Limassol
  • Ayia-Napa
  • Larnaca
  • Limassol
  • Nicosia
  • Paphos
  • Polis
oC
To Agros — the Quest for the Flower of Aphrodite
To Agros — the Quest for the Flower of Aphrodite
The Village of Roses and the Centre of Agrotourism
238
Evgeniya Kondakova-Theodorou
Author: Evgeniya Kondakova-Theodorou
Translation: Jordan Worsley
14.07.2020

Now a must-see tourist destination recommended in all guidebooks, Agros (in Greek: Αγρоς) is a mountain village in the Troodos that benefits from the seasonal influx of tourists, without losing a shred of its originality. It is a scenic beauty, spread out like an “amphitheatre” over the Troodos hillsides in the Pitsilia region in the south-east of Cyprus, at an altitude of 1100-1150 meters above sea level. With a population of roughly 1100 people today, it is also a popular resort, as well as an excellent retreat spot for pedestrians and cyclists.

At first glance, the village is more like a resort town, without the traditional closed-off centre which is characteristic of many other rural settlements on the island. Its views are an immediate eye-catcher. They make you exit your car just to stand for a moment or two. To breathe in deeply and take in the vicinity, where local, traditional houses and snow-white villas are spectacularly scattered over the slopes and hilltops surrounding the valley, rich with vineyards, orchards and roses ...

The village obtained its name from an ancient monastery, nicknamed "Megalos Agros" (or "Big Village”), that once existed on the site of the current church of Panagia.

It is believed that in the iconoclasm [1], 40 monks from Cyzicus (Asia Minor) arrived in Cyprus, bringing with them an icon of the Virgin Mother. After finding themselves on the site of modern Agros, they first settled in a cave, before later building the monastery. At the turn of the 16th-17th centuries, an epidemic raged on the island. Beginning in 1692, it literally “mowed down” two-thirds of the Cypriot population. The survivors left their houses and villages to gather behind the walls of the monastery. They began to build homes near its walls, hoping that the sanctity of this place would protect themselves and their families from misfortune. And so, Agros, or the Big Village, emerged.

Owing to its wind-protected location and the presence of springs, meaning a sufficient amount of water, Agros has become one of the most beautiful villages. It’s literally flourishing with magnificent orchards: the locals produce wine and bottled spring water, in addition to growing almonds and walnuts.

To Agros — the Quest for the Flower of Aphrodite

We arrived in Agros as it was getting dark: the entrance turned out to be an unexpectedly steep turn to the right (so be careful when taking your corners).

You can take this main road to conveniently drive right through the village, visit its centre and inspect the main sights. There are several general food spots located along the way, as well as several hotels within walking distance.

By the way, have you ever noticed: regardless of the distances marked on road signs, a journey along a mountain road takes noticeably longer than on a regular route? So, when trying to make your way there, give yourself some extra time to play with.

Another discovery for us today was the sharp change in temperature, even in comparison with the neighbouring villages. It rose ever higher as we drove along the winding mountain road.

Indeed, a little earlier that day, we visited Palechori and Apliki. Thus, considering Palechori and Agros are a 20-minute drive from each other, the difference in temperature is immediately palpable: at least a 5-7°C change, as the second village is located higher than the first one by more than 150 m.

And yet, it was in Agros that the long-awaited sun reared its beautiful face, beginning to sparkle on the fresh spring green on the hills and the orchards of flowering peaches and almonds.

 

We take our time moving further through the village, which we will introduce to you, as well as its history, traditions and people, along the way ...

Agros and its inhabitants have historically been involved in the fate of Cyprus and Greece. The village’s people have also played a part in all the national battles of the Greek community and their struggle for independence, displaying incredible courage, stamina and heroism.

For example, during the Greek Revolution of 1821, as well as during the subsequent Greco-Turkish War (1897), local male residents volunteered to be militia from Agros.

According to tradition, some Agros residents also took part in military operations in the Balkans, then in both World Wars. In addition, the local population are known to have made a feasible financial contribution to the war effort.

Information and names have been preserved concerning the Agros residents who were involved; not only if they continued to live in the village, but also if they further left for Nicosia or moved abroad.

