Cyprus, taste of home

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

Author and references

Important: Since? are the English type three-pin sockets in use,? It is necessary to use an adapter in order to use electrical equipment.

Curiosity: All over the island, cars travel in the opposite direction to ours, like in England or Malta.

This summer the chosen destination? a locality? known to us, namely the island of Cyprus.
We both leave (Roby and Simo) on day 4 from Linate airport, with AirBerlin flight scheduled at 8:30, destination Paphos, with a single stop in Vienna.

In the early afternoon (around 14:00) we arrive in the second Greek-Cypriot port, and we wait for the shuttle that will take us? to the offices of the car rental company KEM, in a separate area but close to the airport. L? we take possession of the car, a Suzuki Swift (city car that has proved to be sufficiently agile even on fairly steep inland routes, near the Troodos mountains; noteworthy is also the not excessive consumption) that will accompany us? for the entire stay, that is until 18 (my friend Simone's return to Italy) while I (Roberto) will leave? the island on 10 August.

Once we landed we are enveloped in the "mantle" of warmth typical of this place, we feel it more because of the climate of Milan, this year strangely mild and not excessively hot. Fortunately the car's air conditioning worked perfectly.
The living room i? was kindly offered by my friend Simone, who had the excellent intuition of investing in this island, by purchasing a modest two-room apartment, with sea and mountain views2, equipped with all comforts, in Peyia (or Pegeia), not far from the well-known Coral Bay and the city of Paphos.

The town of Peyia? very picturesque, the municipality? ? the 9? for size of Cyprus and the 3? in the district of Paphos, the municipal area in fact? enclosed between sea and mountains and encloses Coral Bay, Sea Caves and Agios Georgios, right on the border with the Akamas Peninsula.
The town boasts numerous restaurants, taverns and pubs as well as three supermarkets and several kiosks along the main road, there are also two pharmacies, 24h medical service and dentists, as well as banks.

1 day

Thursday? 4
We reach the apartment in Peyia in less than an hour from Paphos airport. We will spend these few afternoon hours in the surroundings, also due to the tiredness of the journey, being awake from 5 in the morning ...
We decide to do small shopping for dinner (which we will do at home) and for breakfast. Noteworthy is the Papantoniou chain which owns several supermarkets in the area, but also small Bakery shops (bakery and pastry shops). The largest shopping center? close ? in Paphos, the "King Avenue Mall" with the Carrefour and Jumbo supermarkets (a well-stocked and very affordable housewares and DIY store), and a remarkable walkway of shops, as well as? food area with the inevitable KFC, Burger King and others.

2 day

Friday? 5
The first day we decide to spend it visiting the Peyia and Paphos area; in my previous trips I had only visited Kato Paphos, and the Coral Bay beach, while Simo can? to say that he knows these places like the back of his hand, in fact? it was he who showed me the "Sea Caves" (near Coral Bay) or small natural caves in the rock that jump into the blue sea. We also visit the wreck of the ship Edro III flying the flag of Sierra Leone, the subject of many "unusual" photos that can be taken in this place. The cargo ship measures over 80 meters and was carrying plasterboard, yes? stranded in September 2011, the ship? emptied of all oil and cargo, it rests on rocks at an angle of about 12 ?. Boarding the ship is not? allowed in what? dangerous but still a pilgrimage destination.

We decide to make a small excursion to "Avakas Gorge" (a cave crossed by a river, which is almost absent, therefore the bed of which is passable on foot). The path does not? impervious, but still requires attention (recommend suitable footwear, such as sports shoes, to avoid sandals or flip flops ...), above all why? especially in the river bed can? there is a muddy bottom and slippery rocks, and a small stream still flows. The sight ? spectacular, and walking in a canyon no longer? 4 meters wide, with about fifteen meters deep,? very suggestive, it could very well be a film set for an adventure film, perhaps set on extra terrestrial soil.
Faced with a "cascade" of algae and lichens, which descend from one side of the cliff, and with the very wet and muddy ground, we decide that we have seen enough, and we return, in the meantime we have also "exceeded" the time of the lunch.

We reach Kato Paphos (ie the "lower" and therefore coastal area of ​​the city of Paphos) to have lunch in a place that Simo knows, not before having taken some photos of the splendid views that cross the road, worthy of note is the island of San George.

We have lunch at Azure Azure (Poseidonos Avenue 48), a bright and fresh place on the seafront of kato Paphos, with an excellent and abundant salad with Halloumi (delicious local cheese served on the grill).

