While Cyprus certainly has much to offer those in search of sand, sea and fun, the island also has a great deal to offer those looking to get away from it all. Cyprus has always held its traditional heritage and cultural history close to its heart, so it is fitting that these qualities are growing increasingly important to economies of local communities as well as to visitors. Rural Tourism (or Agro-tourism, as it is officially called) is becoming more and more successful in Cyprus, attempting to encourage visitors (and locals) to enjoy the tranquility of rural villages and engage in some of the island's traditional countryside passtimes.

In common with most of the developed world, Cyprus suffered an exodus of youngsters from villages over the years, as they left the countryside in search of jobs in the larger cities. Faced with the potential loss of much of the island's traditional culture, the government set out to revitalise the Cypriot countryside in co-operation with the private sector.

To provide accommodation for tourists it was essential the local history and environment were taken into account, so traditional techniques and materials were used to make the new buildings extensions of the traditional Cypriot architecture. The result is truly a step back in time, with visitors now able to enjoy many rural village activities - from picking olives in the field to watching Halloumi cheese being made. Village festivals invite everyone to join the CYpriots for free food, traditional games, donkey rides and more, and in this way travellers are made to feel part of the local community.
There is no doubt that rural tourism is a terrific way to experience the Cyprus of yester-year, and a unique opportunity to explore the peace and tranquility of the island's villages. Agrotourism may be a far cry from the typical sand-and-sea holiday preferred by many, but the two should be regarded as complimentary to each other - further bolstering Cyprus's ability to offer the complete holiday package.

Cyprus Villages is a company specialising in Agrotourism. Established in 1987, the company now has lodgings dispersed in villages across the island and offer travellers a choice of lovingly-renovated studios and apartments with self-catering facilities, providing comfort without sacrificing any of the original, rustic character. For more information, visit

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