Here are some of the names of the fighters in the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) and the First World War: Philippos Gregorides, Petros Kitromilides, Augoustis Savvas, Kyriakos Lefteris, Konstantinos Kalimeras, Savvas Avloitos, Aristodemos Constantinou, Cleanthis Mappourides, Sophronis Grousos, Cleanthis Savva (also Machos), Sophocles Michaelides (Kenevezos), Savvas Hadjisavvas, Kyriacos Loukaides and others.

The events of the attempted uprising in Cyprus named the "Octovbriana", also had a link to Agros and its people. The introduction by the British government of customs duties, combined with its refusal to satisfy Greek-Cypriots’ petitions for a unified Cyprus and Greece, caused a lot of tension. This, coupled with the severe financial conditions of the period, when many residents were the victim of genuine poverty, was well-known to have caused [2] the Greek uprising on the island — a short-lived, but bitter confrontation, which occurred in October 1931.

During the uprising, protesters burned down the governor's residence in Nicosia, and the family of the commander in Limassol died. The British, in turn, opened fire on the rebels.

History has preserved the first name out of 15 victims who died at the hands of the British military: this was young Onoufrios Clerides, a 17-year-old boy from Agios Theodoros in Agros. The young man was from the family of Nearchos Clerides (we will talk about him a little later).

The participation of Agros in World War II became huge. Amongst its people, there were: Glafkos Clerides (he served as a sergeant in the British Air Force), who subsequently became the President of the Republic of Cyprus; and Andreas N. Tzionis (a volunteer in the US Army).

As for the others, we will name K. Leonidas, Varnavas Savva, Stelios Kalli, Andreas Atanasi, Herodotos Tsaggarides and others.

 

... Agros did not step to the side when the EOKA rebels led their fight

The Agros natives participating in the EOKA patriots’ liberation struggle against British colonialists was of particular importance [3]. From the very beginning, Agros became a command centre in the Pitsilia region. Gregoris Afxentiou (1928-1957), a national hero of Cyprus, led guerrilla operations throughout the entire Troodos, starting from Agros. More than a hundred of its people were involved in EOKA (as well as in the organisation’s youth sector ANE), many of whom proved themselves as true heroes and defenders of their homeland.

Moreover, not only men and young males took part in the resistance movement against colonial rule. There is also information showing that in 1959, female residents of Agros and Agridia stoned English soldiers with stones. The contribution of women to the fight against colonisation was marked with a monument to Cypriot women fighters.

The fighting raged all over Cyprus, with the expatriates of Agros already taking part in conflicts inside the cities where they once lived (Nicosia, Limassol and other cities).

With the arrival of the Turkish army to Cyprus in 1974, five young people from Agros gave their lives in the fight against the Turkish invaders: Christophoros Pissarides, Antonakis Tsolakis, Yiannakis A. Mavrou, Nicos Hadjipavlou and Antonakis Adamou Agrotis.

 

Back to the Present Day

As for tourism, it has been developing here for a while: for several years now, Agros has been one of the most attractive spots in Cyprus, drawing in guests to the island who are fond of agro-tourism. In Agros, you can enjoy strolls along the narrow village streets, explore its nature trails and taste Cypriot cuisine, as well as the wines served in the village’s traditional taverns. There is also the opportunity to purchase village produce, promoted by shops belonging to local enterprises.

In fact, the village still manages to preserve its traditional way of life while staying in the loop of modernity and invites its guests to familiarise themselves with a healthy lifestyle in the surroundings of nature. It provides them with the chance to experience the simple joys of natural life, to not deny themselves this cultural pastime, directly in contact with the significant historical, religious and cultural landmarks in this region. Guests can also get involved in various events, celebrations and festivals on offer, soaking up the local atmosphere.

Attractions in Agros

The Church of Panagia Eleousa (Blessed Virgin Mary the Merciful)

The name of the church, along with the name of Agros itself, is directly linked with Theophanes the Confessor (also St. Theophanes of the "Big Village", 760-818) — a venerable saint, Byzantine monk and chronicler (author of "Chronographia"). After finding a monastery on the coast of the Sea of Marmara, he had an active role in monastic life, often working miracles such as healing the suffering and performing exorcisms.

