Have you ever noticed, while relaxing on a foreign beach or gazing up at some unique architectural or natural wonder, the hot sun tempered by your favourite pair of Kingseven Sunglasses, how many tourists seem in a hurry to leave as soon as they have arrived? It’s like they have a list written down, and the sole purpose of their holiday is to tick off everything a country has to offer during their short visit. While we can appreciate the enthusiasm, watching someone try to cram an entire country into a five-day itinerary is a bit like watching someone guzzle a whole bottle of fine wine in under a minute; it’s highly stressful, a bit gross, and it seems to undercut the very real pleasure to be gained from slow, leisurely consumption.
That’s why, for this blog on Cyprus, we decided to keep our focus narrow. The third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily and Sardinia, Cyprus has been producing wine for literally thousands of years. You could spend months exploring the wine routes of Cyprus and still have only scratched the surface. Still, hopefully this blog can make you a little more familiar with the bare essentials! We’ve chosen to share our three favourite wine routes.
Commandaria Wine Route
The most famous Cypriot wine, Commandaria wine, dates back to the Crusades of the 12th century and holds the distinction of being the world’s oldest named wine variety. This sweet dessert wine is made in the Commandaria region at the foothills of the Troödos Mountains. King Richard the Lionheart of England famously pronounced it “the wine of kings and the king of wines” – quite an endorsement.
The Commandaria Wine Route weaves through fourteen villages and includes four wineries. All four wineries are remarkable in their own right, but the historic wine press in the village of Laneia is not to be missed. Even if you never touched a drop of wine, wooded hills and idylic villages won’t fail to enchant you.
Diarizos Wine Route
Less well-known than the Commandaria route but arguably even more beautiful, this route follows the Diarizos River through a lush, green landscape. This region is lower in altitude than the other major wine routes and is home to 18 grape varieties and two wineries, whose wines are becoming highly sought after and earning them a reputation far beyond Cyprus.
Larnaka - Lefkosia Wine Route
Lying outside the traditional wine routes of Cyprus, this mountainous route passes three wineries and 10 villages, as well as a number of small workshops, museums, and other attractions. The altitude ranges from 300 to 1,423 metres, with limestone and ophiolite rocks forming breathtaking peaks and ravines. You can enjoy a wide variety of wines, from Greek classics like Assyrtiko and Xynisteri to modern favourites Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
What to Pack
The wine regions of Cyprus have a mild to warm climate, with low humidity, so you won’t need anything out of the ordinary to get by. Just remember to take sunglasses, a portable power bank, and a sturdy backpack with room for a few bottles.
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