Posted by: travelrat | November 20, 2009

Cyprus Wine and Aravis Transfers

At the World Travel Market last week, one of the guys on the stands asked me if I’d like to try some Cyprus wine. I had me doubts; in the RAF, I was stationed in Cyprus once, have done several detachments there and have ‘passed through’ countless times.And, my memory of Cyprus wine was of stuff like Kokinelli and Panteleimon which experience taught was better cut with lemonade or soda water … this was long before the word ‘spritzer’ came into general use.

But, this was really very good; the demonstrator explained that much of it came from ‘boutique wineries’ mainly on the southern slopes of the Tröodos hills, to the west of Lemesos (Limassol). He gave me a book of ‘Wine Routes’, which contained some stunning photos of an area I didn’t know, but just invites exploration … and that’s a ‘must’ to visit if I ever spend any length of time in Cyprus again.

But, thinking back, there must always have been more available than ‘Cocky’ and ‘Panty’. There was Commanderia, of course, probably the most famous Cypriot wine there is, which we often served after dinner instead of port.

And, of course, there was the Cyprus Wine Festival of 1968 … the picture of Lorraine was taken before we tasted any of the wine. We bought a bottle and a glass for 50 mils (that’s 5p!) and refilled them for nothing at the wine stalls. So, naturally, we don’t remember much about the wine ….

I recently had a Press release from my friends at Karibuni, with whom, you may remember, I spent an enjoyable weekend walking in the Aravis Mountains last year. They’re now also involved with the recently-launched Aravis Transfers ( ) who will provide transfers by car or minibus to hotels and chalets within the Aravis ski area from any local airport or rail station.

The big plus is that all their drivers are English-speaking … some are English … and all live in the area. So, they all have extensive local knowledge, and can help with ski hire and lift passes, if required.

And, finally, a commercial! My latest piece is live at  


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Keith Kellett, Algy. Algy said: Cyprus Wine and Aravis Transfers « Travelrat's Travels […]

  2. Reminds me of my wine tastings in Greece – until you get out and visit these small wineries, you’d believe that it’s all the cheap table wine they serve up at the Greek night. I think the locals keep the best stuff for themselves.

  3. What a great photo of Lorraine. I’ve had some bad experiences with wine from Cyprus in the past. I have found it to be very bitter. Glad to hear it has improved!

    • It’s one of my favourite photographs, and one of the first ones I took with my first-ever 35mm camera … a fixed-focus Halina with three apertures and one shutter speed !

      I have an idea that some of those wineries have been around a long time; it’s just that nobody knew about them (and, in those days, we knew jack about wine, anyway)

      Heather: I agree with you totally! For years, Greek wine came, for me, into the ‘I’ll drink it, but I wouldn’t cross town to buy any’ category … until I visited the Mercouris winery, near Katakolon!

      As they used to say in the old sherry commercials: ‘Sheer nectar, Jeeves!’

  4. It is indeed sheer nectar!
    Shame it doesn’t still cost close to 5p for a bottle and a glass. This year at the Limassol wine festival it cost 2 euros for the glass, then refills were free. We also got a free bottle of exceptionally nice red wine, corked, to take home with us, which we really enjoyed.

    • You know what? 40 years on, and I believe I still have the glass somewhere!

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