All villages in Cyprus offer something unique but PAUL LAMBIS finds one that blends modernity and history, culture and nature

Historical villages with Franco-Byzantine churches, traditional stone buildings, picturesque squares, and locals preserving traditional arts and crafts abound in Cyprus.

Almost every village on the island is able to boast about its unique historical past, either rooted in the country’s myths and legends, or its religious cultural heritage, as evidenced by the impressive number of religious landmarks that tell the story of the island’s path to Christianity.

These villages also provide insight into Cyprus’ modern history as they often played a vital role during the 1950s struggle for liberation or the 1974 invasion.

The village of Lysos in the Paphos region can be included in this long list of historically and culturally significant Cypriot villages, while also being recognised as an alternative and special interest destination in Cyprus’ agrotourism initiative, owing to its traditional and sustainable way of life, and its close relationship with nature, which is evident on arrival.

“Lysos is a historical village, but it is also picturesque with many interesting things to see and do, especially in the summer when the superb climate provides a welcome retreat for hundreds of locals and visitors,” president of the Lysos community council Christos Michael said.

“It is the largest village in the Paphos region, with most of its territorial range covered by forest and wild vegetation, including some of the island’s rare bird species and fauna.”

According to Michael, Lysos was predominantly inhabited by Greeks with ties to both ancient Greece and Asia Minor. “Geometric vessels, rock tombs and other findings in the region’s archaeological areas attest to its Greek identity, which has been successfully preserved to this day.

“The village’s name, which derives from the Greek verb ‘lyo,’ which means ‘to melt,’ implies that Lysos was once an industrial area for melting metals, owing to the abundant water supply in the area as well as the copper deposits on the village’s western side towards Troodos”.

dom travel church of the virgin mary, panagia chryseleousa

Church of the virgin Mary, Panagia Chryseleousa

Today, its serene environment is complemented by the unique stone architecture of the buildings, most of which have integrated harmoniously with the natural terrain, the imposing 15th century Franco-Byzantine church dedicated to the Virgin Mary Chryseleousa, and the village’s busy central square, which hosts many events and festivals.

“The fountain of Lysos was once used by farmers who would stop there for their donkeys to drink. Today, it is a well-preserved tourist attraction and the site of our annual village festival, which takes place every August and showcases our village, the local produce, and the hospitality of our people,” Michael explained.

Lysos is also an important religious or spiritual destination, with the region densely packed with chapels, churches and sacred monuments, including the celebrated pilgrimage site, the Cave of Saint Charalambos, all of which bear witness to the village’s religious legacy.

It was very active during the island’s liberation struggle to end British rule in the late 1950s. “It was a shelter and a base of operations for many Greek Cypriot fighters, and it also served as a hideout for the hero student-poet Evagoras Pallikarides, who was later arrested here,” Michael told the Cyprus Mail.

“The residents of the village constructed the Heroes Monument at the point where Pallikarides was arrested, while adjacent to the hiding place of his insurgent team, on a location known as The Mountain of Prayer, we placed a marble plaque with the names of all those individuals who played a pivotal role in the war for independence.”

dom travel moufflon


When it comes to the natural environment, Lysos is blessed with beautiful colours and scents. Mostly wild vegetation, the village is situated in a vast valley of pine trees, while cultivated lands include vineyards, citrus, olives and figs. “The village is not only characterised by its flora, but also by its fauna, which includes of rare bird species and reptiles. It is the ideal place to see Cyprus moufflon, hares, foxes, peacocks, owls, sparrows and much more,” Michael said.

dom travel3It is possible to explore and admire the natural beauty of Lysos by foot or mountain bike, while also taking advantage of the many picnic sites located within the Paphos forest, all the way to Stavros tis Psokas, and the Cedar Valley.

Visitors can also stay in the heart of the village in one of the traditional stone houses that are part of Cyprus’ agrotourism initiative.

The hidden gem, however, is arguably the Paradisos Hills Hotel, an excellent hotel and retreat that offers modern accommodation with full facilities, an infinity swimming pool with breath-taking views of the Paphos forest and beyond, the finest traditional Cypriot cuisine, and all of the sites and attractions that Lysos is famous for. The hotel also has a Sunday lunch buffet available year-round, serving a variety of Mediterranean and international dishes.

Every village in Cyprus has its own splendour, but Lysos stands out as a one-of-a-kind melting pot of history, tradition, modernity, and hospitality, all of which merge beautifully with nature’s charm and uniqueness.