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Arsos

27/02/2021
* NOTE: All the tributes of All About Limassol (as the Official Guide of Limassol) aim to ONLY highlight the special aspects of this wonderful city, so that everyone can be aware of the exceptional options they offer. Under no circumstances do they have any promotional or nominal value, and they do not serve the interests of Companies, Municipalities, Organizations or Individuals.

The village of Arsos is one of the largest wine villages of Cyprus. It is located 40 kilometers west of the city of Limassol, bordering the Paphos countryside. It is built at an altitude of 1092 meters, with an open horizon towards the valley of the Diarizos river. Thanks to its position, it boasts a wonderfully dry climate during the summer, and sometimes sees snowfall in the winter.  

History

The village experienced great development during the period 1920 to 1960, with a population of up to 2000 inhabitants. The poor road network of the time, and the meager income from viticulture led residents to try their luck in other cities towards the mid-20th century. Today, the population does not exceed 300 people, but the village has retained its picturesque character, and its rich folk traditions, its architecture and its customs have all remained intact.

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Name

There are 2 versions of the story behind its name:
- A paraphrasing of the Holy Grove (Iero Alsos) of the Goddess Aphrodite, which was located in the area where the village is built (Alsos > Arsos).
- The name originates from the city founded in the Paphos area during the Hellenistic years, by King Ptolemy of Egypt, in honor of Arsinoe (Arsinoe > Arsos).

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Square

The village branches out into narrow streets lined with traditional, stone-built houses, which meet in the central square, around the Apostle Philip church. The square is a traditional meeting place and commercial center, and is home to 2 tavern-coffee shops, as well as the old village bakery, a shop selling traditional grape products, and a grocery store.

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Apostle Philip Church

The church of Apostle Philip was built in the 12th century, and dominates the central square of Arsos. The current façade of the church and bell tower dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. Next to the church is the chapel of Saint Mariamni, sister of Apostle Philip.

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The wood-carved iconostasis was built in the 19th century. The old church housed the remains of Apostle Philip, which were stolen shortly after 1735. His reliquary was rescued and transferred to the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Omodos. The residents of Arsos believed the Holy Reliquary to be miracle working, and performed liturgies for the protection of their crops during periods of locust invasions.

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Another church, dedicated to Panayia Chryseleousa Katholiki, is situated in a location north of the village, near the nature trail.

Viticulture

Since ancient times, Arsos has emerged as a rich wine village, and the traditions that developed around viticulture are preserved to this day. Besides the winery that operates just outside the village, many of the locals make their own wine and zivania, as well as palouze and shoushouko. In the center of the village, there is a traditional distillery where grape broth is to this day kept in large, traditional jars.

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The shop ‘To Stafili Allospos’ (A different kind of grape) operating in the square is dedicated to traditional grape products and more. In addition to palouze and shoushouko, it also sells epsima (grape syrup), traditional apple sweets in grape syrup, spoon sweets, as well as grape juice candy. Visitors to the village can thus get a full taste of the traditional flavors of Arsos.

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Architecture

The village is built centrally, in the classic fashion of a densely populated settlement. The narrow streets and various types of village homes all built with impeccably hewn stone and topped with tile roofs bring a unique charm to the village architecture. The many neoclassical buildings around the village are also particularly characteristic.

Folklore Museum

A two-story 19th century house is restored and shaped into a space highlighting the entirety of folk tradition, as well as elements of village history. Both the courtyard and its rooms display a rich collection of excellent specimens of tools, furniture, utensils, clothes, photographs, and decorative items from residents’ daily lives during the 19th and 20th centuries.

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Nature Trail

The village trail featuring 6 stone built fountains offers a way to enjoy the unique beauty of the area, and take a tour of its history. The path is 1250 meters long and is the route once taken by residents to supply their homes with water and wash their clothes and carpets. The water flows year-round, creating an idyllic setting of rivulets surrounded by large plane trees, poplars, walnut trees and willows.

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Accommodation

The village offers a number of Agrotourism accommodation options. These are old homes that have been restored to welcome local and foreign visitors.

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Modus Vivendi: 24 333640, 99 446479
Magdalou’s house: 99 814531
Cornaro House: 25 358836
Estian: 96 777220
Arsorama: 25 817000
Moustos traditional house: 99 604955
Kantara House: 99 417015

Relevant

Food - Drinks

Arsos is famous for its hospitality, and the central square of the village confirms this, with 2 cozy spaces offering coffee, beverages and traditional cuisine overlooking the beautiful church of Apostle Philip.

Agora Tavern: 99 662726
Arsos café restaurant: 99 277277

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Events

Cypriot Evening: A summertime fiesta with music, dance and traditional delicacies held every July in the village square.

August Festival: The traditional festival for former village residents and expatriates to meet.

Palouze Festival: With the aim of preserving the customs of the wine village, a celebration dedicated to grape products is held every October.

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