Gi? ready for the beach we decide to go to Coral Bay to relax to enjoy the last hours of the sun. The bays with the possibility? bathing facilities, offer the service of umbrella and two deck chairs for € 7,50 (without time limits), there is no shortage of free beaches.
Before returning to the apartment, we visit the "King Avenue Mall".

3 day

Saturday 6
Considering to have done "beach" the day before we decide for a day of excursions. The chosen destination? Kykkos, a small village in the heights of the Paphos Forest, not far from Mount Olympus.
Before reaching Kykkos we stop at a mouflon reserve. It is a fenced area where several specimens of these animals live undisturbed, even if a little observed by tourists who photograph them.
Famous is the "Panagia of Kykkos" (1100), dedicated to the Virgin Mary, a monastery with the typical architecture of these places, with spectacular icons and mosaics. Inside is the museum that houses objects, manuscripts and icons. Inside the Monastery there is one of the three icons of the Virgin painted by San Luca. The adjoining merchandising shop is also interesting, which also sells the monastery's own products, such as infusions of aromatic herbs, oils and creams to treat and soothe various ailments.

We have lunch in a locality? nearby, Mylikouri, not having found anything in Kykkos, and (hungry) we take refuge in the first place that inspires us and that we find in the area, the tavern? Platanos ?. At first glance it even looks like an? Improvised? as a restaurant, in fact the lady who welcomes us does not provide us with the menu? but try to show us the specialties? of the house by voice (with very poor English ...). He can easily convince us to try a surprise lunch. They begin to reach us more? dishes of as many as we had expected, from pleasant olives, Tzatziki sauce, Hummus, Greek salad and an excellent Cous cous (very different from what we know), only as an appetizer. Then we are served Loukanika (sausage), Afelia (pork stew) and finally Sikotakia (chicken livers), all for a cost of? 17 per person, which also includes the drink and the Pita (typical bread ), a quality ratio? really great price!

By now afternoon we decide to continue to Pano Panagia, seat of another important monastery: the Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery (1152), dedicated to the Virgin Mary of the? Golden Pomegranate ?. Inside there are important icons and sacred objects, the Monastery also has an ancient production of wines. This example of a Greek Orthodox church is also worth a visit.

4 day

Sunday 7th of
Today beach day, we always look for a new place in Coral Bay, and we find it in the vicinity? of one of the many hotels and resorts that line the two main gulfs of Coral Bay. The chosen beach? la Corallia beach, The beach? wide and sandy, the sea? pretty clean. The cost here too? € 7,50 per umbrella and two deck chairs.

At Simo's suggestion, we have dinner at Derlicious located on the first floor of the? King Avenue Mall ?, it is a bistrot? Greek that has offers like? fast food ?, here you eat Souvlaki or Gyros, served in the typical Greek Pita or the Cypriot one? Large portions, good food and low cost, excellent alternative to international chains.

5 day

Monday? 8
We decide to visit the northern part of the island, remaining within the limits of the? Greek-Cypriot? Territory.
Bordering the municipality? of Peyia, we find the village of Kathikas, with cobbled streets and typical stone buildings, a village that exudes tranquility? and peace. Continuing to Polis, then to the right for Argaka, we travel along a coastal road that crosses numerous villages a stone's throw from the sea. Right on the road, near Argaka we stop at the Liza? S Place tavern, where I eat an excellent Moussaka served in a small terracotta pan (as per tradition), while Simo takes the Keftedes, typical meatballs with potato chips homemade fries.
The old manager immediately proves to be nice and friendly, as soon as he learned that we were Italians, yes? sat chatting with us (in English), we also enjoyed the appetizer with Tzatziki sauce, Olives with Cypriot Oregano (very different from ours!). At the end of the meal there? Was the seasonal fruit brought, the pleasant thing that makes you appreciate these places? hospitality, why? the appetizer and fruit were offered to us.

After lunch, we continue the itinerary to Kato Pyrgos, a locality. rather anonymous that has a tourist hotel and little else (on the northern coast of the island is the Greek-Cypriot beach to the east).

6 day

Tuesday? 9
Having already? made two coasts of Coral Bay, we decide to opt for another? not so far away, famous for its beaches, Geroskypou, one of the four municipalities? of the Paphos district, not far from the International airport.

This area also offers numerous bays, dotted with bathing establishments. The beaches are wide and well maintained. Here we paid only € 5 for the umbrella and two deck chairs.
We spend the afternoon not far away, in Kato Paphos, dedicating ourselves to the purchase of the inevitable souvenirs, along the characteristic avenue that starts from the port area (medieval castle view) and to the south along the sea on one side and restaurants / shops on the other. .

7 day

Wednesday? 10
My last day here in Cyprus? arrived inexorably and this period, as it happens when you have fun,? passed in a flash.

