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Best Road Trips in Cyprus

Ayia Napa - Protaras to Machairas Monastery

ROUTE 3.
From Famagusta to Machairas

via Larnaca Mountainous Villages


From the crystal clear waters of the southeast coast of Cyprus to the verdant green forests of the mountainous heart of the island (Machairas Forest), the Blue Route has it all. The route starts in the Famagusta region and includesProtaras, Cape Greko and Ayia Napa, all found within a 15-minute drive radius. Enjoy a swim in crystal waters or a sail on yachting destinations, relax on the sandy beaches, venture into sea caves and have fun with sea sports and Waterparks, or explore the Mediterranean ocean with diving experiences. Experience amazing sunsets, followed by a cosmopolitan nightlife.

Follow the route to Larnaca City, a walkable city, since you can explore this charming city on foot. Walk along the Finikoudes Beach, watch the ships sail on the Promanade or enjoy a coffee, delicious food and traditional cuisines in the cafes, restaurants and taverns that stretch along the seafront. Walk long Piale Pasha street to Mackenzie Beach, where nightlife thrives or continue to the Salt Lake for a unique experience. Alternatively, form Finikoudes walk to the city’s square and for a refreshing shopping experience.

Drive along the sea front, via the old Larnaca Limassol Road E321, and visit the fishing village of Zygi for a taste of the freshest and best seafood on the island at the local taverns by the Harbour. From there set out to the mountainous area of Larnaca.

Discover tradition, nature and charm in the quaint villages, decorated by narrow cobbled streets dotted along the mountains of the area. Discover the most famous tradition of the island, handmade lace embroidery practiced at the village of Lefkara, as well as the delicate filigree silver. Continue on to Kato Drys, Tochni and Skarinou and enjoy picturesque tranquil nature encased in history and traditions. Experience Agrotourism at the many accommodations found in the mountainous area of Larnaca. Witness the rural life of the island, taste traditional cuisine at the taverns, sample exquisite local wine at the wineries, venture on to Nature trails and Dams and discover the islands flora and fauna. For the sport lovers the route offers a unique cycling experience. Meet the locals and experience authentic hospitality. Learn about the island’s history at UNESCO Heritage sites. Along the route find activities such as the Camel Park and the Golden Donkey Farm for fun filled day.

End your adventure at the Machairas Monastery and Machairas Forest. See up close Ecclesiastical Treasures such as unique frescoes. At the Monastery experience the Greek Orthodox faith, housed in magnificent architecture ensuing tranquility and peace. Talk to monks and learn about the religion and the island’s history. All while being surrounded by a verdant forest. Explore the surrounding nature at Nature Trails and enjoy a picnic at the picnic sites.

1. Protaras


PROTARAS 1
Start your journey a the Protaras - Paralimni, on the southeastern fringe of Cyprus. The main town is Paralimni , with Protara holding the title as the tourist area, found on the eastern coast of Paralimni. Experience the first sunrise on Europe and explore the 10km long coast, filled with fantastic golden sand beaches, bathed in crystal clear waters. From the district of ’Kapparis to the area of ‘Konnos’ discover the many beaches accredited with the Blue Flag status. The crown jewel of the area is Fig Tree Bay, where on the headland of the bay, the recently revealed glass-covered Hellenistic tombs are distinguished. Activities such as water sports include skiing, paragliding, snorkeling and scuba diving, or for a more relaxing experience hop on to one of the boats waiting along the piers for an unforgettable trip in the Mediterranean ocean. Enjoy sunset strolls or bicycle rides on the promenade, visit the picturesque harbors of Agia Triada and Agios Nicolaos. Venture on to nature trails for seamless views of the vast sea, discover rare species of flora and fauna and unearth some history at small chapels dotted along the coast. Visit the chapel of Agioi Saranta set in a mountain cave or the Agios Ioannis chapel hidden in a valley. For a breathtaking view of Protaras climb up the 153 step hill to the chapel of Profitis Elias.

Enjoy a wide range of restaurants, taverns and pubs fit for every taste bud. Have a relaxing coffee at the local cafes or dance away the night at the clubs. Take your pick from the many hotels and self-catering apartments available to cater all your needs and demands.

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Do not miss!!!

