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We are visiting shortly to look at properties in the Limassol area, could some kind souls tell me some places that we have to see, anywhere on the island. Anything with spectular views, breathtaking scenery, beatiful buildings...etc. I would especially like to know about the hidden gems that you would not find in any guide book. We have hired a car and will be over for three weeks, so we have plenty of time to see lots and lots.

Thanks
Phil
 

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There are so many hidden gems it is difficult to know where to start. The first tip would be that the highway system in Cyprus is relatively new and clearly bypasses all the quaint villages - so if you're on holiday and have the time, take the old B roads which have far better views and often take you through the villages. A good road map is essential to avoid the very real danger of getting lost and winding up on a crumbling and unmettled road with no room to turn with a vast drop on one side and a josstle of goats ahead. Our current record is a ten hour trip to cover 20kms with lots of stops for prayers and crying/wailing etc.

A recommended trip to take you through a few great locations would be to take the turn off to Kornos from the Nicosia-Limsassol freeway and follow the signs for Lefkara - this B route takes you through the Troodos foothills - there are some very wierd and wonderful rock formations (some of them decidedly phallic) and old olive orchards and farms along the way. The road climbs behind Pano (upper)Lefkara and winds through the village - keep going through the narrow streets, it looks impossible but isn't - really, honestly even the narrowest part will allow a 4x4 through. Ask directions for Kato (Lower) lefkara and descend into the slightly quianter village. Here you can get a less frantic look at lace and silver making, drink from the village fountain, and tour the small wine press. There are also a number of small chapels in the area. The chapel of St George is above both villages on the road to Limassol and gives stunning views over the path just travelled and to the east on a clear day you can see the sea. Now double back to the turn off to Kato Drys - at the junction is the taverna of the Four Winds which does a great buffet with great views almost as spectacular as from the wind swept St George's chapel. After lunch continue along the road to Kato Drys (a classic Cypriot town full of photo opportunities) but push on through to the Nunnery of Agios Minas. It's worth stopping off and buying some local honey or fruits from the nuns. The courtyard is an immaculate garden and very tranquil. Press on to Cyprus' best kept secret of Vavla. Here there is a church with a small school with great views of the Troodos and nature walks through the valley. In spring the church is surrounded with almond blossom. Vavla doesn't have any restuarants or shops, just one cafe Neon which usually has coffee and other refreshments on offer with an honour pot to put your money. Very quiet but very picturesque. From Vavla theer are sign posts back to the the major towns and resorts. Just take your pick.
 

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Hi Kimonas
Thanks for that Info, I for one will go site seeing around that area when im next over

Cheers
Monty
 

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That trip sounds lovely Kimonas.... We'll try it one day.

The Hubby and I tried out some of the wine routes in the book from the tourist office. Instead of taking just one we took a route from Kalo Chorio (just outside Larnaca, off the Larnaca-Limassol motorway), through the Machairas forest where we found a lovely picnic area near Psevdas, on to Agros for lunch and into the Troodos. We picked a few of the wineries in different areas to sample the wares. The husband particularly recommends Agia Mavri Winery in Agia Mavri village.

I don't like the steep drops and hairpin curves on some of the Troodos roads but this is a route that I can drive!
 

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The best kept park, and one of the best kept secrets, in Cyprus belongs to the Kykkos Bishopric headquaters in Nicosia. It really is a fabulous oasis within the city. The Orthodox Church is extremely affluent and the biggest landowner on the island. The Kykkos Bishopric has a series of orchards, olive groves and gardens that stretch for several hectares between the city centre and Engomi. Much of it has been sold off for housing estates and roadworks, but there is still a rich core that has largely been opened up as a park (but with box hedges around the pistatchio, pomegranate, lemon, orange, almond, olive and grapefruit groves to stop the public wondering too far into the immaculately kept fruitier of the gardens). The current bishop is a bird fancier and has had several aviaries built throughout the park with artificial waterfalls and landscaping to keep them cool. There is a wonderful collection of parrots and a fairly extensive collection of swans, peacocks, guineafowl, pheasants and waterfowl. Bizarrely there is also a large cage housing some red bottomed baboons which keep the children amused. Since the major road improvements started there is a notice in Greek over the main gates which basically say – ‘use the side entrance’ – there is a gatekeeper there who stops riffraff (boys on skateboards etc) from entering – and it is largely a park reserved for young couples walking the babies in prams and respectable folk. The walkways are delightful with religious mosaics, a bishop’s cemetery and memorial and a grand water fountain just before the opulent enclosed church. None of this is visible from the hustle of the city as the entire estate is surrounded by high walls. For all the world it looks like private gardens and estates of the privileged with no public access – and it is not widely advertised. If going by car you’ll be invited to park in the carpark at the side of the bishopric – there is a long mews of garages along the side and occasionally a priest will emerge with one of those button controllers and a garage door will rise revealing a glittering Mercedes or Bentley. We wander around for hours in the gardens watching the antics of the birds. It’s a great place for a pic-nic – but the road just to the south of the gardens is lined with posh eateries and restaurants. I could think of few better ways to while a way an hour or two on a visit to Nicosia. The park is a great antedote to the bustle of the Wednesday markets of the Old Town – but that’s another story…
 