According to legend, St. Theophanes attended the Council of Nicaea (787) which condemned iconoclasm. However, according to some sources, this movement resumed again in 818, and the monastery was burned down. Others suggest that after the death of the iconoclast emperor, Leo V the Armenian (Artsruni), the monastery was restored and the remains of the Monk were transferred there ...

As we already know, the story in question continued: it was the monks of that monastery who, after bringing the icon of “Panagia Eleousa” to the island, founded the new monastery, around which Agros emerged.

And so, the monastery existed until 1830, after which it practically ceased function, and the monks no longer lived there. In 1894, the monastery was destroyed to stop the diocese claiming rights to it, as monastic life there had already ended. Construction of today’s church began immediately after in its place. Inside the church today, you can see the tall iconostasis which was transferred from the monastery. The icons were crafted in the years 1930-1934 by the famous icon painter Solonas (Solomonos) Frangulidis — we will also tell you about him a little later.

Construction on the church was completed in 1955. The 21st of November marks the day of its Patron Saint.

On the church premises, nearby the entrance, in the form of a small chapel, is located the

Frangoulides Museum

Built next to the church of Panagia Eleousa, the museum was founded in 2004, in honour of the prominent artist, Solomos Frangoulides (1902-1981), a native to the Cypriot village of Pano Zodia. He was one of the most significant representatives of the first generation of Cypriot artists and is also considered the first painter on the island to combine secular and ecclesiastical art. Frangoulides was also a talented icon painter.

Solomos Frangoulides

In the 1920s, he studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Later, in the years 1932-1934, he lived in Agros, where he won great love and sincere respect from the local. In his own words, he felt particularly happy here.

All the portable icons in the church of Panagia, for instance, were crafted by his brush. They are characterised by a combination of the Byzantine style and Italian manner of imagery.

The idea to create a Museum about the artist was expressed by Solon Papachristodoulou, his godson and sole heir.

The Church of “Timios Prodromos”

To the east of the village, amongst the traditional houses, you can find another fantastic architectural monument — the church of Saint John the Baptist (built in 1860 using contributions from local residents). It’s a small stone basilica with a traditional tiled roof.

The church was inaugurated in 1892. The inner courtyard was also covered and paved with local stone, which was also used to build the church itself.

The icon of Panagia Platytera is an old piece crafted in 1887. The iconostasis dates back to 1914. In 1960, the church awaited significant renovations: the semi-destroyed roof was covered, and new slabs were laid on the floor. The previous ones, which were made of shale, had worn away and acquired numerous potholes from large numbers of worshippers stepping on them over the years.

The Saint’s day is celebrated on the 29th of August, and is accompanied by a fair and procession, during which the icon of the Baptist is carried through the crowd.

-

Main Activities of the Locals:

Aside from the cultivation of orchards and vineyards — something traditional for the population of Cypriot villages — the Agros people are also renowned for their local skills and crafts. The first of their talents is the cultivation of a special variety of roses to produce cosmetics with unique properties, but that’s not all ...

Industrial Cultivation of Roses

It is in this village that you can see a particular type of rose — one which is beautiful, fragrant and of an exceptionally delicate pink colour. Locals use them to produce the famous rose water: it is manufactured from a variety of Damask roses, whose distribution and cultivation are now inextricably linked with the name of one of the Agros natives.

As the Damask rose actually possesses an incredibly potent and beautiful aroma, it is the most suitable for the production of cosmetics, but it doesn’t stop there ... let’s discuss this a little more.

The Damascus rose (in Latin: Rosa damascena) is a perennial plant of the genus Rosa, which can grow to 1.5 m in height. The rose is believed to have been brought to Europe from Syria in 1875. Beforehand, it was cultivated in the countries of the Middle East, where it was famous for many centuries. As such, this flower has long been used for the manufacture of essential oil extracts.

It blooms only once a year, roughly in June – July, and in Cyprus at the end of April – May. Getting several drops of rose oil requires the processing of at least 30 inflorescences. It is no coincidence that Damask rose oil is one of the most expensive today!

