Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cyherbia Gardens

The Cyherbia Organic Herb Garden (also known as Cyherbia Organic Herbs of Cyprus) is located in Avgorou Village, which is near Ayia Napa within the Famagusta district of Cyprus.
 


The Cyherbia Gardens opened in April 2012, and this site currently features a Hedge Maze, Woodland Walk, Herb Garden, Tea Room, Gift Shop, etc.

According to the website, "At Cyherbia you can let sight and smell take you into the wonderful world of herbs in their natural environment, enjoy a cup of herbal tea especially brewed for you, custom-made to meet your needs.  We have a selection of pure essential oils of the highest quality, potpourri which will make your house smell just like our garden, and of course dried herbs which can be used as tea and in cooking."

 









One of the main attractions is the Hedge Maze (also known as the Cyprus Maze).  In 2004, they built the first and only Maize Maze in Cyprus.  Due to water restrictions, Cyherbia replaced that maze with a new Hedge Maze

The Hedge Maze is unique to Cyprus.  There's a platform that provides an elevated view of the entertaining maze.











The Woodland Walk (also known as the Sanctuary Woodland) includes a pathway throughout another area that allows visitors to "walk around the entire island of Cyprus," particularly the main coastal cities.  The trees and pathway are designed in the shape of the island, and there are signs indicating the cities throughout the pathway.

According to the website, "The walk guides you around the island of Cyprus...visit Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca, Protaras, and Kyrenia, all in a single short walk."







The Herb Garden is divided into nine different little gardens with various themes, such as the bath garden, medicinal garden, aromatic garden, pest control garden, ladies garden, relaxation garden, potpourri garden, kitchen garden, and traditional garden.

According to the Cyherbia Herb Gardens' brochure, "The herbs in the traditional Cyprus garden showcase some of the herbs which are found most widely in Cyprus, both cultivated and in the wild all over the island."  At the site, there are brochures available with more details regarding the Herb Gardens.





The Tea Room and Gift Shop provide a variety of herbal-based items, such as herbal teas, culinary herbs, essential oils, herbal olive oil, aloe vera face and body products, etc.  According to the Cyherbia website, the herbs are "all organically grown and all indigenous to Cyprus."

Also, the entrance fee includes a free glass of herbal tea at the Tea Room.
   




The Cyherbia Garden is a pleasant place to explore for a few hours, particularly for families and those interested in herbs and nature.


Site: Cyherbia Organic Herb Gardens. 

Category: Nature and Activity. 

Location: Ormidia Road in Avgorou Village, within the Famagusta district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: 99915443. 

Operating Hours: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Wednesday to Friday.  10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday.  Closed on Monday and Tuesday. 

Entrance Fee: €5,00 for adults, €3,00 for children ages 6-12, and free for children under age 5.

Date of Visit: 2014.


NOTE: Exploring Cyprus received two free entrance tickets courtesy of Cyherbia Gardens, yet the views and opinions expressed in this post represent those of the bloggers.

Shakespeare at Kourion

Shakespeare at Kourion (also known as Shakespeare at Curium) is an annual event in June at the ancient Kourion amphitheater within the Kourion Archaeological Site, which is located in the Limassol district of Cyprus.


According to the website, Shakespeare at Kourion is "an annual production of one of the Bards great works. Produced by the committee for The Performing Arts for Cyprus Charities who rely on the generosity of actors, back stage crew and unsung heroes who give their time and expertise freely year after year, raising thousands of pounds for charity in the process."

Shakespeare at Kourion involves various local actors performing a selected play by Shakespeare, such as Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, and Much Ado About Nothing The specific production of Romeo and Juliet as performed by Shakespeare at Kourion used a timeless setting and minimalist set.




This open-air ancient theater at Kourion is situated near the edge of a cliff with a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea.  It's such a picturesque setting, especially with the starry night sky.

Even though the theater location is ideal, the seating is uncomfortable, since this ancient theater was built was rough stone slabs that have survived massive earthquakes, although the theater was restored enough for its current usage.  It's recommended to bring along cushions and occasionally cushions are sold at the event.

The Kourion Ancient Theater was originally built in the 2nd century BC, yet the current structure dates back to the Roman period with 2nd and 3rd century additions and restorations.  In the 4th century, the Theater was destroyed, due to massive earthquakes.  In recent years, this ancient open-air amphitheater has been restored, and it's utilized for musical and theatrical performances, such as Shakespeare at Kourion.
 

The next scheduled production is Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, on June 27-29, 2014.

Overall, Shakespeare at Kourion provides a lovely evening with a wonderful work of literature performed as a theater production at an ancient archaeological site.


Site: Shakespeare at Kourion. 

Category: Archaeological Site and Activity. 

Location: Kourion Archaeological Site, near the city of Limassol, within the Limassol district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: 99990535.


Operating Hours: Annual event in June. 

Entrance Fee: €20,00. 

Date of Visit: 2011.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kolossi Village

The Kolossi Village is located near Episkopi Village, which is west of the city of Limassol, within the Limassol district of Cyprus.







The Kolossi Castle, which is a lovely medieval castle and a favorite archaeological site in Cyprus, is situated within the Kolossi Village.  Also, there are several churches in the village area, including Agios Efstathios Church, Apostolos Loucas Church, and Panagia tou Tamama Church.

The Kolossi Village is a delightful area to explore, especially for those visiting the Kolossi Castle.


Site: Kolossi Village. 

Category: Village. 

Location: About 14 km west of the city of Limassol, within the Limassol district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: N/A. 

Operating Hours: N/A. 

Entrance Fee: Free. 