Green Bay Diving Site

Green Bay Diving Site

Explore the deep Mediterranean Sea and its wonders with a dive into the blue. With water temperatures which never drop below 16 degrees, diving into the crystal clear waters of the island is available all year long. Green Bay is a highlight of Protaras as it is a unique diving and snorkeling site with crystal clear waters and an abundance of sea life. Fit for all levels of scuba divers, even for the novices who wish to explore the undersea for the first time.

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Where to Stay?

Protaras Hotels

Louis St. Elias Resort & Waterpark

St. Elias Hotel & Waterpark is set in tranquil surroundings within a 15-minute walk of Protaras sandy beaches. It rests on a total of 40,400 m² of beautiful gardens and has 3 pools, a small water park, and a spa. The lively Agia Napa is a 15-minute drive away. Guests can choose among a traditional Greek tavern or the main restaurant for lunch and dinner, while there is also a a main bar and a pool bar. Certified Cypriot breakfast is served in the morning. Quality imported alcoholic drinks are included in the Ultra All Inclusive package.

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2. CAPE GREKO N. PARK


CAPE GREKO NATIONAL PARK
Just 10 minutes’ drive away between Protaras and Ayia Napa is the National Park of Cape Greko. A seaside natural haven, where the rocky headland is laced with sandy coves forming sea caves and a once in a lifetime experience. For an adventure filled day follow one of the various signposted nature trails weaving through the area and enjoy the rugged, wild beauty of nature as well as discovering the area’s flora and fauna. We recommend the Agioi Anrgyroi- Thlassines Spilies (Sea Caves) trail which takes an hour and a half to complete, which begins at the whitewashed quaint chapel of Agioi Anargyroi and takes you long the coast to the magical sea caves, passes by the ‘Kamara tou Koraka’ natural bridge. For a shorter circular trial, the Aphrodite trail, takes you on a 3km long walk along the coast. If you are looking for a challenge, trek along the circular sea cave route, past rugged, bumpy and steep peaks. Regardless which trail you choose, the spectacular views of the crystal blue waters, merging into tall rocks and wild nature are guaranteed to take your breath away. Alternatively, cycle through the designated paths and enjoy the coast on wheels!

Mirroring the surrounding nature, the unique building of the Cape Greko Environmental Center found in the area, houses information and exhibitions of the land and marine ecosystem of the Cape Greko peninsula. Visit it to discover the aquariums and exhibitions and learn more about the nature of the island.

Experience firsthand the marine life of the Mediterranean Sea by going for a dive or snorkeling in the deep blue underwater of the coast. Visit the historic 19 th century lighthouse of the area or visit the picturesque beach of Konnos. The Blue Flag awarded beach of Konnos, comprises steep pine covered slopes merge into the crystal clear waters. Enjoy the breathtaking view from the top, or walk along the pine filled pathways to the beach. From there access the National Forest Park, which belongs to the Natura 2000 network.

End your days in Kavos (Cavos) watching the sun go down taking in the breathtaking view of the region.

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Do not miss!!!

Cape Greko Environmental Information Education Center

Cape Greco Info Center

A unique minimalistic building, emulating the rusty surroundings houses the Cape Greko Enviromental Centre. Awarded with an architectural award for the building design, the sleek one-storey landmark encases three aquariums, hosting the marine life found in Cape Greko and various exhibitions of the land, ecosystem and found within the waters as well as the terrestrial wealth. At the Centre experience staff delivers tours to students and organized groups, teaching about Cape Greko (Kavo Greko),Cyprus and the natural environment of the island.

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Where to Stay?

Cape Greko Hotels

Atlantica Mare Village

Set in a privileged, beachfront location between cosmopolitan Ayia Napa and Cape Cavo Greco park, Atlantica Mare Village boasts a private swimming pool and gardens extending to the sandy, blue-flag beach. Free WiFi is available in public areas. Guests will find elegantly designed and modernly furnished rooms, located either in the bungalow area or at ground or upper floor residences, within the resort. The resort offers a full range of services including 24-hour reception, luggage transportation, pillow selection and free parking. Guests will also find a mini market in the hotel. Free WiFi is available throughout the premises.

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3. AYIA NAPA


AYIA NAPA 1
The next stop is the rapidly developing fishing village of Ayia Napa. Once a small village, now a tourist hotspot with worldwide fame. Similar to the neighboring locations of Protaras and Cape Greko, Ayia Napa has to offer golden sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and plenty of natural beauty.

