With the blessing of the rains, Cyprus has turned “green” while the rivers are rushing down, which is a wonderful sight, as are the various water dams, especially the small ones located in an undisturbed natural environment.
Each district has its own destinations for visiting nature and organised groups from companies with their staff to build teamwork and get to know each other (bonding).
Here is a list of several recommendations for those not used to these visits into nature.
That wonderful park of Athalassa, the heart of the capital with good infrastructure and with a lake that at times reaches a high-water level, is the best for families to visit.
In addition to nature and the facilities (stalls/toilets), there are also areas for sports, walking and running and other more intense uses such as cycling and a basketball court. Try it as a group/family or an office personnel/ group.
Again, in greater Nicosia, visit the Lymbia water dam, where you will discover a beautiful remote-controlled boat game.
Also worth a visit are the various dams, such as those of Yermasoyia, Klirou, Asprokremmos, Lefkara, Vyzakia, Achna, Evretou and many others.
Our favourite dam is Ayia Marina Xyliatou, where the pines come out of the water, with a walk path around and a designated picnic area with tables.
They are in the wider Troodos region, such as Fini, Psilodendro (Platres), Trimiklini (Millomeni), and Caledonia Falls.
Nature trails are well organised by the Forest Department (well done) and are scattered everywhere.
In addition to Troodos, there are nature trails for walks in various other locations.
The enthusiastic Bishop of Mesaoria will explain places and objectives to visit, from the most famous monasteries to isolated chapels, and the Church is ready to help with your visit.
Several villages have notable sports areas, such as Platres, for children (Adventure Park) in football fields, such as those of Platres, Kyperounda and Pelendri. With one phone call and minimal cost, you can use it as a company or office team.
You’re mistaken if you think the best restaurants are in the towns.
There are traditional dishes such as tavas, trout and the “pastitsio” baked macaroni (such as those in the clay oven).
Towns can hardly compete both in taste and prices.
Our last visit to Pelendri, after visiting the monastery of Mesapotamos, was one of our best excursions.
In addition to the restored monastery, we also visited a family restaurant in Pelendri, with traditional food up to Mrs Maroulla’s “pourekia”, which left us with the best impressions, and the ones in Fini and Platres for trout.
As for a restaurant in Fini, the restaurateur was very proud of his Angus steak, while that of Psilo Dendro was worth a visit.
The various agritourism projects, especially in villages of the Limassol District, such as Vouni, and Pachna, for a weekend, will leave you with the best experiences, especially for the family environment.
Visit various restaurants that offer music (such as in Omodos “ο Kyr Giannis” and others).
But book in advance and ensure there will be music during your visit.
Prices have no relation to those in towns and with very friendly service from the entrepreneurs/ restaurateurs.
Call what you want in advance so they are ready to please you.
Try to participate in the various festivals that are usually accompanied by all kinds of events like traditional dances.
Visit the events for Zivania, Charoupia (carobs), Elia (olives), Fraula (strawberries), and even of Kolokasi.
Cyprus has so much to offer because of its nature, but more so because of its people, especially those in the mountain villages are worth a visit.
About 18 years ago, we hosted a potential German buyer to buy a house in Paphos. Since we had free time, we visited the Pissouri region during the grape-picking season. Passing an estate, the owner challenged us, “You don’t pass this estate unless you get off”.
Besides the toasts, he also loaded us with two crates of grapes.
In the end, this German visitor told us it was enough “so far, and I am not going back to Paphos!”.
In addition to buying a luxury residence in Pissouri, the son of Mr George (owner of the vineyard) became the godson of the German visitor.
He then made huge investments in housing/hotels in the area.
On another occasion, a Russian visitor visited the Church of Agios Filippos in Kato Platres. Because of a celebration, we visited it. Despite the refusal of the priest there to allow him to enter the Church because of “shorts”, and after we ended up in Omodos, the Russian insisted we return the next day to the Church, where he left a cheque for €2,000 as a donation.
In a tavern in Paralimni, a Scottish buyer insisted on giving us an advance of €22,000 as a deposit during dinner until the paperwork was settled.
He still lives there with his children, and he sends us Haggis every year in exchange for us reciprocating with “shioushioukkos”.
I have so many more stories to tell with our experiences of 42 years, which included sending a BBQ oven with our supervisor to Moscow for a family party after he bought a €2 mln house in Larnaca.
A Jordanian client, with whom we still maintain a relationship after 12 years, sends us pistachio nuts in exchange for us sending him “sexy olive oil”.
Antonis Loizou FRICS – Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – Real Estate Appraisers, Real Estate Sellers & Development Project Managers