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My Cyprus Insider http://mycyprusinsider.com Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:03:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Must Visit: Platania Picnic Site http://mycyprusinsider.com/the-great-outdoors/must-visit-platania-picnic-site/ http://mycyprusinsider.com/the-great-outdoors/must-visit-platania-picnic-site/#respond Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:22:21 +0000 http://mycyprusinsider.com/?p=15036 Read more »]]> Ah, those gorgeous autumn leaves! Nothing much can beat the sound of them crunching beneath your feet as you breathe in fresh country air. And once these brilliant leaves begin to blanket the Cyprus countryside with their crimson hues, it’s time to get those walking shoes on for a day out in the highest peaks of the island!

 

 

Our suggestion? Head towards Troodos and the Platania picnic site, just off the Kakopetria to Troodos road. The cool and shady pine grove near Platania forest station is filled with benches where you can sit down for a bite to eat, while there are also dedicated barbeque areas giving you the chance to enjoy a roaring feast with friends and family.

 

 

The great thing is that Platania picnic site boasts a kids’ play area, with plenty to keep them entertained. What many people don’t know, is that Platania is also home to its own campsite, with facilities to ensure comfort and convenience without sacrificing the wilderness factor, including toilets, shower blocks and disabled facilities.

 

Where? Kakopetria – Troodos road, 6 km from Kakopetria towards Troodos, on the right and left of the road, near Platania forest station.

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Your Perfect Country ‘Home Away from Home’ for the Ultimate Time Out http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/your-perfect-country-home-away-from-home-for-the-ultimate-time-out/ http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/your-perfect-country-home-away-from-home-for-the-ultimate-time-out/#respond Wed, 15 Nov 2017 15:40:29 +0000 http://mycyprusinsider.com/?p=15020 Read more »]]> Dreaming of the perfect getaway when you finally take some time off work, but not quite sure where to stay? Our advice: head for the hills to kick back for a few days in a cosy village property that will make you feel like you’re living a gorgeous  new home for a few days!

1. Kalopanayiotis Cottage, Kalopanayiotis, Troodos district

Got a large family and dream of plenty of space for the kids to play while you put your feet up in true style as the night sets in? Then this is the place for you! A beautifully decorated three bedroom stone built cottage in the stunning Marathassa Valley, the balcony boasts lush mountain views set to take your breath away, while the modern living room has a fireplace for roaring cold winter evenings. If you plan on cooking while you’re away on your stay, there’s also a fully equipped kitchen and a washing machine, if you need to get laundry done.

 

 

Keep in mind that there is also a lovely one-bedroom apartment on offer in the complex for all those of you looking for a little alone time with your partner and don’t necessarily need a whole house to yourselves!

 

 

Where? 10 Kosta Loizou Street, Kalopanayiotis. Tel: (+357) 99-431000. www.kalopanayiotiscottage.com 

 

2. Red Blue Door, Lefkara, Larnaca district

A renovated house built in 1820, Red Blue Door is a beautifully restored complex of two village homes, that fuse all things traditional with a modern touch in one of the island’s most popular villages. Red Door has 5 bedrooms in total and even includes a health room with a jacuzzi and steam bath where you can enjoy hydro massage.

 

 

The perfect place to warm up on a cold winter’s day, you can then laze by the fireplace for moments of pure bliss. Blue Door is a two-bedroom house with connecting doors, ideal for families with young children. The spacious ground floor – which is used as kitchen and living room – can be transformed into a studio to accommodate two more people as it features a separate bathroom.

 

 

Where? Vasili Michaelides, Pano Lefkara, Larnaca district. Tel: (+357) 99-420984, 99-632655. redbluedoor.com

 

3. Apenemia, Lofou, Limassol district

Want to set up base in the gorgeous Limassol winegrowing district for a few days? Then we’ve found just the spot for you! And if you really want to feel as though you’ve stepped back in time, this listed stone house sure fits the bill, decorated with furniture from days gone by, and even filled with old utensils and plenty of antiques.

 

 

Spacious and airy, Apenemia consists of two bedrooms and bathrooms, making for the perfect village escape for families and groups of friends. With a large kitchen for those after a home cooked meal, you can step outside to enjoy the sunshine in a large internal courtyard. Last but not least, the gorgeous four poster beds deserve a special mention!

 

 

Where? Christofi Kyriakou Street, Lofou, Limassol. Tel: (+357) 99-527711. www.cypruscountryhouse.com

 

 

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POSH Lounge: An Exciting New Dining Experience in Nicosia http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/posh-lounge-an-exciting-new-dining-experience-in-nicosia/ http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/posh-lounge-an-exciting-new-dining-experience-in-nicosia/#respond Mon, 13 Nov 2017 14:27:01 +0000 http://mycyprusinsider.com/?p=15006 Read more »]]> As the nights get colder and the festive season slowly but surely sneaks up on us, there is no better time than the present to give your inner gastronome a treat in an environment unlike the rest. Step in POSH Lounge! As the name of this place suggests, it’s all about glamour as streamlined decor and ambience combine with fine dining, cool cocktails and inspiring music.

