Last Castle (Viklari) Review
Last Castle is as famous for its location as its delicious food. Perched atop the entrance to Avakas Gorge, if you want to dine in style there are few places better in Paphos.We visited there recently to sample the Souvla...
The Car Park
To get to Last Castle, or Viklari as it is also known, you need to take the coast road from Paphos to Agios Georgios, and turn when you see the signpost for the Akamas. This road will take you past White River Beach before descending into a very large bay area. There is a turning on your left which leads to a car park. A track runs from beyond that up the hill, towards Avakas Gorge. If you drive up there it eventually splits in two. If you take the left turn you will arrive at this car park. As you can see, people make the journey in all sorts of cars, so it is doable in any vehicle. Just take it slowly when negotiating the bumps.
Make A Date
The palm trees in the car park were heavy with their crop of dates.
Not Avakas Gorge
Looking out from the carpark to the valley below, you could be forgiven for thinking that this was Avakas Gorge in the distance. However, it is actually a gorge that runs next to Avakas. I've explored further up it, indeed, the first blog I published featured an olive tree that can be found a few miles upstream. I haven't yet explored it fully though. By all accounts the route is actually quite treacherous, requiring ropes and whathaveyou. I do know that there are a lot of snakes there too. I met a couple of them.
On your way to the seating area, you will walk past the barbeques. There is no menu at Last Castle. You either have chicken, pork or mixed souvla. Rumour has it that you can also get fish if you ask them nicely, but to me that's like going to Cornwall and ordering a Scotch Egg instead of a decent Pasty.
And in case you didn't know, this is what Wikipedia has to say about Souvla:
Souvla (Greek: σούβλα) is a popular dish from Cyprus. It consists of large pieces of meat cooked on a long skewer over a charcoal barbecue.
It differs from the popular Greek dish souvlaki, in that meat cuts are much larger and slow cooked for a much longer period at a greater distance from the hot charcoal. Traditional souvla is made from the neck and shoulder of lamb, pork and chicken. The meat is cut on the bone into chunks about the size of a medium onion (optional).
The meat must be put on a charcoal brazier, called "foukou" in Cypriot Greek (Greek: φουκού), then its weight is evenly distributed on the rotisserie, so it cooks evenly on the foukou.
The meat is put as far as possible from the charcoal at first. After it is sizzling, it is lowered down to the charcoal so that the skin on the meat goes brown. The process takes between 90 minutes and 3 hours depending on the type of meat, size and heat of fire. Salt, aromatics (such as oregano), oil, and wine are sprinkled or brushed on the meat once the cooking process is well under way. That way the meat stays juicy and does not brown too quickly.