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Drousha is the ideal location for a sunshine getaway in tranquil surroundings, where the accent is on very much taking things easy. Life centres on the charming village square, which becomes the focal point for social gatherings around a small selection of traditional Cypriot tavernas. Nightlife here is a far cry from Ayia Napa, but then peaceful days and relaxing nights are what holidays in Drousha are all about. Locals welcome visitors to wile away the hours in the local coffee shops and there's a small supermarket for holiday essentials, as well as a tiny museum dedicated to the traditional Cypriot art of weaving. Many of the village's resident population of just 400 were once employed in the nearby copper mines and today one Drousha villager continues to craft copper kitchen utensils by hand, from his tiny workshop.
With a perfect mix of sunshine, breathtaking scenery and ancient culture, the island of Cyprus offers enough delicious holiday ingredients to satisfy the most discerning of palates. This is a place where first-class beach resorts sizzle in warm sunshine almost every day of the year. Friendly locals welcome visitors to share in the most sumptuous of festivals and celebrations. Relics from the past seem to stake their claim in every town and village, on every rocky headland and on every romantic hillside.
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, an independent state divided into the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Lying just a few miles off the coast of Turkey and just west of Syria, it's the essence of Greece with a hint of the Middle-East thrown in. Partygoers may flock in their droves to the bright lights of resorts such as Ayia Napa and Limassol, but nightlife is just a small part of the island's appeal. Over 10,000 years of rich history tell of tumultuous times, centuries of invasions and occupations that have placed Cyprus high on the list of great cultural centres. As a result, ancient temples, amphitheatres and medieval fortifications lend a sense of mystery to the island and a window on its bygone days.
Venturing off the beaten track, away from the tried and tested beach resorts, is the best way to discover how this place became what it is today. It's only by heading into the rural interior and mixing with friendly, hospitable locals, that visitors gain an appreciation of the rural Cypriot lifestyle that remains completely untouched by tourism. Of all the charming inland villages, Drousha is one of the island's best-kept secrets. A charming little settlement of winding cobblestoned streets and distinctive stone houses, its name in Greek means cool and fresh, giving an indication of the pleasant sea breezes that rise up from the sea, over 600 metres below. Views from the village are stunning, stretching across the shady peaks of the Troodos Mountains to the south and east, the beaches of Chrysochou Bay to the north and the wilderness of the Akamas peninsula to the west.
Whilst this sleepy village snoozes in the heat of the day, active visitors go off and explore. There's every reason to do so, considering Drousha is just a few steps from the heart of the Troodos Mountains, a vast undulating landscape of rocky crags and cool forests intersected by scenic trails. The area offers magical views for capturing on canvas or on camera and it's also the place to enjoy a leisurely picnic, with only the sound of birdsong and the gentle bray of donkeys to break the silence. The mountains are peppered with interesting historical sites which tell the story of the island's changing fortunes and include the little stone Monastery of Agios Georgios Nikoxilitis, just a few miles to the east. When it's time to cool off and dip your toes into the cool Aegean, the pretty seaside resorts of Latchi and Polis are just a short 15 minute drive away and offer a further selection of tavernas and restaurants serving up traditional Cypriot dishes.
Drousha is just a 45 minute drive from the airport at Paphos and if you are planning to hire a car during your trip, you will also find yourself a short drive from a number of the larger resorts as well as a selection of interesting attractions. The vibrant town of Paphos itself is home to the Tomb of the Kings and the fascinating underground Catacombs of Agia Solomoni and its charming harbour is a hive of activity centering around a cluster of bars and restaurants. Plenty of independent shops provide opportunities for souvenir hunting and by night the town comes alive to the rhythms of Cypriot festivities. Alternatively, head beyond Cape Gata to reach the cosmopolitan resort of Limassol, with its sophisticated seafront boulevard and endless sandy beaches. Old Limassol is a maze of cobbled streets packed with boutiques and souvenir shops, with a proliferation of coffee shops for enjoying a refreshing iced coffee whilst watching the world go by.