With a winemaking history spanning over 5000 years, no visit to Cyprus would be complete without sipping on a glass of fine local wine. And if you wish to truly immerse yourselves in the tasty experience, take a drive through hilly landscapes blanketed in rambling vines, and stop off at some of the island’s most beautiful villages that boast age-old winemaking traditions. When you arrive, be sure to stop off at some of the island’s best boutique wineries, all within relatively easy driving distance from Kanika Hotels and Resorts Limassol and Paphos holiday havens.
1. Vouni Panayia
If there’s one out of town trip you should take while in Paphos, then make it the blissful journey up to the gorgeous Vouni Panayia. The area is protected as a natural habitat within the ‘Life, Natura 2000’ network, and boasts a unique ecosystem with numerous nature trails winding through the gorgeous landscape blessed with pretty vineyards lapping up the warm Mediterranean sunshine.
Cocooned by the Paphos Forest and the nearby gorgeous Cedar Valley, you’ll be in seventh heaven in no time at all. And once you reach Vouni Panayia winery, you can kick back to enjoy high caliber wines made from grapes cultivated in the area, while the onsite traditional museum and a film about the local winemaking process are also a real treat.
Another firm Paphos district favourite, this gorgeous winemaking village, Kathikas, takes you way back in time, with stone-built houses telling tales of bygone days and traditional coffee shops and eateries beckoning the weary and hungry traveler.
As a winemaking district, the area is famous for its Xynisteri, an indigenous grape that thrives in a temperate climate. Head to the area’s acclaimed Vasilikon Winery to try some award-winning varieties, with grapes picked mainly from the family’s vineyards. With wine in hand, step outside onto the massive patio area and make the most of panoramic views across the undulating mountains towards the sea. The on-site museum is also bound to inspire you, filled with machinery and winemaking tools from days gone by.
Famed for its local produce, Omodos is hands-down one of the prettiest mountain villages of the Limassol district. And it’s mighty proud of its local produce and renowned for its delicious grapes since ancient times – so much so, that locals gather outside their houses and shops selling local wine, Zivania (made from grape pomace), and other local delicacies made with grapes like soujoukos and palouze.
Also home to medieval stone buildings, museums and the grand Monastery of the Holy Cross (one of the oldest and most historic monasteries on the island) there’s much to feast your eyes on when exploring the area. Once you’ve perused the cobbled lanes, make a beeline for the Ktima Gerolemo Winery, run by a family with a great passion for making wine from grapes from the surrounding area.
Another Limassol district village which sees local folk potter about at much the same pace as they did years ago, through paved alleyways and past perfectly pretty picturesque houses with traditional tiled roofs, Koilani oozes traditional charm and is one of the most famous winemaking villages on the island. And down in the village’s verdant valley, the Kryos River flows peacefully, irrigating lands filled with apple and pear trees.
Wish to sample some of the best local wine in the area? Vlassides Winery is the place to be; a cutting-edge modern winery that produces over 120 000 bottles annually – mostly Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Xynisteri grape varieties.