 

 

The food served here is inspired by European cuisine, with each and every dish meticulously thought out as the chef uses only the best quality ingredients. For starters, tuck into a mouthwatering salad – cheese lovers will go mad over their Rockford salad with mixed greens, walnuts, slices of apple and Rockford cheese – while there is also a range of starters to tease your taste buds, including a fresh salmon mousse and chicken liver Madeira served on a creamy bed of spinach. As for the mains, pasta lovers can tuck into Frutti di Mare (spaghetti with prawns, scallops and salmon), Quattro Formaggi Tagliatelle (tagliatelle served with four cheese cream sauce), Tagliatelle con Nero Olive e Menta (served with black olives, fresh mint and olive oil) and much more.

 

 

When it comes to mains, their chicken kebab with giant prawns is already a big hit, while their great selection of steaks are cooked to perfection. Fish lovers, on the other hand, are bound to enjoy feasting on their fresh salmon fillet sprinkled with bread crumbs, parsley and onion, cooked in wine sauce. Ready to wash it all down with something sweet? From pomme posh (stuffed apple with cinnamon in custard sauce served with homemade vanilla ice cream) to crème brûlée and caramel ice cream cake, there’s plenty to indulge in.

 

 

 

The gastronomic journey doesn’t end here, with the menu also including classic and signature cocktails. And if you wish, you can stay on at POSH late into the night, just move on over to the dedicated bar area and sip of the tipple of your choice!

 

 

Where? 16L Kyriakou Matsi St in Nicosia, open from Wednesday to Sunday from 6pm until 2am. Tel: (+357) 22 420202

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All things local http://mycyprusinsider.com/uncategorized/all-things-local/ http://mycyprusinsider.com/uncategorized/all-things-local/#respond Fri, 10 Nov 2017 11:19:14 +0000 http://mycyprusinsider.com/?p=14998 Read more »]]> Dear Insiders

Hope you had a wonderful week and have some great things planned for the weekend ahead! If you fancy a village escape, we have some inspiring ideas for you, especially if enjoy doing a little shopping at the weekend! I for one, love the idea of heading out into the countryside and enjoying a day out in nature while still being able to unleash the little shopaholic in me. Curious about which lovely villages on the island are home to some of the best shops where you can get hold of some prime local produce? Find out all you need to know here!

 

With the start of the rainy season here in Cyprus, nature lovers will no doubt soon be heading to the Larnaca Salt Lake to catch a glimpse of the gorgeous flamingos that touch down on the glistening waters in the wet months. And that got the team thinking about all the other gorgeous birds that pass through the island during autumn migration, and we decided to compile a list of some of the best spots that you can head to around the island to enjoy a little birdwatching.

 

 

Have a fabulous weekend Insiders, however you choose to spend it!

Bye for now, Zoe

 

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Let’s all enjoy…the Cyprus Wine Month! http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/lets-all-enjoythe-cyprus-wine-month/ http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/lets-all-enjoythe-cyprus-wine-month/#respond Thu, 09 Nov 2017 12:13:57 +0000 http://mycyprusinsider.com/?p=14990 Read more »]]> If you want to familiarise yourselves with Cypriot winemaking traditions while cruising around the undulating countryside, then the Cyprus Wine Month taking place throughout November should be right up your street!

Within the framework of the ‘Wine Routes’ programme implemented by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), 7 different routes have been designed and signposted through the Cyprus countryside, with wineries along the way giving you a brilliant introduction into the world of local wine. For more information on these gorgeous wine routes, click here

 

 

Want a guided tour of the area? As part of the Cyprus Wine Month this November, you can enjoy dedicated wine routes tours which include wine testing sessions at select wineries. Booking is essential and a 30-seater minibus will be provided by the CTO for each excursion. With excursions planned all around Cyprus throughout November, taking you through Limassol, Paphos, Troodos and beyond, just select your preferred journey and prepare for a day out unlike the rest. Read all about the different excursions available here. 

 

 

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3 Enchanting Cyprus Rivers You’ve Got to Walk along this Winter http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/3-enchanting-cyprus-rivers-youve-got-to-walk-along-this-winter/ http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/3-enchanting-cyprus-rivers-youve-got-to-walk-along-this-winter/#respond Wed, 08 Nov 2017 12:08:49 +0000 http://mycyprusinsider.com/?p=14979 Read more »]]> Whether you’re in the mood for a peaceful stroll or an action-packed affair as you clamber over slippery rocks and unleash your inner green panther, the My Cyprus Insider team have narrowed down three of our favourite rivers to head to for the most idyllic day out connecting with Mother Nature.

 

1. Kryos Potamos River – walk beside it in Platres, Troodos

With cool waters flowing all the way down Mount Olympus, this gorgeous river follows a course towards the south and east of Platres. It you wish to walk along a lovely trail by the side of the Kryos Potamos River, then just head down to the old Troodos-Platres road, and you can set off on the Caledonia trail near the Presidential Summer Residence. The nature trail passes by the gorgeous Caledonia waterfalls and ends at Psilo Dendro, in Pano Platres.