My return? in the evening (21:30 pm), with Easyjet flight from Larnaka, so we have time for a couple of excursions to the waterfalls in the locality? Pano Platres (not far from Troodos).

However, having time we decide to also follow some marked paths of churches, but we do not meet any noteworthy sites, but I would like to point out a particular view of the village of Pachna, from the road followed to Pano Platres, which pleasantly surprised us.

We arrive at Pano Platres, a pretty mountain village, immersed in the green of the surrounding forests. We easily find directions to the notes? Caledonian Waterfall? and? Millomeris Waterfalls ?. We, of course, try both.

The journey to the first? simple and suitable for everyone, only it takes over half an hour why? about 2 km long, but it's worth it because? the spectacle in front of us? wonderful. The 12 meters high Caledonian Waterfall, considered (erroneously) the most? high of Cyprus.

Back from this first stage, we stop for lunch in the restaurant located right at the beginning of the path to the falls: Psilo Dendro. We both take a decent portion of Fish & Chips, to which yes? added the dessert offered by the house (a ricotta cake and an excellent panna cotta).

The path to the second falls, apparently more? short of the first, yes? revealed to be quite challenging, the path has significant differences in height, as it is bypassed the ridge of the mountain.
Almost exhausted by the enterprise, we are rewarded by the spectacle of the falls, almost a? Mirage? in this place (in fact there was no lack of tourists who took the opportunity to take a shower under the waterfall ...). Although the Caledonian Waterfalls are considered the most? high of the island, actually? the Millomeris Waterfalls are a little more? high (they measure in fact 15 meters), this belief lies in the fact that the access to the Millomeris Waterfalls? been made pi? accessible are in recent years and therefore? they are still little known.

We arrive at Larnaka airport smoothly and in the late afternoon I have to leave my friend Simo on this island, while I am going to go to the airport back to my city? ... A little? of envy for him that can? still enjoy a few days of sun, sea and relaxation.

8 day

Thursday? 11
After partner Roby's stay, I continue my solo holiday in my beloved Cyprus. Still tired from Thursday's hikes? with Roby, I decide to dedicate the morning to a few hours on the beach and the afternoon to tidying up and cleaning the house.

9 day

Friday? 12
Relaxing morning on the beach and afternoon taking a little excursion around Peyia, I go to the Monastery of Agios Neophytos (about 1200) near Tala.

The Monastery? consisting of a residential block, church and cloisters around a lush garden; beyond? c '? a spacious terrace dotted with benches overlooking the valley. At the bottom of the terrace, accessible by a stone bridge, there is? l? Enkleistra, the caves dug by St. Neofytos himself.

L? Enkleistera consists of three rooms, the first two are the nave and the Church of the Holy Cross, the third? the cell of Neofytos. The walls of the nave are covered with frescoes, the upper ones from the th century, the lower ones date back to the th century. In the sanctuary there are more? frescoes, this time from the th century. Beyond? of the sanctuary, through a low door, is the cell of the saint, also frescoed and contains a bed, table, desk, chair and a bookcase all carved into the rock. It also houses his tomb, the Saint in fact had expressed the wish that at his death, his body would be buried here and the cave sealed.

However, in 1756 the sarcophagus? been opened and the relics transferred to the monastery church.
In front of the church there? a museum that houses crosses, chalices, censers, sacred texts, vestments, icons and much more. Some of these items are incredibly rare and beautiful like a Venetian Bible from 1560 and a late th century manuscript.

10 day

Saturday 13
I spend the day going shopping at Ktima Georgiadi (Olive Shop) and the Golden Donkey Farm in Skarinou where every time I come to Cyprus I buy oil and products based on olive oil and donkey milk.
Here, as almost always, I find the owner who now knows me, I take the products to take to Italy and he gives me 2 bottles of beer (new product) to let me taste. As every time he gives me something and / or gives me a discount, here the? Hospitality? ? all!
Finished shopping at the Olive Shop, I head to the Golden Donkey Farm, also owned by them, here honestly? the first time i come and i? loved it. It is a traditional-style farm, inside there is an area where you can eat, a shop where you can buy the products made by them (same as the Olive Shop), a small Orthodox church and numerous enclosures with donkeys and cages with birds. The whole area also acts as a botanical garden, identification labels are placed in front of each plant or flower. The donkeys are very sweet and always looking for cuddles, very nice and above all intelligent animals (unlike the common thought), the place? well maintained and spotless.

