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Agrotourism Experience

 Agrotourism - Experience the Real  Cyprus

The Agrotourism experience in Cyprus – the product of responsible tourism

Cyprus, the birthplace of Aphrodite is a land with a wealth of people, cultures and natural history.  Situated at the far eastern end of the Mediterranean, the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia, it links Europe with the Middle East, Russia, Central Asia and the Far East it can also be called the gateway to the East. The island has had many masters over the centuries making it rich in both history and culture.

A popular holiday destination for many years Cyprus has a lot to offer.  Up till recently the trend was for, sun, sea and sand but people have become more discerning on their choice of holiday and now prefer to have an authentic and responsible experience.  Being more health conscious there is now a greater variety of sports and activities such as golf, cycling, horse riding, to join tennis, swimming and diving to name but a few.

The Agrotourism experience in Cyprus was identified in the 1990's and the formation of the Cyprus Agrotourism Company came into operation in 1994.  The inception of Agrotourism was a CTO (Cyprus Tourism Organization) initiative and a lot of money is currently being spent of developing Agrotourism with EU grants being offered yearly to fund projects which enrich the islands village tourism.  Sustainable tourism is a world trend and there is also a lot of work being done by the Travel foundation who last year, helped the locals set up the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative to promote eco and Agrotourism. 

Village tourism is a rough translation of Agrotourism; the word can better be described as country tourism which is a more literal translation.  Basically Agrotourism is the experience of the country living, the interaction between the lodgings, nature and cultural heritage. 

The emphasis is on rejuvenating the village and the community and grants are being offered to renovate old houses, wineries and workshops.  Many of the traditional crafts are fast dying out so there is resurgence of interest in reviving them, communities are being encouraged to bring back local handicrafts and there are many seminars and workshops to train the locals in old crafts.  New ventures which enrich the countryside are also encouraged; an example of this can be seen in Kalavasos which has a beautiful Aromatic Herb Garden.

An excellent example of a traditional village house is Kontoyiannis House in Kalavasos village.  It a stone built village house centred round a large courtyard.  Its architecture and set up is typical of wealthy landowner's residences on the late 1890's.  There are large and airy rooms with some beautiful stone built alcoves and overhanging vines which are great for relaxation and harmony.  The traditional village house if fast becoming a great option for the Agrotourism experience.  

Staying at a traditional village house means you can have a coffee in the village square with the locals and play a game of 'tavli' (backgammon).  You can then go and pick some fruit from the orchard, visit the local olilve press to see how olive oil is made, or buy a nice bottle of wine from the many family wineries dotted all over the island.

The Agrotourism experience offers the traveller a taste of the real Cyprus.  It enables them to pass the day interacting with the village folks; visit the many mountain wineries, Byzantine churches, ancient monuments, mountain trails.  Enjoy days by the sea or in the mountains, see the difference between town and village living.  The Agrotourism experience offers the luxury of a tailor made holiday, there is so much to choose from.  You can get all the information you need, from the Cyprus tourist office.  We also have quite a lot of information on the Kontoyiannis House Cyprus website

 

About the author

Christalla Vassiliou owns and runs 4 self catering apartments in her restored traditional and historical farmhouse in southern Cyprus in the village of Kalavassos. Christalla has recently renovated  two apartments close to the beach in Limassol and can now offer a combination holiday at both the beach and in a traditional village. Christalla is passionate about all things Cyprus and provides a flexible and unique holiday package for guests.

Christalla Vassiliou

http://www.kontoyiannis.com

 

The above article may be reprinted as long as you include the Author details.


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