Take in the sun at one of the 14 golden beaches, swim in the turquoise crystal waters all awarded with a Blue Flag, and have some fun with all the waters sports offered at the beach. Alternatively, sail around the coast of Ayia Napa in one of the cruises available. For the more adventurous visitors, the wild nature can be explored at one of the hiking or biking nature trails, with copious of unique flora and fauna.

AYIA NAPA 2
Discover the rich history of the island at Makronissos Archeological Tombs, learn more about the ecclesiastical background at the Monastery, the Old and New Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary or discover the small rural chapels and churches dotted around the area. Other activities include the Municipal Museum ‘ Thalassa’, the Venetian Aqueducts, the Love Bridge and the famous ‘I Love Ayia Napa’ sculpture located at the Central square. Take in the salty air at the picturesque Harbor and enjoy the vast blue ocean.

Apart from the nature and history the town has to offer, Ayia Napa offers a cosmopolitan life. Visit one of the many restaurants and taverns guaranteed to satisfy any taste bud with local and international cuisines available, or experience the famous Ayia Napa nightlife for some fun and pleasure at the pubs and nightclubs. Finally take a stroll around the trendy boutiques and souvenir shops for a special shopping experience.

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Do not miss!!!

Ayia Napa Waterpark

Sculpture Park & Water Park

Sculpture Park
Expanding across a 20.000 square meter area, on the crossroad of Cavo Greco Avenue and Kryou Nerou, is the Sculpture Park. A one of a kind park which blends immense natural beauty, breathtaking views and sculptures created by world famed artists. A true gem for Ayia Napa and the wider Famagusta region.

Water Park
Dive into a mythical journey with family and friends at the WaterWorld Waterpark. Create unforgettable memories filled with fun and adventure more than 30 waterslides inspired by Ancient Greece and attractions fit for all ages! The biggest themed waterpark in Europe, awaits for you for a fun filled day or to celebrate any occasion. Take a break at the restaurant, offering a wide selection of food, or refresh yourselves at the beverage outlets.

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Where to Stay?

Napa Mermaid Hotel & Suites

Napa Mermaid Hotel & Suites

Located 100 m from Grecian Beach, Napa Mermaid provides fine dining and boutique rooms overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It features 2 pools, a health club with hot tub and a 24-hour reception. The 2 restaurants and bars offer spectacular sea views and serve a variety of local and international cuisine.The bar offers live music almost every night. Other facilities of the modern Napa Design Hotel include a spa area and tennis court. Direct buses to Paralimni, Protaras, Larnaca and Nicosia stop just in front of the hotel. Taxi transfer upon request and at extra charge is available and free parking is possible.

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4. LARNACA


LARNACA 1
Follow the coast line to the longest inhabited region of the island, with a history dating back 10,00 years. The beautiful, compact city of Larnaca. A city with an authentic old soul which encases rich ancient culture, architecture and modern life in one. A charming Mediterranean city that can be explored on foot!

The heart of the city is the coastline of Finikoudes, with a promenade where ships sail in and away and a coast lined with tall palm trees, making it a reference point for the city. There you will find restaurants, cafes and pubs where you can enjoy a meal, a drink or your coffee with picturesque views. Take a stroll on the pier and feel the salty air as you watch the ships sail away. Walk along Piale Pasha, pass the ancient castle where you will stumble across quaint neighborhoods and fish taverns, which offer fresh fish by the sea. Continue on to Kastela Beach, a Blue flag awarded beach offering all amenities. Next to it is Mackenzie beach, a coast lined with clubs and restaurants which come to life at night and offer a chance to dance the night away by the sea. There you can encounter the unique experience of airplanes landing and taking off to all parts of the world!

LARNACA 2
Parallel to Finikoudes beach, is the shopping center. High street shops, boutiques and souvenir shops are bustling with life and offer goods suitable for all tastes. Just a few minutes walking distance away is the magical Salt Lake, where during winter and spring it’s colored in pink by the flocks of flamingos that visit each year. Walk along the nature trail by the lake and enjoy the wild nature and picturesque views of the lake. A notable site near the Lake is the Hala Sultan Mosque, an important place of pilgrimage for Moslems.

In the heart of the city is the Saint Lazaros Church, the city’s patron saint. Walk around the square and admire the rich history it has to offer. At the start of Finikoudes beach find the Europe square, decorated with a fountain and lined by neoclassical buildings which house municipal authorities. Often events and bazaars are held at the square. In the shopping center, you will find Ermou Square, surrounded by cafes and shops, offering the cosmopolitan air of a European city.