 

2. Dhiarizos River– walk along it at Tzelefos Bridge, Paphos district

If you’ve ever visited Tzelefos bridge, then you’ll be well aware that the Dhiarizos River that runs beneath the medieval arch is a real site to site. A great place to walk along the river banks, you can take in the lush surrounds and make a day of it with a visit to the nearby Arminou dam. The Dhiarizos river is the fourth largest on the island, with its source in the Troodos Mountain peaks, travelling all the way down to the ancient village of Kouklia.

 

3. Klarios River- walk along it in Kakopetria, Troodos

Passing right through the Solea Valley and the gorgeous village of Kakopetria, this is the perfect place to head to for a day out as you combine time spent walking through the cobbled village lanes with a leisurely walk by the gurgling river.

Photo credit: Spyroc Photography

 

We suggest taking a seat at Café Serenity to enjoy a Cyprus coffee or sweet treat right beside the flowing river. On a good day, you can take a seat on the balcony around the back of the café and you’ll be in seventh heaven. The river Klarios crosses the Solea Valley and empties into Morfou Bay.

 

 

 

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Must Visit: 1st Russian Gastronomy Week in Limassol http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/must-visit-1st-russian-gastronomy-week-in-limassol/ http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/must-visit-1st-russian-gastronomy-week-in-limassol/#respond Mon, 06 Nov 2017 15:09:45 +0000 http://mycyprusinsider.com/?p=14968 Read more »]]> Tastes and flavours from across Russia will soon be teasing your taste buds as chefs from five regions of the country will be landing down in Cyprus next week as the 1ST Russian Gastronomy Week comes to life. Set to take place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Limassol, the event – organised in association with the International Center of Wine and Gastronomy – will be held under the auspices of the Russian Ambassador in Cyprus.

 

 

With the five invited chefs preparing four regional cuisine dinners in glamorous style, gastronomic delights will be prepared for you by chefs Andrey Matyukha, Artem Loginov, Alexander Sakharov, Vladimir Belous and Anton Salnikov.

Bringing together a whole host of cooking traditions from around Russia, the event will include tastes from the Krasnodar Region (South of Russia) on November 13th, the Vladimir Region (central Russia) on November 14th, the city of Yaroslavl (central Russia) on November 15th, and the city of Ulan-Ude (Buryat Republic, Siberia) on November 16th. This will all culminate in a stylish and sumptuous gala dinner on November 17th.

 

 

The Gastronomy Week will also involve a number of master classes organised by the ICWAG including ‘The Mysteries of the Kremlin Cuisine’ on November 14th, ‘Russian Vodkas and Distillates’ on November 15th, ‘The Culinary Summit Russia – Cyprus’ on November 16th, and a ‘Culinary Master Class for Children’ on November 17th.

 

 

Where and when? Four Seasons Hotel, Limassol. November 13th – 17th. Find out more and make a reservation here. 

 

 

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4 + 1 Cyprus Markets to Head to for an Alternative Day Out! http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/4-1-cyprus-markets-to-head-to-for-an-alternative-day-out/ http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/4-1-cyprus-markets-to-head-to-for-an-alternative-day-out/#respond Mon, 06 Nov 2017 08:22:22 +0000 http://mycyprusinsider.com/?p=11670 Read more »]]> Looking for something different to do over your weekend? Love to find bargain goods, second-hand items and general knick-knacks for your home? Then read all about some fantastic places where you can indulge the shopaholic in you!

 

1. Nicosia Flea Market

Vintage typewriters, old sewing machines, rare books, retro posters, vintage calendars, chairs from the 1960s: you name it, you’ll find it here! Weekend in and weekend out, this gem of a place in the Nicosia suburb of Kaimakli is packed with treasures.

 

Nicosia flea market 3

 

The only indoor market of its kind in the capital, the Flea Market of Nicosia hosts over 60 vendors offering a variety of different items each week.

 

Where? 2 Yianni Koromia, Kaimakli (opposite the Nicosia Municipality Industrial Zone). 10am – 7pm. Tel: (+357) 22432478

 

2.    Limassol Sunday Market

Right on the Limassol seafront, this spot forms a hub of activity come Sunday, situated right in front of the Ayia Napa church, just a couple of minutes from the Old Town roundabout. The focus of this Limassol Sunday Market is that everything is really low cost, whether you want to get hold of a hat, a watch, make up or even, a mobile phone!

 

Limassol Sunday 2

 

There’s also plenty of ethnic food to tuck into from Cyprus, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Philippines, India and more!

 

Where? Limassol seafront road, just in front of Ayia Napa church. Every Sunday. 

 

3. Livadia Sunday Market

Outside Larnaca, in the Livadia district, people from near and far gather together to get hold of all sorts of products at the Livadia Sunday Market, with over 120 regular stall holders selling a whole range of low priced goods.

