About Pissouri

Pissouri is the third largest village district in the Limassol district of Cyprus, and is located just off the A6 motorway midway between Limassol and Paphos (34 kilometers from each) in the Southwest of Cyprus.  Pissouri receives about 450mm of rain annually, but has a good supply of ground water in the valley, with agriculture and tourism as the two main commercial interests.Weather is mainly hot and dry during the summer months, and cooler with rains over the winter, and a common local phrase is “another perfect day in paradise”.  It consists of two main locales, separated by farmlands and hills.

The main PISSOURI VILLAGE is located about 3 kilometers from the sea on the Cape Aspro ridge, and about 500 feet above sea level (152 meters).  It is the administrative centre for the Pissouri District, and boasts a village square, petrol station, police station, post office,supermarket, two banks, and two clinics.  There are many charming tavernas and coffee shops, and also entertainment facilities, a magnificent Gothic church, and several chapels.  The village is home to the majority of the friendly Cypriot population of Pissouri, but also has a large ex-patriot population.

PISSOURI BAY is located some 3 km from the village at sea level in the bay to the immediate East of Cape Aspro. The bay is largely dominated by a hotel and resort, with many holiday developments on the hillsides, and thus is driven by the tourism industry. There are many shopping opportunities scattered amongst the restaurants, tavernas, and bars. The bay is a deep water bay, enticing the visits of large motor yachts and sailboats, with cool waters and a long sand and pebble beach.

HISTORY

Pissouri dates back to the Byzantine era.  The origin of the name “Pissouri” has several interesting claims.  The first is that it is a derivative of the ancient town of Voousoura.  The  next is that it is derived from the Greek word for “very dark” and alludes to the apostles meeting secretly in the area on dark nights at the start of Christianity to avoid persecution in the main towns, but a more likely story is that it is derived from the word “pissa” meaning resin, as this was a major product from the area in the Byzantine to Franken eras.  More recently the bay was also known as “Pissouri Jetty” in reference to the jetty, customs house, and associated buildings targeting the export of carob and almonds.

AGRICULTURE

The main agricultural product currently grown locally in the Pissouri valley is grapes, destined as “table” grapes and for the production of raisins, known locally as “sultanas”.

Other products are almonds, carob, and market vegetables.  Wheat and barley are grown to be used as hay to feed the robust local sheep, cow, and goat farms.  Nearby Avdimou is known for its excellent dairy products such as typically Cypriot sheep and goat yogurt, mainly fed from locally produced hay.  There is minimal commercial fruit growing, although there are some large citrus orchards near Paramali to the east of Pissouri.  In season, locally grown figs can be found at the markets and stands in Pissouri.

TOURISM

Tourism is mainly centred in the Pissouri Bay with a hotel, resort, and numerous tourist villa developments on the hills near the bay.  However there are many accommodations available in the village as well.

There are a large number of ex-patriot retirees and semi-retirees who own properties in the village and bay, who mainly come during the summer months.  The main tourist times are during the summer months, although there is a strong cycling tourist period during the winter months, due to the cooler temperatures.  Cyprus is a major stop-over for migratory birds, and there is a bird watching tourist industry over the migratory periods.

CHURCHES

The main church in Pissouri is the Church of Apostolou Andreas, a magnificent stone Gothic building.

Of interest are the antique icons displayed on a carved wooden stand made in 1890 and taking 10 years to finish. In the valley is Agios Mavrikos, small, but worth a visit. There are also the chapels of Agios Georgeos, The Prophet Elias, Agios Alexandros, Agios Spiridones, and Panayia Akonopetra.

ACTIVITIES

There are many watersport activities available in the bay, with scuba diving shops, and also rentals available on the beach for jet skis, sailboats, and kayaks.  There is also waterskiing available and a variety of rides.

Bicycles are available for hire and also guided cycling tours can be arranged.

The area has numerous hiking trails through the hills, providing some spectacular views and an amazing geological experience, with fossils of sea life to be found many hundreds of feet above the sea level.

Over the summer months the tavernas in the village square hold traditional entertainment nights, attended by tourists and Cypriots alike. They are fun evenings with traditional Cypriot food, music, dancing, entertainment, and hospitality in abundance.

The Pissouri Amphitheatre, perched on the eastern slope of the Cape Aspro ridge, providesentertainment over the summer months with music, plays, and international artists and dance troupes.  It is a unique experience with magnificent views over the picturesque valley.

There are many wonderful and lively tavernas andbars in both the village and the bay, with wonderful Cypriot and international menus and great hospitality.

Golf is available within a short drive from Pissouri.