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Do not miss!!!

Zenobia Wreck Diving

Zenobia Wreck (Diving)

It was June 1980, when a Swedish ferry named Zenobia, filled with 104 trailers and trucks sunk, 1.5km off the coast of Larnaca’s fishing harbor, forming one of the top 10 wreck dives in the world. At a depth of 42m, with a visibility of up to 50 m and temperatures ranging from 16 o C to 27 o C ins summer, the Zenobia wreck offers a reef inhabited by many species of fish including grouper, barracuda, kingfish, jacks and tiger fish as well as moray eels, stingrays, turtles and octopus. A unique experience for those who wish to explore. You can also view the wreck from above, with glass-bottom boats sailing daily from the Larnaca Marina. A festival is held annually in celebration of the famous wreck, with a week-long program of activities and events.



Where to Stay?

Qbic City Hotel

Qbic City Hotel

Situated 200 m from Finikoudes Promenade in the centre of Larnaca, Qbic City Hotel features a restaurant and free WiFi throughout the property. Foinikoudes beach can be reached in 3-minutes on foot. Guests will find a cozy space with inviting decor, the Mingle Experience Café, in the premises. Breakfast, brunch and dinner can be enjoyed there. Guests can also enjoy a variety of healthy meals made by Cypriot local ingredients. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar and the top-floor terrace with pool with hydromassage jets and views of the sea and the old town. Saint Lazarus Church is 200 m from Qbic City hotel, while Agios Lazaros Byzantine Museum is 200 m from the property. The nearest airport is Larnaca International Airport, 8 km from Qbic City Hotel.

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5. Zygi Fishing Shelter & Marina


ZYGI VILLAGE & HARBOUR
Ride along the old coastal road from Larnaca to Limassol and come across the village of Zygi. The small village of Zygi is known for its fishing shelter. Even though small, the village’s marina was reconstructed in 2012 , funded by the European Union, to accommodate small and medium fishing boats, making it a ‘hotspot’ for a variety of vessels. Surrounded by fishing taverns, many of which offer children’s facilities, Zygi’s fishing shelter is the ideal location to enjoy the freshest fish by the sea. Take a stroll after your meal or a traditional fishing trip and learn firsthand the tales the fishermen have to tell while demonstrating traditional fishing methods.

Just 20 minutes before you approach Zygi, visit the Mazotos Camel Park, for a memorable experience.

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Do not miss!!!

Camel Park

Camel Park

Founded in 1998, the Camel Park originated as a camel farm, but is now home to more than 100 animals, including ostriches, goats, deer, ponies, wallabies, lamas, alpacas, lemurs, turtles, fish and birds. Meet the 60 camels and take a ride with them. Ride the donkey or the ponies and have an unforgettable day! Activities include feeding the animals, with provided food bags. A playground is also available for children. Enjoy a refreshment by the pool, as well as a snack, a cold or warm drink. Soak up the exotic nature and picturesque surroundings. A restaurant offering lunch and dinner is also available.

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Where to Stay?

Atlantis Gardens

Atlantis Gardens

Featuring pool views, Atlantis Gardens in Mazotos features accommodation, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, a bar, a garden and a terrace. The apartment features both WiFi and private parking free of charge. Guests at Atlantis Gardens can enjoy a continental breakfast. The accommodation offers a children's playground. Atlantis Gardens provides an ironing service, as well as business facilities like fax and photocopying. A car rental service is available at the apartment. Petuntas Mazotos Beach is 200 m from Atlantis Gardens, while Camel park is 2.8 km from the property. The nearest airport is Larnaca International Airport, 16 km from the accommodation.

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6. TOCHNI VILLAGE


TOCHNI VILLAGE
Reach the first mountainous village of the route, Tochni village. A large community located between Larnaca and Limassol, considered as one of the oldest on the island. A popular agrotourism refuge, enjoy the quaint beauty and traditional architecture with preserved houses built in Tochni stone. With verdant, lush nature, Tochni is a popular destination for climbing, cycling and walking especial during springtime where the blooming surroundings offer picturesque moments. Enjoy the panoramic views and stunning sceneries at the designated three kilometer circular nature trail.

At the village visit the several churches, a notable one is the unique church on a bridge. Above the "Arkatzin" (river), which traverses the village, is the Saint Constantine and Helen church, said to have been founded by Saint Helen herself. Find the Ecclesiastical Museum next to the church and admire the exhibits which include religious relics, silver and bronze sacred vessels, a piece of the Holy Cross and a grand cross.

