Ayios Ioannis Part 1

Published 24th of August, 2019

Good Swing

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To get to Ayios Ioannis you take the B6 out of Paphos towards Limassol, and drive up to the Asprokremmos Dam. After the dam, turn left up the F616. Soon it splits in two. You need to go left, on the F617. Keep going until you reach Salamiou, then take the signposted road to the village.

On the way you will pass a terrific view point, with some great swings for the kids and young at heart.

Picnic Bench

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There is also a decent picnic bench here. So you could bring a picnic, visit the village and have a picnic on the way back. Sounds like a plan.

Xeros Valley Beauty

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The view from the picnic site is fairly indicative of the views you will get on this trip.

To The Village!

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Anyway, as you arrive at the village you will be forgiven for thinking you are visiting a typical Cypriot village in bloom. There is even a green bin out indicating a regular rubbish collection.

Eyes Left

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However, a glance to your left will show you that all is not necessarily what it seems. That house looks abandoned. There is a very nice traditional clay oven in the front garden, but the house itself is overgrown.

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Abandoned Villages - Statos

Statos is unusual, as abandoned villages go. People deserted it not because of inter-communal fighting, but because of the threat of landslides. And then, no sooner had they emptied, some of the abandoned buildings were repopulated. Were villagers returning, or had outsiders moved in, prepared to take the risk of landslide?

Abandoned Villages - Vretsia

Cyprus has more than it's fair share of abandoned villages. The troubles caused the displacement of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.The environment itself has caused other villages to be abandoned for reasons of safety. Whatever the reason, the abandonment caused emotional pain and suffering to the affected people. So is it right to right a series of blog articles on them? I thought about this for a while, but decided that yes it was. Cyprus is a land built on antiquities, and these villages are just the latest example. I had no problem blogging about a Necropolis after all. However, some of these villages, and especially Ventris, do still get visits from the displaced families. So if you do decide to visit these places on the strength of these articles, please bear that in mind, and treat them with respect. The urban exploring motto "take only pictures, leave only footprints..." nicely sums it up.

Ayios Ioannis - Part 2

In the concluding part of our visit to Ayios Ioannis we continue through the village before visiting an old abandoned school, and finish up gazing down upon the Xeros Valley and Paphos Forest.

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