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Церквь святого Пантелеимона

Motocross to Kakopetria, the village of the bad stone

A visit to the mountains is especially pleasant during the hot Cypriot summer. When the water is warm and it’s too hot to walk, you simply want to escape the heat and breathe in some cool air.

Trips around the mountain villages of Troodos are a separate type of local tourism. Even many Cypriots prefer a holiday in one of the small mountain villages to trips abroad.

You should book a hotel or apartment beforehand, because August gets very busy.

Each little village is special and has a flavour of its own, especially now that the Cypriot authorities have started to develop аgrotourism and financing is allocated to the villages, even the smallest.

The pride of the locals is evident in the fact that almost every village has a museum, a monument, a sight or interesting legend. There are also the large number of churches and chapels, even in the smallest villages.

For the weekend: from cities to villages … by motorbike


Whilst some places have only begun to participate in agrotourism, others have long been popular amongst locals and visitors to the island. One of the favourites is the village of Kakopteria.

When starting out for Kakopetria through Nicosia, we were lucky enough to witness an amazing sight; although it was a Saturday and the stores were open, the city was completely deserted. Passing through the city we rushed towards  Тroodos. Halfway there we understood where most of the city folk had gone; a procession of cars and buses appeared on the main road to Troodos. You realise the advantages of a motorbike in times like this.

Passing through the city we rushed towards  Тroodos. Halfway there we understood where most of the city folk had gone; a procession of cars and buses appeared on the main road to Troodos. You realise the advantages of a motorbike in times like this.

We passed those travelling on four wheels and reached our destination, the tiny village of Kakopetria.

A village as a tourist centre


The normally quiet and cosy little village has been transformed into a large tourist centre. Cafes and restaurants are full to bursting. The smell of meat cooking floats in the air, making everyone hungry. A crowd of people flows along the narrow streets like a river.

What’s the attraction of this place?

The village itself is very picturesque. Tidy little houses buried in verdure and decorated with local stone, with small wooden balconies and large entrance doors. The lanes are paved with the same stone and they wind in between the houses like Mountain Rivers.

The Park of Helen has recently been re-modelled in a traditional style and from here there are wonderful views of a small waterfall and the Garillis River, one of  tributaries of the Klaris River, the second tributary, the Karkotis, is located a bit further down. The Mill Hotel is set above it.

This place often attracts the attention of both tourists and Cypriots themselves. There’s an old district located on the other bank of the river – a real artist’s dream. Each house is worthy of attention and begs to be painted.

The famous stone, which gave its name to the village, and with which local legends and traditions are connected, is also here.  According to one tradition, all newlyweds should come to the stone after their wedding and sit on it, then their marriage will be considered especially lasting and happy. Another legend says that once, when newlyweds came to the stone, it rolled and ran over the bridge and groom which is why the adjective ‘bad’ is now applied to it.

There are also 2 museums in the village. The exhibition of the Linos museum, located in the old area of the village, is devoted to Cyprus wine production. If you visit the museum, located in the yard of the church of Saint Sotiris, you will see how olive oil was made in the old days.


The Bad StoneThe Park of HelenKakopetriaKakopetria

Two old water mills can also be considered local sights.  This is really very rare for Cyprus.  The Gonyas Mill and Khadzhistaurinou Mill were built in the middle of the 18th century, and had an important role in village life and the region as a whole until 1946.

Like any respectable mountain village, Kakopetria also has several Christian shrines.

Churches and monasteries in Cyprus

First we will briefly mention the small, modern chapel of Saint Fanourious, located near the church of Saint Pantaleon. Cypriots honour Saint Fanourious and sincerely believe he helps them find ‘lost things’.  You are supposed to read a prayer and bake a special cake, called Fanouropita.

On the road leading from the village, you can see the church of the Holy Mother of Theotokos, constructed in 1514.  The façade is decorated with rough local stone and has a saddle roof.  The inside of the church is decorated with frescos dating back to the 16th century and are relatively well preserved.


The Church of Saint Nicholas

But the church of Saint Nicholas, often referred to as the Church of Saint Nicholas Under the Roof, is worthy of special attention.  It’s easy to find, located about 4 kilometres outside the village.

According to legend, construction dates back to the 11th century and is the only preserved part of the monastery of Saint Nicholas.  The Russian pilgrim, Vassily Barsky, wrote that the monastery still existed when he visited in 1735.

The roof inside is dome shaped, whilst the outside is covered with a saddle roof.  Mural frescos are well preserved, albeit not fully.  The church is now under the auspices of UNESCO and is preserved in good condition.

This is our visit to the village of the bad stone, but it’s very possible that you will see it differently.  Visit new places and fill your life with interesting new impressions.

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