In recent new initiatives of the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI), tourists can find the real Cyprus beyond the beaches and hotel complexes. This initiative has created six routes of driverless villages accessible from the main tourist centers of the island, all of which allow visitors to enter rural areas. It is in these areas, with the help of EU funds, that traditional Cypriot businesses and crafts are revitalized. Driverless routes cover the area around Limassol; Orini, Larnaca and Lefkara; Famagusta with its villages of red earth and windmills; the Troodos mountains, in addition to the national park of Pitsilia and Akamas. Visitors can discover traditional Cypriot businesses in action on these routes. For example, visitors can see the manufacture of jams, chutneys and soutzouko in the small town of Agros in the Pitsilia region or in the Tsolakis rose water factory, where rose water is extracted from petals and used in candles and spirits Interesting for young children is the olive workshop and the theme park with its reconstructed mill and replica donkeys in Oleastro.
Meanwhile, architectural heritage and ancient history abound in smaller and more remote areas of Cyprus, such as the Troodos and Kykkos monastery. The series of driverless trails includes several archaeological sites associated with the goddess Aphrodite that extends through Cyprus from Cape Greko to Akamas. These include Kition in Lamaca, the Acropolis of ancient Amathous, the town of Kouklia, Petra tou Romiou (Aphrodite & # 39; s Rock) and the Baths of Aphrodite.
Those who choose a vacation in a hotel can access these ideas of autonomous driving, but more and more, visitors can access the local lifestyle by booking a stay in one of the more than 40 villages, where converted village houses They offer rustic and comfortable accommodation with patio fireplaces (and often swimming pools for those who prefer). These holidays in the villages allow tourists to meet local people and even participate in the collection of olives or grapes, among other agricultural activities.
Moving towards the idea of testing local agricultural economic activity, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has created six wine routes to help tourists discover the history of the island's wine production.
The clearly marked routes cover the main wine areas, including Laona, Ampelitis, Panagia, Vouni, Commandaria, Pitsilia and Limassol. It is possible to see large producers, as well as smaller and more familiar wineries. In all places, wine tasting is a great feature.
However, Cyprus is at the forefront of holiday ideas that address the new reality of sustainable tourism development. This carefully controlled progress is expected to continue, allowing environmentally conscious travelers to enjoy the Mediterranean in a style that helps ensure the prosperity of the local population.