 

Livadia Sunday 2

 

But there’s also something rather different about this market, with a dedicated car boot section, as well as an antique fair section and arts and crafts area. Enjoy!

Where? Livadia, Larnaca. 7:00 am – 2:00 pm. Every Sunday. Tel: (+357) 99-629327, (+357) 99-308997

 

4. Paphos Municipal Market

The so-called ‘agora’ has long been part of the history of Paphos town, and while the interior of the municipal market is currently being revamped, the streets surrounding it lure both locals and foreigners with a Paphos Municipal Market that’s open from Monday to Saturday, 6 days a week.

 

paphos market

credit: thekingjasonpaphos.com

A bit different to the other typical ‘markets’ mentioned in the article, this one is all about little shops side by side selling all sorts of goods, from leather jackets and souvenirs to arts and crafts, handmade jewellery, cosmetics and more.

Where? Agoras, Nea Paphos. Tel: (+357) 26-946075

 

5. Farmers Market, Akourdalia, Paphos district

The sleepy village of Pano Akoudarlia, just a stone’s throw from Kathikas, is home to the wonderful New Herb Garden, the former base of Heaven on Earth Herbals.

 

The new owners have done a wonderful job; head to the gardens and cafe and you can enjoy a walk around the gorgeous grounds as you catch a good glimpse of all the fabulous herbs and flowers that call the place their home. The on-site cafe gives you the chance to kick back and enjoy the tranquillity of the area, as well as homemade produce using herbs grown in the garden. On the first Sunday of every month, you can enjoy a great Farmers Market held here, with all sorts of local produce being sold. On December 10th, be sure to head down to a special Christmas market with music and carol singing.

 

 

Where? New Herb Garden, Pano Akourdaleia. Tel: (+357) 99 -291594

 

 

 

 

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5 Gorgeous Autumn/Winter Birdwatching Hotspots in Cyprus http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/5-gorgeous-autumnwinter-birdwatching-hotspots-in-cyprus/ http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/5-gorgeous-autumnwinter-birdwatching-hotspots-in-cyprus/#respond Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:03:03 +0000 http://mycyprusinsider.com/?p=14911 Read more »]]> With Cyprus situated on one of the major migration routes across the Mediterranean, its a stop off point for many bird species which travel between breeding grounds in Europe and Asia in the autumn/winter months. The most famous is the Greater Flamingo, but there are also plenty more to discover! So where to head to in the wetter seasons to see some great migrating birds, as well as some residents, in all their colourful glory? My Cyprus Insider leads the way…all you have to do is grab a good pair of binoculars!

 

Goshawk. Photo: A. P. Leventis

 

1. Larnaca Salt Lake

Yes, it’s the most famous spot on the island to catch a glimpse of the Greater Flamingo, and for good reason!  Thousands of them call the waters of the glistening salt lake home – between the wetter months of November and March – and it’s a marvellous sight to see, with the salt lake backed by the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque and its towering palms. But this is not the only seasonal wetland that makes for a great birdwatching day out; don’t forget about Akrotiri Marsh and salt lake, as well as Paralimni Lake and Oroklini Lake and marsh where there’s a high chance you’ll spot various plovers and ducks!

 

 

White-headed duck. Photo: Vasos Vasiliou

 

2. Asprogremmos Dam, Paphos district

One of the most studding hidden spots to visit on the west of the island, this man-made reservoir attracts the Long-Legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Grey Heron, Blue Rock Thrush and more. With seasonal pools to check out in the river below the dam and the stunning abandoned village of Finikas to explore, you can easily spend a whole morning or afternoon at this place. How to get here?  Head towards the little village of Anarita – and then you’ll see signposts towards the dam.

 

Bonelli’s Eagle. Photo: Michele Mendi (BirdLife Cyprus) 

 

 

 3. Kensigton Cliffs (Zapalo Bay), Limassol district

Make a point of looking out across the horizon from these steep cliffs as the waves crash against the shore in the autumn and winter, and you may well spot the most important remaining Cyprus breeding colony of Griffon Vultures. Also look out for the Peregrine Falcon, Eleonora’s Falcon, Blue Rock Thrush and Wallcreeper.

 

Griffon Vulture. Photo: Dave and Jan Walker (BirdLife Cyprus)

 

Photo: Melpo Apostolidou (BirdLife Cyprus) 

4. Akamas Peninsula, Paphos district

Another gorgeous spot on the west of the island, few people make the effort to visit the area in the autumn and winter. But the cooler autumn climate make for a fantastic time to explore the vicinity, which stands as a coastal waterbird passage. What can you expect to see in the autumn and winter months? Head straight to Avakas Gorge when it gets a little colder and you’re more than likely to spot the Wallcreeper. In the wider Akamas area, keep your eyes peeled for the Stonechat, the Cyprus Scops Owl and many more gorgeous birds.

