The route of Laona - Akamas
Laona - Akamas wine routes

We start our journey northwards on the B7 road to Polis. A er a short drive, and while still surrounded by shops and sidences,
we make our fi rst stop. We turn off le , at Mesogi, into the Industrial Estate, where we will visit the “FIKARDOS” winery. One of the fi rst regional producers, owner Theodoros inherited the family traditions of winemaking, adding to them state-of-theart equipment and modern skills. Although owning no vineyards, he has long-term contracts with local growers, resulting in a reliable fl ow which enables the winery to produce a large range of table wines. Fikardos offers both “varietals” (made from just one grape variety) and blends of several grape varieties. Taste across the range, such as the “Valentina” rosé, the white “Amalthia” and “Alkisti” and the red Shiraz. The winery is open to visitors every day and off ers a good perspective of the area’s wine-making capabilities. Across the road from the Industrial Estate you can find the nice village of Mesogi, known for making cane baskets, which you can buy from local shops.

Before we continue our exploration, we can make an interesting side visit to the Monastery of Agios Neofytos the Recluse. Take the turning off the B7 at the top of Mesogi. Drive through the village of Tremithousa, passing an area of considerable beauty that leads to a road through a verdant valley. The monastery is in a beautiful location at an altitude of 412 metres. The site is enhanced by a marvellous square surrounded by sycamore, cypress and poplar trees. The Chapel, carved out of the rock in which the hermit saint (1134-1214) lived, is well preserved. A er this, we return to the B7 and continue to the village of Tsada. It’s a picturesque place, with both traditional and modern buildings sitting comfortably together. The stone-built fountains, by the names of Gerolakkos, Rodkias and Pyadkia, have a folklore beauty. Here you can enjoy pleasant views to the sea, across vines and plantations. Tsada is an important viticultural village in the region. Now to continue our travel… The road up to Stroumpi twists and turns, with scenic views upwards and down into gorges. The village is sited at an altitude of 450 metres and is deeply involved in vines and wine.

Anyone accustomed to open fl atlands with millions of vines is surprised at Cyprus’s tiny vineyards. They are frequently planted on steep slopes, necessitating the use of donkeys or mules to bring out the grapes. More than a thousand of them are still working on the island. Here the predominant grape varieties are the Mavro-red and Xynisteri-white. The Mavro, a low-acid grape, is being phased out, with high-acid varieties planted in its place. Every year, in August, Stroumpi organises the Grape Festival “Dionysia” - a good event to go to! In Stroumpi you may see a number of churches, all of some architectural, historical or religious interest. One kilometre from Stroumpi, on the road to Polemi, lies the “KAMANTERENA” Winery of the Co-operative organisation SODAP. It is the largest wine plant in Cyprus. A functional building with thoroughly modern equipment, a range of successful wines is made here. Millions of bottles of its “Islands Vines” are exported to Britain,
and a number of interesting blends (such as Riesling-Xynisteri) are made. The mediumpriced “Mountain Vines” (the red based on
mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and the white on Xynisteri with a little Semillon) are worth trying.
SODAP are also installing a museum as well as a modern tasting room, a restaurant/ cafeteria and other amenities for visitors.
At Polemi village, a few kilometres eastward, is our next winery stop, “TSALAPATIS WINERY”. Moderately sized, it makes 100,000 bottles a year of quality wines from privately owned vineyards. In the naturally cool below-ground wine ‘caves’ you can taste and buy from an interesting range:

Xynisteri, but also Sauvignon Blanc and a red blend of Mataro and Lefkada. We continue our travel north-westerly and
leave the B7 to take a le turn (E711) for Kathikas. On the way, we can take a sidetrip to the tiny village of Theletra (200
residents) and to another hamlet called Giolou. There is a small restaurant here where you will probably remember the wine,
but more especially the fresh bread!

And so to Kathikas, set in a patchwork of vineyards, trees and stone walls. It is an area with plenty of photo opportunities.
Spreading out from a square housing its Church, the little streets of Kathikas enchant the visitor with small houses, shops selling local produce, as well as places to eat. Kathikas has two wineries, both worth a visit.

“K&K VASILIKON WINERY” has an excellent reputation for its two staple wines. The white “Vasilikon” is fresh, fruity and ideal with local seafood. The red “Ayios Onoufrios”, blended from Mavro, Mataro, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, is a best-seller. The Kyriakides brothers, who founded the winery, produce 300,000 bottles annually. Their wines are made from grapes grown in their own vineyards. Visitors are welcome by appointment and may taste the wines and tour the winery. On the other side of the village you fi nd “STERNA” winery, a popular destination, where people happily sit on the terrace sampling wines and enjoying food. Here the cave where the wines are stored is a very genuine one, around 2,000 years old. At weekends your guide could well be the son of the producer, the ten year old Panagiotis! The winery’s range features pungent, earthy wines, which suit local specialities. The grapes come from 140 acres of privately owned vineyards.

The sun moves across its arc and reminds the traveller it’s time to move on! So, we leave Kathikas and soon take the road to our le that leads to several picturesque villages. Stops to gaze and take in the scenery are called for, with lots of photo chances, too.

A cup of Cyprus coffee, with its attendant glass of cool water, is also a good idea -to clear taste, smell and our appetites for delights to come! Firstly we come to Pano Arodes village, characterised by well maintained stone houses and the Church of Agios Kalantionas. In the square there is a pretty coff ee shop at which to relax and take in the scene. Locals, sometimes
sitting and talking, other times playing Tavli (Backgammon), seem to shout at each other -but this is just the way people converse!
One kilometre north, in Kato Arodes, you can view the oblong vaulted Community Offi ce, which seems like a church without a bell tower. Carrying on we come to the village of Ineia, where the view to the sea is breathtaking -the slope shelves gently down to the coast of Akamas... In Ineia, the traveller will note that the signs are old-fashioned, denoting the village as “Oinia”, indicating its origin from the Greek word for “Wine”.

Just a little up the road is Drouseia village, a popular destination for tourists. Set in rolling hills with lovely views all around, it is a great place for a weekend, with hotels, restaurants, tavernas and shops. Needless to say, there are vineyards all around. Among Drouseia’s attractions is the Textile Museum. Instead of taking the road to Polis out of Drouseia, we can go back to the E709 and cross it to visit Kritou Tera. “Park and Walk” is the motto in this traditional settlement of narrow streets. The water-driven mill and the old coff ee shop with its murals are things that will live in our memories as we turn back to drive the few kilometres to Polis. There is plenty of choice here for an overnight stay, to review the sights, sounds
and people we have encountered during our journey, and the food and drink we have partaken. Polis is a modern coastal town
with many tourist amenities, including water sports, sailing, fi shing and sporting.
On the return drive to Pafos, we may, if we want, take a right turn at Kathikas to go to Pegeia, a vibrant small town at the edge of the steep escarpment and the coastal road with its many hotels and restaurants.

 
 
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