Friday, February 28, 2014

Kedares Village

Kedares Village is located near Kidhasi Village, in the foothills of the Troodos mountains, within the Paphos district of Cyprus.



According to tradition, the Paphos King Kinyras had a summer home in Kedares Village.  Also, this village is considered important to the Cypriot wine industry.



This village is a part of the Diarizos Valley drive.


Site: Kedares Village. 

Category: Village. 

Location: Diarizos Valley, within the Paphos district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: N/A. 

Operating Hours: Daylight hours. 

Entrance Fee: Free. 

Date of Visit: 2011.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Agios Savvas tis Karonos Monastery Ruins

The Agios Savvas tis Karonos Monastery Ruins and the Agios Savvas tis Karonos Church are located between Fasoula Village and Kidasi Village, within the Paphos district of Cyprus.  From the main road along the Diarizos Valley drive, there's a rougher road towards the mountains that leads to the monastery ruins.



The Agios Savvas tis Karonos Monastery was originally built in the twelfth century, and it was later restored by the Venetians.  In 1467, the monastery was destroyed by fire; however, it was rebuilt with the assistance of James II, a Cypriot king.

In 1533, the Agios Savvas tis Karonos Church was built on site of the monastery ruins, and the church was renovated in 1742.  Since then, various modifications have occurred to keep the church functioning.



The monastery ruins are a delightful place to explore, and this site is a part of the Diarizos Valley drive.


Site: Agios Savvas tis Karonos Monastery Ruins and Agios Savvas tis Karonos Church. 

Category: Archaeological Site and Church. 

Location: Diarizos Valley, within the Paphos district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: N/A. 

Operating Hours: Daylight hours. 

Entrance Fee: Free. 

Date of Visit: 2011.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Fasoula Village

Fasoula Village (also known as Phasoula Village) is located near Nikokleia Village and Mamonia Village, within the Paphos district of Cyprus.

In Fasoula Village, there's a Greek Orthodox Church and a Muslim Mosque built next to each other in a lovely little park.  Plus, there a convenient tourist map of the Diarizos Valley.
 


This village is a part of the Diarizos Valley drive.


Site: Fasoula Village. 

Category: Village. 

Location: Diarizos Valley, within the Paphos district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: N/A. 

Operating Hours: Daylight hours. 

Entrance Fee: Free. 

Date of Visit: 2011.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Carnival

Carnival (also known as Apokreo) is a ten-day festival in Cyprus that's primarily focused on fun and food.  This worldwide celebration begins two weeks before the fifty-day Greek Orthodox Lenten period.



According to tradition, the original concept of Carnival has been traced back to ancient Greek times.  Greek mythology claims that in honor of Dionysus, the ancient Greeks would wear various costumes and masks, play games, and feast on food for days and days.

After the Greek Orthodox religion spread to Cyprus, the Greek-Cypriots continued the custom of Carnival, by associating it with the beginning of the Greek Orthodox Lent.
 


Carnival officially starts on the Thursday of the Meat Week, and this specific day is known as Tsiknopefti, due to the all the extensive meat cooking.

The first week is known as the Meat Week (or Kreatini), since this is the last week that the Greek Orthodox will eat most meats (except for some seafood, etc.) until Easter.  The second week is known as the Cheese Week (or Tyrini), since this is the last week that the Greek Orthodox will eat most cheeses and other dairy products until Easter.

 
Even though the entire country of Cyprus celebrates Carnival, the city of Limassol is famous for its festivities, particularly the parades. 

On the first day of Carnival, the festival in Limassol begins with the King Carnival Entrance Parade.  Also, Limassol hosts the Children's Carnival Parade on the first Sunday, and then the Grand Carnival Parade on the following Sunday, which is the day before Green Monday. 

Cypriots mostly celebrate Carnival with costume parties, parades, and decorations.  From an outsiders perceptive, it seems like an elaborate and extended Halloween celebration.  :)



While the Grand Carnival Parade in Limassol consists of floats and various groups, the primary focus tends to focus on each group's unique (and typically matching) costumes.  Each of the participating groups in the parade have a different theme.  Some of the previous year's themes have ranged from various time periods, countries, animals, movies, musicians, etc.


The Grand Carnival Parade is quite an experience....

Thousands of people line by along the streets, balconies, and roof-tops to watch the parade.

Air horns and whistles are blown by the parade participants and spectators.

Confetti is tossed and silly string sprayed by everyone.

Cans of streamers and confetti are popped into the air.

Loud up-beat music is blasted from massive speakers.

Vans used as mini-shops are selling drinks and snacks.

Vendors are selling the noisemakers and balloons.

People continue to shout in Greek and various other languages.

Parade participants and the crowd majority are dressed in costumes and masks, etc.
 


This year, Carnival begins on February 20, and it ends on March 2, 2014.  The three main events in Limassol include the following:
  • King of Carnival Entrance Parade on Thursday, February 20, at 7:00 PM
  • Children's Carnival Parade on Sunday, February 23, at 11:30 AM
  • Grand Carnival Parade on Sunday, March 2, at 1:00 PM

For more details regarding the 2014 Carnival celebrations, visit the Cyprus Events website



To view a list of the 2014 public holidays in Cyprus, please click HERE As the year progresses, plan to visit this blog to view updates and descriptions of the various Cypriot holidays.

