About Cyprus

Sylicu village


For quite a long time we were going to visit this village, because here, one of the most interesting wine museums on the island is located – the Commandaria Museum. But during the winter months the weather did not let us travel to the mountains; the roads in the mountains were constantly overlapped because of ice and snow, and wandering around in the rain to a mountain village is not the most pleasant thing.

Travelling with good weather

Once it cleared up a bit, we immediately decided to go on a trip. From Limassol we drove on the main road to Troodos, before Trimiklini we saw a sign leading to the village of Mandria, but closer to our destination signs to Sylicu village will appear.

An excursion to a new museum of an old wine

The Commandaria Museum opened in Sylikou not a long time ago, on July 31st 2014, in the house donated to the museum by the President Nicos Anastasiades. Earlier, this traditional stone building belonged to the grandmother of the President. It’s an interesting fact that  the museum was created by a Russian man, the artist Alexey Golovanov, who, literally speaking, collected “mosaics” of the history and traditions of the production of one and the oldest and most popular wines in the world.


Alexey Golovanovthe Commandaria MuseumSiliku village

Alex gives us a fascinating tour of the museum, tells the story of each exhibit, shows pictures and entertains us with amusing stories. For example, before all prisoners were supposed to have wine for dinner. One of the photographs is dedicated to this; one of the detainees is dragging a huge wineskin, and behind him a prison guard is following. Pointing to the copy of the famous painting “Feast of five kings”, Alex expressed doubts about the plausibility of the historical fact that during the feast Commandaria was served. However, despite some doubts about this particular fact, it is known that Commandaria, like other Cypriot wines, was praised among European nobility and was delivered in different European countries.

They produce the wine with appellation of origin in Sylikou

the Commandaria Museum

Incidentally, Sylikou is one of the 14 mountain villages that have a formal right to make Commandaria, which is supplied with a certificate of the protected appellation of origin. This wine is traditionally made from local grapes – Mavro and Xynisteri. Because the vineyards in Cyprus have not been subjected to the damaging effects of phylloxera, which affected the majority of European vineyards in 1865, the local wines have an additional attraction for connoisseurs and have great potential for further development and access to European markets.

A walk through the village and the mosque

Siliku village

Having finished our excursion around museum and the tasting of the delicious wine, we go for a walk around the village. We were again waiting for a fascinating tour, for which we are very grateful for, by the founder of the museum, as even the slightest information about the village is almost impossible to find.

Once populous and prosperous, it is now almost a deserted village: it is home for only about 40 residents. As we have mentioned, despite the fact that the Cyprus mountain villages are somewhat similar to each other, each of them has something unique. Sylikou is worth a visit, just to wander through the streets and admire the traditional masonry walls of the houses.

Many houses in the village were purchased earlier by the British and other foreign visitors, but most of them still stand abandoned. An interesting fact for this Cypriot village is the existence of a mosque, in which from time to time the imam from the occupied part of Cyprus carries out religious services.

Before the war of 1974 the villagehad a lot of Turkish Cypriots inhabitants, but after the tragic division of the island, they also left their homes and moved to other places. Now, however, some of them regularly visit the village.

The ancient olive trees and olive oil museum

The village is also interesting for the fact that, according to documentary sources, the last Lusingnans king, who ruled the island in the XII-XV centuries, died here. Once the village belonged to the royal family, and it was here that they had a unique plantation of olive trees. The power of the olive trees in the village of Sylikou village is simply amazing, but this is not surprising, as the age of some of them is more than 500 years. The scientists came to the village, took DNA from the olive trees and determined the age of the trees. Therefore, this fact has been documented.


  the Olive Oil museumthe Olive Oil MuseumSiliku village

After that, we move to another attraction in the village – the olive oil museum. There is an ancient valid olive press. Alex tells us how olive oil used to be produced in the village. Every day during the harvest, with the help of the press, a lot of olives were processed, which then were moved by another press of the first squeeze (cold oil press). As the harvest season in Cyprus was in November-December, in the mountains during this period it was cold enough, so, there was a fireplace in the house, which had to be constantly reheated.

Finally – a lunch and exchanging of experiences

We end our exciting journey through the village. After admiring the beautiful views and enjoying the unique Commandaria, we received new information about the traditions and history of another Cypriot village, so we leave Sylicou. We were spared with only one thing: in the village there are no traditional taverns, where we could eat and rest before our way back … But we were not disappointed, after only five kilometers we turned to the village of Pera Pedi, where we discussed our experience and information obtained in the Czech restaurant Neromilos, which hospitably opened its doors to us.

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