Pure 100% oil has the maximum healing effect — in this form, as well as in the composition of various products, it has been used since ancient times to treat multiple diseases and for cosmetic purposes. It is suitable for any type of skin, but works exceptionally well for hypersensitive and dry types, along with those prone to allergic reactions. Its effects are largely noticeable in enhancing the elastic properties of facial skin, which contributes to improving skin quality and, of course, rejuvenation.

To Agros — the Quest for the Flower of Aphrodite

The Agros bush rose is a variety of the Damask rose which owes its distribution [4] to the local school teacher, Nearchos Clerides. In 1917, he founded the “Pupils Association for the Dissemination of the Rose Bush”. Later, he introduced a stimulation scheme which aimed for pupils and their families to expand the growth of the rose bush to produce rose water. The main goal was to contribute to a substantial improvement in the living standards of the local community.

In May, when the Damask beauty begins to bloom, the village’s guests, along with its residents, traditionally volunteer and take part in collecting the roses.

So, as used to be the case, the production of rose water (ροδοστάγματος) follows a traditional method, which also requires a boiler (distillation cube) and a barrel. The collected roses are placed in a pot with a large amount of water, based on the following calculation: two and a half litres of water is used for each kilogram of roses. Meanwhile, a fire is lit underneath the pot, and the mixture inside gradually begins to boil. The resulting hot steam, enriched with a rosy aroma, travels through a copper pipe into the small barrel. Inside the keg, the vapour condenses and becomes rose water, imbued with an incredibly potent aroma and a mass of useful properties.

Two litres of rose water is obtained “upon result” [5] for each kilogram of roses.

Agros residents claim that even sweets, which contain rose petals, are very healthy, as this flower assists in curing diseases (and this actually the case: rose water has a calming effect on the nervous system, heals constipation and is useful for heart function).

So, I think the time has come to treat ourselves to some sweets…

Traditional Desserts

After arriving in Agros, don’t deny yourself the small, albeit varied delights on offer. Let’s talk about the local treats. The most common sweets [6] in Agros, as well as everywhere in Cyprus, are gliko “spoonsweets” — various fruits, nuts, bergamot and even some types of vegetables (for instance, carrots, pumpkin, aubergines, tomatoes) boiled in syrup. The women of Agros have long brewed part of the harvest from their orchards and vegetable gardens in syrup, carefully stocking up for the winter.

In Agros, you will be able to try and choose from an extensive assortment (more than 40 types) of these desserts: walnut (which is the most popular “ingredient”, known here as “karidaki”), cherry, watermelon, grapes, quince, and of course, roses etc. It takes a couple of days to make this “sweet-on-spoon” in large pots.

Some other beloved types of dessert in Cyprus, both in the city and, naturally, in the countryside, are mahallebi and loukoumades. While the former is traditionally prepared in the summer and served chilled; loukoumades — small, deep-fried doughnut puffs — are prepared all year round, and for any occasion ... before serving, they are washed and soaked in syrup.

A slight difference: before serving loukoumades “ala-Agros”, they are sprayed with rose water!

The confectionery where you can buy the freshest traditional sweets in Agros is Nikis Sweets shop (Address: 5 Triandafillou St.; Tel .: +357 25521400; Opening hours: 08:30 - 18:00).

Besides, pink, fragrant Turkish delight always awaits the customer at the Co-Operative Society of Agros Rose Producer Ltd. (Address: 1 Triandafillou St.; Tel .: +357 25521224; Email: seta@agrose.com.cy) [7].

Deli Meats

If you are far from a sweet tooth and have a preference for smoked meats and other meat items, then take note. Made according to traditional Cypriot recipes, these Agros products (manufactured by several small enterprises) are also known for their distinctive taste and aroma. Some of them you’re already well aware of, especially if this isn’t your first time in Cyprus: chiromeri — ham, luntza — smoked fillet and “international" bacon, with definite hints of Cyprus in its taste.