 

Wallcreeper. Photo: Dave and Jan Walker (BirdLife Cyprus)

 

 

5. Troodos

We couldn’t possibly compile a birdwatching hotspot list without including the island’s highest peaks! Actually home to all the Cypriot endemic sub-species, just head into the Troodos forest, and while you’re walking through the pine trees, you’re very likely to spot the Cyprus Coal Tit and the Cyprus Jay in the greenery, while the Cyprus Short-toed Treecreeper walks vertically up and down the trunks. Then there’s the Red Crossbill who likes to feast on pine nuts! And if you’re really lucky, you may even catch a rare glimpse of the Cyprus Scops Owl!

 

Crossbill. Photo: A. Stoecker

 

 

Find out more about birdwatching in Cyprus by visiting www.birdlifecyprus.org

Cover photo: Cyprus Jay. Photo: Dave Nye (BirdLife Cyprus)

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Plan Your Perfect Christmas Break: 10 of the Cosiest Places to Stay around Cyprus http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/plan-your-perfect-christmas-break-10-of-the-cosiest-places-to-stay-around-cyprus/ http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/plan-your-perfect-christmas-break-10-of-the-cosiest-places-to-stay-around-cyprus/#respond Thu, 02 Nov 2017 08:37:36 +0000 http://mycyprusinsider.com/?p=12253 Read more »]]> There’s finally a chill in the air and it looks as though it may be time to get those jackets out from the back of the cupboard in anticipation of glorious wintry weather. And with the Christmas holidays approaching, there are some fabulous houses for rent, as well as hotels and B&Bs giving you the chance to relax and unwind. With plenty of gorgeous retreats to choose from, My Cyprus Insider has done the legwork for you, and scouted out the best rural escapes to delight you!

 

1. Ample Places, Lefkara

Fancy a whole house to yourself to enjoy with friends or family? What about a fab rural retreat that boasts all the modern comforts you could wish for with a super stylish interior that may make you want to set up base forever? Then look no further than Ample Places in the picturesque village of Lefkara – famed for its lace and silverware – designed to provide both comfort and aesthetic delight, with a choice of two houses (Monadiko and Polytimo) that provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy rural life at its best as traditional living meets contemporary finesse. With cool furniture, unusual art pieces and antique objects in the mix, there’s much to delight the discerning traveller.

 

ample-places-2

 

Designed to really feel like a home away from home, raw edged simplicity and subtle luxury are what it’s all about at the two renovated traditional houses that provide plenty of space, with great living room areas for lazing, dining spaces for foodie indulgences and upstairs bedrooms for your night time shut eye.  With Polytimo being the most spacious of the two, the choice is yours!

 

ample-3

 

Where? Lefkara village, Larnaca district. Tel: (+357) 99-613771

 

2. Our House, Vavla

A small peaceful village on the foothills of the Troodos Mountains in the Larnaca district, Vavla, the tiny community of Vavla is home to the lovely ‘Our House’ B & B, built in the early 1900s and renovated with all traditional features intact. With three private double bedrooms (each with an en suite), there’s a central courtyard and barbeque area, making it ideal for a group of friends or large family to rent.

 

our-house-3-agrotourism-com

 

What makes each room special are all the antique furnishings and little touches that whisk you back in time, like the handmade crochet bedspreads. And don’t worry about feeling the winter chill; there’s underfloor heating to keep you warm! Step outside onto the open air patio and you can enjoy lovely village and mountain views. And when you call it a day, kick back in the traditional living room with the roaring fireplace set to put you to sleep in the most soothing fashion.

 

our-house-2

 

Where? Vavla Village, Larnaca district. Tel: (+357) 97 667198

 

3. Aristotelio Boutique Hotel, Pedoulas

This is a real gem of a place tucked away in the sleepy village of Pedoulas in the heart of the Marathassa Valley. Once a hotel in the early 1900s until 1940 (opened up by Aristotelis Papoute), the place was a hub of activity until its closure. Spotting its potential years later, a local couple decided to buy the building after their wedding over a decade ago, as they worked hard in the years that followed, renovating and restoring it to its former glory.

 

aristotelio-1

 

Having re-opened its doors last year, the Aristotelio Boutique Hotel oozes French country-chic charm and gorgeous rustic appeal as all things traditional are given a modern flair. With fireplaces in each and every bedroom (8 in total), the restaurant also exudes warmth with a roaring fire setting the atmosphere as you wine and dine. Ask for a room with a jacuzzi and you’ll be lost for words as you heat up on cold winter nights and really let the stress of the day, week and month, totally wash away!

 

aristotelio-2

 

Where? 10 Charalambou Epameinonda St, Pedoulas. Tel: (+357) 22-953334. 

 

4. Arsorama, Arsos

Deep in Limassol’s beautiful winegrowing district, Arsos is actually one of the biggest wine producing villages of the area. And if you want to stay overnight somewhere rustic while you explore one of the most inspiring areas of the island, Arsorama should be right up your street.

 

arsorama-2

 

A holiday home with four independent fully equipped apartments for two-four people all connected by a large central courtyard, the history of the place is fascinating in itself, with ladies in village once flocking to this courtyard to have a chat as they busied themselves with embroidery. Do take note of the stone oven in the yard, traditionally used for baking bread and flaounes (traditional Easter cheese pies) for Easter. Keep in mind that Arsorama also provides a fully equipped conference room for all types of seminars and conferences.

