptism or birthday party is a very special event not only for you, but for us, too! For us, it is a unique opportunity to create unique moments for unique people. The success of an extraordinary event is guaranteed by our expertise, personal care, creativity and the boundless imagination of our staff. In an evergreen
environment full of colours and aromas, we attend to every detail in a professional way, so that your new start in life or the new stage in which your child is entering will remain unerasable in your hearts and memories, as well as in those of your guests. In this incomparably beautiful scenery, we do everything possible in order to exceed your expectations and satisfy your needs and wishes, at the best price possible. Additionally, the vast range of delicious gastronomic delights, make the Eleouthkia Park the best proposal ...after the marriage proposal. Conferences, Seminars, Exhibitions, Product Launches The Eleouthkia Park is an excellent choice for business, cultural and scientific meetings and events. Amongst the flowers and the rich scents, there are rooms and out-
door spaces that can cover the needs of even the most demanding business meetings. The building infrastructure is complemented by the latest technological equipment and an array of high standard conference services, which contribute to the success of every event. Our highly trained and experienced staff is able to carry out every requirement; it can organize and support events of any size or difficulty and ensure its success. The park is just a few minutes outside the city of Paphos and within a short distance from the other cities, many hotels and the two airports. It is suitable for national or international conferences, educational programs, seminars, symposiums, product and services exhibitions and cultural events. Our philosophy is to be able to provide organizers and participants with every resource, support and comfort that they may need, so that they may focus on ...the more important things. Distances from the Eleouthkia Park • 1 minute from Anarita, Timi & Mandria villages • 3 minutes from Petra tou Romiou & the Paphos Airport • 8 minutes from the Paphos Town and Pissouri • 30 minutes from the Exit of Limassol • 1 hour from the Exit of Nicosia Contact Details: Tel.: 77771960 Fax: 26423244 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.eleouthkia.com.cy
26 The village of Maroni is found in the Larnaca district, between mountain and sea, on the route to Limassol - Larnaca. The village’s main church is called Saint George, which was built in 1878. The people who had built this local church are not known, but it is certain that they were from the district of Nicosia. The church was not inaugurated until 1901 and the inauguration ceremony was performed by the Bishop of Kition, Kyrillos the First. Before this church was built, there was an older church of Saint George, which can still be found near the village’s cemetery and which actually existed since the Byzantine period. Both of these churches were dedicated to Saint George as it is said that he once saved the village and its people from an
rage services and a range of typical shops that offer quality goods and services within easy reach. Additionally, the Maroni Beach may provide you with a refreshing swim in the sea as the sand begins to lose its heat after the sun of the day. After the swim, you may enjoy a luscious barbecue with local wine on the warm sandy beach of this outstanding village. Maroni keeps hold of its traditional architectural style to a great degree with narrow roads and houses built with local stone. In order to keep the cultural heritage alive, a large portion of the village has been deemed historical and many buildings have been redecorated to the traditional style. One of these is the dormitory called “The House of the Teacher” that has been renewed
outbreak of cholera. A couple of miles outside the village, near to the sea, is a small church named Saint Anargyroi. Furthermore, about a mile south of the village, are some ruins of Saint Nicholas’s Church, which is now considered to be an archaeological site. Maroni and its surrounding areas have been famous for their archaeological finds. Several areas have been excavated, such as Tsaroukkas, which is found on the coast, where it is believed to be the scene of the British Museum’s excavations in the 1890s. Discoveries there include a 13th century BC building complex that contains small storage jars, loom weights, bronze fragments and slag. Several tombs have been found there, most of which have already received the attentions of the British Museum or looters at some time in the past, but the remaining finds throw light on the local culture and its international connections. Another excavation area is Aspres, which is found between Vournes and Tsaroukkas, where another Late Bronze Age building has been found. The village of Maroni has a resident population of about four hundred people, including around sixty or so expatriates. Furthermore, Maroni enjoys its status as a village; development there is restricted and thus, huge complexes will never hide the village’s beauties. At hand, there is a bank, a medical centre, ga-
according to the Cypriot traditional prototypes and which has been added to the agro tourism of the island. If you want to take a break on one of your tours to enjoy the villagers’ way of life by taking part in their everyday tasks then “The House of Teacher” will offer you the hospitality and comfort you may require. In the five rooms of the house, a range of traditional wooden furniture is elegantly positioned. All 5 rooms include a comfy kitchen that will surely assist you in making delicious, gratifying and romantic meals or snacks. What will impress you the most however, are the old metallic beds that have been kept from long ago. All the rooms are interconnected with an amazing stone-paved garden, which in the corner has a large traditional oven. In this special place, you can sit down and enjoy the peace and quiet of both the sea and sky, while taking pleasure in drinking your coffee and tea. Occasionally, the staff of the “House of the Teacher” will provide you with a few scrumptious dishes of the local meze, which you can surely enjoy with a glass of wine or even zivania, an alcoholic beverage, which is made from the residue of grapes. The House of the Teacher is regarded as a magical and captivating place to have your own dreamful wedding or to even indulge yourself in a restful, enchanted and mythical honeymoon.