Their manufacture requires pork, salt and wine. So, chiromeri and lountza are first put into salt, then soaked (marinated) in wine, after which lountza is hung out and cured; chiromeri is placed in a “capnistiri” — a traditional device for pressing, which is used to remove all the liquid from the meat. The cooking process is rather long and takes three months, during which the temperature continually changes. In the past, farmers would make chiromeri themselves, but only in winter, as it was customary to eat the ready-made ham for Easter.

When making the local lountza and bacon (a labour of love which can take up to two weeks), coriander is added, which gives them a pleasant aroma. The prepared meat is first put in wine, salted and sprinkled with coriander, then placed in the capnistiri.

Let’s not forget about Agros sausages. They are made using pork mince (very fresh!) and wine, as well as salt, coriander and the addition of other spices. All this also takes place in the capnistiri and is ready for use in a week. The most popular of these sausages are "pastourmas".

Unlike other meat delicacies, they are prepared from beef, with various spices added, along with garlic and salt. The entire process takes only three days, after which the intended pastourma is hung out in the open for several days.

“ΑλλαντικαΠροιονταΚαγκαλια” Home production and Sale of Delicacies (Address: Leoforos Agrou St., tel .: +357 25521426).

Meanwhile, our stroll through Agros continued, plunging ever more into the early evening twilight ...

We came out at the monument on the main street in the centre of Agros (it says: a writer, folklorist, teacher), which is dedicated to Nearchos Clerides (1918-1969), a famous native to Agros. He was a school teacher who became famous on the island and beyond its borders, thanks to his numerous studies in different spheres; N. Clerides was also the literal culprit behind the village “prospering”.

A bronze bust seems to be greatly enjoying the view of the Agros valley, where Clerides’ once inspired initiative is successfully developing ...

Nearchos Clerides (1918-1969)

Let’s go into a little more detail about this wonderful Cypriot, known for his scientific research in many areas: in the field of education, history and literature, in addition to collecting and studying Cypriot folklore. As a matter of fact, his aspirations of becoming a school teacher began at a young age but were not met with support from his family. Due to financial difficulties, his relatives believed he needed to support his family members by working, not studying. However, after graduating from school in Agros, Nearchos successfully continued his studies at the Pancyprian seminary in Larnaca.

Later, he and Kyriakos Apitos (1887-1976) were considered the pioneers of education in Agros: with their assistance, the first school was built in the village.

In 1948, Clerides became the school headmaster, despite having no actual teaching experience, neither in Agros nor the other villages in the vicinity of Nicosia.

Interestingly, his love for children and desire to give them all-round knowledge, led the young teacher in those years to compile student textbooks (49 in total). It also led to him publishing the magazine “Children's Joy” (Η Χαρά των Παιδιών), as well as writing and narrating fairy tales.

He displayed considerable interest in folk culture and liturgical books from childhood. Therefore, it was no coincidence that he devoted ample time in his adolescence to studying and popularising research on the practical value of handwritten liturgical books in the village churches of Cyprus, as well as their connection with Byzantine tradition and music. He wrote several works about the local monasteries, where the author described the history of their origin, the inhabitants’ way of life, and the economy ... The researcher collected and published various folk songs, customs, traditions, tales and legends, again making them а treasure to his country and its native culture.

 

Meanwhile, we head further and further ...

Along the way, we stumbled across a large, modern sports complex with a swimming pool.

A little further down the street is one of the local factories which manufactures the famous Cypriot cheeses halloumi and anari, made of sheep and goats milk. You can try and purchase them here (as well as in other stores throughout Cyprus).

And finally, we arrive at The Rose Factory (Chris N. Tsolakis LTD). Here, the Tzolaki family has been producing cosmetics [8] from the Damask rose for many years. They also manufacture unique sorts of chocolate, decorative wax candles, wines and aperitifs with a rosy fragrance.

The Rose Factory (Chris N. Tsolakis LTD)

The youngest representative of the dynasty, Helena, warmly welcomes us — not only did we learn from her a lot of exciting and new things about the applications of roses and products made from them, as well as about Agros and its inhabitants, but even a little more. She taught us things about Aphrodite, whose symbol in the ancient world was considered the rose. Shall we listen?