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The best kept park, and one of the best kept secrets, in Cyprus belongs to the Kykkos Bishopric headquaters in Nicosia. It really is a fabulous oasis within the city. The Orthodox Church is extremely affluent and the biggest landowner on the island. The Kykkos Bishopric has a series of orchards, olive groves and gardens that stretch for several hectares between the city centre and Engomi. Much of it has been sold off for housing estates and roadworks, but there is still a rich core that has largely been opened up as a park (but with box hedges around the pistatchio, pomegranate, lemon, orange, almond, olive and grapefruit groves to stop the public wondering too far into the immaculately kept fruitier of the gardens). The current bishop is a bird fancier and has had several aviaries built throughout the park with artificial waterfalls and landscaping to keep them cool. There is a wonderful collection of parrots and a fairly extensive collection of swans, peacocks, guineafowl, pheasants and waterfowl. Bizarrely there is also a large cage housing some red bottomed baboons which keep the children amused. Since the major road improvements started there is a notice in Greek over the main gates which basically say – ‘use the side entrance’ – there is a gatekeeper there who stops riffraff (boys on skateboards etc) from entering – and it is largely a park reserved for young couples walking the babies in prams and respectable folk. The walkways are delightful with religious mosaics, a bishop’s cemetery and memorial and a grand water fountain just before the opulent enclosed church. None of this is visible from the hustle of the city as the entire estate is surrounded by high walls. For all the world it looks like private gardens and estates of the privileged with no public access – and it is not widely advertised. If going by car you’ll be invited to park in the carpark at the side of the bishopric – there is a long mews of garages along the side and occasionally a priest will emerge with one of those button controllers and a garage door will rise revealing a glittering Mercedes or Bentley. We wander around for hours in the gardens watching the antics of the birds. It’s a great place for a pic-nic – but the road just to the south of the gardens is lined with posh eateries and restaurants. I could think of few better ways to while a way an hour or two on a visit to Nicosia. The park is a great antedote to the bustle of the Wednesday markets of the Old Town – but that’s another story…
So Kimonas,

where do we actually enter?:rolleyes: I was told about it but that gate seems very intemedating and there is no side street right now. I remember they used to take us to church there with school as I went to school across the street from there- a few centuries ago.

Thanks
 

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I was reminded of a very remote and beautiful place yesterday. Stavros tis Psokas. It's about 2 and a half hours drive from Nicosia or from Pyrgos in Paphos. Very steep windy roads, but were paved 5 years ago. There is something like a hostel there where you can stay but no cooking facilities and the only cafe will only cook if you let them know you are coming well in advance. This is the most unspoiled part of the island and I still have pictures of being there from over 25 years ago.
 

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I was reminded of a very remote and beautiful place yesterday. Stavros tis Psokas. It's about 2 and a half hours drive from Nicosia or from Pyrgos in Paphos. Very steep windy roads, but were paved 5 years ago. There is something like a hostel there where you can stay but no cooking facilities and the only cafe will only cook if you let them know you are coming well in advance. This is the most unspoiled part of the island and I still have pictures of being there from over 25 years ago.
Stavros Tis Psokas is also the only place I know of where you can see Mouflon as they have a large compound where there is a breeding group of them.
 

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So Kimonas,

where do we actually enter?:rolleyes: I was told about it but that gate seems very intemedating and there is no side street right now. I remember they used to take us to church there with school as I went to school across the street from there- a few centuries ago.

Thanks
That's the one (on the main road running south of the park)- designed for a bishop, but just drive in and turn immediate left to the mews parking. There are a couple of pedestrian entrances too on the north wall and on the west, but they are usually locked. Which school did you go to?
 

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Stavros Tis Psokas is also the only place I know of where you can see Mouflon as they have a large compound where there is a breeding group of them.
Hi Veronica
True about those sheep, It was only a few years ago that they were nearly wiped out, People are starting to take notice now, The goverment have even put then on the 1,2 & 5 cent Cypriot Euro coins.
Bet you people will actually look at there coins now lol :focus:

Thanks to Kimonas about one of his best kept secrets ( not now),

Regards to all
Monty
 

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That's the one (on the main road running south of the park)- designed for a bishop, but just drive in and turn immediate left to the mews parking. There are a couple of pedestrian entrances too on the north wall and on the west, but they are usually locked. Which school did you go to?
Kykkos A ( Veronica why do I need to enter at least 10 characters)
 
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