11 reasons to head to Omodos on the weekend
September is the month that Omodos celebrates, as on the 14th of the month is the feast day of the Holy Cross, where faithful from all over Cyprus arrive in the village for a pilgrimage to the Holy Cross monastery in the centre of the community.
Pilgrimage to the Monastery of the Holy Cross
At the centre of the village stands the Monastery of the Holy Cross, one of the oldest and most historic monasteries on the island. According to tradition, when Saint Helen visited the island, she left in the monastery a piece of the Holy Rope and the Holy Wood, Christ was bound to by the Romans.
See the sights
Also worth visiting are the museums that are housed in the monastery, such as the Agonos Museum, the Museum of Byzantine Icons, the Icon Museum, the Folklore Museum, the Lace Rescue Centre and more. Before leaving, light a candle in the chapel of Saints Constantine and Helen. A little further there is the Chapel of Ayia Paraskevi.
Get to know the traditions of the village and buy souvenirs
Walking through the cobbled streets of the square and the surrounding streets you will discover small shops with various souvenirs, traditional folk art products, as well as premium quality handmade jewellery, embroidery, and lace. You will also find workshops that make glass creations and Byzantine icons. Also, buy herbs and spices from the John’s Herbal Shop and other local delicacies, such as soutzouko.
Explore the Wineries
With a tradition in wine production, Omodos has excellent wineries to visit for wine tours and tastings. Some of them are Zen Winery (99 492979), Olympus Winery (25 573391), Linos Winery (25 422700), Marion Winery (99 556630), Gerolemos Estate (25 422122) and Brand New Ktima Vasiliades (25 446000). And when you get hungry, choose among the traditional taverns of the village.
Go for food
In the square you will enjoy your souvlaki at Kamara (99 772371) and Themelio (99 459306). Going through the picturesque streets of the village you will find the famous tavern Kyr Yiannis (70 000100), with imaginative dishes, Katoi (25 423033), Themistocles tavern (25 422649), Makrinari (25 422151) and Mavres Chines (99 342826) where you can enjoy your meal with live music. Just outside the village you will find the restaurant Ampelothea (25 421366) with authentic Cypriot and international cuisine.
Coffee and loukoumades in the square
In the afternoon you will drink Cypriot coffee with crunchy loukoumades at Platia Cafeteria. In the village you will find many traditional cafes, but also more modern cafes, to enjoy your coffee and drink.
Book a stay
For your overnight stay, there are many restored, traditional accommodations, offering you a unique experience in the village. Among them are Stou Kir Yianni Guest Houses (70 000100), Omodos Katoi Holiday Homes (99 385319) and Omodos Village Houses (99 749065).
Learn about the famous traditional embroidery
In addition to the housework and hard work they do in the vineyard next to their husbands, women spent their free time making handmade embroideries. So, as you walk the streets of the village you will see the women of the village, old and young, gathering in the winter sunshine, and in the summer, in shady neighbourhoods, with a needle in their hand to make the famous traditional embroidery.
Don’t miss it
The celebration of the Holy Cross on September 14th is a great event and the festival held in the village lasts for more than three days, attracting people from every corner of the island. This year’s celebrations begin on Friday, September 13 and will continue until Sunday, May 15. The church will of course be open to visitors from Wednesday, September 11.
Worth a try
Do not leave without tasting and buying the famous arkatena that you will find in the bakeries of the village. Hadjistasou brought the art of making arkatena from Smyrna.
Learn about the medieval grape press
Do not miss visiting the Linos, the medieval grape press. You will find it near the church.