After visiting Donkey Farm, I walk the road home but deciding to make some stops, so? I visit the town of Omodos one of the most? picturesque villages of Cyprus. Omodos? one of the most? beautiful villages of Cyprus and? located on the southern slopes of the Troodos mountains.
The village ? It was created around the Monastery of the Holy Cross (th century), which houses a part of the Holy Rope with which Christ's hands were tied to the Cross. In the monastic building you can find a museum with Byzantine icons, a folk art museum and the museum of the National Liberation uprising.
The main feature of the town are the narrow stone-paved streets and traditional houses with wooden verandas that overlook them. In the village there are numerous shops selling handmade embroidery, bars and taverns.

11 day

Sunday 14th of
After a long time I decide to take the trekking route that goes from the Baths of Aphrodite to Fontana Amorosa. Are the Baths of Aphrodite located a few kilometers after the locality? of Latchi, a town not far from Polis and renowned for its beaches.

The path in dirt or sand? of about 7.5Km and? passable on foot or by off-road cars, quads and motorcycles, do not venture out if you have other vehicles except by sea by boat!
I will do? the entire route on foot, at least the way (you will find out why? ...).
As mentioned, it starts from the Baths of Aphrodite (a cave with a pond where legend has it that the Goddess immersed herself in it to bathe) and then touches the Blue Lagoon and finally Fontana Amorosa.

Along the way you are literally fascinated and dazzled by the beauty of the surrounding landscape, small hidden bays, crystal clear sea (Caribbean!) And unspoiled nature? if it weren't for the passage of cars or motorcycles ...

In about 2h I arrive at the Blu Lagoon,? the place pi? popular of the Akamas Peninsula, a splendid bay with a beach of very clear sand, transparent water and ... a sea of ​​people who arrived by boat with organized excursions or private boats, a wonderful place, so much so that there are not even kiosks bars or similar structures , Yes ? right in direct contact with nature.

Not far away, less than 10 minutes on foot there? Fontana Amorosa,? a cove with a small spring, here there? fewer people than the Blue Lagoon, the sand? pi? dark but also here crystal clear sea. This place has provided many legends and lore about lovers and love, one legend has it that the Goddess Aphrodite used the place to bring her young lovers here away from the people, while another legend says that whoever drinks from the well can? falling in love again.

The early afternoon comes and I find shelter under a tree, sitting on a stone and in the shade, I stay there for about an hour, admiring the beautiful landscape but then I decide to go back, too bad it was about 13.30pm the sun was beating down strong, it was very hot and sore ... I had finished all the drink that I had brought in my backpack!
Do I walk about 2km, sheltering under the beach towel, putting it in the way of a Bedouin? (imagine the scene), given the heat and the hydration problem, I decide to stop a pick-up with 4 guys, asking him the favor of being able to take me to the Baths of Aphrodite, where I had left the car. These very kind guys make room in the back of the pick-up and between a jolt and another arrival at their destination. I offered to pay but the kids repeatedly refused, this one? the umpteenth demonstration of hospitality? and courtesy that Cypriots have.
For lunch I head to nearby Lachi, I stop at the Latchi Plaza tavern, here I order the excellent Dolmades (vine leaf rolls), one of my favorite dishes! I am served a dozen rolls with a small salad and fries placed in a small fryer basket, very original, all very good even the price. After eating, I dedicate the afternoon to sunbathing on the town beach. Here the sand? a little? grainy and there are also stones, the water is still clear.

12 day

Monday? 15? Tuesday? 16? Wednesday? 17
After mid-August between the shopping center and tours in the surroundings, without for? having found nothing interesting, I spend the last few days comfortably on the beach, start packing my bags and arrange the house for the next tenants. In fact, when I am not in Cyprus, I rent the holiday apartment (Min. 3 nights? Max 2 months) a way not only to earn something, but also to not keep the house closed for several months and to discover the beauties of the island also to other people, in particular I would like to be able to involve more? the compatriots, since they don't normally look beyond the Greek islands ...

13 day

Thursday? 18
Departure time, flight from Paphos to Milan Linate with a stopover in Vienna with Air Berlin.
First leg, flight on time and nothing to report, arrived in Vienna, it turns out that the flight to Milan will have? a delay of about 2h ... after the 2h delay the flight? left regularly, unfortunately we found a couple of thunderstorms in the Italian territory and we had some air gap and jolts, but nothing compared to the traumatic experience of last summer on the outward flight to Thessaloniki ...

I showed my partner Roby the most? interesting that there are in the area of ​​Peyia and Paphos, I have left out many things why? did we already have them? seen on previous trips to Cyprus and then I opted to introduce him to new things that he greatly appreciated, cos? as the hospitality? undisputed of Cypriots and excellent local food.

Now that I'm in Italy, the countdown for my return home begins ...

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