02 April 2014 15:10

This is a place thousands of overseas visitors per year describe as an outdoors museum where one is actually permitted to touch what is on display.
This is somewhere full of things to see and, more importantly, people, who allow visitors to play an active role and not only learn about but be actively involved in what is taking place around them.
This is Vouni, once the most important of Limassol's wine villages and, even now, after all it has lost through rural depopulation and the significant reduction in its vine-related activities, still fighting to showcase the merits of its long history.
Vouni's tradition has been maintained—and continues to be maintained—through its particular architecture and the three separate museums which have been created to show different aspects of the history of the village and its surrounding areas.
There is the Folk Art Museum, the Wine Museum and the Byzantine Museum.
These, combined with agrotourism accommodation, make Vouni a magnet of attraction for many overseas visitors year round.
Vine products, including wine, were perhaps the first things ever to be produced in Vouni and they have been at the focus of efforts to maintain and showcase the community's traditions.
These efforts include the start of the Vouni Wine Walks which aim at showcasing the Wine and Tasting Centre in particular as well as themed packages that have been specially created.
Travel guides and travel agents, wine makers in the region, ambassadors and NGO chairmen were recently invited, by the Troodos Network, to Vouni to experience the joys of the village for themselves.
Network president Panayiotis Papadopoulos told the paper that the tour began with hot coffee and homemade cheese pies at the Women's Coffee Shop.
A visit to the village church and its beautiful icons and priceless treasures followed.
The Folk Art Museum was next on the itinerary where the foreign visitors had the opportunity to watch the potter create small clay "pitharia" (earthenware jars), giving life to the clay and bringing life to the museum.
The tour continued through the village's romantic streets to the Ottoman fountain and the old olive mill, ending at the Wine and Tasting Centre.
Here, the guests enjoyed select Cypriot wines from the Troodos area, accompanied by music and a performance by the tenor Antonis Koutroupis.
Vouni Wine Walks begin at the Wine and Tasting Centre where visitors can learn more about the production of wine in Cyprus and watch a 10 minute film about the topic.
They can also taste wine and traditional vine products in the company of a connoisseur. A visit to a private winery follows and then there'll be lunch at a local taverna.
Participants will then learn about how wine was produced 100 years ago including visiting Lino, the village's wine press or alternatively a traditional winery.
Coffee at a traditional café in the village square rounds the walk off, along with a visit to a local bakery specialising in large "Arkatena" crisp bread.
For more information and reservations, call the Troodos Geo-tourism Centre on 70009100.


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