VILLAGE HISTORY
Sylikou

SYLIKOU

The beautiful village of Sylikou is situated at a height of 650 metres, up in the mountains, surrounded by many valleys, fruit orchards and gardens that were traditionally irrigated by three big fountains. The village is known for its wine, Zivania, raisins, olives and almond trees.

It is not clear where the name Sylikou comes from but it seems that it derives from Selicia, during the Franks’ occupation. The area rich in fruit trees and abundant water supplies was in turn ruled by the Franks from Syria, then the Turks. Archimandrite Kypianos in his History Of Cyprus in 1780, mentions Sylikou and Alamino as important farms belonging to the monastery between the 13th and 14th century.

Sylikou

There are many important areas in Sylikou carrying Frankish names such as the Frankish irrigated areas of Syrkas where there are ruins of a large medieval church with mosaics, the Frantziko, the Ilitsi and the houses of the Queen. The religious nature of the medieval area of Sylikou is also confirmed from other sources where it is mentioned that in the year 1400, it was a very important arm belonging to the monastery. Further evidence of this is found in the large number of chapels located on the farms such as St Mary of Syrks, St Demitris, St Mamas and St Marina.

When the Ottomans occupied Cyprus, the last of the Louzinian Cypriot families went to Sylikou, where they mixed with the local people, became Greek and played an important role in the development of the village. Gki Louzinian came from France to Sylikou in 1581 in order to visit his relatives. He later returned to his country and described in great detail the torture that the people were subjected to at the hands of the Ottomans. Gki Louzinian’s book is one of the most important and authentic records of medieval Cyprus.

Today, the elders of the village, though few, still maintain the importance of wine and Commandaria for the future the village.

 

THE VILLAGE TODAY.

A view by the Kouris Magpie.

Sylikou Tavern

Sylikou is situated at about 650 metres above the Mediterranean Sea, on the south side of the Troodos Mountains, 24 kilometres north of Limassol, on the island of Cyprus.

It is in the middle of many green valleys, one of which is the Kouris river valley and its orchards, fields and vineyards have always had good water supplies. Once, these areas were irrigated from three large springs which can still be visited and used to fortify the “inner walker” or bird watcher! The flora and fauna are fantastic. Orchids vie with other flowers, bee-eaters, swallows and jays fill the skies with their calls and at night Skops owls call to each other “John…” The insect life is not all unfriendly and bees and cicadas try to keep out of the way of the lizards…and at night, the bats!

Sylikou Cobbled Lanes

The grapes produce vine leaves for koupepia, then grapes, beautiful raisins, wine and Zivania, an alcoholic liquid used from everything from drinking socially to a very effective antiseptic, window cleaner and filling windscreen washers! However the most famous use of the grapes is in the production of Commandaria, a sweet red wine beloved by medieval knights, politicians ever since and indeed used in the Liturgy of many churches. It is said that the vats it is made in are never allowed to go empty so you could be drinking from the same Commandaria stock as Richard the Lionheart and his Queen Berengaria.
 
The olives and the olive oil from the olive trees, some genuinely over 500 years old and much photographed, are legendary for their flavour. The almond trees are referred to as “The Bride’s season” as they burst into flower in the spring and later supply the basis for the Suzuko, where almonds are strung on a string and covered with grape juice toffee! Gorgeous and soft when fresh and a Dentist’s dream later! Oranges, lemons (even some sweet lemons!), nectarines, apples and a range of vegetables are all available and grown in the village area.

Sunset over Sylikou Hills

In the middle of the village is the lovely church of St George with its stone walls recently restored and amazing icons, many painted locally. On Sundays and other holy days Papas Christopher with his fine voice leads the Chanters through the Divine Liturgy which is broadcast to the village so that all the generations can join in. On the west side of the classic village centre with cobbled streets is a festival area with an olive mill, museum and mosque, to help future generations respect the history of the village. On the north side of the church is the Taverna run by Adonis where all the people can enjoy the local food, wine and music and genuine hospitality. But if all you need is a real Cyprus coffee then the Kaffenio next door will provide a real experience as he has done for over 35 years!

The village owes this new life to Costas Polis, the Chairman of the Sylikou Village Council, who has taken over where Andreas and those before him were Muhktars and other activities are now returning to the village. The Commandaria Festival in July each year is a MUST; there is a budding gallery in the Taverna, a kiosk on the main road and a wine vinegar producer in addition to the traditional village produce.

 

 

SERVICES

Doctor’s Surgeries: Sylicou, council offices medical rooms on Tuesdays at 10.30am with Dr Elizabeth.

