By Evie Andreou
Lefkara village has been included in the list of Europe’s 30 most beautiful villages by Japan’s Association of Travel Agents, (JATA) the Larnaca Tourism Board said in an announcement on Tuesday.
Photos of the mountain village, mostly known for its famous export, the intricate handmade lace, will be on exhibit at the EXPO Japan 2015 tourism exhibition, to be held next week in Tokyo.
The photos will be taken by a Japanese photographer, who will arrive in Lefkara this week, and “will undertake the task to capture the charm and the beauty of the village,” the announcement said.
It added that including Lefkara to the list was the outcome of the efforts of a Japanese travel agent, who has been organising the last five years trips to Cyprus with visits to the village.
Adding Lefkara to the list is “completely justified” the announcement said, since it “has unparalleled charm and unique architecture, local cuisine, important cultural and religious monuments, and above all, they managed to maintain and highlight the local crafts of embroidery and silversmithing”.
Lefkara mayor Savvas Xenofontos said that they welcome “yet another distinction” for the village.
“It counts that the village has preserved its character and it has elements that make it unique. But we do not rest and we look forward to a reasonable growth, the beautification of Lefkara and the enrichment of provided activities,” he said.
He added that recently the Lefkara Handicraft Centre had begun operations, where embroidery of the ‘Lefkaritiko’ lace would be taught as well as silversmithing. Furthermore, in April, the conference centre will be opened, which has the capacity to host up to 300 people. The budget for the re-development of the Lefkara main square has been approved and works are expected to begin within next year.
“The aim of this initiative is to highlight new destinations in Europe for the Japanese market and accordingly creating new travel packages to be introduced in the market in 2016. At the same time, staff from selected 16 travel agencies, will attend training seminars for these villages,” the Larnaca tourism board said.
Among the JATA’s ‘30 most beautiful villages in Europe’ list, are also included Kilkenny in Ireland, Civita di Bagnoregio and Procida in Italy, Conwy on the UK, Lech in Austria, Hindeloopen in Holland, Reine in Norway, Visby, Sweden, Golyazi in Turkey and Rovinj in Croatia.