Travel to Cyprus Heart and Soul - Paralimni, Sotira and Potamos Liopetriou
Duration: Half Day
The sunny Mediterranean island of Cyprus is renowned for its beautiful mountainous landscapes and spectacular coastline, which is dotted with charming traditional villages that are a delight to explore. This tour will take you to some of the most popular villages in the Famagusta province, including the tranquil fishing village of Potamos Liopetriou, the popular seaside resort of Paralimni and the historic village of Sotira, giving you a wonderful insight into Cypriot history and the relaxed island culture.
The first stop on the tour is the beautiful coastal resort of Paralimni, the largest town on the south-eastern coast. Famous for its long golden beaches and the nearby coast of Cape Greco with its impressive rock formations, this is one of the most beautiful resorts in Cyprus. Paralimni is unique in that it combines the charm of a traditional rural village with the conveniences of a contemporary town.
The main square has retained the characteristics of the old village with its quaint coffee shops and relaxed ambience, whilst the new squares and shopping malls portray the modern development of the town. Places of interest here include the twin-aisled vaulted church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Panayia). Part of the structure belongs to the 13th Century, whilst the interior is decorated with unusual 18th Century porcelain plates. Part of the church also houses a small ecclesiastical museum. Other historic churches can also be found in the area.
Our next stop is the village of Sotira, one of the prettiest villages in Cyprus. Full of charm and character, it takes its name from the Church of Metamorphosis tou Sotiros in the centre of the village – Sotira meaning saviour in Greek. The church hosts wonderful displays of Komninian art (early 13th century) and is dedicated to the transfiguration of Jesus Christ the Saviour.
At the eastern entrance of Sotira village you can also see the partly ruined church of Ayios Mamas, which was built around the 12th century and rebuilt in the 16th Century. Most of its surviving frescoes also date back to the 16th century. About a mile to the west you will find the 15th century cruciform church of Panayia Chordakiotissa as well as the church of Ayios Georgios.
Sotira village has a thriving community centre which offers supermarkets, shops, boutiques and some wonderful Cypriot tavernas. The pace of life here is slower than the main tourist towns and the peaceful atmosphere offers a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Our last stop is the picturesque fishing village of Potamos Liopetriou, also simply known as Liopetri. This peaceful village has a strong fishing community and the local residents are very hospitable. Visitors can often see the fishermen repairing their nets in the shelter before setting sail to go fishing, or returning home with their daily catch.
The village offers a variety of shops, bakeries, traditional tavernas and other local amenities but the most interesting places of interest include the two churches: the medieval church of Panagia and the 15th century church of Agios Andronikos, which features an octagonal dome and an apse with murals. The remains of a Venetian watch tower are also worth seeing.
Aside from fishing, Liopetri is traditionally a potato-growing town, but the village is more famously known for its delicious wine and traditional hand-woven baskets. This is a great place to pick up unique gifts and souvenirs during your holiday in Cyprus.
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