 

arsorama

 

Where? Arsos, Limassol district. Tel: (+357) 25-817000

 

5. Lynos Inn, Kakopetria
One of the most popular villages in the Solea Valley, famed for its gorgeous old centre and restaurants dishing up the most divine trout, Linos Inn provides the perfect place to stay amid the stone built splendour and cobbled lanes that make the village so special.

 

lynos-4

 

A complex of traditional houses located throughout the old village of Kakopetria which have been beautifully restored and transformed into rustic little Agrotourism apartments for guests to spend the night in, each room is artfully decorated in the traditional old Cypriot village way, with four poster beds, wooden-beamed ceilings, fireplaces and Jacuzzis. The inn also has a wonderful restaurant and bar for guests and visitors, while on chilly winter days, guests can warm up in the hotel’s sauna.

 

lynos-2

 

Where? 34 Palea Kakopetria Street, Kakopetria, Troodos district. Tel: (+357) 22-923161

 

6. Oinoessa, Lofou

Fancy a cosy getaway in one of the prettiest villages on the island? Then make a beeline for Oinoessa Traditional Boutique Guest Houses tucked away in the picturesque village of Lofou. A complex of two luxurious stone built houses with deluxe studio apartments complete with their own kitchen area, a few boast their own fireplace complete with a homey living room area where you’ll certainly keep warm by the flames.

 

oinoessa-1

 

A building that dates back to the middle of the 18th century, all of the studios have been lovingly restored by local artisans alongside the family owners, keeping all original features intact with a great mix of local stone and wood. Large patio doors from the studio living rooms lead out into a tree lined courtyard for moments of relaxation and respite, while you can head out for a walk in the village and put your best foot forward through the maze of cobbled streets that tell tales of a rich winemaking history.

 

oinoessa-3

 

Where? Centre of Lofou village, Limassol district. Tel: (+357) 99-373371. 

 

7. Lyhnos, Askas
A real haven in the very quiet village of Askas, visitors from near and far have descend on this little hotel to put their feet up in cosy but cool traditional style. Lyhnos is as cosy as it is quaint, with a history that dates back two hundred years. A gorgeous village house that was passed down through the generations, new rooms were recently added to what was one of the most well-known mansions in the villages.

 

lyhnos-2

 

Bought over in a state of abandonment while still exuding its past charm, it was restored with heaps of artistry, love and respect for the past, highlighting its architectural splendours. With modern amenities and streamlined contemporary furniture and décor mixing with tradition, you can take your pick from four rooms, three of which have fireplaces and cosy seating areas where you can indulge in moments of pure bliss.

 

lyhnos-1

 

Where? 1 Michael Koutsofta St, Askas, Pitsillia region. Tel: (+357) 22-642641. 

 

8. Palatakia Village Houses, Kato Drys, Larnaca district

A relatively new kid on the block (or more correctly, in the village!) this gorgeous sanctuary oozes the chic kind of charm that will leave you wide eyed, catering to the needs of even the most discerning guest. A boutique agrotourism complex of restored traditional houses in the quaint and beautifully kept Kato Drys village, the four rural houses that make up the Palatakia Village Houses date back 300 years, transformed into rooms and studios.

 

palatakia-2

 

The attention to detail can hardly go unnoticed at this place, with beautiful lighting around the complex, artwork by local artists adorning the walls of each room, and contemporary furniture adding a really modern touch. As old and new fuses in the most fabulous fashion, traditional stone exteriors give way to streamlined modern and chic interiors, that are both simple and yet still warm and welcoming.

 

palatakia-1

 

Where? Kato Drys Village, Larnaca. Tel: (+357) 99-934807.

 

9. Casale Panayiotis, Kalopanayiotis

If the idea of a rural boutique mountain hotel decorated perfectly sounds like your cup of tea, then Casale Panayiotis deep in the Marathassa Valley is the perfect choice. The tasteful elegance and sophisticated rustic charm of this traditional complex of traditional houses transformed into a magnificent boutique hotel, guarantees that visitors will not only leave with a genuine taste of rural Cyprus; but with a luxuriously modern and opulent twist following recent renovations! Some rooms boast fireplaces and even, a Jacuzzi, with spectacular mountain views to leave you awe struck.

 

casale-1

 

With the village of Kalopanayiotis having earned a reputation as one of the most brilliantly revamped villages on the island, there’s plenty of exploring to do and places to see. But if it’s just relaxation that you’re after, you may be tempted to stay in and enjoy the peaceful tranquillity of the hotel and the panoramic views while indulging in a treatment at the highly acclaimed Myrianthousa spa. And with ample space for events and a restaurant that will leave the most die-hard foodies drooling, this gorgeous remote retreat is also a unique spot for weddings or conferences.

