The countryside in Cyprus is blessed with natural and man-made beauty and an abundant historical heritage. Its beautifully unique natural environment is complemented by its traditional villages and architecture, which lend it a unique character. In this kind of environment, a visitor has the opportunity to connect with nature & local people, and live the local experience like no one would. There is a variety of villages, both mountain and coastal, and each one offers a different experience. Both share the serene life of a traditional village, though. Noticing this new trend of holidaymakers, the Cyprus Government has decided to take action. They implemented a program to restore traditional villages and the houses to strengthen agritourism in Cyprus and help it thrive. Agrotourism has become an essential part of Cyprus tourism and is attracting more and more visitors every year. Visiting the restored traditional houses makes you feel like you are in a different period and travels you back in time. It makes you think that you just belong there. It feels like a home away from home. 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.
If you find yourself in the north-west part of Limassol city, do not hesitate to visit Omodos Village. Omodos is located about 42 kilometres north-west of the town of Limassol, in the geographical region of the wine-making villages. The location is ideal because the village is built near the west bank river. Vines and various fruit-trees like apple, plum, pear, peach, and apricot are cultivated in the region. Also, the region promotes uncultivated areas that are taken over by varied natural vegetation. Omodos shares a part of the forest with Pafos in its north part.
Omodos Village is the "creation" of one village, called Koupetra. After the separation of Koupetra into Upper and Lower (Pano kai Kato) Koupetra, Omodos was first created. Actually, Omodos at the beginning was a settlement during the Byzantine era and the beginnings of the Frank Domination era. It was found in the east bank of the "Cha-potami" river and around the original Holy Cross Monastery. In any case, the village did exist during the Frank Domination era. The village is found marked in old maps as Homodos, Homocios, and Omodos. It is reported in Frank documents that the feudal lord Homodeus lived in the region, and the village was probably named after him.
Since ancient times Omodos has been very popular, especially for its tasty wines and grapes. It is particularly famous for its sweet-smelling and high-quality wine "Afames," which took its name from the mountain that bears the same name - located east of the village.
Omodos is surrounded by mountains that appear as though they were placed in a masterly layout, and when you enter the village you can discover the verdant carpet of vines that this village is built by. It is said to be one of the most picturesque villages of Cyprus. The large plaza of the village, unique in its graphic quality and size, in front of the majestic monastery of the Holy Cross, the medieval Winepress, the narrow alleys, and the stone-made houses all "drowned" in green lend a special beauty and charm to the village.
Have you ever visited the valley of Setrachos river on the northern slopes of the Troodos range? If not here, you have the opportunity. In that valley, you will discover a village called Kalopanayiotis and it is one of the fourteen villages of the Marathasa area, the most mountainous region of Cyprus. The village is 70 km away from Nicosia and is the first village to come across as one enters the Marathasa valley.
We dare to say that this village is a new one because it did not exist before the eleventh century. Due to the existence of mineral springs during the pre-Christian period, hydrotherapy was very popular in the area. The springs were mainly operating under the protection of the kings of Solon, where later they built the monastery of Ag. Irakleidios and Ag. Ioannis Illuminator. So, due to the mineral springs, a lot of spas have been made in the village that nowadays can be still visited a few meters away from the monastery.
So in the eleventh century, shortly after the foundation of the monastery of St. John the Illuminator, the first-ever resident to Kalopanayiotis village has built his house very close to the monastery. And this is how the history and the life of this little village started. More families began to come to Kalopanayiotis and create houses, families, and an entire community. This gives us the opportunity today, to make the most of the village and its Agritouristic way of living.
Cover Photo Credit © iStockphoto/tommaso79
Like this story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.