Holidays in Cyprus conjure up images of turquoise seas and pretty beaches. Swimming, snorkelling, diving and sailing are features of a typical stay on the island. But head inland towards the cool of the Troodos Mountains and you will discover a different world entirely.
One village in particular has been transformed in recent years – after local man John Papadouris returned to his native homeland. Having lived in the UK and Dubai for many years, he was shocked and disappointed to find the mountain village of Kalopanayiotis in serious decline. Fortunately his business experience and civil engineering background, combined with vision and enthusiasm proved the perfect recipe for rejuvenating the village.
Across the river, opposite the vehicle bridge is the monastery of St John Lampadistis which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The walls and ceilings are filled with stunning frescoes dating back to the Byzantine era. There is also a Byzantine museum on the site.
Following the river upstream leads to a Venetian bridge and the sulphur springs. There is a choice of well-marked nature trails from the village centre, ranging from gentle strolls to energetic hikes.
Cross the wooden footbridge and walk back past the hotel’s orchards. A magnificent funicular railway lifts you up to the hotel level of the village for €1.
Get to know what Cyprus was like, and the beauty of the mountains… There is so much more to see and do and learn about the mountain village life in Cyprus.John Papadouris
Scenic drive to Kalopanayiotis
“Siga siga” – as they say in Cyprus – “slowly slowly”
Take your time with the scenic drive to the mountains. The route takes you firstly through gently rolling hills clad with grapevines. You pass several wineries which offer visitor tours, if you wish to pause. Another good stopping off point is the beautiful historic town of Omodos with its traditional stone buildings and vibrant floral displays. As you approach the mountains, the roads twist and turn, with spectacular views in every direction. There are a number of view points to allow you to stretch your legs and appreciate the vistas. The air is cooler and fresher amid the shady pine forested slopes.
The Casale Panayiotis hotel occupies 7 tastefully and sympathetically restored village houses and offers 41 guest rooms, together with a spa. Their Byzantino Restaurant, Byzantino Café or Pantheon casual dining are open to both hotel residents and village visitors.
We can recommend the wonderful views and delicious lunch menu at the Pantheon. Kalí órexi!