SYLIKOU TAVERNA - Re-Opening Tuesday 29th March 2011.Days open are Tuesday –Sunday. Monday closed.... Hours are: late afternoon say 1700 to late.. For more information/booking: call or E-Mail ADONIS at:  adonis61@hotmail.co.uk or Tel: 99794187

A Cyprus Village Link reporter has been to the newly re-opened Sylikou Taverna and is much impressed. Click here. for a recent review of the newly opened Taverna. 16/June 2011

SYLIKOU VILLAGE WELCOMES YOU... Kindly updated by KM 20/05/2011

Costas Polis is the Chairman of the Village Council and welcomes you to Sylikou. His offices on the main road through the village are usually open Tuesday-Saturday, all day...

How to get there by car...

  • From LIMASSOL take the TROODOS Road and exit left after some 23km just after the BERETTA Gun Club sign, down to MONAGRI. Up to AY GEORGOUS and further up ... to SYLIKOU.
  • From PAPHOS go to LIMASSOL on the Motorway and follow the route above.
  • Or...exit the motorway at the MANDRIA exit, follow signs to LIMASSOL then after 3 km take the valley road north to the mountains. After 20km at MANDRIA, turn right to PERA PEDI as you exit PERA PEDI, turn right through the hamlet of KOUKAR then to SYLIKOU 3km.

The centre...of Sylikou lies 100m to the west of the KOUKAR - AY GEORGIOS road, and is signed at the village cross roads. Parking is easy, both before and after the centre. Walk the cobbled street to the olive tree with drinking water & washing facilities! See if you can find the tap...

The Taverna, Caffenio and Kiosk. are all open from Tuesday to Sunday. The Kiosk is on the main road and the Taverna & Caffenio are at the village centre. All have good parking.

  • The Kiosk serving light drinks and local delicacies doubles as the postal agency to post letters and receive them courtesy of Postmistresses Antonia/Georgia.
  • The new Caffenio in the centre of the village next to the church is an ideal resting/viewing place with drinks and ice creams.
  • Even Mr Whippy ice cream, served by Mr George can be found in the village.  
  • The Taverna is special. It is full of delicious surprises including the economic prices. Adonis (99794187), a Chef of international experience specialises in all the traditional Cypriot dishes BUT adds to them in season with local homemade items including (if you are not driving) some amazing grape and orange juices!

The Church... of St GEORGE is some hundreds of years old and very well attended on Sundays 0700-1000 hours and Holy Days led by Father Christopher (www.christopherklitou.com) who has Orthodox study groups and uses the English language to help visitors understand, get baptised and even ...married.

Museum, olive press and Platea (paved open area) ...lie to the west of the village centre with good parking, The museum and olive press are open only By Appointment with the President of the Village council, Costas Polis (25-470732). The Platea, with its very ancient olives gives access to the olive press, museum and the mosque making a picturesque location.

Bus Services...to and from the village are scheduled mainly for those working on PLATRES and LIMASSOL. Timetables are available from the CTA and www.cyprusbybus.com

Parking...is extensive and close to the main features...

Toilets are modern and sited just south of the Church, the Kaffenio & post boxes, 10m.

The area is in The Commanderia region famous for not only commanderia but sultanas, sezouko, (almonds in a grape toffee), dried fruit and citrus in season.

Annual calendar of major events...the major feature is PASCHA (Easter) and all starts from there with the Commanderia festival week in July involving all the Commanderia villages in rotation. August sees village festivals...

A brief on Walking to Sylikou... Walking is to be enjoyed and there is a circuit of non-metalled roads from LOUFOU (1 hour+taverna) to AY MAVRI (1 hour+taverna and church) and back to Sylikou (1 hour+taverna).

A brief on walking around Sylikou...there are many routes several of which are suitable for disabled persons. All start from the taverna and are circular in design.

More details will be published shortly but in the meantime just follow your nose!

Flora and fauna in Season...almond blossom in profusion in late February-March, orchids in the same season...tasselled hyacinths in late March...likewise wild iris both the large and miniature varieties...

Increasing holiday facilities....there are now several high quality houses to rent in peaceful locations.

Communications... reasonable roads, some for the adventurous and broadband, improving monthly.

 

 

COMMUNITY BOARD

“SYLIKOU TAVERNA RE-OPENS, Tuesday 29th March, For Evenings and later as demand increases, lunches & daytime snacks. There are tables available for booking on the opening night...

The Master Chef is ADONIS who lives locally and comes with EXCELLENT References from his previous hotel work. He will be assisted by several assistants as demand requires. His style is different. Whilst the traditional fare will be available. He is focussed on welcoming supporters of the Taverna in an unique way. Prices will reflect his concern for the current problems we all face. He also plans to provide traditional music on certain occasions in a style more suited to clientele who like good music but also like to talk to each other! For more information/booking: call or E-Mail ADONIS at:  adonis61@hotmail.co.uk or Tel: 99794187.” KM 28/March 2011

From the Kouris Magpie “The first Sylikou boot sale did well for an initial event and a new concept for the Mountain People, raising about €900 for the church and local, personal, boot owners’ funds. Another is planned for next autumn...Details later.....KM” 17/Feb 2011