Village life and local information, our secret paradise.
If you holiday in Cyprus’s Lageia you have it all – mountains and sea. Lageia itself, is a thoroughly picturesque little village in the foothills of the Troodos mountains in the Larnaca District. It has less than 25 permanent inhabitants (more come up to their second homes here on the weekends). Drive 20 or thirty minutes South and you are at the seaside. You have a choice of Zygi or Governor’s Beach (my preference is for the far Westerly end of Governor’s Beach, but many people prefer the more Easterly Kalymnos area with its large fish restaurant).
But Lageia itself and its surrounding areas has many attractions to visit. Geologists will make a Bee line for the rock face in Layia village where scientists have deduced that Cyprus first came out of the sea many millions of years ago when plates of the earth’s crust crashed in to each other. Those of you who are interested in bird watching or nature photography should take yourselves down to the little nature reserve near the village church and if you are fit enough to enjoy hilly walks you can delight in the mountain tracks and paths.
For different villages Pete Gallagher of Layia Village Crafts has made a number of Bee Hotels destined to help bees pollinate and allow are planet to continue its existence, Pete were so enthralled with the beauty of the area that he decided that this was the village paradise in which he would like to settle.
Pete had a house built in Layia and set up he’s own workshop, producing a fascinating range of arts and crafts from raw materials from the village. Pop down to the centre of the village located on the right, and you will see the Layia Village Nature Retreat come in and learn about bee hotels and see their beautiful range of creative artifacts and new insect habitats.
You will doubtless want to spend several days in this holiday paradise. There is so much to see while being far from the maddening crowd. Where should you stay. First choice must be the Layia Lodge Nature Retreat, holiday Complex which comprises eight self-contained apartments of different sizes, the smallest catering for two people and the largest for six. Phone peter357 97 643541. For availability and prices. There are also a couple of guest houses on the outskirts of Lageia. The Layia Lodge Nature Retreat has the advantage over the others of having a wooden walkway and bridge into the valley with a Jurassic feel to it as you are now in the heart of Mother nature.
Lageia has its own Kafestiatorion or Restaurant Café with fresh deliveries of vegetables.
Lageia is itself at the center of the new honey routes organised by the Ministry of Tourism (the honey equivalent of “wine routes). Close to Lageia you have just outside the neighbouring village of Vavla, Ecophysics, beekeepers who organise special events for the public with a video presentation of how honey is made, a visit to the beehives (full protective clothing supplied) and culminating in a picnic of local honey and other natural products.
Not many miles away, you might like to take a dusty track to the abandoned village of Parsata. Once the miners at the copper mines of Kalavasos lived there. These ancient mines are themselves interesting to see. Now only the little church in Parsata lives on. It is regularly cleaned and maintained. On certain occasions you may not find yourself entirely alone in that abandoned village. You might hear the bark of a sheep dog. Then you will spot Tasos , the goat herd who is tending his flock grazing in the wild without food additives or antibiotics that you might expect in Western Europe.
Drive north from Lageia along the honey routes past the villages of Ora and Melini and you find yourself in the heart of the Troodos mountains. Agros is a fascinating village to visit. It’s whole economy there is based on the rose, not any rose, but the Damascus rose.
Down the road, near the olive mill, his wife, Loula, makes halloumi and anari cheese from their farm home. You can buy halloumi there in kilo jars, but she will happily vaccum pack smaller amounts for you if you wish. A visit to this cottage industry is well worth the short drive.
Once there you might carry on down the road to the village of Choirokitia. It’s about a fifteen minute drive from Lageia. It’s a much larger village than Lageia and actually has some shops; these include my favourite butcher in the area. But there is more to Choirokitia than some shops and a good butcher. It is a place that you should definitely plan to visit during your stay in Lageia.It is the site of a Neolithic settlement formed around 7000 BC. To see the original ancient stones you need to undertake quite a steep climb, but down below an interesting model village has been built based on the archeologists’ discoveries. The houses contain replicas of artifacts found in the ruins and a story board describes the lives of these ancient people as deduced by the archaeologists.