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Do not miss!!!

CHOIROKITIA NEOLITHIC SETTLEMENT (UNESCO)

Choirokoitia Neolithic Settlement (UNESCO)

Just before Tochni village, discover the most historic site of the island. A testimonial of the rich and long history of Cyprus is the Choirokitia Neolithic Settlement. Part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List, the well preserved Neolithic settlement contains 5 dwellings, reconstructed based on the Neolithic construction molds, using the same construction methods, materials and tools found on the site. Hence, ensuring the correct representation of the building of the time. Tour around the magnificent settlement and travel back in time.

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Where to Stay?

Mespilo House

Mespilo House

Situated on Cyprus’s village Tochni, Mespilo House, Panoramic Apartments With Breakfast offers self-catering apartments with a fully fitted kitchen. Bicycle rental and a Cypriot Tavern with dining terrace are available. The complex is accessed by a slightly steep foot path and the Tochni Tavern where the breakfast buffet is served and the shared pool at the tavern is a 3-minute walk away. Staff at Mespilo House, Panoramic Apartments With Breakfast’s tour desk can arrange upon rental of mountain, road or E-bikes and also yoga classes. Tochni Tavern serves traditional Cypriot cuisine, which guests can enjoy on the shaded outdoor terrace of the tavern overlooking the village.

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7. SKARINOU VILLAGE


SKARINOU VILLAGE

Maintaining its traditional character with stone built houses and narrow streets which lead to squares and natural openings. Houses, built on different levels due to the ground morphology, with central courtyards adorned with blooming nature and large entrance doors, create a picturesque setting.

The small village of Skarinou merges this traditional architecture with modernization, all adorned with lush natural beauty. Walk along the streets of the village and admire the women embroidering or knitting in their courtyards, making the local cheese of halloumi and learn bout the traditions, culture and customs of the island. Visit the church of Guiding Virgin Mary standing proud at the village entrance, the chapels of Saint George and Apostole Loucas. Find the ‘Environmental Information Centre of Larnaca Mountainous Area’ and learn more about the 18 rural areas of the Larnaca region. Discover the symbolic animal for the island, at the Golden Donkey Farm and the Dipotamos Donkey Farm, enjoy a ride with the donkeys and sample donkey milk. Discover also the Donkey milk beauty products and learn about its unique properties.

Do not miss!!!

Golden Donkeys Farm

Golden Donkeys Farm

Golden Donkeys Farm is located in Skarinou village, halfway between Larnaca and Limassol. When building it, we were based on our love and care for sustaining the Cyprus traditions. And we really wanted to help preserve the heritage of Cyprus – friendly and industrious animals, which many centuries faithfully served the Cypriots. After all, it is the Cyprus donkeys, who were the indispensable tool: they transported food and wine, they were the primary mode of transportation on the island for many centuries, it was the donkeys that helped in the production of olive oil, turning the heavy millstones, and in the manufacture of wine, carrying grapes from mountain plantations.

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Where to Stay?

SKARINOU HOTEL

Traditional Village Houses

Situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, these rustic, self-catering houses in Skarinou offer an outdoor pool and a terrace with mountain views. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property. The Traditional Village Houses are fitted with wooden furniture and Lefkara embroideries. All rooms feature a balcony, air conditioning and a kitchenette. The houses have swimming pools and shaded terraces, offering the perfect setting in which guests can relax. They are also in an excellent location from which to explore the rest of Cyprus, and there is excellent mountain hiking nearby.

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8. KATO DRYS VILLAGE


KATO DRYS VILLAGE

Next stop is the idyllic and picturesque village of Kato Drys. Its name translates to ‘lower oak’ and its existence dates back to the Byzantine period. It is the birthplace of Agios Neofytos the Recluse. Local produce includes grapes, citrus fruit, almonds, olive and carob and since it is located next to the famous Lefkara village the famous Lefkara lace is also practiced at the village.

Visit the Rural Museum and the Bee and Embroidery Museum, as well as the churches of Panagia Eleouesa, dating back to the 15 th century, and Agios Charalambos , dating back to the early 19 th century. During the summer months the village hosts the biggest summer music festival, ‘Feggaros’, taking place annually during July.

Do not miss!!!

