Commandaria is "The wine of the kings".
This wine has a history that dates back to the time of the ancient Greeks. A popular drink back then was first known to be described in 800 BC by a Greek poet Hesiod.
Legend has it in the 13th century when Philip Augustus of France tasted it for the first time in a wine tasting competition.
It is a sweet desert wine that you will love it.
It is this wine that priests use it for the Holy Communion.
(St. John's commandaria) is one of the most popular brands.
“Zivania” is exclusively a Cypriot product, and a strong spirit.
It is similar to the Greek Tsipouro, or Raki.
It is served ice-cold with the Cypriot mezedes (variety of different Cypriot dishes) or with soutzoukos. It can also be accompanied by nuts or dry fruit.
Don’t leave the island without tasting it. I am sure you will like to buy some and take home.
Preferably buy it from the Duty Free shops at the Airport before leaving. This because you will definitely have a lower price, and you will avoid carrying it along during your stay.
You have the chance to taste some of the best wines at the Wine Museum at Erimi, and you can buy the one you like.
There is a variety of different wines here and other local products that acompany wine or any other spirit.
I am sure when you go back your friends and relatives would like to taste some local Cypriot products. You can buy from anywhere.
What to buy: Some ideas that I have are :
Buy some Cypriot halloumi -cheese. Try to get it from locals not from the market especially if you are up the mountains.
Soutzouko, you will acompany your wine, or whisky when back home.
Buy a bottle of Commandaria before you leave from the Duty Free shops at the airport.
Cypriot Brandy is also very popular and of good quality on the island.
Lountza. It is smoked and marinated loin of pork.
Hiromeri. Marinated, smoked and pressed ham.
Buy some hand made lace from Lefkara village but be aware to buy the authentic lace and not buy anything which you think it is cheap. Surely it will be fake.
Leather products in Cyprus are of excellent quality.
Buy a suitcase. Suitcases are quite cheap in Cyprus.
What to pay: Don't rush to buy anything until the very last days.
Check with the price of each product in other shops before buying.
Be alert not to buy fake lace or leather.
Lace selling shop.
Many of the shops say they have branches in Scotland, Wales, Liverpool etc.
What to buy: What is called Lefkera lace, although to me it is more a kind of embroidery.
Nowadays the number of old women doing the work is declining and the new genearation do not have the patience to learn the craft, so the supply will dry up- or imported machine-made Chinese imitations will flood the market.
Crochet cushions can be found for much more than the Chinese copies which are for 2.50 Cyprus pounds each.
What to pay: a small side table cloth will be about 4 Cyprus pounds, a larger one about 12 pounds or a tray cloth from 21 to 40 Cyprus pounds depending on how much work has been put in.
Shop around, as we managed to get for 20 Cyprus pounds a medium and 2 small cloths, whereas it would have cost us 32 Cyprus pounds in another shop.
Don't leave without buying some "Soutzouko" to take home with you.
You will love it, and it is very nutrient believe me.