To really experience the true taste of Cypriot life, you must do as the locals do. Attending a festival held by the surrounding community is a great way to immerse yourself in the very fabric of this fantastic island.
Towards the end of the summer season, the Arkadia Festival provides tourists with an excellent chance to experience the true spirit of Cyprus. Held in the village of Kallepeia, about 13km from the centre of Paphos, this annual August event gives you an authentic taste of the Cypriot lifestyle. Often considered a celebration of life, the Arkadia Festival is aimed at highlighting the sheer beauty of the local area.
Marking the increase of tourists flocking to Cyprus to make the most of what remains of the summer months, this festival gives the locals a chance to embrace foreign travellers. Cyprus itself is a melting pot of cultural influence and brings together the very best of Mediterranean and Greek exports.
A true testament to Cypriot hospitality, the locals welcome holidaymakers with open arms to this exciting gathering. Experience entertainment in the form of traditional dancing through the streets of this quaint village. Don’t worry if you don’t have a dancing partner, the locals will be sure to grab your hand and make sure you get involved in all of the fun.
You’ll find yourself skipping through the streets to traditional Cypriot music. A hint of the folk genre with unusual instruments such as the Laouto, a guitar-like instrument which dominates most local music. Local groups will perform in the village centre, creating a buzzing atmosphere as you explore this quirky village.
The proof is in the pudding
The festival also gives you a great opportunity to sample some of Cyprus’ delicious national dishes. You’ll be able to identify the heavy Greek and Mediterranean influence of each dish and it gives you an insight into the historical relationship between these neighbouring destinations.
A local favourite is lamb kleftiko, left to slow cook for up to 24 hours in a clay oven. This hearty dish may sound a little too filling in the soaring summer temperatures, but paired with a light accompaniment of couscous, this sumptuous meal will fuel the party all night long.
However, you should make sure you save room for dessert as Cypriots certainly have a sweet tooth. Lokmades are a popular sweet snack comprised of sugar-dusted fried donut nuggets. They are often served with a honey and nut syrup and are perfect for sharing.
Arkadia is all about celebrating the natural beauty of the area and the locals do this by making use of the lush crops which grow in the warmer months. Anyone interested in the alcoholic exports of Cyprus is sure to enjoy the event, if only for the fantastic local wine. The village vineyards have been soaking up the sun all summer long, so as the season draws to an end, the community join together to harvest the fruits.
Taking away a piece of Cyprus
The Arkadia Festival will be a holiday memory that you’ll cherish forever. The loving nature of the locals and the relaxed way of life will be something you will never forget and we hope you’ll take a little of our positive attitude home with you.