The small village of Lympia is situated in the outskirts of Larnaca, just a 20 minutes’ drive from Larnaca airport. With a population of about 2800 people, this is a place where you’ll be treated with the traditional Cypriot hospitality you’ve heard about, with people greeting you on the streets and getting out of their way to help you if you need to.
It is true, that when you think of holidays in Cyprus, you tend to picture sunny days by the beach. Be assured, the nearest beaches in Larnaca are only a 15-minute drive away. But there is a lot more to the island than just beaches. Culture and history are waiting to be explored and alternative accommodation like Olympia Traditional Houses in Lympia is ideal just for that.
Passing through the stone paved streets of Lympia village, you’ll soon find the astonishing complex of Olympia Traditional Houses. Before you even enter the complex, you’ll be intrigued by the attention to detail of the architecture of the stone built houses.
Hapeshis’ family who owns and run the place will treat you like you a real VIP, offering homemade traditional sweets on arrival and making sure you know your way around the area. They are even known to transfer you with their private cars around if you need to! And Cypriot hospitality is only one of the things that will impress you there. The actual buildings hold a lot of history in themselves too.
Photos of the Olympia Traditional Houses in Cyprus
Hapeshis’ family Olympia Traditional Houses dates back to the early 19th century. Mr Kakoullis Hapeshis, the youngest out of 11 siblings, was a builder and an enthusiast of extracting and carving the local stone that is still available in the surrounding areas.
He used to load his donkey with stone, wood and local reed to transfer to the site, where he gradually built the current premises. The lower part of the walls of the buildings is constructed using the local white stone and the upper part of the buildings is built with sun-dried, clay type of bricks (adobe bricks). The ceilings are supported by wood and curated reeds. He built a kitchen, 2 separate rooms for sleeping and a special space to use both as an animal shelter and storage for their feed.
Furthermore, this traditional architecture style works according to bioclimatic principles, meaning that the building design takes into account climate and environmental conditions to help achieve optimal thermal comfort inside. This is the reason why these places are cool in the summer and maintain a good temperature during winter.
In 2010, Mr Kakoulis’s Hapeshis youngest son, Michalis Hapeshis, took the decision to restore his father’s houses. Being also a builder and a constructor, he felt the obligation to revive his ancestors’ heritage. Together with the houses, he also inherited his father’s love for carving the stone and worked really hard for many years to bring back to life what was almost ruins at that stage.
Today, the complex consists of four separate houses. “Dichori”, is the largest accommodation at the lower part of the inner yard. It consists of 3 bedrooms, 2 toilet/shower rooms, and a large kitchen/living room and can easily accommodate 5 people. Just across Dichori, there are two separate, fully equipped apartments, one on the ground floor and the second on the first floor. Each of them has a double bedroom, a kitchenette and a shower/toilet. The fourth house consists of 2 double bedrooms and a small kitchen/dining area and shower/toilet.
All the guests can privately enjoy their stay in the apartments and the inner courtyard, relaxing on sun lounges, under umbrellas. The inner yard is embellished with local plants and flowers with vibrant colours and beautiful scents. There is even a small display of traditional tools used in agriculture from the previous century. Despite the fact you will get the feeling of a different era, all the houses are fully equipped with modern amenities, like Flat screen TV, fully equipped kitchen, air-conditioning, Wi-Fi in all areas and outdoor furniture.
Lympia village is situated just off the motorway which makes escapes to almost every part of the island an easy adventure. It’s only 15 min drive from Larnaca and a 20 min drive from Nicosia. Just off the village, there is a dam with beautiful views, nearby there is the ancient site of Idallion where Olympic games took place and Lefkara village (with stunning embroidery) is only a short drive away. Even Ayia Napa beaches are just a half an hour drive on the motorway.
Their accommodation starts from €40 a night for a couple that is renting one of the 2 smaller buildings. The large accommodation (“Dichori”) can easily host 5 people, or 6 if one stays on the sofa starts from €80 a night. For weekly accommodations, you can contact the host and he can give some discount.
This place is ideal for winter months holidays. It’s ideal because if you’re not visiting the seaside it’s almost in the middle of 3 cities so you can easily escape and see the whole of the island while staying in a traditional setting.
There are bus lines from the village that take you to Lefkosia and Larnaca, though In general in Cyprus it is advisable to rent a car. There are no trains in Cyprus I’m afraid. There are also cheaper taxi services if you are in a group, like taxi lines between the cities. The hosts can give you more information on arrival.
The supermarket is RIGHT behind the building! Very convenient. There is parking on the site.
There is a local amazing tavern with 5 stars on trip advisor in Lympia-5 minutes walk from the premises (Peiragmena, Lympia – Restaurant Reviews, Phone Number & Photos – TripAdvisor )
Hapeshis family will make you feel at home and you’ll surely enjoy your stay there!
For more information contact:
Olympia Traditional Houses (B2) – Cottages for Rent in Lympia, Cyprus
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