Akourdalia

Just up the road from Miliou on the main Paphos to Polis road you will find the picturesque village of Arkourdalia. Like many Cypriot villages it is split into two halves. Kato(lower) Akourdalia with Pano (upper) Akourdalia being just a few minutes away.

Some people say the name comes from the local dialect for wild garlic which grows in abundance in the area.

Other people say it comes from the word ‘Korda’ which is the strong rope which used to be made in the village.

The natural environment of the area with the Chrysochou valley below is rich in vegetation, with vine, carob trees, olive trees, almond trees, orange trees and grain.

Among the small traditional whitewashed houses of Kato Arkourdalia you will find a small coffee shop and what used to be the village manor house which has a rich history dating back well over a hundred years. The building has been renovated and converted into a group of self catering suites for holiday makers with a restaurant downstairs which offers traditional Cypriot cuisine.

The village does not have any shops but the village of Kathikas which has a few shops and some excellent tavernas is only a short distance away.

The museum of folk art

The Museum of Folk Art is housed in the old schoolhouse and is situated high on the hillside. The museum houses interesting artefacts from bygone days, many of which were used to cultivate areas of land with wheat, chickpeas and barley. There are hand ploughs with wooden shafts and several large metal sieves used for sifting the soil.

There are traditional costumes and faded photographs of the village men dressed in their vrakas and the women wearing dresses of striped hand-woven cotton with matching headscarves and protective aprons. The villagers would wear these costumes for all major celebrations and would weave the cloth on large wooden looms. They would also use the looms to make colourful rugs for the walls and floors of their homes.

Outside the museum, a traditional clay bread oven can be seen with its smaller side oven that is used to cook the popular local dish kleftiko, which is chunks of lamb baked slowly in terracotta pots with marjoram. Close by is a zivania still which was used at the end of the grape harvest to make the local variety of fire water. As well as making your head spin, zivania is also known for its medicinal properties. So you can either drink the stuff to forget about your aches and pains, or rub it into your aching joints, the end result is the same!

On the outskirts of Kato Akourdalia is a track which leads to the recently restored church of Ayia Paraskevi which is said to date back to the 15th century. Originally, the church was full of frescoes but now most of them are faded or have totally disappeared.

If you travel up the road from Kato Akourdalia, you’ll come Pano Arkoudalia where the houses are more modern.

There is a fantastic herb garden here where visitors can wander around, have a coffee, and buy a variety of fresh herbs. Over the road, the pretty church of Chryselousa is said to date back to the 16th century but it has recently renovated and is full of frescoes. The church was built near the point where two streams meet and is dwarfed by a huge olive tree. There is also an old stone olive press nearby.

Fringing the Akamas peninsula, both villages offer terrific views over the Chrysochou valley towards the foothills of the Troodos mountains and these are particularly dramatic at sunset. So why not enjoy a glass of wine while you watch a glorious sunset and breathe in the fragrance of the herbs and orange trees as dusk falls

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