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Deserted villages of Cyprus that will leave you fascinated

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Unfortunately, many beautiful villages of Cyprus have been abandoned the last decades. Today, their remains create beautiful scenery. These are the top 5 deserted villages that deserve a visit.

Fikardou

Located in the Lefkosia (Nicosia) district, Fikardou village sits at an altitude of 900 metres in the region of Pitsilia. The historical site can be reached by following the E903 and then the E904, finally reaching this secluded and idyllic village.

The name of the village is believed to have originated from the Greek for ‘den of fugitives’ (‘figa andron’), from the fugitives who were recruited by two dominant clans that controlled the region between 400 AD – 800 AD.

Now almost-deserted, the village was declared an Ancient Monument in 1978 by the department of antiquities, and won the Europa Nostra award in 1987. The village was carefully restored to preserve the 18th century houses with their remarkable woodwork and folk architecture. Two of these – the House of Katsinioros, and the House of Achilleas Dimitris – are now owned by the Department of Antiquities, and have been turned into museums, exhibiting rural items and depicting rural life in years past.

After touring the village, visitors will find a traditional Cypriot welcome at the quaint little coffee shop, whilst the Monastery of Machairas is less than 15 minutes away.

Palia Theletra

Kato Theletra Village is located about 27kms from Paphos and about 13kms from Polis. The village was evacuated due to landslide and the residents were relocated to Pano Theletra Village, which is on a mountain shelf just above the old village.

Agios Sozomenos

Agios Sozomenos is a largely deserted village in the Nicosia District of Cyprus, located close to the Green Line south of Geri. Before 1974, the village was mostly inhabited by Turkish Cypriots.[2] In 2001 there were only four registered inhabitants living here. Today you can see the remains of its beautiful church and of some houses.

Foinikas

Foinikas is an abandoned village in the Paphos District of Cyprus, located 3 km northeast of Anarita. The village was invaded by the massive military force of the King of England, Richard the Lionheart. The Templars, in order to control and govern the provinces of Paphos and Limassol, they founded the superior military command of the Foinikas, in which the then villages, of Foinikas, Kalogiannakia, Anoyira, Plataniskeia and Agia Irini were included. The architecture of the house in this village is unique and cannot be found anywhere else in Cyprus. The houses are all indentical and in case of attack all of them transformed into fortresses.
The village was abandoned in 1960. Very close to the village the Asprokremmos Dam is located.

Skouriotissa

The Skouriotissa Copper Mine and abandoned village are only a five-minute drive from Katydata. To the southwest of the copper mine is the UNFICYP San Martin camp, where you can visit the chapel of Panagia Skouriotissa: ‘Our Lady of the Skouriotissa Copper Mine’, which dates back to around 16th century, and houses some interesting icons. Northwest you will encounter abandoned houses that were built by the mining company CMC, and were used by the miners until 1974. A newly established monastery is situated a few hundred metres from some of the abandoned houses, and is also an interesting sight.

The Cyprus Copper route cannot fail to conjure to mind the rich and vivid past of ancient kingdoms, and the major part that copper played in their development, making it both an interesting and informative day out.

Courtesy of the CTO

Praxia Aresti