Experience the Essence of Cyprus Folklore
Experience the essence of Cyprus folklore in the picturesque mountain village of Omodos. You instantly get the feel that the past has never left this magical place, blending harmoniously with the present in a seamless mixture of history, tradition and cultural heritage. Built at the slope of an imposing mountain and surrounded by tall, magnificent mountaintops, Omodos is a MUST destination for travellers who are looking for awe-inspiring views, charming architecture, epicurean wine tasting, traditional “meze” dining and of course, the famous Cypriot hospitality!
Start exploring the village by taking a stroll down its narrow alleys. Soon, you will find yourself surrounded by traditional, stone-made houses with alluring wooden doors and decorated gateways. Notice the graphic tiled roofs, the beautiful balconies and of course, the variety of flowers and plants that fill the streets with vibrant colours and seductive smells.
As you head to the village square, the historic Monastery of the Holy Cross, guarded by its renowned mulberry trees, will undoubtedly catch your eye. A truly imposing presence at the heart of the village, this magnificent monastery is one of the oldest in Cyprus. According to tradition, inhabitants of neighbouring villages spotted a fire at the exact area where the monastery stands today for several night, but during the day, there was no sign of that fire! When they dug the site, a small cave with part of the Holy Cross was found and a chapel over the cave was built to keep the Cross safe. The chapel, which became a sacred place, later turned into one of the most significant monasteries on the island, where invaluable relics are kept, including the Great Cross with the Holy Rope (the only extant piece of the rope used to fasten Christ upon the cross), the Cross of Panaretos, the scull of Apostle Philip, precious jewels and other valuable items.
This exceptional monastery overlooks the paved village square. Dating back to 1919, Omodos’ plaza is probably the largest on the island. It is the place where you can relax and unwind, enjoying the rich taste of traditional Cyprus coffee in one of the numerous old-style coffee houses, while watching the locals play traditional card games. Not to mention the exceptional taverns situated in the heart of the village, always ready to amaze with their remarkable local “meze” dishes, either in their outdoor terraces during the warm summer months, or near the fireplace, in a warm and cosy ambiance during winter.
And that’s not all that Omodos has to offer! If you’re a wine lover, discover Omodos through its wine-making - the famous “Krasochoria”. The village is well-known for the quality of its grape produce and excellent wines since antiquity. Legend has it that Afames, a quality wine that took its name from the mountain located east of the village, was the reason that Sultan Selem II decided to conquer the island. This medieval winepress can still be found today in Omodos, near the Monastery of the Holly Cross, a reminder of the long history of the village in producing traditional wine. Discover its secrets through the wineries’ educational tours and enjoy an unforgettable wine tasting experience. You will be pleased to know that the inhabitants of Omodos also produce the famous “zivania” (a traditional alcoholic drink), as well as other Cypriot delicacies, such as “soutzoukos” (must-stick with almonds) and “palouze” (must jelly).
So go on, experience the essence of folklore… explore the history of the past. Discover the culture of Cyprus… and admire the natural beauty of the island. This is Omodos.