Refreshing Changes in Pissouri

Refreshing Changes in Pissouri

With new faces at Pissouri Council, there have been a multitude of impressive changes in 2017…

Cyprus Night posterYes, Cyprus Night is Back!

Chief among these is the long-awaited return of the fantastic community Cyprus Night to the village square on 28 July after an absence of 6 years.

While Kritos and Haris have done an excellent job of keeping indoor versions of the event going in their restaurants, when it takes over the whole square, having so many more visitors and locals involved gives a very different vibe. We are optimistic that the new dynamic village council will find a way to overcome administrative difficulties over the licence next season to enable it to return for longer. It used to run from May to October – which would be just perfect.

What is it?

Attracting residents and visitors from far and wide, it’s a lively and friendly community celebration including energetic traditional dancing in national costume, accompanied by the bouzouki. An English commentary explains the dances, with the evening’s highlight being a spectacular glass-balancing display.

To be at the heart of the action, book a table at Platea or O’Vrakas in Pissouri Square for their Friday meze. If you are more of a people-watcher, then dine at one of the other myriad of eateries around the village and follow the music to the square afterwards.

The Bunch of GrapesPissouri in Bloom Competition

Another great new idea for encouraging local businesses to make their contribution to the village scene. And congratulations to the deserving winner… The Bunch of Grapes.

We’ve always loved their shady courtyard garden (and of course their delicious fare)!

Seafront Enhancements

If you’ve only ever seen Pissouri Bay in summer, you may be surprised to learn that during winter storms the sea comes right up the beach. And the power of the waves is immense… they are strong enough to carry away the beach umbrella poles (which, by the way, are substantial structures made from scaffold poles embedded in concrete). So most years the beach changing rooms, concrete path and boat ramp take a battering and need some sort of repair.

In addition to these annual works, this year Pissouri Council have opted to plant new palm trees along the seafront near Agamemnon Beach Café. A good idea for not only improving the view, but adding some natural shade.

Marina aka Fishing Shelter?

Once again there’s speculation about a marina in the bay… this time at the Monte Beach end, rather than Black Rock as proposed previously. Whether this is pure fantasy, or realistic prospect remains to be seen. There’s certainly more ready-made infrastructure at the Columbia Resort end of the beach, and we’re relieved not to be having an access road through Vineland.

Petros - Greek theatre at amphitheatrePetros - boxing nightPissouri Amphitheatre

This magnificent millennium project has been opened up to a wider range of entertainments in addition to the popular and excellent tribute band evenings and displays of traditional dance.

This year it was the venue for a Boxing Night and a Greek Drama production.

Behind The Scenes

Less exciting, but nonetheless welcome are works such as new safety rails and drains on Apostolou Andrea and resurfacing on twisty Kiladon Street between the bay and village.

And we look forward to the water supply improvements which we hear are ‘in the pipeline‘!

A big thanks to all at Pissouri Council.

Village enhancement photos by Petros Foutas.

Hoping to See Turtles?

Hoping to See Turtles?

George’s Turtle-Watching Cruise on Atlantis

Leaving in late afternoon from the second jetty at Paphos harbour, this delightful excursion is one of our all-time favs. Since learning about the trip from guests (thanks Natalie!) and having enjoyed it ourselves, we think it the most magical experience…

Atlantis turtle watching cruise

Atlantis has an underwater viewing platform with stools and portholes. Running these daily trips, George has a fantastic insider’s knowledge of the flora and fauna of the coral reefs off Paphos. He takes you out a short distance off-shore to an area of sea grass favoured by turtles. The surprise for me was the size of the larger ones… fully grown they approach a metre in length, although the younger ones are considerably smaller.

There are no guarantees, of course, but if you follow George’s Atlantis Facebook page, you will discover that you would be extremely unlucky not to see any. And there are plenty of other sights to savour – enormous stingrays, an amazing variety of colourful fish, beautiful coral reefs and encrusted shipwrecks.

On the way home, George drops anchor to allow you to enjoy a refreshing sunset swim off the boat. (Book on +357 9666 1737 or via Facebook message).

