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Vouni

* 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.

Location

The village of Vouni is one of the Limassol wine villages, or ‘Krasochoria,’ and it is located approximately 35 kilometers northwest of the city of Limassol. This mountainous village has an average altitude of 800 meters, and it is spread across a slope with a southern-leaning gradient. It boasts an impressive terrain, with heights reaching up to 1153 meters at the Moutti tou Afami peak north of the village, and two river beds, the Chapotami River in the west, and Krios Potamos in the east.

The village retains a particularly picturesque landscape, with cobblestoned, narrow streets and stone-built houses with coloured wooden doors, large windows, balconies and courtyards flooded with greenery and flowers. Its exceptional natural beauty and architectural heritage have preserved until this day the lifestyle of the locals many decades ago, and are among the reasons why the village is regularly visited by both Cypriots, and tourists from other countries.

Name

The name of the village is linked to its location. According to the Great Cyprus Encyclopedia, the village was named ‘Vouni’ (meaning, small mountain) due to the hilly terrain within which it was built, resulting in the village houses being built as though climbing one on top of another.

History

The first known record of Vouni village dates back to the Middle Ages, where it appears on Venetian maps as ‘Voni.’ This map location, however, does not place the village at its present location, but rather north of the village of Kivides.

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According to local tradition, the village of Vouni was once separated into 4 settlements, built across an area of low mountains. Three of these, called Pera Vouni, Velonaka and Ais Mamas, were ravaged by the plague which struck Cyprus in 1692. It is said that the settlement which was salvaged, Vouni, was protected by Saint John the Baptist, to whom the main church of the village is dedicated. Residents of the 3 settlements who withstood the plague made their way to the settlement of Vouni, where a monastery dedicated to the saint was built. 

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The village evolved into a thriving community, which by the mid-20th century numbered up to 2000 inhabitants, whose properties stretched many kilometers west of the village.

The first houses in Vouni were built in the area of ​​Rotsos and the inhabitants were involved in farming, cultivating the land of the monastery of St. John the Baptist. Today, despite a drastically smaller population, Vouni retains the same traditional image with its houses built very close to one another, resulting in the image of a fortress from afar. Their wealth allowed many of the original residents to build two-storey mansions. Today, following efforts to renovate these homes and restore the stone-paved roads, Vouni stands out for its picturesque characteristics.

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Simple, smiley and welcoming, the people of the village are among the reasons for visiting Vouni.

The Square

Although not a town square in the typical sense of the word, the plaza is at the center of everyday life for the village’s residents, but also a popular destination for visitors to the area. Among the two-storey houses, that create walkways over the streets, cafés and shops with local, traditional products (such as the cold meats store, wine cellar and antique shop / gallery) have been established, where one can get in touch with the village's character. There were tens of cafes in the village until the mid-20th century; however with the decline of the population, these have also declined. The original café with blue windows located within the town square, however, remains unchanged, reminiscent of earlier times.

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The School

In the middle of the village, at a peak in the terrain located higher than most of the houses, is the old Primary School, where students from Vouni and the surrounding areas studied. The school has been completely renovated and now serves as an event venue, while the courtyard houses a monument with the statues and names of the village's fallen men who were lost in the battle against the English in '55 - '59 and during the Turkish invasion of 1974.

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Museums - Monuments

The history and traditions of the village are maintained today through monuments and museums that preserve fragments of its course through the centuries.

Museum of Folk Art: Elements of everyday life, furniture, tools, decorations, and costumes of people who lived in the village in the previous century, are kept in the Museum of Folk Art. Visitors can stroll through the natural surroundings of this era, as the Museum is housed in a restored, two-storey stone house.

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Water Storage Cisterns: At the entrance of the village there are 2 water storage cisterns built in different time periods to meet the fresh water needs of the village’s inhabitants. The size of these storage tanks is further evidence that Vouni was a wealthy settlement with a large population in the past.

On the left side of the road, as one enters the village, is the fountain built during the Venetian occupation. A steep, cobbled alley leads to the fountain, on both sides of which are grooves through which the water passes. The large open space and the many valves indicate that the community had an increased need for running water.

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On the right side of the road, there is a subsequent cistern, constructed with the characteristic, polygonal shape that most Ottoman fountains boast, with one valve on each of its 5 sides mounted beneath a typical, ottoman arch. The large plane tree that stands above the fountain has been benefiting from the water flowing in the area for centuries. Today, wooden benches placed there make this area ideal for rest, especially in the warmer months of the year.

Olive Mill: As a village whose inhabitants were engaged in agricultural work, Vouni had its own olive mill, which has been maintained and is an ideal place to visit.

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Oenology Centre: Next to the community park, near the entrance of the village, an area dedicated to the tradition of wine has been created, as Vouni has been an area full of vineyards with wine grapes for centuries. Until the 1990s, 40% of the total area of the village was covered with vineyards, making Vouni third in grape production, after Pachna and Omodos. Although viticulture reduced significantly after 1990, efforts have been made to revive it in recent years.

