Where is It in Cyprus?

by Richard W. Brown
(Malvern Worcestershire England)

Last October, my wife and I using the Laura Beach Hotel as a base to meander the roads stopped for something to eat in Kathikas.


Unfortunately the small coffee shop with its locals sitting around outside did not serve anything much to sustain us, but we stayed for coffee and the old lady in her customary Cypriot clothing brought us coffees and some biscuits and grapes. We sat on the porch in the shade enjoying the relaxed atmosphere until we requested a top up. The old lady brought us more biscuits and coffee and extra hot water.

A while later a pickup truck arrived and the driver, an obviously well known local, came over and some repartee' ensued between him and the other customers. He went back to his pick up and produced a huge handful of grapes which he then proceeded to share amongst everyone at their tables, including us. He just carried on chatting without hardly a glance at us while we demolished the huge sweet eating grapes.

Eventually we asked for our bill and was astonished to be asked for just 2 Euros! I left 4 and thanked everyone for their natural hospitality. They probably thought I was wealthy!

We then followed a road without really knowing where it would end up. Eventually we came across what appeared to be a derelict village on an S bend and stumbled across a taverna entered by a steep path down to the car park. The site was adjacent to a small chapel and was seemingly not open as the chairs were all left leaning against their tables under the sun screen covering the Taverna.

We sat a while until a man came over and in reasonably good English welcomed us to a table. He introduced us to his children now playing in and around the area, while giving us complimentary coffee and after taking our order his wife prepared us a meal while he came and sat with us brought wine and chatted with us.

He explained that the village was mostly destroyed in 1933 during a vendetta, but the lower part was still occupied, and that the small church was still in use. He himself lived in Limassol and was hoping to make the newly opened Taverna a success.

The following week the rest of my family arrived in Cyprus and we took the eldest of my grandchildren aged 5 to visit the Taverna again. this time it was on a Sunday.

We were welcomed as friends by the owner, who I feel was very apprciative that we had returned, while the villagers started to gather for their lunch. Obviously having been told of my enquiries the villagers seemed appreciative of my interest and the `Matriarch ' hobbled over and with the aid of the owners interpretation asked if we'd like to drive down the extremely steep slope to `her' village for a look around.

My grandson aged five with his very blonde hair and blue eyes appeared to draw the villagers attention as several of them came over and asked his name and age etc. He had to be prompted to respond due to the fact that he found difficulty understanding the sparse English.

I was humbled by their offer that we should see where and how they lived so we did just that, though we did not get out of our vehicle. We then drove back up the very steep incline back onto the highway and driving slowly past the Taverna we waved and all the villagers responded.

My only regret is that there was no name sign on the road for the village and I am not sure that a GPS would identify it so when we visit again in October I hope it is still there and we can find it, though I believe we were pointing the car bonnet towards Pano or Panos, then onto the Limassol road.

This to me is the magic of Cyprus in that once the ice has been broken the natural friendliness of its people becomes apparent and that is why I shall keep coming/going back.

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Rugby
by: Richard

Yes I've been watching too, not an avid fan but pretty interested.

I think I shall be in Mousere before you. We arrive next Tuesday and have the car on Wednesday so we'll probably gallivant over on Sunday week for lunch.

Got one or two things planned and always looking for
things of interest to do.

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Mousere
by: Helen (website owner)

No haven't had a chance to get over there yet. The Rugby World Cup has got in the way and will do for the next 3 weekends!

Will post an update when I have had a chance to visit.

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Follow Up
by: Richard

Hello Helen

Following your bike ride did you manage to visit the village and if you did can I ask what you found out. if anything?

regards

Richard

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Hooray
by: Richard

Helen you have it spot on...wonderful. Kathikas to Kouklia?.. I told you I was lost!

Since you ID it I found Mousere on Google Earth and yes that is the place. I just hope the Taverna is still in business because I really would like more details of the village history. I find some of the stories such as this one fascinating.

If you are riding a bike Helen and propose to go down into the village itself may I suggest a parachute? It is extremely steep remember I was in a 4x4.

I must mention your website. It really is very comprehensive and covers everything a visitor needs to know about Cyprus and your personal assistance has been invaluable for which I am truly grateful.

Please keep in touch regarding this subject. Richard
plasma@talktalk.net

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Mousere village in Cyprus
by: Helen

Bingo Richard!

Always helps when you have a business card! Reason I couldn't pinpoint it was that it's a quite a drive from Polis and also Kathikas - which is nowhere near it!

The village is Mousere and is located on the F612 which you get to via Kouklia just off the motorway between Paphos and Limassol.