 

casale-2

 

Where? 80 Markou Drakou St, Kalopanayiotis, Nicosia district. Tel: (+357) 22-952444

 

10. Apokryfo, Lofou

Hideaways don’t get much better than this. Apokryfo  boutique accommodation is made up of a cluster of old stone houses painstakingly and beautifully renovated by a local architect and his interior designer wife, and once you get there, it won’t take you long to realise that it’s a real labour of love. Whether you want to cosy up with your partner in a room with a roaring fireplace, or fancy booking a whole house with friends and family, there’s something for every taste.

 

apokryfo

 

Awarded the 2010 Condé Nast Traveller Awards for ‘Best Traditional Hotel of Cyprus’, be sure to indulge in local delicacies at the hotel’s fabulous Agrino restaurant – dishing up a range of fancies that change with the season with an emphasis on delicious local produce. And when you’re ready to unleash the explorer in you, you’ll be pleased to know that the hotel is bang in the middle of the Limassol winegrowing district, surrounded by undulating vine terraces and plenty of boutique wineries and quaint cobblestone villages to explore.

 

apokryfo-2

 

Where? Lofou village, Limassol district. Tel: (357) 25-813777

Cover photo: Ample Places

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The Loveliest Village Shops you’ve got to Discover around Cyprus http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/the-loveliest-village-shops-youve-got-to-discover-around-cyprus/ http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/the-loveliest-village-shops-youve-got-to-discover-around-cyprus/#respond Tue, 31 Oct 2017 09:23:50 +0000 http://mycyprusinsider.com/?p=14884 Read more »]]> Want to buy traditional produce from a village shop but don’t want to feel like you’re walking straight into a tourist trap? Here are some little treasures located by the My Cyprus Insider team bound to make your day!

 

1. To Mandratzi tis Giagas, Kato Drys

Just a stone’s throw from the gorgeous Lefkara village, Kato Drys has been increasing in popularity in recent years, with its gorgeous web of cobbled lanes home to some lovely museums and village eateries.

 

 

And now, there’s yet another reason to visit the village, as To Mandratzi tis Giagas lures in visitors after genuine village produce and local delicacies. From the jarred spoon sweets to the tasty pies, everything on offer has been made in the village in the purest way possible, with owners intent on fusing all things traditional and pure with a modern touch.

 

 

Where? Centre of Kato Drys village, Larnaca district. Tel: (+357) 97 807307

 

2. Dypiros Artos, Peristerona

If you hit the road from Nicosia to Troodos, keep your eyes peeled for this place as you travel through the area. Located just off the main road in the village of Peristerona, it’s packed with local delights, run by the lovely Maroulla Savvides who is famed throughout Peristerona and beyond for her brilliant halloumi pies and other baked delights.

 

 

Have a good look at all the treats before stocking up on bread and sweet pastries (the tahini pies are to die for). And you can even get hold of olive oil, wine, nuts, pulses and much more!

 

 

Where? Peristerona village, Nicosia district. Tel: (+357) 22 822880/ 99-524801

 

3. Pramatouthkia, Little Treasures, Kalopanayiotis

Pramatouthkia is, as the name suggests, all about ‘Little Treasures’ in the gorgeous mountain village of Kalopanayiotis.

 

 

The cute little shop is packed with the finest Cypriot produce wrapped up in really funky sleek packaging that makes for a perfect gift. From jams to nuts, body creams to essential oils, they all pay tribute to the island’s natural produce.

 

 

Where? Centre of Kalopanayiotis village, Marathassa Valley.

 

4. Xenis o Poyiatzis, Lofou

Lofou village is well known as one of the most beautiful stone-built villages in the Limassol winegrowing region, but not everyone knows about the existence of the lovely Xenis o Poyiatzis,(Xenis the Painter) coffee shop and traditional herb shop.

 

 

Prepare for a treat as you open the wooden door because the shelves are filled with just about every wild herb imaginable. Picked from the surrounding area by herbalist, George Ellinas, each has its own special properties, from aiding digestion to facilitating detoxification. Be sure to ask for a delightful brew with a dash of Cyprus oregano, rose or mint, while you can also get hold of some tasty local nibbles including some great ‘paximadia’ to take back home.

Where? Centre of Lofou village, Limassol district.

 

 

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An Insider Guide to Making the most of Autumn in Cyprus http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/an-insider-guide-to-making-the-most-autumn-in-cyprus/ http://mycyprusinsider.com/cyprus-uncovered/an-insider-guide-to-making-the-most-autumn-in-cyprus/#respond Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:35:11 +0000 http://mycyprusinsider.com/?p=12322 Read more »]]> The cooler weather has finally set in, and as we reach for those jackets and coats, there’s something rather exciting about heading into the great outdoors and feeling the crunch of crimson leaves beneath our feet. Whether you fancy a quick escape or would love to put your feet up for the night in one of the quaint areas around the island, My Cyprus Insider has a few suggestions to keep you busy!