Agios Minas Monastery

Agios Minas Monastery

Located between Kato Drys and Vavla village, is the 15 th century monastery of Agios Minas. The building consists of a church, cloisters and other monastic buildings and combines Byzantine and Gothic architecture. On the north and south walls there are two large paintings of Saint George and Saint Minas, dating back to 1757. The nuns who reside at the monastery, engage in icon painting, cultivating and selling fruit and homemade preserves, along with practicing their religious duties. Visit the monastery to discover inner peace and tranquility.

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Where to Stay?

KATO DRYS HOTELS

Palatakia

Traditionally decorated with beamed ceilings and marble floors, the rooms, suites and studios at Palatakia - Adults Only will provide you with a flat-screen TV, a fridge and air conditioning. Some units include a fully equipped kitchenette with a microwave and oven. A spa bath is available in some units, while a fireplace is provided in others. At Palatakia - Adults Only you will find a laundry facilities and a shared kitchen. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including cycling and hiking. The property offers free parking.

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9. LEFKARA VILLAGE


LEFKARA VILLAGE
Follow the winding road to the picturesque village of Lefkara. The village is split inti Pano (higher) and Kato (lower) Lefkara and it is worldwide famous for its traditional handcrafted lace embroidery and filigree silver. Located on the foot of Troodos Mountains, at an altitude of 650m, the village took its name after the lime stone rock of the region.

Trail along the winding quaint narrow streets, framed by traditional, terracotta roofed old houses. Meet the local women who often sit outside their homes creating the renowned ‘Lefkaritiko’ lace, a tradition dating back to Venetian times and part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.

LEFKARA VILLAGE 2
Learn more about this historic tradition and the craft of filigree silver pieces at the Lefkara Handicraft Centre, the Museum of Traditional Embroidery and Silversmithing, watch the craftsmen t work or have a go at creating one at the various workshops. Unearth historic sites such as the old fountain, the old aquaduct, the old olive mill or take a stroll amongst olive tree orchards at Oliva Terra –Ktima Sofokleous, and learn about the island’s ‘liquid gold’. For a sample of the religious roots of the island, visit the Timios Stvros church and the chapel of Archangel Michael in Kato Lefkara, where you can admire frescoes dating back to the 12 th and 15 th century. For the sport lovers follow the linear nature trail or the designated cycling routes, immersing yourselves in the verdant nature surrounding the village.

If you find yourselves in the village during the month of August, be sure to visit the annual Lefkara Festival, enjoy handicraft exhibitions, dance shows and theatre to the tunes of music programs.

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Do not miss!!!

Dafermou Winery & Lefkara Dam

Dafermou Winery & Lefkara Dam

Dafermou Winery
Just above the Lefkara valley, blending amongst the surrounding vineyards and rolling hills is the Ktima Dafermou. Similar to the wine produced, the winery blends the modern with old aesthetics, with modern materials such as concrete glass and stainless steel come in contrast to the traditional Lefkara architecture. Producing limited quantities as well as the organic production, ensures the exceptional quality of the wines. Located in a beautiful setting Ktima Dafermou also offers the option for indoor and outdoor private events.

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Lefkara Dam
Travel just 4km north of the village to find the Lefkara Dam. Holding the title as one of the biggest dams in Cyprus, with a capacity of 14 million cubic meters of water, it is a picturesque location. The landscape is reminiscent of a Swiss lake of Norwegian fiord, as it offers visitors the chance to admire trouts and cyprines or look out for ‘mirofores’ and narcicuss on the surrounding hills. Grab the opportunity to enjoy a picnic by the lake, hike or cycle and enjoy the untouched nature.

Where to Stay?

Lazaros Stonehouse

Lazaros Stonehouse

Located in Lefkara, Lazaros Stonehouse provides air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi. Featuring a terrace, the property is located within 28 km of Hala Sultan Tekke. Local points of interest like Larnaca Salt Lake and Touzla Mosque are reachable within 29 km and 30 km, respectively. The rooms in the guest house are equipped with a kettle. All rooms include a flat-screen TV, and certain rooms at Lazaros Stonehouse have a balcony. Byzantine Museum of Saint Lazarus is 30 km from the accommodation, while Saint Lazarus Square is 30 km from the property.

