Mountains come alive in Nicosia, Cyprus

Despite being home to UNESCO heritage monuments, the small mountainous community of Kalopanayiotis was until recently one of many declining communities in Cyprus, due in large part to ageing and decreasing population trends. However, through the project Revitalisation of Kalopanayiotis, which saw renovation work to cultural structures, paths and monuments, these trends are beginning to reverse.

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Walkways welcome visitors through the charming community of Kalopanayiotis Walkways welcome visitors through the charming community of Kalopanayiotis

“The project will be influential in the redevelopment and rejuvenation of our Community and will result in reversing the abandonment of the village, particularly by the younger generation, a trend which has been taking place over the last few decades.”
Mr Stavros Kazamias, Marathasa Development Organisation and resident of Kalopanayiotis

Rural and cultural tourism are now seen as one of the answers to keeping this community alive. In the past, visitors tended to stay in the community only long enough to visit its famous Byzantine church, paintings and nearby museum, before moving on to other places. Today, the community has better improved cultural and rural attractions and facilities, including a new cultural centre, which are keeping tourists in the area for longer, boosting business and contributing to the livelihood of locals.

A shining example for rural communities

Several local private enterprises involved in rural tourism activities are financed by state aid schemes, which are also co-financed by the ERDF. This support has resulted in private initiatives establishing accommodation for tourists and opening up tavernas and cafes. And, it’s not just Kalopanayiotis that stands to benefit. The revitalisation of Kalopanayiotis is expected to be used as an example of successful integrated programmes for revitalising other rural communities and improving the quality of life for locals.

Off the beaten track

The old stone paths of the traditional centre of Kalopanayiotis are being replaced to make getting around easier and safer for tourists and locals. Old structures are also being preserved alongside restoration work of the existing façades of buildings and traditional stone structures in an effort to attract more visitors.

A new focal point

A key feature of the revitalisation effort was the renovation of the Lavrentios residence and its conversion into a cultural centre. The aim was to provide a place where cultural events could be held by organised groups from Kalopanayiotis village and other neighbouring villages. This blend of new and old means that all tourist tastes can be catered for.

Draft date