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Right next to the Oenology Centre, there is a modern park with a playground, which also has an outdoor amphitheatre, so that it can host events.

Churches

Church of Timios Prodromos: The Church of Timios Prodromos is the main church of the Vouni community. It is a one-aisled, cruciform church built in the Byzantine style, featuring a pointed central arch. Its exterior is stone-built, while its entrances are decorated with carved stones. Its impressive stone-built belfry is richly decorated, while the interior of the church is adorned with 19th century frescoes that are protected by the Department of Antiquities.

Our Lady of Peravouniotisa Church: This stone-built Basilica church is located in a quiet, beautiful area approximately 1km from the southern exit of Vouni. Its location offers panoramic views of the village of Vouni and its vineyards.

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Chrysosotiros Chapel: The Chrysosotiros Chapel is located on a small hill just outside of the Vouni community. It forms a rectangular vaulted structure lined externally with stone, and offers visitors panoramic views of the village from its courtyard. It celebrates each year on August 6th, the feast day of the Transfiguration of the Savior, with a great celebration held in its courtyard.

Chapel of St. John the Russian: This small church is the only one on the island dedicated to the miraculous St. John the Russian. It is located south of the village, and is frequented by many faithful visitors seeking miracles.

Agios Mamas Chapel: The Agios Mamas Chapel is a vaulted basilica constructed in 1938 with local stone in both its interior and exterior. The chapel is always open for visitors.

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Resurrection of the Saviour Monastery: Approximately 4 km south of the village, on a estate among vineyards, the Resurrection of the Saviour Monastery was built by the monk Damaskinos, who decided to depart from the Troodotissa Monastery in 1948 and live in this secluded location. To this end, he had to cultivate this field, which he had inherited from his parents, in order to secure the necessities for his survival. Damaskinos died at the age of 90 in 2005 and his tomb is located next to this hermitage which he built with his own hands.

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In 2012, Father George, who had originally served the Monastery of Christ the Counselor, settled into this monastery, in order to follow the same secluded life as that Damaskinos had chosen. Since 2012, the site has been renovated and equipped with a new building that welcomes the faithful who visit this site. The chapel located there is the only one in Cyprus dedicated to the Resurrection of the Saviour.

Accommodation

Vouni has a number of accommodation options, mostly in the form of beautifully restored homes featuring lush green gardens, some boasting a swimming pool, and all suitable for all types of guests, from families and large groups of friends, to couples. Ipio Vouni Suites (99 215530) is a recently renovated building offering 7 deluxe studios and 2 suites and luxurious décor. Oinochori Country House (99 511587) features a studio, one-bedroom apartment or family cottage and comes with a communal outdoor pool. Oinou Strata (25 944244) offers a luxurious stay in wine-themed suites, featuring an inner courtyard and restaurant devoted to fine wines and delicious culinary options.

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Vouni Hideaway (25 352066 – 99 834719) is a secluded one-bedroom designer village house with a private pool that is perfect for couples seeking a peaceful stay away from it all. Vouni Lodge, (99 215530) is a two-story stone-built restored house comprising 3 one-bedroom apartments with a private courtyard. It is ideal for families, and also pet friendly. Balcony House, (25 352066 – 99 834719) is a bespoke luxury accommodation for 2 to 4 people and features its own private pool. Villa Cabernet (25 944244) is a restored stone building with a large courtyard and swimming pool, ideal for families and large groups.

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Dining

Vouni is home to some of the most famous taverns in the Limassol countryside, all of which are known for their traditional meze dishes, welcoming owners, and a warm and friendly atmosphere. Taverna Takis (25943631, 99406434) is located within the village cobblestone streets and features a fireplace for the winter months. To Vouniotiko Tavern (99440218) is located on the main road towards the village, atop a hill offering panoramic views. Oraia Ellas Tavern (25944328, 96868748), is a charming venue offering a range of local Greek and Cypriot dishes, while Alexandros Tavern (99475982, 99406434), is conveniently located at the entrance of the village, near the playground, while Alexander's Tavern (99 475982, 99 406434), at the entrance of the village, is close to the community park and the children's playground.

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Drinks

The ‘Mesochoros’ or ‘Middle Space’ of the village has been revived with the arrival of coffee shops that combine tradition with modern flourishes, creating a truly picturesque setting in which visitors can sit back, relax, and enjoy a coffee, drink or snack. These include ‘The Corner of Angels,’ which enjoys unobstructed views of the rolling green hills of Vouni, and the traditional ‘The Square’ church coffee shop as well as the Coffee Shop of the Women’s Club. 

Events

The Vouni Palouze Festival takes place at the end of September each year and celebrates the production of the traditional sweet made from grape must with traditional music and dances.

Easter Activities take place each year in the village Mesochoros. These include children’s entertainment, traditional village games, and other competitions.

On the 1st May, the residents of Vouni participate in a Flower Wreath Competition, which takes place in the Mesochoros and the best wreath is selected by a panel of judges.


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