Lara Bay Turtles

Off the beaten track in the protected Akamas Nature Reserve, Lara Bay has the island’s main turtle beach; home to both loggerhead and green turtle nests. If you visit this unspoilt long stretch of golden sandy beach in summer, you will see hundreds of cages protecting nests from predators. Sun loungers and parasols are not allowed on the beach, lest they damage hidden nests.

There is a Turtle Rescue Centre, but be aware this is primarily for conservation, rather than visitors. The two huts on the beach contain interesting information boards about the turtles, and rescue tanks… Sometimes there are baby hatchlings being nurtured to strength in the tanks, but equally there are also times when they are empty. While this is a positive thing – meaning there are currently no baby turtles in need of support, it can be disappointing for visitors, especially children.

Protective cages over nests on Lara turtle beach

The easiest way to get there is to book a jeep safari or hire a 4×4 or quad bike to reach the beach, as it’s approached via a rutted and rocky unmade road. If you’re visiting in a normal hire car, you can park in the car park 200 metres beyond the end of the tarmac road, and continue on foot. The Turtle Rescue Centre is a mile further north, so make sure you’re prepared with good footwear, hat, water and sunscreen. To find it, continue beyond Lara Café, and when you see a sign pointing right to Ineia, take the track opposite onto the beach.

Pissouri Beach

Every summer mature female turtles that hatched here many years previously return to Pissouri beach to nest. Members of Pissouri Turtlewatch patrol the beach in the early mornings looking for tell-tale tracks, so that they can place protective cages over the nests to keep them safe. Once a nest has been established, the countdown to the exciting hatching begins.

Baby turtle hatchlings day and night

 

The next task for the dedicated volunteers is an overnight vigil (as nests can hatch out any time from dusk till dawn). If mother nature has arranged everything right, this will be on the night of a full moon to help them navigate towards the moonlit water. Failing that Pissouri Turtlewatch use special red-filtered torches which provide a safe soft light to guide the hatchlings seawards. At this stage every effort is made to avoid picking up or even touching the tiny babies, as this can interfere with the development of their strength and navigational imprinting.

Red torch guiding hatchlings to the sea

Pissouri Turtlewatch vigil

How You Can Help

Turtles are endangered and protected by law, with the odds of surviving to adulthood staggeringly low.

Occasionally things go wrong, leaving the mother turtle or the hatchlings stranded on the beach in daylight when they are obviously at their most vulnerable. In that event, call Pissouri Turtlewatch (Jimmy +357 9946 2308) or Akrotiri Environmental Education Centre (+357 2582 6562) for support. In the meantime, the expert advice is to keep well back, stay quiet, and try to leave them alone, only interfering as a last resort. Removing large pebbles and creating an obstacle-free path directly to the sea can be helpful for the tiny hatchlings. During daylight there is no problem with taking photos and videos, as long as you ensure the flash is turned off.

Tiny Loggerhead Turtle Hatchlings On Pissouri Beach

Many thanks to Chris Price and Claudine Snell of Pissouri Turtlewatch for permission to use their lovely photos.

A previous version of this article was originally posted on our old website blog by Nikki 13/7/2017

September Events at Pissouri Amphitheatre

September Events at Pissouri Amphitheatre

We LOVE the summer open-air tribute act shows at Pissouri’s magnificent modern amphitheatre – you are guaranteed a great atmosphere, lively event and memorable holiday treat. The Rod Stewart and Take That tributes are back by popular demand; the UB40 tribute show is touring Cyprus for the first time.

Rod Stewart tribute 8 SeptUB40 tribute 16 Sept

Friday 8 September | Bob Wyper as Rod Stewart | KendallEvents.com | €14
Saturday 16 September | UB40 and Ska tribute | MorrelliEvents.com | €20
Friday 22 September | Re-Take That | KendallEvents.com | €17

Remember to chill the ice packs, pop some drinks and snacks into the cool box, and take some outdoor cushions to add to your enjoyment of the evening.