Agios Demetrios Church

The Agios Demetrios Church (also known as the Saint Dimitrios Church) is located in Nikokleia Village, which is about 3 km north of Kouklia Village, within the Paphos district of Cyprus.  The Agios Demetrios Church was built in 1768.



Both the church and village are part of the Diarizos Valley drive.



Site: Agios Demetrios Church and Nikokleia Village. 

Category: Church and Village. 

Location: Diarizos Valley, within the Paphos district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: N/A. 

Operating Hours: Daylight hours. 

Entrance Fee: Free. 

Date of Visit: 2011.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Asprokremmos Dam

The Asprokremmos Dam is located about 16 km east of the city of Paphos.  It's near Nikokleia Village, which is within the Paphos district of Cyprus.

As the second largest dam in Cyprus, the Asprokremos Dam was completely built in 1982.


 
This site is a part of the Diarizos Valley drive.



Site: Asprokremmos Dam. 

Category: Nature. 

Location: Diarizos Valley, within the Paphos district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: N/A. 

Operating Hours: Daylight hours. 

Entrance Fee: Free. 

Date of Visit: 2011.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Diarizos Valley

Diarizos Valley is located southwest of the Troodos mountain range, within the Paphos district of Cyprus.  It's named after the Diarizos River, which runs through the valley.


The delightful drive through the Diarizos Valley is primarily the countryside and various villages, including Nikokleia Village, Fasoula Village, Mamonia Village, Agios Georgios Village, Kadasi Village, Kedares Villages, Filousa Village, Arminou Village, Mesana Village, Salamiou Village, Kelokedara Village, Stavrokonnou Village, Choletria Village, etc.


Within the Diarizos Valley, there are several places of interest, such as older (possibly Venetian) bridges, monasteries (including Salamiotissis Monastery and Agios Savvas tis Karonos Monastery), and churches (including Agios Demetrios Church and Agios Mama Church), as well as the the second largest dam in Cyprus (Asprokremmos Dam).



Since the road through the Diarizos Valley continues along in a rough circle-type fashion, it's possible to start and end the drive near Asprokremmos Dam.


Site: Diarizos Valley. 

Category: Nature. 

Location: Southwest of the Troodos mountain range, within the Paphos district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: N/A. 

Operating Hours: Daylight hours. 

Entrance Fee: Free. 

Date of Visit: 2011.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Yeronisos Island

From the Agios Georgios Churches near Pegeia Village, there's a beautiful view of the Yeronisos Island (also known as Geronisos Island).  This island is located about three-hundred meters from the harbor of Saint George, which is within the Paphos district of Cyprus.




Yeronisos Island is considered the holy island of Apollo, and it is often referred to as the Sacred Island.  There are ancient ruins dating back to Byzantine times.  During excavations of this island over the years, various ancient items were discovered.

Unfortunately, I've not visited Yeronisos Island.  I've only viewed it from a distance, while exploring the Agios Georgios Pegeia Archaeological Site and the Agios Georgios Churches, which are located nearby.


Site: Yeronisos Island. 

Category: Nature and Archaeological Site. 

Location: Near Pegeia Village, within the Paphos district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: N/A. 

Operating Hours: Daylight hours. 

Entrance Fee: N/A. 

Date of Visit: 2011.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Agios Georgios Church

The Agios Georgios Church (also known as the Agios Yeorgios Church or the Saint George Church) is located near Pegeia Village, along the coast of Cape Drepano, which is within the Paphos district of Cyprus.



This small stone church was built during the thirteenth or fourteenth century.  Nearby, there's a more modern church with the same name.


These churches are worth visiting, especially after exploring the Agios Georgios Pegeia Archaeological Site.


Site: Agios Georgios Church. 

Category: Church. 

Location: Near Pegeia Village, within the Paphos district of Cyprus.

Phone Number: N/A. 

Operating Hours: Daylight hours. 

Entrance Fee: Free. 

Date of Visit: 2011.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Agios Georgios Pegeia Archaeological Site

The Agios Georgios Pegeia Archaeological Site is also known as Agios Yeorgios Archeological Site.  It's located near Pegeia Village, along the coast of Cape Drepano, which is within the Paphos district of Cyprus.

This archaeological site considered to be the most significant early Byzantine site in Cyprus.  Due to the geographical features and location, this settlement was most likely used as a port for ships transporting goods. 






The Agios Georgios Pegeia Archaeological Site includes the ruins of three early Christian basilicas (dating back to the sixth century) with lovely mosaic floors that visitors can still view today.

This extensive non-fortified settlement also includes the ruins of a large house (possibly a bishop's residence), which was built in the Greco-Roman style with a bath and adjoining courtyard, as well as many ruins of smaller houses and other ancient ruins.



The Agios Georgios Pegeia Archaeological Site is a delightful place to visit for both tourists and locals.



Site: Agios Georgios Pegeia Archaeological Site. 

Category: Archaeological Site. 

Location: Near Pegeia Village, within the Paphos district of Cyprus.

Phone Number: 26812301. 

Operating Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, daily, during winter months (typically October to April) and 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM, daily, during summer months (typically May to September). 

Entrance Fee: €2,50. 

Date of Visit: 2011.