While almost every village in rural Cyprus boasts its own unique beauty and charm, specific areas have gained a very special reputation for their fine – and rather tasty – produce. In Larnaca, a cluster of nine villages collectively known as the ‘Rural Larnaca Honey Villages’ are famed for their honeymaking traditions. Namely Kato Drys, Kato Lefkara, Layia, Melino, Odou, Ora, Vavla, Vavatsinia and Agioi Vavatsinias, heaps of inhabitants here are passionate about beekeeping and bees, and the keen environmentalists among us will be well aware of the important role these honey-makers play in our ecosystem. For an unusual day out, make the most of authentic experiences in the area, whether you want to become a beekeeper for a day or take in more knowledge at a beekeeping museum. Here is the Insider lowdown!
1. Get better acquainted with the traditions of the area at the Kato Drys Bee & Embroidery Museum
Follow the signs to the Bee and Embroidery Museum and it’s natural that you’ll probably have little idea what to expect. After all, a museum with a focus on bees and embroidery is a rather quirky concept! But that’s the magic about this place, it really does bring history and culture to life in a fascinating way, with the owner on hand to guide you around the rooms dedicated to the areas’ traditions and customs. Aside from a dedication to beekeeping, you can enjoy a trip down memory lane as images of Kato Drys and its people brought to life with a collection of agricultural, livestock and apian tools, as well as all sorts of furniture and general household items on display.
2. Become a beekeeper for a day at Ecophysis in Vavla
Forget about your normal job for a day and familiarise yourselves with a whole new world out in Vavla where Ecophysis gives the whole family the chance to put on their beekeeping suits as you’re taken out to inspect the hives. Spot the Queen bee and the drones, observe the Bee Workers doing what they know best, browse through the honey and pollen storerooms and learn how important organization is for the welfare of these social insects. Do keep in mind that experiential activities depend on the time of year that you visit – in the autumn months, lots of raw bottling takes place, before the creation of new frames for the hives in the upcoming winter months.
3. Visit Oros Machairas honey farm in Melini and take some sweet purchases home with you
It’s cutting edge, modern and brand new, but it also sheds light on the area’s honeymaking traditions in a brilliant fashion. Oros Machairas in Melini educates visitors about the importance of protecting bees, and the Philippou family – who have been busy beekeeping since 1983 – are very proud of their award-winning honey. Beyond pots of honey, Oros Machairas also produces some prime bee products on its new premises like soaps, propolis, royal jelly and more!