Post: Nikki at pissouribay.com

#pissourievent #tributeactconcert #pissouriamphitheatre #amphitheatreshow #pissouri #kendallevents #morrellievents #retakethat #rodstewart #ub40

Turtle Nesting Tales From Pissouri Beach

Turtle Nesting Tales From Pissouri Beach

There’s something magical about lying in bed listening to the sea

And don’t we all love the simple pleasures of spending time at the beach – watching the waves breaking, skimming stones, paddling at the water’s edge, studying pebbles and touching wave-smoothed glass. If you’re lucky enough to visit at different times of the year, you can witness the changes of the seasons. Summer visitors watching the benign waves lapping would never imagine the drama and terrifying power of the crashing winter storms where the water can come right up to the path. In recent winters enormous chunks of concrete have been taken by huge breakers undermining the Columbia footpath and disintegrating the slipway. Then suddenly last spring tonnes of sand arrived courtesy of that season’s more moderate waves, covering the pebbles and clothing the beach in another guise.

The quiet end of Pissouri beach

For me the most exciting thing about Pissouri beach, though, is the fact that it’s a turtle beach

Every year it plays host to endangered nesting Loggerhead sea turtles… with mature females returning via some amazing navigational sense to dig their nests on the same beach where they themselves hatched. Until this season I had no idea how much of a labour this is. One of a dedicated band of volunteers from Pissouri Turtlewatch, Cindy Murrin-Garcia has been documenting events via social media. Her dawn beach patrols have followed and filmed quite a few turtle tracks up from the shoreline, showing that females habitually make repeated forays throughout the night before selecting a nesting site.

After establishing a successful lay, Pissouri Turtlewatch protect the site from predators with a cage and cordon. At this point the clock starts ticking. 45-51 days later the hatchlings will emerge – normally at night and in groups over a period of a few days. Drawn to the sea by the reflections of the moon on the water, it is important not to confuse them with any other lights. Red torches are used by the trained volunteers on their overnight vigils, because turtles cannot see red light. Efforts are made to avoiding touching the tiny creatures during shepherding, as the purpose of this vulnerable trek across the beach is twofold; it has a part to play in the imprinting that enables females to return to this site at maturity, and it is nature’s way of building strength for survival in the water.

Turtle hatchlings emerging from eggsOn rare occasions turtle events happen during daylight hours. Yesterday Cindy found a female turtle on the beach during her early morning patrol, allowing her to take these wonderful photos. And later in the day Pissouri Turtlewatch excavated a hatched nest to help the last few stragglers on their way.

Ungainly on land, once in their element, the tiny hatchlings make rapid progress away from the shore. A study involving gluing tiny satellite transmitters to baby Loggerheads found that in their first few hours they ‘sprint and ride’ the waves at an impressive 60 metres a minute in their efforts to escape coastal predators. Surviving to adulthood is precarious: it is estimated that as few as one in a thousand make it. Those that do have a life expectancy of between 45 and 65 years.

Although turtles can regularly be seen swimming in the bay, our favourite way of turtle spotting is to take a two-hour sunset cruise from Paphos harbour with George on his vessel Atlantis. Equipped with a series of underwater portholes, this is a great way of getting up close to turtles, stingrays and the most amazing fish. More details: Our Top 10 List

 

Mother turtle photos by Cindy Murrin-Garcia of Pissouri Turtlewatch

This article was originally posted on our old website blog by Nikki 25/7/2016

Fun at Chris Watersports, Pissouri Bay

Fun at Chris Watersports, Pissouri Bay
Chris, Mo and Jeff at Chris Watersports Pissouri Bay
Chris, Mo and Jeff at Chris Watersports Pissouri Bay

For anyone visiting our local beach at Pissouri Bay, we thoroughly recommend you pay a visit to our friends Jeff and Mo at Chris Watersports. You’re sure of a warm welcome and professional service.

Chilling And Relaxing

There’s sunbed and parasol hire. And now you can have free WiFi – if you can tear yourself away from watching the world go by. With showers and changing rooms immediately behind their ‘hut’, you’re in the perfect beach location. Plus Philippos’ ice cream van is handily right next door!

