Facts about Cyprus

Area: 9,251 sq km
Capital: Nicosia
Language: Greek, Turkish
Currency: Euro
  Turkish Lira
Population: 784,301
Coastline: 648 sq km

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Shopping in South Cyprus


In south part of Cyprus, lacework is a unique sales article and a distinctive piece of craft, produced primarily at Pano Lefkara and sold in the tourist resorts. You should be aware, however, of imported Irish laces. More reliable and affordable is the Lefkara silverware. Very attractive, colourful, loom-wooven items are also available at Fyti in Paphos district.

In the lower hills of the Troodos lies a tiny village that makes the heart of the island's lacemaking industry, much of which comes from the cottage industries. Of the two villages at Lefkara, the upper one (Pano Lefkara) is more popular because of its handicraft. Lacemaking became a tradition that is said to have begun with the noblemen of Lusignan and Venetian period. It is proven that Leonardo da Vinci bought an altarcloth made in Lefkara for Milan Cathedral in 1481. In summer, the old women and young girls alike make laces outdoors in groups producing their Lefkaritika, the most beautifully intricate pieces of lace. They use it for making table cloths, shawls and napkins and are usually sold at better prices than those offered by the souvenir shops in the tourist resorts. In Pano Lefkara the visitors can admire the laces and silverware in the local South Cyprus museum as well.

Traditional Museum of Embroidery and Silver-Smithing

Address: House of Patsalos, Pano Lefkara
Opening hours:
09.30 - 16.00 Monday to Thursday
10.00 - 16.00 Friday to Saturday
Tel.: 2434 2326
Entrance fee: C£ 0.75

Reed Basketry

The visitor of South Cyprus can find a great variety of basketry, particularly small portable baskets in decorative shapes. Among other distinctive products is the reed basketry that can be bought in Paphos district. Of particular interest are the almost Amerindian-looking bi- or tri-colour circular mats and trays. Many tavernas have walls decorated with these mats. You can find reed products also at the central covered markets of Nicosia, Paphos, and Limassol, as well as at Geroskipou and Liopetri villages. Other taverna-décor staples which can still be purchased are etched gourds, enriched with designs either painted or burned on.

Ceramics and Pottery

Off junction 11 on the motorway, in Kornos, there is a ceramics centre selling ornamental throughs, pots for gardening, and huge storage vessels called pithari. Prices here are affordable, but there is difficulty to get goods home by plane. For those settled in Cyprus, the centre is the place to come to stock a patio. There is also a pottery centre at Kofinou further to the south.

Foini Furniture

Foini chairs and stools are famous throughout Cyprus. Once, but no longer produced by Philippos Kallis, they are beautifully turned, with legs and arms made from the carefully selected branches of the strawberry tree (Arbutus) with the stringers of Cyprus oak and woven seats. For more information see also Traditional Hand Crafts

Optical Goods

High quality sunglasses, contact lenses, spectacle frames, and other optical objects can be purchased in Cyprus at relatively low prices. Designer spectacles cost half as much as elsewhere in Europe - bring your prescription or take a new test - and will be ready in 24 hours.

Silver Jewellery and Shoes

When shopping in the South, from some jewellers the foreigners can buy silver and gold pieces, while shoes, sandals, handbags, belts and wallets as well as other leather goods can be found in many shops.

Cyprus Handicraft Service

Paying a visit to the Cyprus Handicraft Service, a non-profit government-run organization which has several fixed-price retail outlets, the tourists will find a wide selection of approved examples of each craft. It is worth stopping in to gauge quality and cost at the very least. The centre is situated on Athalassa Avenue (turn right at the lights at the beginning of the Nicosia - Limassol highway). In South Cyprus workshop set around a quiet courtyard, there are weavers, potters, and woodcarvers, all displaced from the north. The centre has outlets in Laiki Geionia and in all the major towns in the south:

Cyprus Handicraft Service Shops:

Address: 186 Athalassa
Tel.: 2230 5024
Laiki Geionia (Laiki Yitonia)
Tel.: 2230 3056
Address: 6, Cosma Lysioti
Tel.: 2463 0327
Address: 25, Thermidos
Tel.: 2530 5118
Address: 64, Apostolos Pavlos
Tel.: 2624 0243

Markets in South Cyprus

Town markets offer an incredible source of fruit, vegetables and general provisions for self-caterers, and often sell good local made crafts.

Ktima Covered Market

This South Cyprus market should not be missed by any visitor when going around Ktima. It is a good place to buy various locally manufactured products like lace, tablecloths, bed linen and leather items. You will also find here a good selection of meat, fish, and fresh fruit and vegetables. On sale are also delightful and tasty Cyprus sweets, and in the area there are several restaurants and cafes with a variety of refreshment.

Address: Makariou III Street, Ktima

Polis Market

A splendid municipal covered South Cyprus market in the centre of the small town of Polis is geared to the needs of locals. You can get here a good selection of cheap fruit and vegetables of excellent quality. It is also a good place to purchase your items for cooking if you are self-caterer during your stay.

Address: Plateia Iroon (main square), Central Polis

Larnaca City Covered Market

Among the usual run of ordinary market stalls you can find fine copper and silver pieces at this market too.

Address: Zinonos Kitios (southern end), Larnaca

Nicosia Municipal Market

The visitors can purchase fresh fruit and vegetables that are brought to this market by the most amazing collection of village buses.

Address: off Trikoupi Road, in Nicosia's Old Town

Laiki Geitonia, Nicosia

Although not predominantly a market, this place belongs to the most beautiful districts of Nicosia. The houses have been nicely reconstructed and lots of them serve as craftsmen's workshops and art galleries. Among the houses there is a net of restaurants, many with a shady, vine-covered terrace, a welcome respite from the soaring temperatures in Nicosia during the high summer. These restaurants are said to offer much better food than the tourist resorts on the coast.

Address: pedestrian area within the walled city of Old Nicosia.

Shopping in South Cyprus

Shopping in North Cyprus

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