A Traditional Village with a slower pace of life
Pissouri is very much two different, very distinctive places separated by a long and winding road approximately two miles long. Pissouri Bay with its collection of restaurants, tavernas, supermarket, grocery store, bank, huge luxurious Columbia Hotel Resort and of course its wonderful blue flag beach. Then on the other hand you have Old Pissouri Village perched on top of the hillside 300 metres above sea level and situated in the principal vine growing area with its sultana grapes adorning the surrounding countryside. It still caters for the tourist industry to some extent yet perfectly balanced with a more traditional style of living. It has a church, a few tavernas, gift shops and some amazing restaurants which seem to have more character than the ones in the bay. Each one has its own identity, its own selling point and really the only reason you would visit Old Pissouri Village in the first place is to dine out in style (and have a few drinks of course!). I must confess I only dined out at the Bunch of Grapes as you need to hire a taxi to get back to your hotel. I wouldn’t attempt a two mile walk down a hill at night with no street lighting! The taxi was 10 Euros (about £8) each way so unless you were sharing with a couple of friends it’s not a very economical way of dining out. I’ve already mentioned the Bunch of Grapes which is regarded by many as the best court yard restaurant in Cyprus. It is owned by Stavros and his wife with assistance from Antonious. The food is simply impeccable and the service is second to none. Anyone visiting Pissouri must surely visit this restaurant at least once. In fact it is so popular that booking a table is necessary for Saturday evenings and Sunday lunchtimes. The Moonlight Tavern was recommended to me by a friend of the owner as I was studying the menu outside. It is certainly not called the Moonlight Tavern for nothing. At certain times of the month a superb view of the moon can be seen when it is rising. It is run by a goat farmer and two cake shop owners! It is reported that their pork chops are the best in Pissouri. When it’s cool diners eat inside but in the Summer it is recommended that you sit outside and watch the moon and count the stars - very romantic indeed! The Hideaway, really is hidden away, just off the main square. Both the food and the service are very good and is known for its steaks, grilled meat and impressive dessert menu. Other eateries in the village include the Pissouri Tavern and Vraka Tavern in the square both of which are very popular especially when there is a Greek night on, usually Wednesdays. Other restaurants include The Two Friends, Hill View, Olympus Palace and Pissouriana which is a swimming pool restaurant popular with British tourists. Old Pissouri Village also has a handful of bars, the most popular being Sparti Pub, just off the main square. The views from the edge of the village are quite spectacular. You can see approximately twenty miles of Mediterranean coastline and panoramic views of the coast across vineyards, carob and olive trees. Views of the Troodos mountains can also be seen to the North.
"Ups and downs"
I lived in Pissouri village for 2 years, and found it not a particularly friendly place. Certainly the restaurants and bars will welcome you, but the locals do not appear to like foreigners. The beach is very stoney and also noisey due to the jet skis.
Pissouri, A hiddern treasure
"A Cypriot Gem"
We went to Pissouri after being recommened by a local in Limassol. The place was a little gem, you have to leave the Coast road or Motorway between Limassol and Paphos, drive up the mountain to reach the village.
The views of the surrounding countryside and towards the sea from the village are spectacular.
"The town square"
The spot in the village to head for is the small town square where there are plenty of tavernas. There are also a couple of local shops to buy the local produce.
Pissouri village has retained its traditional Cypriot character, while adapting very successfully to welcome visitors to the village.
For a more comprehensive description visit please visit Pissouri
Pissouri Bay is a 5 minute drive away. There are also a number of tavernas and shops in this area.
The beach itself is clean and safe and rarely crowded. Water sports available in the summer form a number of suppliers and include jet skis and water skiing, etc. There is also a small diving school if you would like to learn to scuba dive during your stay or visit some of the local dive sites.
"Ideal for kite surfing"
Avdimou is the next vilage to Pissouri. It is small village but its beach is very popular with kite surfers.
The beach is made of fine, thin-grained sand with a few colourful pebbles. It is surrounded by many locust-bean storage areas that are in ruins, a small mosque, and some sketchy recreation centres. The two low capes at the edges protect the sandbank from the winds. The bay of Avdimou with its sandy beach offer a day of rest in the deep blue sea to the visitor.
"Some History of the Village"
Until 1963 the village had a mixed population with a small number of Greek inhabitants (905 Turkish-Cypriots, 10 Greek-Cypriots). After the inter-communal conflicts of 1963, all the Greek-Cypriot inhabitants abandoned the village and it becomes thoroughly Turkish-Cypriot. After the 1974 Turkish Invasion, the village's Turkish-Cypriot inhabitants transferred to the occupied territory of Cyprus and several Greek-Cypriot refugees -coming from 42 different villages of the occupied area -settled in the village.
Many of the community's residences remain uninhabitable because of being unsuitable for such purposes.
Pissouri in Pictures and words
Pissouri Square is central to village life. Not only are there several tavernas and bars, shops and banks, it also houses traditional Greek coffee shops where the men of the village meet to discuss business and chat.
Pissouri Amphitheatre was Opened in 2000, this new Amphitheatre is home to many shows and performances, with stunning views to the countryside below.
Pissouri Beach has a beautiful unspoilt bay, about 3km from the motorway (turn off at Pissouri Bay) and about 3km from Pissouri Village, down the vineyard beach lane. There is safe swimming and the beach has the EU blue flag for cleanliness
There is sand to the left of the beach and a mixture of sand and pebbles to the right. There are water sports available (water-ski, banana boat, paragliding, sailing, snorkeling, wind surfing and jet ski).
The village income is mainly from agriculture (vineyards) and the local vineyards set in the valley are considered to be some of the best on the island.
Pissouri, though situated at the foot of the mountainous vine growing region of Cyprus, was indeed very late in embracing vine growing which started there only in 1933 in the Linidia and Limnes areas. By the 1950’s Pissouri became the most important "sultana" table grape producing area in Cyprus.
The village has extensive forestland which provides miles for walking in a most pleasant and enjoyable environment.
"St Andrew's Church"
The Greek orthodox church of Saint Andrew (Apostle Andreas) dominates the central village square.
It is a single nave church built of stone with semi-circular holy altar and many western European characteristics like the Gothic arches in its openings.
The church is famous for its wooden-carved Icon Stand, which is a real work of art and was manufactured in 1890.The manufacture lasted 10 entire years because of the means of that time.
Its building must have started well before 1877. According to a marble plate embedded in a wall, the master mason Hadji Pavlis who was supervising its building, fell off the top of the belfry on 31st September 1877 and was killed. Tradition has it that he is buried where he fell.
The first bell of the church, weight of 100 kilos was well-known and when it struck the sound could be heard in distance of 15 kilometres.
About a five-minute drive from Pissouri Village is one of the most famous monuments in Cyprus. Aphrodite’s Rock (or Petra Tou Romiou) is said to be the spot where the Goddess Aphrodite was born from the foam.
In the picture, which is taken from a promontory overlooking the bay (where there’s always a welcome ice cream van!), the Rock is the further of the two, jutting out into the sea. It is lovely to swim there, though it can sometimes be a bit rough. Close to Aphrodite's Rock is Secret Valley Golf Course