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Mountain Festivities

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The communities of the Troodos Mountain Range really are something special – each with their own character, atmosphere and unique pastime or produce. The pride and passion they have for their cherished traditions is also celebrated annually at themed festivals where admission is always free, and you are likely to be offered products to sample with the compliments of the welcoming locals.

These are my favourite May-June festivals! Please note that whilst the month is fixed, the dates change annually depending on what date the weekend falls on.

Rose Festival – Agros Village – May

The island’s most fragrant and prized roses grow in Agros and this is a fragrant festival indeed! Taking place across two weekends visitors can discover all the ways that rose is used – in cooking and flavouring, and as a precious oil in anti-aging cosmetics. Alongside the programme of folkloric entertainment there are informative workshops and kiosks selling the most divine rose products. I always pick up bottles of pure rose oil which are fantastically priced (rose oil is usually very expensive), and the cheaper rose water ‘rodostema’ that I can use in traditional Cypriot recipes, as well as on my skin.

Agros roses

Cherry Festival – Plantanista & Pedoulas Villages – June

Big, juicy red and black cherries are one of my Cyprus summer highlights, and what better way to enjoy them than direct from the growers! Two mountain villages hold a cherry festival – Pedoulas (since 2017) and Platanista (since 1979). Visitors can see the different cherry varieties that grow in the area and enjoy cherry dishes (pies, pastries and other desserts) alongside the folkloric entertainment programme. As a fan of ‘glyko’ spoon sweets (preserved/candied fruits and vegetables) I cannot visit any of the cherry festivals without picking up a jar of ‘glyko kerassiou’ (cherry spoon sweets) and the sour cherry version ‘vyssino’.

glyko kerassiou

Aromatic & Healthy Herbs Festival – Platres Village – June

With the mountainous areas growing superior herbs thanks to a lack of pollution and favourable growing conditions, Cyprus is known for the quality of its herbs. This bounty is celebrated at Platres Cultural Centre where herb growers from across the island gather to showcase the ways that Cyprus herbs can be used – from cooking and teas to medicinal essential oils and beauty products. Those with an interest in herbs will be delighted with the many seminars and workshops and the opportunity to talk to the growers who I always find to be passionate and knowledgeable. My favourite product to take home is a selection of herbal loose leaf teas including mountain tea, lemon verbena and elder tea – which is fantastic for soothing eyes and minor eye infections.

herbs from cyprus

Lavender Festival – Platres Village – June

This is a purple perfume of an event held on a weekend in June at Platres Square and its Cultural Centre. Visitors can watch the lavender oil distillation process and take guided walks through fragrant lavender fields (the air is so clean, crisp and fresh here!). There are also lectures on the properties of lavender, sampling of lavender tea and other delicacies (lavender cake anyone?), and a programme of music and dance. At the lavender market I tend to pick up handsewn cotton pouches of dried lavender to keep moths away from my wardrobes!

Lavender flowers

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