Suggestion for an excursion to the multi-interesting Kalavasos
Image by @varellaxenios on Instagram
A good idea for a nature escape this winter and sunny weekend is the wider area of Kalavasos, where you can relax by the calm waters of the artificial lake, spend the night in traditional stone-built houses with character, enjoy fresh fish in the neighboring seaside villages ΄ as well as tour Neolithic settlements and old mines where a railway once passed.
The rock-cut, beautiful and perhaps not well-known dam of Kalavasos is located approximately five and a half kilometers northwest of the community. The rainy season we are passing through is without a doubt the best time to visit the place, as the landscape is green everywhere and the water runs abundantly, fresh and rushing, from the recent beneficial rains. So with the very pleasant and increased sunshine forecast for today and tomorrow and which, as is known, can prove to be significantly refreshing and beneficial during the winter, your wanderings in the blue-green natural landscape of Kalavasos will reward you with a feast of colors , of smells and sounds, both on earth and in heaven.
As for the dam itself, it is worth mentioning that if you look at it from a distance, you will find that its shape resembles a heart.
This artificial lake is built on a river named Vasilikos. and is located in a valley, which during medieval times was a rich, green forest, a fact that is said to be related to the very name of Kalavasos, as the ancient Greek word “vassa” means a wooded valley.
If and as long as permission is secured from the Department of Fisheries, one can also go fishing at the dam since there has been a strong movement of fish such as carp, redfin, mosquitofish, bream, catfish and sunfish. It should be noted that in addition to Kalavasos itself, five more communities benefit from irrigation and not only from the dam, Maroni, Zygi, Psematismenos, Mari and Tochni.
The Kalavasos Dam/Photo by @olya.cyprus/Instagram.
Mining and Railway
But beyond the charm of the natural landscape, you will have the opportunity to explore the fascinating history of the area, where in the distant past there were five mines and a railway that transported the ore to the neighboring port of Vasilikos. In ancient times there seems to have been a connection with the kingdom and port of Amathus.
Significant mining activity took place in the area by both the Phoenicians and the Romans. Today, the remnants of the old railroad cars and tracks are a must-see attraction.
The old railway. photo by @larnaca_city on Instagram.
The archaeological site of Tenta
On the otherwise sunny highway between Nicosia and Limassol, one of the only rather eye-catching spots is the so-called Kalavasos Tent, which is a literal tent that protects antiquities from the sun and rain. But apart from a nice view from the car, it is a very important archaeological site, as there is an ancient known settlement and pillar pits from the Neolithic era, that is around 7000 to 5200 BC.) The architectural ruins seem to they coincide chronologically with the counterparts of Choirokoitia. It is a naturally fortified position to the west of the plain of the Vasilikos river which is a representative example of the early permanent settlement of populations on our island.
The Neolithic settlement of Kalavasos was discovered in 1947 by the well-known archaeologist Porphyrios Dikaios, while the site of Tenda was excavated as part of an archaeological mission of an American university in 1976. According to information published by the Department of Antiquities, the settlement consists of a set of buildings, with the main characteristic of circular plan. The upper part of the walls was built of clay, straw, bricks and pebbles and the lower part that can be seen with the naked eye to this day is stone.
The roofs seem to have been flat and the dead were buried in pits dug into the floor of the houses or in the open space between them. Excitement among archaeologists and not only was spread by a particularly rare decoration of a building in the settlement where two human figures with raised hands can be seen.
The Neolithic settlement of Tenta is considered one of the most important in the Eastern Mediterranean/Photo by @visit.kalavasos on Instagram.
Where to eat, where to drink and where to stay
Currently, the well-known taverns of Kalavasos are undergoing renovation, so if you are looking for good food in the area, you only have to head to the neighboring fishing villages such as Akti tou Kyverniti and Zygi.
A constant value is, for example, Sofronio Beach in Zygi where you will go to experience the authentic experience of the popular Cypriot fish tavern, located on an elevated point next to the sea with a panoramic view of the opposite bay and where fresh fish and well-prepared seafood are offered, which they are made both on the grill and in the pan. But why not try the homemade food at the cozy tavern of Lenia, located in the residential core of neighboring Psematismos. Great food from great people with impeccable service.
Suggested to try coupe pia, anthous and beef stew.
Cozy room with fireplace at the Library hotel/photo from the hotel’s Facebook page.
As far as accommodation is concerned, we can only refer to the chic, classy, warm and well-kept Library hotel wellness retreat, which in itself is a reason to choose the area. Located in the most central part of Kalavasos, next to the square and opposite the church and with incredible indoor and outdoor spaces, with a fireplace, affordable prices, a friendly atmosphere and all the amenities, the Library is the ideal choice for a stay all year round, both in the summer as well as in winter.
An additional interesting option for accommodation is the Kalavasos View Traditional Apartments which are traditional, old and renovated houses, with folklore furniture, lemon and tangerine trees in their yard and a great advantage of the panoramic view that offer the village of Kalavasos.
At Lenia’s tavern in Ssematismos/photo from the tavern’s Facebook page.
Narrow street in the village of Kalavasos/photo by visit.kalavasos on Instagram.