"... I am guessing you know the legend of the birth of Aphrodite, right? Indeed, according to legend, the goddess of Love and Beauty, born from sea foam off the coasts of Cyprus, was surrounded by roses which imparted a heavenly aroma, allowing her to take her first breath in the world. Hence the name of our company (in Roman "transcription"): Venus Rose Cosmetics.

Another beautiful, albeit sad, myth connected the appearance of the red rose with the tragic love story of Aphrodite and Adonis.

The goddess, having heard about the misfortune that had befallen her lover, wounded by a boar, rushed to his aid and accidentally stepped on a rose thorn. Drops of her blood fell among the once white roses, staining the petals of one of them. And so, the first red appeared — the emblem of love!

The world-renowned Damask rose grows on the terraces of our Agros, stretched over the hillsides like an amphitheatre. Along with fertile soils, the village possesses clean air and a unique climate, which is moderately cool and very favourable for the cultivation of roses.

Already in its third generation, our family cultivates this flower and produces a wide range of products with superb therapeutic effects.

I can tell you how it all began. Our fellow villager and school teacher, Nearchos Clerides, once gathered 60 pupils from Agros primary school. It was November 1918 and, according to the stories, it was a very cold day, but the pupils' eyes were fixed on him: the children were eagerly catching his every single word, brimming with enthusiasm. These guys — members of a school club also organised by Clerides, soon began to plant rose bushes — 50 a year — on their families’ land plots.

Shortly after finishing school, one of those young students devoted his life to cultivating the Damask rose and producing rose water — that was my grandfather, Nicodemus Tzolakis. In 1948, already 30 years after attending classes with his teacher, Clerides, N. Tzolakis arranged the bottling of Agros rose water in small bottles (until that point manufacturers had used large containers). He also became the first person to establish its export.

He passed on his experience to his son, Christakis Tzolakis, who is father to me and my sister Andria. In turn, C. Tzolakis, together with his wife Maria, modernised the old production, perfecting the technique and expanding the product range. Today, my sister and I are a part of this process: educated in France, Andria is a technologist in the field of cosmetics production; as for me, after completing my studies in Greece, I became an economist and marketing specialist, now also working for our brand.

In the present day, our Damask rose plantations in Agros already occupy 25 acres: this only constitutes one acre of the village itself, as the rest are located on its surrounding lands.

By the way, did you know that unlike other varieties of roses, the Damask flower only survives for one day? So, to obtain its truly magical aroma, you’ll need to pluck one before the sun rises high above the ground, drying its delicate petals and depriving them of oil ... otherwise, nothing will come of this endeavour. Those who collect the Damask rose — both manufacturers of pink products and annual volunteers ready to help gather the inflorescences — all head out to the fields from 5:00 to 9:00 every morning in early May. That way, they will be able to collect an entire harvest in one month. Practically one month a year only!

To Agros — the Quest for the Flower of Aphrodite

Did you know, we are the first company in Cyprus to manufacture a wide range of bio-cosmetics based on two main products: rose oil and rose water!

I’d like to say a little about our people: they are very kind, peaceful and hospitable. Tradition and progress are harmoniously combined in life here; and our unique landscape has hiking trails so that residents and guests can fully enjoy the splendours, aromas and views of Agros.”

-

We thank Elena for her fascinating account. Below are the company contacts, in case you’re also interested:

Chris N. Tsolakis LTD — VENUS ROSE Cosmetics

Address: 12. Triandafillou Street, Agros
Tel.: + 357 25521893
Website: www.venus-rose.com
Email: info@venus-rose.com

What else is worth knowing about Agros

High up along the mountain slopes, if you go just above the village, you will arrive at a source of mineral water. The water is bottled and also sold in many cities and villages on the island by Blue Sky Ltd, under the Agros brand: www.agroswater.com.

Aiming for Records: It was Agros that became the venue for the European Team Badminton Championship (2005 Helvetia Cup) from 19th-23rd January 2005. In the following year, from the 27th of April – the 3rd of May, the 23rd Balkan Mathematical Olympiad was held here.

Where to Relax and Grab a Bite to Eat:

Even if only coming here for the day, you won’t have difficulty finding a suitable cafe or restaurant, as there are a good few here.