And if you crave an added lift as you make your way towards autumnal outdoor bliss, be sure to indulge in warm cup of Starbucks Teavana Full Leaf Tea, whether you pop into your closest Starbucks store on route or enjoy a freshly brewed cup at home before you head out on your adventure!

 

brewed-teavana

 

1. Put your feet up for the night in the countryside
Most of us living in Cyprus tend to usually frequently escape the daily grind with great weekends away in the summer months, then slipping into a slightly lazier mode come autumn and winter. But the fact of the matter is, now is an absolutely fabulous time of year to enjoy a fun break in the countryside, with the weather neither too hot or too cold for rural shenanigans. With countless Agrotourism hotels around the country calling out for attention, just visit the official Agrotourism website for plenty of inspiration.

 

Traditional wooden window from a house in Cyprus with foliage

 

2. Get your heart racing & warm up on a long country walk
With plenty of nature trails weaving their way across the Cyprus countryside, this is a great time to get those walking shoes on and put your best foot forward. Wake up bright and early, and before you leave the house, energise mind and body with a Starbucks Teavana English Breakfast; an all-time classic delicious full bodied infusion with malty and oaky undertones. If you’d rather kickstart your day with all the goodness of green tea, then the Starbucks Teavana Mint Citrus is bound to go down a treat, with green tea leaves accentuated by lemon verbena, lemongrass, and a hint of spearmint.

 

Father and son walking during the hiking activities in autumn forest at sunset

 

Where to go once you’ve enjoyed your caffeine fix? We suggest doing something rather different and heading along a nature trail right by the sea. From Cape Greco National Park on the east of the island, to the Akamas peninsula in the west, most trails have been landscaped on gentle gradients and are circular. They are all well signposted at the start, with additional wooden signposts along the way often pointing towards specific flora and notable geological features along the route. Find out more about the nature trails around the island here.

 

3. Have a feast at one of the island’s many picnic sites
Once the autumn leaves begin to cover the ground in a blanket of crimson hues, there are plenty of great sites around the island to take your picnic basket, indulging you taste buds and your senses away from the incessant buzz of the island’s main cities. With Platania in the Troodos district standing as one of the island’s most popular picnic sites, what many people don’t realise is that the island is also dotted with other fabulous places to enjoy an outdoor feast, from the gorgeous Xyliatos, to the breath-taking Stavros tis Psokas, and the list goes on.

 

Autumn landscape with yellow maple leaves on the ground from Troodos forest in Cyprus

 

Before you go, fill up your thermos flasks with a warming tea to enjoy in the great outdoors. The Starbucks Teavana Chai is perfect for when you’re feeling the chill; a black tea with cinnamon, black pepper and cardamom to warm you up! Read more about some great picnic sites around the island here.

 

4. Wash all your stress away at a gorgeous waterfall

Beach season may be over, but who says you can’t splash about a little in the mountains in the cooler weather? Most people know about the gorgeous Caledonia falls, but Milomeri is also a great option – actually the highest in the country – with the water falling from a height of 20 metres. Situated in the Kryos Potamos river bed southeast of Pano Platres at an altitude of 980 metres, it’s surrounded by a density of pines much like Caledonia, but the difference with this particularly cool spot is that you don’t have to embark on any trek to get here if you don’t wish to walk much.

 

waterfall
Then there’s Chandara Falls, surrounded by the Trooditissa National Forest, located on the Trooditissa river bed north of the village of Fini, at an altitude of 1035 metres and dropping from a height of 8 metres. Read more about gorgeous waterfalls in Cyprus here. Feel like a refreshment to warm up as you call it a day? Then pass by your closest Starbucks on your way back to your home or hotel and kick back in the characteristically cosy atmosphere of Starbucks stores to enjoy a big relaxing cup of Starbucks Teavana Chamomile, a delicious mix of chamomile, lemongrass, lemon balsam and and rosepetals.

 

About Starbucks Teavana range

Starbucks searches for the most exceptional whole tea leaves the world has to offer – visiting the most fertile regions, selecting only the youngest, freshest leaves. Starbucks then brews, tastes, brews and tastes again, taking up to 12 months to select the very best ones to offer you the best tasting cup every time.

 

starbucks-teavana-full-leaf-tea

 

The Teavana range comprises of select green tea, black tea and herbal tea varieties in tasty combinations inspired by cultures with a centuries old tradition in tea. With unmatched combinations of ingredients and aromas, they energize and a provide a feeling of daily wellness.

Teavana was chosen as the trademark of Starbucks teas since 2012 and Teavana’s commitment to sourcing only the highest quality teas and herbs from around the world is perfectly complemented by Starbuck’s philosophy, with its emphasis on quality.

 

teas

 

Head to your closest Starbucks store to try the new range of Teavana green teas (Mint Citrus & Jasmine Pearls), Black Tea Varieties (English Breakfast, Earl Grey and Chai) and Herbal Teas (hibiscus and chamomile). Or pick up a box of your favourite variety to enjoy at home any time you wish!

For more info visit: www.teavana.com or follow Teavana on facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

This is a My Cyprus Insider sponsored story.

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