Rural life in Cyprus is always rather interesting, with each area and district firmly holding onto age old traditions. And once the summer kicks in, things get more exciting with countless village folk proudly showcasing their produce, local crafts, dances and other traditions as they host their own festivals. Here are three food and herb festivals that the My Cyprus Insider team think that you’ll enjoy this summer holiday season!
1. Lavender Festival, Platres Cultural Centre
Every year, nature lovers, guest speakers, producers and entrepreneurs from across Cyprus come together in honour of the mighty lavender plant which grows in abundance in the gorgeous Cypriot countryside.
Head up to the island’s highest heights and visit the Platres Cultural Centre where you can expect seminars and talks on the healing properties of the herb, workshops surrounding lavender distillation, arts and crafts using lavender and organic cosmetics that you can buy. All this will be topped off by guided walks with herbalists through Lavender plantations around Platres.
When? July 1 – 2. Platres Cultural Centre, Troodos district. Tel: (+357) 99-427 980
2. 5th International Potato Festival, Avgorou, Famagusta district
Yes, that’s right, even the potato is honoured with its very own festival here in Cyprus! Hosted in the village of Avgorou – famed for its glorious red earth potatoes – head down to a festival where you can nibble on all sorts of tasty treats made with potatoes, with plenty of song and dance in the mix while you give your taste buds a treat.
Anyone currently working on the land or interested in farming can also get hold of various agricultural products at various stalls to be set up at the event.
When? July 22nd. Avgorou A Primary School Yard, Famagusta district. 8pm. Tel: (+357) 99-577757/ 99-349856
3. 2nd Fig and ‘Halidji’ Festival, Kato Pyrgos, Tylliria
If you’d really like to take a great road trip this holiday season, then head all the way to Kato Pyrgos; one of the most gorgeous parts of the island where rugged mountains drop down to the deep blue of the sea. And this August, for the second year in a row, you can enjoy a rather quirky event featuring fig and ‘halidji’.
You’re not alone if you’ve never heard of halidji before- it’s a type of soft white cheese made exclusively in the area in the summer months from local goats or sheep’s milk (or a mix of these.) With all the action set to take place in the main village square of Kato Pyros, apart from foodie delights, they’ll also be live music and traditional dances to enjoy.
When? August 11-12, Kato Pyrgos, Tylliria
Stay tuned for updates on some great September festivals in an article to follow at a later date!