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Lysos > the village that moved to the new world August 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Paphos.
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Driving through the village on a cold winter’s evening, you’d think you’d entered Ghost Town. Houses are locked up, nothing but street lights can be seen and if you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of an old man walking back home after a nightcap at the coffee shop.

Lysos is a village of barely 150 residents, mostly elderly, but once the weather starts warming up, people with various family connections from all over the world return home, especially during August when the population can increase to almost 1,000.

The village is located about 36km north-east of Paphos. In terms of territory, it’s the largest in the Paphos district, but still remains one of many with very few residents.

“The village went through a constant increase of its population until 1946,” says Christakis Iosif, community leader. “In 1881, there were 287 inhabitants, increasing to 659 in 1946, but then the village was struck by the urban pull and migration resulting in Lysos’ population decreasing to 373 in 1976 and by 2001, to 158.”

Many, of course, left in the hope of finding a better life and job in Paphos town, but it was Australia and South Africa that drew away most of the village’s inhabitants. In fact, the number of people originating from Lysos but residing in South Africa is alarming.

“There are 5,000 living there right now and most of them make up the increased population in the summer,” says Iosif.

The village is built at an average altitude of 560 metres and has a range of 9,526 hectares. It is a beautiful village with small roads, a big square with a fountain constructed in 1900 made out of local stone and three churches, all extremely old but well-maintained.

The same applies to most houses. “Ever since expatriates started coming back to the island for their holidays, the village has changed,” says Christakis. “All make an effort to fix up their grandfather’s or father’s home, so the village looks not modern at all but in fact tidy and the way a community with a lot of history should look.”

Andreas Antoniou, who spends most of his holidays in Lysos with his family explains: “I inherited my father’s house, in which he was born in 1912. He lived here with his 15 brothers and sisters, but left in 1934.”

The house covers a 60m² area, but unfortunately had to be knocked down since it wasn’t steady enough to shelter Andreas and his family. He has since built a new one and enjoys the quiet village along with his relatives, who he sees every summer.

“Most of my relatives live in South Africa, but they’ve all renovated their parents’ or grandparents’ homes and return to the village two and three times a year.”

Comments

1. jacksonpatjackson - June 2, 2008

My husband and I retired to Lysos from the UK. We just love this village and have spent an incredibly happy 6 years here. The locals are extremely friendly and we live an idyllic lifestyle. We grow our own vegetables and fruits, and even press our own olives for olive oil. The views from our villa and the village are simply spectacular and you can see for miles along the Polis/Latch coastline, also the mountains of the Paphos forest. If anyone is interested in relocating to Cyprus, I would be very happy to receive enquiries about living here. Apart from waking up to sunshine every morning, it is also incredibly safe here and we never lock our doors. I can highly recommend this lifestyle and am only too pleased to share my experiences with like minded folk.


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