The village of Lefkara was named among the ‘Best Tourism Villages’ by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) during a ceremony that took place on Friday in the presence of the deputy ministry of tourism Savvas Perdios.

The distinction follows the village’s inclusion in the list of ‘Europe’s 30 Most Beautiful Villages’ by Japan’s Association of Travel Agents (JATA), awarded for Lefkara’s appeal as a “complete destination with a clear identity and successful preservation of its rich, cultural heritage.”

“There is no doubt that the mountainous resort of Larnaca region stands out for its unparalleled, picturesque beauty, but the inclusion of the village on the UNWTO list was not given simply for its aesthetic quality, but also for its exemplary sustainable tourism practises,” a statement released by the Larnaca tourism board said after the ceremony.

“A defining characteristic of Lefkara is its traditional folklore architecture. All the buildings in the heart of the amphitheatrical village feature local elements inherited from bygone eras, including the use of locally-quarried stone, arches, terraces, balconies, large wooden doors and the distinctive indigo colour incorporated in some of the most charming houses nestled within the meandering cobbled lanes.”

According to the statement, there are as many as 555 listed buildings in Lefkara, along with 35 ancient monuments.

On top of that, Lefkara is famous for its hand embroidered lace linens, called ‘Lefkaritika’, which, according to the statement, “is the island’s only craft to be included in the ‘UNESCO World Heritage List of Intangible Culture’, and the first and only craft to be certified by the ‘Cyprus Organisation for Standardisation.’”

The village is also home to two of the island’s most traditional food offerings, namely tavas (slow-cooked meat) and the ‘loukoumi’, also known as Cyprus Delight.

Finally, the statement reminded that a year-round calendar of sports and cultural events taking place in Lefkara can be found on the Larnaca tourism board website and on the Lefkara municipality’s website.