Why not discover the Akrotiri cultural trail organised by the Akrotiri Environmental, Educational and Information Centre overlooking Akrotiri Salt Lake. It is proving popular with visitors to the holiday island of Cyprus as it provides information about the history, crafts, wildlife and plant life in the village and surrounding area, perfect for those interested in the real Cyprus.
For centuries one of the main focuses of village life has been its basket making tradition which a hundred years ago involved most of the residents. The nearby fresh water lakes in Phassouri provide an abundant supply of the reeds required for the creation of these soft baskets. At one time many of the villagers were creating covers for the large flagons of wine that were made by the KEO factory in the resort of Limassol. All the basket makers make slightly different styles of basket that were used for different purposes.
Today, basket making is a dying craft but the new cultural trail visits the four remaining basket makers in the village and it is hoped that this will generate sales of the baskets and encourage some of the younger residents to learn the craft.
The trail is a two kilometre circular route that begins and ends at the centre. It was devised by participants in the international Leonardo da Vinci project and continued by staff at the centre. The trail is clearly defined by large wooden arrows and decorative boards placed outside the craft people’s houses (these boards have the facility for showing whether the workshop is open or closed). The trail follows the road for a short distance so that participants can see the salt lake and then swings into the village to visit the church and the basket makers. There is the opportunity to buy the beautifully made baskets to take home as a unique Cypriot souvenir.
You can follow the trail at your own pace, and it is ‘wheelchair friendly’. The trail can be followed at any time, even when the centre is closed, as an information leaflet is available. However, it is much more fun to complete it when the centre is open so that the finale can be a climb up onto the observation platform which has great panoramic views towards Limassol and its port in the distance.
The Akrotiri Environmental, Education and Information Centre is open seven days a week 08.30 – 3.00 p.m. By prior arrangement, all groups can be escorted by a member of staff from the centre.
The new Akrotiri trail, a great day out on your Cyprus holiday, especially if you want to discover the more traditional Cyprus.