The excursion began with an introduction to the new thematic Vavatsinia Honeybee Trail - ‘The Humming of the Bees’. The 2.5km path was created with the contribution of LTB and the Deputy Ministry of Tourism (DMT) in cooperation with the Troodos Network and Vavatsinia Community Council. Urban equipment has been installed along the path in-line with the beekeeping theme, including a hexagonal (beehive) wooden pavilion and benches; wooden loungers; decorative beehives; signage for bee-friendly plants, and bee ‘hotels’. Vavatsinia Community Council leader, Mr Andreas Gavriel, presented the path and the village’s points of interest to the group.
Continuing at the Rural Larnaka Honey Villages, and specifically at the Oros Machairas apiary in Melini, the group enjoyed a series of activities including honey tasting, a guided tour of the production unit to watch the honey extraction process, and bee therapy; the inhalation of beehive air, which is believed to contribute to wellbeing and useful for the treatment of various conditions.
The members of the Women’s Association of Rural Larnaka (WARL) extended a warm welcome at their premises in Agios Theodoros village, where traditional cottage industry and enogastronomy workshops are held as part of the Heartland of Legends route of the DMT.
The tour group observed workshops for making pumpkin pies, vegan 'pastichio’ and for crocheting, and were treated to local pastries, the traditional ‘Tertzelouthkia’ (boiled dough with carob honey) and fresh citrus squash made from the orchard fruit of Agios Theodoros.
Agios Theodoros Community Council’s president, Iacovos Stefanou, presented the Instagrammable Village of Cyprus’ points of interest, such as its nature trail, traditional olive mill, Venetian watermill, the chapel of Panagia Astathkiotissa with its ancient frescoes, as well as the restoration, renovation and preservation works taking place at Agios Athanasios the Pentaschoinites Church, which are expected to complete soon.
Back in Larnaca city, Mayor Andreas Vyras welcomed the group at the newly completed Larnaka Municipal Market which began operating on March 04. The ground floor of this impressive new space in the heart of the city consists of 20 small businesses offering a variety of local products including wine, nuts, cured meats, dairy products, confectionary and baked goods, fresh fruit and vegetables, and other traditional products. An open-air farmer’s market operates on Saturdays in the yard of the market complex.
The excursion culminated at the Ottoman Hammam in the Agios Ioannis area of Larnaca city. The hammam was recently restored and preserved following the initiative of the Bi-communal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage. The result of this action is the impressive restoration of an important ancient monument that had suffered extensive damage over the years.