The road goes through Kouklia, Souskia then Pano Archimandrita and then Mousere.

The village is tiny with a current population of 10 (was around 60 in the 60's), GPS co-ordinates are:
34°46′16″N 32°42′55″E / 34.77111°N 32.71528°E / 34.77111; 32.71528

For information, the business card says the taverna offers an eclectic mix of meze style dishes and is only open via bookings on Sat and Sunday. This is quite common in out of the way places.

I will check this out when I have a minute after our cycling trip this week/next week as it sounds wonderful.

Thanks for the tip!

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Phew!
by: Richard

Thank you Helen, but I think I am getting you as confused as I am. I think I will make a note of my next visit instead of just remembering it in my aging mind, then I will come back to you.

The Church I believe is just a chapel a single building that was a schoolhouse it more like a bumgalow.

The entrance to the Taverna is down a very steep slope but is just off the road.

With regard to the wind farm there were about eight or nine 75 meter high towers, but as I say we just followed our car bonnet so we were probably drifting around in circles.

I have actually got a the Tabepnas business card but its all Greek to me.

This is waht it says on the card. (I have had to find a translation website so please disregard any silly errors.

TABEPNA
O MΟΥΣΕΡΚΩΤΗΣ
Εκλεκτοιι Μεζεδες
Μοvο υε κρατηαεις-Ανοικτό ΤΙαραακευή
Σάρρατο και Κυριακη
Tel 99 474370 (Nikos)
ΜΟΥΣΕΡΕ

Richard

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Cyprus remote villages
by: Helen (website owner)

Hi Richard

Thanks for the additional information, except I'm now more confused! Mainly as you say you passed a wind farm - the only BIG wind farm near Paphos is near the motorway between Pissouri and Limassol. But it could be you saw a private "wind farm" with a couple of wind turbines attached to someone's house? And also about the "steep slope" next to a "small church."

Pano in Greek means "upper" so the signs you kept seeing were referring to the upper part of a particular village. The ones closest to Kathikas village are:
Pano Arodes (5 mins) and
Pano Akourdaleia (15 mins)

I'm thinking that Pano or Kato (lower) Akourdaleia could be your village - the upper part (Pano) has an S bend just before you enter the village and it does look pretty deserted - but then many of the villages in the area do too!
The lower part (Kano) has a largish stone taverna on the corner as you enter the village that begins with an A (the name escapes me!) but it's a big taverna with accommodation so doesn't fit.

There is, however, part way between the two halves of the village a house/tavern which could fit except it isn't on a steep slope!

Question - Do you remember passing signs for a free wine tasting when you left Kathikas - in which case you were on a back road to the Akoudaleias and passed by the Sterna winery?
- Do you have any idea how long you were driving before you reached the village and if you found it again a week later, you presumably knew which road you took?

If these don't fit the alternatives that may fit are 1) Theletra - top of "new village" is a few minutes from Kathikas but the "old" village is 1.5 below on a VERY steep slope, is deserted and I think someone was starting a taverna there.
Or 2) Akoursos village - again on a steep slope via a back road from Kathikas that leads back onto the coast raod from Coral bay - the taverna there however is popular and not on a steep slope or near a church!

Helen

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Eureka!!
by: Richard W. Brown

Just remembered that we went through a wind farm on that road. Hope that narrows the field. Also when we left the Taverna we drifted back to Paphos via the B6 stopping on route for a fresh melon bought at the roadside. Not far from Paphos Airport.

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Pinpointing The Village
by: Anonymous

We took the route to Peyia via Coral Bay from The Laura Beach. After that we just followed our car bonnet. The name Pano was seen several times on road signs.

So I believe we used the E709 to Kathikas so maybe it was the E703 we were on after that. We did not actually venture into Limassol. We ended up on the B6 towards Yeroskipou probably via E616 or 602. Bought a sweet melon on the way (Mmmm)

I think the desolation of the upper part of the village on an S bend may help to pinpoint.

At the very bottom of the village, as I say a very steep down road was a quite elaborate spring.

I would love to know the history of the village before going back in October.

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Village in Cyprus
by: Helen (website owner)

Richard, thanks for your lovely story and for being brave enough to go off the beaten track and discover the real Cyprus!

When you said you had gone to Kathikas first, I immediately thought the village you had come across was either Miliou or Theletra, both of which are accessible via a tortuous route from Kathikas village.

But then you said you went back to the road to Limassol.

Can you tell whether the Laura beach hotel was the one in Paphos and if you visited Kathikas village which is located off the E709, the road from Coral bay to Polis. If so, I'll have a better idea of where you were.

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