These range from following: the diner “Το Μπακαλικοτοu Χαψη” located immediately at the entrance (along the E110, tel: +357 99409108) and cafe “Boss” (continuing on the main village road, now Leoforou Agra, tel .: +357 25521047); to the traditional taverns “Tavernogyros” (101 Glavkou Cleridi St., tel .: +357 96079027), “Pezema” (50 Stelios Hadzhipetris St., tel .: +357 99551381); and the restaurants “Koilada” (Leoforu Agru, tel .: +357 25521303), “Pantheon” (Pantheon, Leoforou Agra, tel .: +357 25521889) and others.

As you can see, many are located on the main street, so the choice, as always, is yours! You can examine the reviews of those who have already visited the village here.

And where should an “organised tourist” stay for a couple of days off or longer: either in a classic hotel or in a rented room with paid breakfast in one of the traditional houses — see here.

 

And some more useful information for when in the countryside:

For fans of agritourism:
Cyprus Agrotourism Company: Limassol Avenue, STO — 19 (Melkonyan building), tel .: +357 22340071

For those who Love to Observe Wildlife:
Bird Life Cyprus: www.birdlifecyprus.org
Email: birdlifecy@cytanet.com.cy
Tel.: +357 22455072

For Bike Pros and Beginners:
The Cyprus Cycling Federation: +357 22663344

For Fans of Quad-Bike Safaris, even for inexperienced sorts: Agros Safari.

And finally, some useful contacts in Agros:

Administration (30 Agros. Avenue)
Tel.: +357 25521333
Email: kinotikosimboulioagrou@cytanet.com.cy

Getting to Agros:

Driving:

From Nicosia (1 hour 15 minutes journey time) — first head along the A9-B9 highway, then continue along the E903 (Griva Digeni Street).

From Limassol (50 minutes) — First head along Agias Filakseos Street to Ayia Fila, then follow the signs, continuing along the First of April Street and Eleftherias Avenue, passing through Palodia and other villages.

By Bus

The №50 (from Limassol) and №157 (from Nicosia) follow a route towards Agros. See here for more details.

 

Until Next Time for More Discoveries!

To Agros — the Quest for the Flower of Aphrodite


[1] The name was given to the religious and political movement in Byzantium (VIII – beginning of IX centuries). It was directed against the existing tradition of revering icons, as opponents of "icon worship" saw echoes of pagan “idolatry" in it.

[2] The main one was that the excessive taxes and duties that the Brits collected from Cypriots were obligated to be paid by England to the Ottoman Porte, who had gone bankrupt in 1875. Though this was the case, under the terms of the Cyprus Convention (1878), the British instead withheld this money and included it in calculations of Ottoman debt. According to archival data: the number of annual payments must have totalled close to 93 thousand pounds.

[3] A bronze bust on a marble pedestal was erected on the territory of Apeitios school in Agros. It is dedicated to the memory of the local hero, Petros Iliadis. He was also an EOKA member, responsible for recruiting new members to the group, as well as for the concealment and transportation of secret weapons and correspondence. He also managed to create an assault team in the capital, where on the 14th of June 1956, at the main post office of Nicosia, he took part in an attack on the British.

[4] I think we need to clarify: the Damask rose also grows in other places in Cyprus. For example, in the villages of Campos and Lemifou, in the vicinity of Paphos. However, it is Agros that has deservedly earned the nickname the "village of roses."

[5] To big fans of roses, and generally to all those who would like to try making ordinary rose water in a home setting — this is easy to do if it pains you every time to see beautiful garden roses wither and crumble in a bouquet, or under a window. The primary condition is that you need to choose inflorescence varieties with a strong aroma, rather than decorative ones. As Elena from Agros said, it is also desirable to use petals from flowers collected in the early morning. You can find a mass of manuals on the internet to help you. There are also these YouTube videos here.

[6] For more on Cypriot desserts and how to cook them yourself, please see here.

[7] The company also offers cosmetic products. By the way, to get acquainted with the assortment of the local Cavallier brand, see here.

[8] For more about the traditions of cosmetics manufacture and its thousand-year inextricable link with the perfume industry, please see here.