Date of Visit: 2008-2014.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Vouppa Municipal Beach

The Vouppa Municipal Beach is located in the Ayios Tychonas region near the city center of Limassol, which is within the Limassol district of Cyprus.
 

Since the Vouppa Municipal Beach is considered a blue flag beach, it's a lovely area to relax in the sun and swim, and there's a pathway along the seafront that passes by this beach.


Site: Vouppa Municipal Beach. 

Category: Nature. 

Location: Ayios Tychonas region near the city center of Limassol, within the Limassol district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: N/A. 

Operating Hours: Daylight hours. 

Entrance Fee: Free, except for the additional costs of optional beach umbrellas and sunbeds.


Date of Visit: 2011 and 2014.

Cynthiana Beach Hotel

Cynthiana Beach Hotel is located along the beach, near the city of Paphos, within the Paphos district of Cyprus.


According to a brochure that's featured on the website, "Situated in possibly the most unique and beautiful spot in the region, near the famous Coral Bay and within easy reach of bustling town of Pafos....  A little piece of paradise wedged between sea and sky, perched on a panoramic headland that could be the edge of the world.  An extraordinary setting for an extraordinary hotel."


The Cynthiana Beach Hotel is an enjoyable hotel that's situated in conveniently near the city of Paphos, as well as in a lovely location.



Site: Cynthiana Beach Hotel. 

Category: Hotel. 

Location: Near Kissonerga Village and the city of Paphos, within the Paphos district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: 26933900. 

Operating Hours: N/A. 

Entrance Fee: Prices vary for hotel rooms and amenities. 

Date of Visit: 2008.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter

Χριστός Ανέστη!  Αληθώς Ανέστη!  Καλό Πάσχα!  These Greek phrases translate to Christ is Risen (Xristos Anesti), Christ is Risen Indeed (Alithos Anesti), and Happy Easter (Kalo Pascha). 

Since Cyprus is predominately a Greek Orthodox society, the culture tends to represent the Greek Orthodox traditions.  Easter (or Pascha in Greek) is the most important religious holiday for the Greek Orthodox church, and the Easter festivities actually extend over a few months, starting with Green Monday.

During the Easter season, there are various Easter decorations scattered throughout Cypriot villages, but there are major decorations in the cities, particularly the city of Limassol.



The Greek Orthodox Lent begins on Green Monday and continues for seven weeks until Easter Sunday.  The Greek Orthodox Lent is primarily a time of fasting, in which the main reasons are to cleanse the body and the spirit in preparation for Easter Sunday.

This Greek Orthodox fast indicates refraining from eating the following foods: meat, poultry, some fish and seafood, dairy products, eggs, olive oil, and alcohol.  Theses foods are placed into categories, so some foods within a particular category are allowed throughout fasting on specific days, as well as the quantity of meals are restricted throughout Lent.

However, the fasting food restrictions aren't followed on various holidays, including Annunciation Day and Palm Sunday, as well as the fasting restrictions are lessened on the weekends.



The Greek Orthodox Holy Week starts on the Monday after Palm Sunday, and each day has a particular theme with rituals.  During Holy Week, usually on Holy Thursday, eggs are dyed a deep red to represent the blood of Christ.  Then, on Easter Sunday, the red eggs are cracked against each other to symbolize Christ breaking from the tomb.  

Good Friday is more of a mournful day, since it commemorates the day that Christ died on the cross.  Greek Orthodox churches have special prayer services on Good Friday, and this day is honored as a public holiday in Cyprus.

On Saturday evening, the Greek Orthodox churches host an open air Resurrection Mass in every church's courtyard that's late in the evening.  During this time, one of the Greek Orthodox traditions is to burn a representation (also referred to as an effigy) of Judas--the disciple who betrayed Jesus--in a bonfire.




At midnight, the Greek Orthodox church bells ring and set off plenty of fireworks to announce that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead. 

Candles are also lit during this time.  After returning home from the Greek Orthodox services, if their candles are still lit, then it's a Greek Orthodox tradition to mark a cross on the door with the candles' soot, which serves as a mark of protection for the coming year.

Once the Greek Orthodox service ends (and the church bells and fireworks eventually stop), the midnight celebrations continue with a large feast at the Resurrection Table with family and friends.  Since the Greek Orthodox fast is over, some of the traditional feasting items include lamb, pork, wine, tsoureki, flaounes, and various other Cypriot dishes.


Tsoureki is traditional Greek-Cypriot sweet bread that is formed by braiding or twisting strands of dough.  Another tradition is to place red-dyed, hard-boiled eggs into the top of the bread.  In the Greek Orthodox culture, these eggs are dyed deep red to symbolize the blood of Christ, while the bread symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Flaounes are another traditional Cypriot Easter treat, which consists of a special cheese bread.  Actually, it's a baked bread dough filled with a cheese mixture, such as halloumi, anari, etc.

Even though tsoureki and flaounes are available in local Cypriot bakeries throughout the Easter season, they are both traditionally baked on Good Friday and then served on Easter Sunday, once the Greek Orthodox Lenten fast is over.



After a night of feasting and celebrating, the celebrations still continue throughout the day on Sunday with church services and another feast.  The Easter Sunday meal is another feast with lamb, seafood, salads, vegetable dishes, breads, cakes, wines, etc.

And the celebration even continues on Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday, which are both public holidays in Cyprus.  However, it's more of a relaxed celebration on these days.


Easter commemorates and celebrates the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Praise the Lord that Jesus has risen.  He has risen indeed. 


This year, the Greek Orthodox Easter holidays, which are public holidays in Cyprus, include Good Friday on April 18, Easter Sunday on April 20, Easter Monday on April 21, and Easter Tuesday on April 22.

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.