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10. Vavatsinia Village


VAVATSINIA VILLAGE
Climb up to 850m altitude, to Vavatsinia village, one of the two tallest mountainous village of the Larnaca region. Just 15km away from the final destination of Machairas, find tourist buses which offer daily trips to Machairas. A small quaint village, decorated with traditional architecture merging into the wild lush natural surroundings. Walk around the village and discover the village square, the indigenous mulberry tree (Vavatsinia) and the old distillery used to make the traditional alcoholic drink of Zivania. Discover the churches and chapels dotted around the village, such as Holy Church of Saint George, built in 1912, and the first church built in the village in 1850, the church of the All Holy Mother of God, which is under the protection of the Antiques Department.

Venture on to the two nature trails offered at the village, The Athasia nature trail or the Karbounarka Nature trail, and enjoy the wild nature, discover endemic flora and fauna and fill your lungs with fresh air. Take in panoramic views of the horizon and the Larnaca mountainous area. If you are up to the challenge take your mountain bike and follow the cycling route to Machairas.

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Do not miss!!!

Vavatsinia Taverns

Vavatsinia Taverns

After a long day of trekking satisfy your appetite with ample traditional local cuisine and enjoy authentic Cypriot hospitality at the local taverns. ‘Takis’ tavern is located in the heart of the village and is surrounded by stone built buildings, immersing the visitor in tradition. In the entrance of the community find ‘Marias Restaurant’ and enjoy traditional local food surrounded by greenery and blooming nature. It also offers seasonal traditional sweets (spoon sweets) and homemade marmalades.

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11. MACHAIRAS MONASTERY


Machairas Monastery
End your journey at one of the oldest and most important monasteries in Cyprus. Machairas monastery was founded in the 12 th century after two monks discovered an icon of the Virgin Mary in a nearby cave. Built with thick stonewalls, powerful buttresses, ascetic cells and a bridge that runs over narrow trench, the monastery stands tall amid the lush forest.

Having survived many fires, the present church found in the centre of the courtyard, dedicated to the Virgin Mary if Machera, was rebuilt in 1892. Housed inside is the miraculous icon, attributed to Apostle Luke. Admire the 19-meter-high bell tower built in 1900, as well as the wood carved iconostasi crafted on 1919-1921 by Georgios Kyriakou. Below the monastery are the original monk’s cells, stable and storage area. Unearth the collection of old books, manuscripts, icons and religious artefacts. The historic monastery ensues tranquillity and peace, where visitors must enter in silence, properly attired and follow the monks’ instructions.

Machairas Forest
Immerse yourselves in one of the largest forests of the island the Machairas forest. Part of the forest has been declared as a Special Protection Are and an Important Bird Area (IBA), as it houses many unique species of flora and fauna. It is traversed by the rivers Pediaiod and Gialia, which enhance the natural beauty of the forest.

Discover the ophiolitic igneous rocks, dating 90 million years old and the Mediterranean flora, including the golden oak, pine, endemic yolk, mushrooms, anemones and other plants. With 3 picnic sites available, take the chance to enjoy a snack or meal surrounded by verdant natural surroundings. Venture on the five available nature trail and soak up panoramic views of the region. For cyclists grasp the opportunity to travel along the bicycle routes.

Near the forest discover the historic ‘Stavraetou Machaira’ hideout of the EOKA fighter Grigoris Afxentiou, who was burned alive inside during the liberation fight 1955-59.

An attraction point for both locals and visitors, Machairas offers immense natural beauty, lush natural surrounding and rich religious and historic artefacts.

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Do not miss!!!

Gregoris Afxentiou Statue & Museum

Gregoris Afxentiou Statue & Museum

Near the monastery is one of the most notable sites in the history of the island. Found in the monastery’s courtyard is the statue of the imposing hero Gregoris Afxentiou, who fell fighting against the English conquerors during the EOKA liberation struggle in 1955-59. At the monastery find a small museum, operating since 2006 in memory of the hero, exhibiting personal items, pictures and war object he used during the fight, newspaper and magazine scraps of the time as well as poems referring to his heroic death. His hideout, where he left his last breath in 1957 after a shepherd betrayed him, is located near the Monastery, down a track into a wooden valley.

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MAP


From Akamas to Troodos Route MAP
ENLARGE MAP GOOGLE MAP


Taking to the Cypriot roads is one of the best ways to experience everything you want from your getaway.




Best Road Trip 3 🚐 ☀️ 🏖️ 🍷 ⛰️ 🚶🏾🏛️

From Protaras & Ayia Napa to Machairas Monastery via Larnaca Mountainous Villages


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