Cyprus is best-known for its clear blue beaches, its sun and its entertainment. By going just a few kilometres inland, however, to the villages of the country you will find an entirely another Cyprus, one better suited to travellers who like to discover and capture the original spirit and come in contact with the past. By travelling through time and by getting acquainted with the abandoned villages of Cyprus, it will surely be an experience that you will never forget! Fikardou The village of Fikardou was deserted at the beginning of the 19th century and was then declared as an ancient monument. Subsequently, it was carefully restored to preserve the 18th century houses with their remarkable woodwork and folk architecture. Two of these houses were turned into museums that contained rural items and other items associated with rural life. Mathikoloni There are many abandoned villages in Cyprus but Mathikoloni, relatively closer to Limassol, is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful ones to explore. To go to Mathikoloni, you will have to take the Agios Athanasios exit on the Linopetra roundabout. You will then have to cross the Agios Athanasios area and go up towards Mathikoloni, which is around 11 kilometres away. Afterwards, you will have to descend towards the old cobbled street, through the ruins of the village and then take the concrete track downhill. There are various
sidetracks, but you will have to keep near to the main one in order to continue downwards. You will have to continue right towards the only significant fork and then descend through the terraced country. At the bottom you will find a stream bed, where tall canes rustle in the breeze. Androlikou Androlikou is not a village that you will pass through on any normal journey you will take during your usual ‘running about’, as this abandoned village is situated between Neo Chorio and Innia, on the Akamas mountains. By driving into the village square, there are two large trees that dominate the derelict buildings and strangely enough, there are two brand new picnic tables placed there – no coffee shop exists though. By then continuing through the deserted graveled lanes you will see the collapsed cottages, which flanked on both sides, along with the goats that will glance at you as you pass through, since they are the only inhabitants of these properties. Evretou To the north of Paphos, just off the road to Polis, you will find the village of Evretou. The abandoned village is now home to numerous goats but still posses its beauty. The setting is magnificent and the ruined houses will be a good opportunity for you to walk and discover the lesser-known and more peaceful places on the island, which are hidden in nature. Near to the village,
you will also admire the Evretou dam, the third largest dam in Cyprus and the largest rock-fill dam on the island, which lies at an altitude of 165 metres. Many species of flowers and flora can be found around the area including some of the more rare orchids. It is also considered to be a ‘bird watchers paradise’. Recent sightings have also included Storks and Bonelli’s Eagles. Theletra This area is particularly beautiful in February, when the almond trees are in blossom. By going to the right, you will see a sign saying ‘The village of Theletra’, which is tucked under a cliff. This village was abandoned several years ago because of landslides. By walking and experiencing the wind that whistles around the ruined houses and streets, you will feel the magic that covers up the village. Theletra is located near the village of Kathikas. Korfi Korfi is approximately 17 kilometres away from Limassol. The original Korfi settlement was built approximately 2 kilometres northeast from the present village, on a steep mountainside. During the heavy rainfall of January 28 1969, there were many landslides that caused a lot of destruction to the houses. The area was considered dangerous and the inhabitants were moved to a settlement that was built on a higher area, at 550 metres above sea level, which was considered safer.
30 In the mountainous areas, for agro-tourist hotels, the off peak period is considered to be the commencement of the season, thus you can ensure relatively low prices. Better Services At hotels, restaurants and bars, in the non-summer months, people are plentiful but never to a great extent as in on-peak periods. Hence, you will be able to enjoy your food with greater ease, as the noise of too many people will not exist to a great extent. In addition to this, shop services are of a higher standard and food is usually of a higher quality. A Superlative Period It is an ideal period for those who want to be impressed by the beauties of nature and to explore
You have surely heard from your circle of friends the following words: â€œHave you been on summer vacations? With all those people? What a nightmare, we are going for vacation in autumn, winter or even spring where it is much quieter. The rooms in those periods will be cheaper, the beaches more empty, taverns will serve fresh fish and the sea will surely be cleaner.â€? You know the myth... vacations are only during the summer months. Have you ever wondered if organising your vacations in another season, outside the months of July and August, if you would have had a better time while spending less? I do not know if you have ever noticed, but in Cyprus there is also a very good weather from March until December. It may not be a hot summer as expected, but 20 degrees are more than enough for an excellent and enjoyable holiday, without excessive heat. Let us therefore see what opportunities you will have to enjoy and live in all its glory, if you go on vacation at an off peak period as opposed to what people usually do. You just need to think about it! Cheaper Holidays In off peak season holidays, you have the opportunity to combine or choose either mountain or sea. Near the coast, hotel owners will attempt to bring in tourists by lowering their prices.
different areas and sites. It is a period where the weather may not be particularly hot, but on the other hand not cold either. It is the best time for visitors, who want to take long walks or to try some type of sports such as cycling, archery or even horse riding. During the off peak season, you will definitely relish these kinds of sports to a greater degree without getting very sweaty. Greater Rest Off season vacations are for those people who require peace, calmness and rest. With a view of the waves or a picturesque village, you may relax by reading a good book or even sleeping. Furthermore, take advantage of the opportunity to look after yourself by having purifying and relaxing therapies, which are provided by many superior hotels in Cyprus. Exploring the Place In this period apart from your vacations, you will have the chance to truly get to know the area that you are staying at. Discover the history, traditions and customs of Cyprus, which you will surely find very interesting. Come into contact with the people of the island, who during this period have greater amounts of time to demonstrate their hospitality. Additionally, it is not at all unusual during the off season vacations to gain new friendships and build a social network.
Published on Nov 24, 2010