About Cyprus

Cherry Gardens-on drawings and in real life

Do you know many villages, which have a coat of arms or, if you know such villages, how many of them have a logo? Maybe it is megalomania or simply Cyprus is so small that everything is under the microscope as to increase in scale, but here every village can be compared with an average city. So, they have their own symbol in Pedoulas village – green with red berries. The image speaks for itself and its meaning becomes particularly clear, if you go to the village in early July – and just at the entrance of the village, just after the welcoming table with the very same logo, you can see many sweet and bright berries hanging from behind the fence on the branches of the cherry trees. Urban residents of northern latitudes plunge into some kind of childish delight, while certainly want to stop and pick the berries directly from the tree. Forgive me, local farmers and gardeners.

Pedoulas village  A mountainous paradise for summer residents and tourists

Pedoulas village is located at 1,100 meters above sea level to the north-west of the summit of Olympus, in the valley Marathasa. In Pedoulas, as well as in Kakopetria, it is more convenient to go from Nicosia. Nowadays 136 locals constantly live in the village, but during the summer the village population increases to nearly 3,500 inhabitants, who are holidaymakers and summer residents. For tourists, 550 houses are offered that can be rented for the entire summer, or for a few days, and 176 hotel rooms. The demand for holidays in the mountains, especially in August, is very large, so the place for such a holiday is necessary to be booked during winter time. Many Cypriots have a house in the mountains, as a summer residence.

The village has a well-developed tourist infrastructure. In addition to all sorts of cafes, restaurants and small souvenir shops, there is also a bank, a hospital and a branch of “Cyta” telecommunications.

Temples and shrines as a part of world cultural heritage

The Church of the Holy Cross stands in the center of the village. It was built in 1935 on the site of the old wooden church. The old church fragment of the wooden iconostasis, dated from the XVI century, was transferred to the new church. Due to its size and the dazzling whiteness, the church is visible from anywhere in the village and it serves as a reference point for tourists.

the Church of the Archangel Michael

And if you walk quite a bit to the northeast from the first church, you can see the main attraction of the village – the Church of the Archangel Michael. It was built in 1474 and is now in the list of world cultural heritage of UNESCO. Like many other churches in the mountains, which were built at that time, it is topped with a gable roof. Perhaps due to this many frescos of the temple have been preserved in good condition. For connoisseurs of the kind, these church murals will be interesting to see because of the unique style of the local icon painter. Incidentally, the creator of the frescoes, decided to capture himself in history, left a message on the wall of the church to the descendants. That’s just the name of a native of these places, Minas, who has reached our days.

In addition to the above two Christian shrines there are still as much as 8 churches and chapels in the village. Most of them date back to the XIII-XIV centuries and are historical monuments. Most of the time they are closed and open only on special holidays.

 the Holy Cross chapel

The Cross and memorial of Cypriot soldiers

But we come back to the “modern” Holy Cross chapel, next to which is a separate and huge 25-meter cross towering above the village. It is visible from all the surrounding areas. A meticulous detailed entrance to the church and the carefully selected and planted in a particular order plants, create a unique image of the place. The whole church is decorated with frescoes inside, and it’s devoted to the special holiday. Right in front of it, the monument of Michael Stivarosu and the Memorial of Cypriot soldiers who died in the war in the Balkans in the 1912-1913 are located. Interesting neighborhood, isn’t it? Yes, and the fact of the participation of Cypriots in the Balkan wars also raises questions.

Walking in the mountains for fun

For those who do not go to Pedoulas just for couple of hours and plan to spend some time in the village, I would like to suggest two scenic hiking routes. Where else but in the mountains, can you walk through the woods and breathe in the smell of pine trees, without fear of the hot Cyprus sun!

In fact, there are many routes for those who like to walk and enjoy nature in Cyprus. They are all numbered and registered on the website of the Department of Forestry. Now 98 routes are registered. In almost every area in ​​Cyprus one can find interesting walking routes. They are of varying difficulty and length, some suggest a certain level of physical fitness, and some, on the contrary, are suitable for slow walking for pleasure.
Pedoulas village

So, the first route starts from Pedoulas village,  by Ksistaroudas village, where the picnic area is. From there you can walk to the famous Kykkos Monastery. According to the information given on the website of the Department, this road has a length of 5.3 km, and you will be able to finish it in 2-2.5 hours. This route is assigned to the second level of complexity. In addition to natural beauty, you will also see the small church of St. Basil on the road, which is of great historical value.

The second route is easier and shorter, and also starts from the village of Pedoulas, and provides the opportunity to walk through the woods and enjoy the local scenery. The beginning of the route is close to the Hotel Churchill. Its length is around 800 m, which you will be able to walk in half an hour, and on the way you can see Mutulas, Kalopanagiotis and Morphou from a height.

After such a hiking you will think of lunch or dinner at a local tavern like a real treat. For dessert, you can taste the fruit from local orchards, cooked in sweet syrup. Try to give youself small vocations more often and discover the new aspects of Cyprus!

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