I’m biased about Cyprus because I’ve spent so much time there over the past ten years. We used to go a lot when I was a child, staying in a little village with my grandparents who have been there, drinking morning tea in the shade during the summer, for as long as I can remember. For a lot of people it’s just a break with guaranteed good weather- it’s called the sunshine island for a reason, but I’ve explored more and more of the country as I’ve gotten older and it has way more to offer than just hot days and beaches.
This time around I took my boyfriend, who’d never been before, so I wanted to show him some of the places I’d been to and loved throughout my life, which included Troodos. If you like beautiful scenery, waterfalls, mountain villages and heights, you might want to check it out. The Troodos Mountain range houses the highest point in Cyprus but the best bit about it is the village life you find scattered about the hills.
Driving through them is like driving through some sort of Instagram account dedicated to quaint, floral scenery that almost doesn’t look real. If you like pretty painted doors (doors seem to be having a serious vogue moment right now), winding streets, walls covered in flowers and windows with shutters on whitewashed houses, you need to go to Lania. This is also a taste of Cyprus as it was before the big cities, when life was way more simple, long before tourists flocked to the beaches to get tans and drink ouzo.
I’d read about it online when I was researching places to stop on our way up or down the mountain drive, and came across a lot about the wine region. I have a lot of time for wine obviously, and Lania popped up as an ancient wine village, nestled at the bottom of the mountains, and was also dubbed as the prettiest village in the region on Trip Advisor. I’m a sucker for places like this. Anywhere with painted window shutters, flowers tumbling over little brick walls and tiny little streets full of cottages and trees is a winner in my eyes, so imagine a place like that which just happens to make the best white wine I’ve ever tasted. If I could design Heaven this is what it would be like.
Well, I say Heaven, it was hotter than Hell when we rolled in at 2pm mid-August, and the man who took us into his dusty little cellar to check out and buy some wine told us tourists in the height of summer come only after 4pm because of the heat, which would explain why we saw virtually no people.
I like no people though, especially after a week spent in bustling Larnaca, so if you can handle the heat I recommend it, but if not then peak visiting time is September, when it’s a little cooler and more bearable to be outside in the middle of the day.
It’s a tiny little village, and we seemed to keep ending up in the same places after following skinny streets round corners, but we still spent almost two hours just strolling around. It’s honestly the prettiest place I’ve ever seen. So quaint, so intricate and so bloody photogenic. Some of the residential streets have vines and undisturbed bushes of flowers spilling all over the walkways, so you feel like you’re gliding through a place where no one lives at all, but it’s actually pretty fully populated. There’s also kittens all over the place, which is a bonus.
It’s not a place to go for a week long holiday by any means- it’s a teeny tiny village, but Troodos is and if you ever find yourself in the region, this little slice of idyllic countryside is an absolute must. I could happily pencil in a weekend stay to just drink wine, take photos and soak up the peace and quiet. Real quiet, like you don’t find very often. There’s a couple of little free museums, wine tasting, tavernas and it’s just about a 30 minute drive to the top of the mountains for views like this:
We also bought a bottle of Lania’s speciality alcohol which is brewed and bottled in the village by the locals. I’ve got no idea what it is but it’s very sweet and comes in a giant medicine bottle, so you can’t really leave without some. The bottom line is, go to Troodos and go to Lania. You won’t regret it.
Photography courtesy of Dan Blows, who takes amazing photos which you can find here.