Geia sas! I am Stefanie and I will be your local guide in Cyprus.
My ultimate goal in life is to travel around the world. When I am not traveling, I am organizing my next trip.
Even though Cyprus is small, I am here to prove that it's actually a rich and diverse country! You can also follow my adventures at Stef's Journey.
Latest posts by Stefanie Konstanta (see all)
- Nicosia – The Last Divided Capital City in the World - October 15, 2017
- The Village of Lefkara: Traveling Back In Time - September 23, 2017
Have you ever heard of a picturesque village named Lefkara? It is famous for its beauty, its uniquely preserved architecture, the ancient Cypriot legends and traditions, as well as its amazing embroidery. You can easily say that Lefkara is located in the heart of Cyprus, since it is only 50km away from Nicosia (the capital), 45km from Larnaca, and 50km away from Limassol.
Lefkara has acquired its name from lefka which means “white” and ori which means “mountains”, since the region around it is filled with a white-colored, rough limestone, which is its main characteristic. Lefkara is actually separated into two villages – the “Panw Lefkara” (the Upper Lefkara) and “Katw Lefkara” (the Lower Lefkara), though the first one is the most popular, as it is much bigger in size than the second.
Get lost in the backstreets
Delve into the narrow and disorientating alleys of this picturesque village and who knows what you might find? Don’t forget to bring your camera and capture the beauty of this scenic place. Wandering around Lefkara, I had the opportunity to capture some really nice photos and even a dog riding a bike with his man… Yep, that’s right!
Visit the Church of the Holy Cross
In the heart of the village you will find the beautiful Church of the Holy Cross, which, as the name implies, is dedicated to the Holy Cross. It is estimated to have been built in the 14th century. One of its main characteristics is the silver cross that, according to an old legend, carries a piece from the original sacred Holy Cross. It definitely is one of the most important churches on the island, with a rich cultural heritage.
The Art of Lace – Lefkaritika
The art and tradition of lace-making, know simply as “lefkaritika” dates back to the Venetian Times, around the 14th century, when Cyprus was under the control of the Venetians. It is no wonder then, that this hand-made art has been included in the prestigious UNESCO’s Intangible World Heritage List.
According to a legend, Leonardo da Vinci visited the village in 1481. He bought a piece of a beautiful laced cloth to give as a gift to the main altar of the Duormo di Milano. Lefkaritika is now sold worldwide and has been recognized by many fashion designers. Lefkaritika is a deeply ingrained part of our culture, and the art is still alive – you will find it in local shops, and you will notice numerous women crocheting around the area.
Meet the real “locals” from Cyprus
Most of the inhabitants of this village have been living here for their entire lifetimes. They make a living from their small businesses, whether it is by making “lefkaritika”, silver jewelry or running their own restaurants. They welcome tourists and would love to have a chat with you, learn about your country, or even invite you over for a cup of coffee at their place. That’s the genuine Cyprian hospitality, which is also one of the “must” reasons to visit this village.
You can also see the locals going through their daily routines, as well as see them standing or walking on the streets, socializing with their neighbors, while drinking a cup of Cyprian coffee. Don’t be shy to talk to them, as most of them speak good English, and would love to chat with you, as much as you probably would like to chat with them!
Tasties – where tradition meets modernism
If you visit Lefkara, don’t miss out on visiting this charming place! Usually they have around 6-7 dishes of the day that are mostly inspired by the local Cypriot cuisine. The owners spent 10 years designing this place and they made it into a little heaven that you see today. It is definitely the coziest place that I’ve ever been to in Cyprus and its decoration will definitely impress you, once you see this beautiful house with a really nice garden. Most of the products they serve here are homemade like lemonade and apple pies.
Don’t miss out on The Folk Art Museum
The Folk Art Museum used to be a mansion, that belonged to one affluent family from this village. It is a great representative sample of the 19th century style architecture. The exhibits here consist of lace embroidery, the original clothing that people used to wear back in time, and many other traditional elements that you could find in the 19th century.
How to get here:
Although there is a local bus that departs from Kofinou and arrives in Lefkara, the public transportation in Cyprus is so bad that it is not worth wasting your time and energy on it. If there is one thing that I would strongly advise about Cyprus – is to rent a car! Road tripping is one of the most fun things that you can do on the island.