Agritourism or agrotourism has turned into a fancy way of traveling. As we already know, Cyprus is blessed with natural and human-made beauty and with an abundant historical heritage. Its beautifully unique natural environment is complemented by its traditional villages and architecture, which give it a special character. The visitors on the island, are always welcomed in the traditional warm and hospitable Cypriot way.
Some people prefer the sea, while others prefer the mountains; whichever your preference is, Cyprus can offer you a unique opportunity to enjoy the agritourism and live the local experience. Take in the aromas of the natural life and the wondrous scenery, visit monasteries both ancient and contemporary, walk on nature trails, admire the archaeological sites, and elevate your spirit via a real-life country experience.
The village is built on a hill between mountains and gets its name based on this fact. The name Lofou was inspired by the Greek word 'lofos' which means 'hill.' The original name of the village was "Lofos" since the early 20th century. The village of Lofou is in the district of the ‘ampelochoria’ between Limassol and Paphos, about 26 kilometers northwest of the city of Limassol. Mountains surround it with narrow and steep versants. The landscape is divided by two rivers that are canals of ‘Kryos’ and ‘Kouris,’ -which both come from the river ‘Kouris.’ The whole village was reconstructed in another location as it was flooded by ‘Kouris’ weir.
The area must have been inhabited since the Bronze Age. This fact may be verified by the various archeological findings, particularly by the ancient pots that they were scattered around the area of the village. The dominant view regards that the village must have been founded some years before the Franks occupied Cyprus in the late 12th century. During that time and because of the Arab raids, the locals were forced to abandon the coasts and move to the inner parts of the island in order to find refuge. The location of the village was truly ideal for their needs since it is hidden in the mountains and, as a consequence, it provided a sense of security.
The first houses in Lofou were actually farms scattered around the valley of the village. The shepherds gradually built huts, which they called "stiathkia" and at a later stage, they built houses using stones whose roofs were made of wood and mud or clay (Porakos, 2004). During the Ottoman rule, the village belonged to the "kaza of Koilani" and it was registered under the name "Lofos" (Papadopoulos, 1965). In 1832, according to T. Papadopoulos, Lofou had only Greek Cypriot residents. Towards the end of the Ottoman rule, two notable events occurred: the construction of the church of Lofou, the beginning of an organized form of primary school in 1855. Lofou was transformed into a large vineyard during the period of British rule. The continuous planting of vines changed the view of the village entirely.
The period 1946 – 1986 may be characterized as a 'blessing and a curse' for Lofou. "Curse" because its inhabitants abandoned the village but 'blessing' because it remained intact, without any substantial alternations in the architecture of the houses.The most important fact for the village is the residents' effort to restore and preserve its architecture and uniqueness. Today the restored houses of the village with their beautiful architecture are offering a real experience of past times.
Pedoulas is situated on the northern flanks of the Troodos range and is a village of the Marathasa valley. The history of the village dates back in the Byzantine times. According to tradition, Pedoulas was established during the Byzantine period, when the Arab raids forced the Cypriots to leave the coastal areas and move to safer places in the mountains. During the Frankish and Venetian periods, Pedoulas was considered a royal estate.
Pedoulas has been transformed as the pioneer center for tourism, due to its excellent climate and the breathtaking scenery. After the Second Worl War, Pedoulas was transformed into the most popular and fancy village to relax and have holidays. That´s because its economy prospered and it became the cultural and commercial center of the fourteen villages, which form the Marathasa Valley. Tourists and visitors can enjoy friendly and traditional hospitality, the exceptional climate and at the same time taste a great variety of traditional Cypriot cuisine.
Ready to explore Cyprus' most hidden and well worth a visit villages?
Cover Photo Credits © iStockphoto/Kirillm
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