The area, known as the “Krassochoria” (the Wine Villages) is located north of Limassol, on the southern slopes of the Troodos mountain range. Traditional forms of viticulture are still kept alive in these villages.
Wine production is still the main occupation for most of the inhabitants. Villages in the area house various local wine museums, which are well worth a visit. This is the area which produces the island’s renowned dry red wine. The area is best reached from the Limassol to Paphos road, turning right after Erimi village.
For further details on the area of the wine villages see CSTI Village Route One.
Note: Some of the private museums mentioned charge a nominal entry fee. Wine Village information can be provided courtesy of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation.
Koilani is an attractive, wine-producing village. On the outskirts sits the single-aisled vaulted church of Agia Mavri dating from the 12th century, with wall paintings from the 15th century.
The Koilani Ecclesiastical Museum was created by the Holy Bishopric of Limassol as a district branch of the larger Byzantine Museum being planned in the village itself. It houses a collection of icons and ecclesiastical objects from the parish. The museum occupies a two room building in the courtyard of Panagia Eleousa church. The exhibits span a period of about seven centuries and include pieces of an icon-stand from 1735, icons dating from the 13th to the 19th centuries, holy utensils and old books.
The Museum of Viniculture is housed in a traditional village house. Viniculture equipment and items of folk art are on show. In the yard, a large cauldron used for the preparation of the local spirit Zivania can also be seen.
The wine producing village of Omodos, built on the Troodos hillsides amidst acres of vines - with its narrow cobbled streets and the majestic monastery in the village square - is one of the most picturesque villages in Cyprus.
Omodos was once the property of Sir John de Brie, Prince of Galilee, as was the Monastery of Stavros (Holy Cross), in the centre of the village. The monastery contains old icons, excellent wood carvings and other ecclesiastical objects of interest, as well as a small museum of the national Liberation Struggle of 1955-59. An old winepress known as Linos is a short distance from the Monastery and is open to visitors.
Nestling in the heart of the Troodos mountains amidst green and fragrant pines is yet another picturesque village, that of Foini. According to tradition, the village was named after a Frankish lord, Juan de Fejniu or Feniu, while another says its name originates from the Greek word for palm tree “foinikas”. The village is renowned for its pottery, for the manufacture of traditional furniture and for the local “lokoumi” (Turkish delight). The Pylavakion, a private museum of folk art, displays examples of local pottery, traditional agricultural tools and kitchen utensils.
Vasa is one of the most important wine producing villages of the region with over 40% of its agricultural land being allocated to viticulture. Some of the best red wines of the island are produced here. It is a picturesque village with cobbled streets and traditional architecture.
The ecclesiastic museum of Vasa houses important icons and religious objects. To arrange a visit, one has to contact the village priest. There are two excellent tavernas in the village.
This is one of the largest wine producing villages of Cyprus. There are two theories as to the derivation of its name: one suggests it comes from the Holy Alsos (grove) of the goddess Aphrodite where the village is built, the other that it was one of the four towns founded by Ptolemy Philadelphos in honour of Arsinoe. It has been associated with wine production since ancient times. Nowadays, most inhabitants still make their own wine, while the village womenfolk have a reputation for the special dishes they prepare using wine. The Folk Art Museum of Arsos is housed in a traditional house. Its exhibits present traditional village life.
The village of Fasoula dates back to the Middle Ages and is depicted on old maps of Cyprus with the name Fasula or Pasula. The most likely origin of the name is that it comes from the Frankish word “Fasoula” meaning scythe, the tool for harvesting. The Agricultural Museum is in a traditional house and contains agricultural tools, such as a plough, yoke, scythe and earthenware jars for everyday use or for storing wine or olive oil.