Despite coronavirus restrictions, five mountain communities are still going ahead with hosting Christmas villages for the first time this winter, the deputy ministry of tourism announced on Monday.
Between December 10 and January 6, Christmas villages will operate in Agros, Kyperounta, Platres, Kalopanayiotis and Kakopetria from 11am to 4pm on weekdays and until 6pm on weekends, the deputy ministry said.
The villages will be decorated and illuminated in a festive spirit to the sound of Christmas carols, while offering an authentic taste of the moubntain areas.
“The aim of the deputy ministry is to offer authentic experiences to local and foreign visitors as part of an effort to turn Cyprus into an all-year tourist destination,” the announcement said.
The festive villages will host restaurants and ‘houses’ with local products and handicrafts for sale and the initiative will also include workshops on crafts and wine, village tours as well as other nature activities such as walking in nature trails and cycling.
Coronavirus measures mean, however, that the villages will not be able to provide quite the Christmas experience they had originally hoped. No musical and theatrical events will take place, and no playgrounds will operate to avoid overcrowding, the deputy ministry said.
Also, the consumption of food and beverages will not be allowed in the streets, only in restaurants, cafes and other hospitality establishments.
Access to workshops, tourist accommodations, restaurants and kiosks will only be allowed with the presentation of a SafePass.
The tourism ministry said the Christmas villages also provide a great opportunity to take advantage of the domestic tourism incentive plan which offers state-subsidised accommodation in the area.
For more information on the Christmas villages people can contact the deputy ministry of tourism via [email protected] or visit the official website www.christmasvillages.com.cy.