Pootling Around The Bay

Rent a kayak and check out the crystal clear waters for sightings of turtles.

High Octane Thrills On The Water

This video showcases Chris Watersports brilliantly.

You can hire unrestricted 250 and 155 bhp jet skis, or should I say jet bikes – as they have seats? If you’d like to try a new skill or practise an old one, you can book waterskiing, kneeboard or wakeboard lessons. But our fav is a ride on one of their towed inflatables which range from sofas to bananas – brilliant fun! And now they have another new one – Airhead – can’t wait to try it.

Flyboard

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, and confident that you have a good sense of balance, you can even book a flyboard lesson. This is an amazing piece of kit rather like a water-based hover board. It works by sending a powerful water jet through a large hose – sending you soaring 30 feet above the azure waters.

Flyboarding - absolute madness!
Flyboarding – absolute madness!

More details: Chris Watersports on Facebook

Moon’s Vietnamese Kitchen – Vineleaf, Pissouri, 24 Aug

Moon’s Vietnamese Kitchen – Vineleaf, Pissouri, 24 Aug

 

Enjoy authentic Vietnamese cuisine ‘under the vines’, as recommended by the B family.

Tickets €17
Be quick – booking needed on 25221053 | moonsvietkitchen@gmail.com

Or if that date doesn’t suit, you can order a tailored ‘by the pool buffet’ from Moon delivered directly to the villa.

More info: http://www.moonsvietnamesekitchen.com

 

The Legend of Aphrodite’s Rock

The Legend of Aphrodite’s Rock

This large rock marks the birthplace of the Greek goddess Aphrodite – who, legend has it – emerged from the foamy sea here. Aphrodite means ‘risen from the foam’ in Ancient Greek. The goddess, sitting on a shell, was then carried ashore by the gentle breezes of the Zephyrs.

Take your pick of the local myths that say swimming round the rock three times leads to either the blessing of eternal beauty, or meeting your true love.

Also known as ‘Petra Tou Romiou’ (the stone of the Roman), this iconic landmark is a 10-minute scenic coastal drive from the villa.

Blue Flag Beaches: Cyprus Remains the Best in Europe

Blue Flag Beaches: Cyprus Remains the Best in Europe

With Europe’s highest proportion of Blue Flag awards for the 12th year running, Cyprus is celebrating its best ever year. This year’s total of 63 beaches and 1 marina (Limassol) also beats last year’s 57.

And we are proud to report that Pissouri is enjoying its 21st consecutive award.

🏆 Congratulations to all! 🍻 Yia mas!

Full list: cyprusbeat.com/64-blue-flag-beaches-cyprus/

Mr & Mrs N Recommend: All in Pissouri Bay

Mr & Mrs N Recommend: All in Pissouri Bay

We love it when guests share tips about their favourites. Since their first visit in 2015, these guests have returned twice a year, and are planning for 2018 – to enjoy more diving, rest and relaxation.

Extracts from their review:
“G did a diving course with Pissouri Bay Divers – they were fab – very friendly and incredibly professional. So much so we are returning in October for him to continue to the next level.
For me the holiday was a crash and chill so I only ventured out to wander along the beach eat and visit the local shops in the Bay for supplies. I did however happen upon Bay Jewellery, Gemma is very talented and her jewellery is lovely, she is also very keen to make any pieces bespoke.
Kastros and Artemis remained our favourites from last year. With Yialos being added this year – the fish was amazing.”

More guest feedback

New in Pissouri: Steakhouse by Michael

New in Pissouri: Steakhouse by Michael

Since opening last month, the restaurant has already collected twenty-five 5★ reviews and heaps of praise for the food, service and ambience. The building looks great too… Looking forward to an early visit!

Where: 28 October Street, Pissouri (formerly Olympus Palace)
To book: 25 221766 or 99 185717
More: facebook.com/steakhousebymichael/ and steakhousebymichael.com

Michael at Steakhouse by Michael