The rich history of Cypriot wine has been alive and developing for something like 6,000 years. Take any of the island’s routes to experience Cypriot hospitality and be introduced to this island’s world of wine. Visit any of the modern wineries operating on the island and sample their wines. Agro tourism and other small units, taverns and restaurants with high modern standards are here to provide you with accommodation and the unique dishes of Cypriot cuisine. Go back in time by visiting restored traditional wine presses and museums that demonstrate the bygone life, culture and traditions of the rural population. See the grape harvest, join traditional feasts and enjoy superb local wines in abundance.
The ritual of sharing tasty, healthy, fresh local cuisine is an important part of the island’s culture, and is inextricably linked with every social event, from family gatherings and special occasions, to religious festivals – each marked with its own distinct delicacies and recipes. From hearty meat dishes and speciality cheeses, to unique desserts made of carob and grape, Cypriot cuisine is an exotic blend of Greek and Middle Eastern cultures, sprinkled with the remnants of ancient civilisations like indigenous Roman root vegetables or old Phoenician delicacies. It is no secret that the ‘Mediterranean diet’ is considered to be amongst the world’s healthiest, thanks to its abundance of hearthealthy olive oil, pulses, lean meat, local herbs and freshly grown fruits and vegetables.
Add to this the favourable climate – that gives the fresh produce its intense flavour – and a celebration around every corner, complete with special treats, and visitors to the island will find a gastronomic adventure awaiting them.
From ancient wine and potent spirits, to strong coffee and refreshing concoctions, there is a traditional Cypriot beverage for every occasion. After all, the island’s richly flavoured cuisine would not be complete without one, and they are all accompanied by an interesting back-story or historical significance that embeds them firmly in the island’s culture. The island’s longstanding winemaking tradition dates back over 6,000 years and can lay claim to the world’s oldest wine still in production: the sweet dessert wine of Commandaria, whilst the overabundance of grapes are also put to good use to make the potent ‘firewater’ spirit of Zivania. In traditional coffee shops across the island, Cypriot coffee is brewed with skill and served in tiny demitasse cups, due to its strength; whilst today’s cold Frappe (iced coffee) is enjoyed at the island’s more modern hangouts.