A Wonderful Find
I was invited by the wonderful Theodora to visit Garden Kamara House, a traditional house in the tiny village of Kato Drys, in the mountainous area of Larnaca, with a population of 120, it’s a wonderful base to explore the whole of the island, just 5 minutes from Lefkara Village and around half an hour from Limassol, Larnaca and Nicosia … and tbh, this is one of my favourite finds! …
As I arrived, it looked quite normal, a fairly plain frontage, edged in gorgeous natural stone walls, wonderful wooden shutters, but through the big antique wooden front doors and into the lounge and you’re in another world … making it obvious why its a favourite for many wedding planners …
Theodora explained; this house is over 100 years old, ‘Kamara’, means Arched and the ‘Garden’, splendid! it’s the first thing you see, through the big glass arched doors, the view a stunning traditional spacious terrace, crazy paved, natural stone walls, with cushioned stone benches cut out of the walls, a sofa, coffee table, and really cool stone sink all shaded by mature trees and to the right in the summer, vines, providing a little extra shade to the master bedroom … a perfect place for a romantic weekend, somewhere to chill to the max or maybe throw a little party!
Inside traditional, antique furniture, to the right of the lounge a practical kitchen, a blend of antique furniture, condiments to compliment, a gorgeous dining table and all the modern amenities … dropping down to the master bedroom with en-suite shower room, more antique furniture, antique sofa, and a delightful four poster bed with drapes, and the view at the end of the bed, the ornate terrace through the big glass and wooden shuttered doors.
The lounge has a mix of modern and antique furniture, a cool chill out zone with chez lange and antique chairs under the staircase, with full central heating, big screen TV and a lovely open fire for those chilly winter nights …
Upstairs; with its own en suite bathroom another four poster bed with drapes, in traditional style, with a lovely little balcony with view to the foothills and another overlooking that wonderful garden terrace out back, through the trees, the terrace, gardens and the traditional wood fired Kleftico oven …
out back, in the gardens past the old oven, a crazy paved arched pathway leading to their orchards, where you can hand pick lemons, oranges, pomegranates, loquats, figs, pistachio, vegetables and herbal teas, like mint and elder-flower all available for visitors to enjoy all year round.
Bee & Embroidery Museum
And a pathway to their Museum, part of this wonderful family’s heritage, where you can see lace making of old and how they breed bees at their nearby farm, to make honey wax and much, much more … I highly recommend you try the natural honeycomb, it’s a taste bud explosion … oh, and you can buy lots of lovely natural products to take home …
The idyllic village of Kato Drys and just 5 minutes away Lefkara, world famous for it’s Lace making where you can actually see the lace being made by hand by the little old ladies and these days a presence of youth … there’s plenty of traditional tavernas and stylish coffee shops and skinny cobbled roads wide enough for a donkey, a photographers dream!
Not far is the world heritage archaeological site ‘Khirokitia’ a remarkably well preserved settlement dating from the Neolithic age which is a must visit and apparently this is where the first domesticated cat was found, not Egypt, much as that’s not that far away … oh, and the nearest beach is Governors, just 25 minutes drive …
This excellent fully restored property built in 1917 is on the Agro Tourism Portfolio, and Air BnB and privately via their Web site and is available for short term lets, just bed & breakfast, and for parties, weddings, or any excuse to ‘get away from it all’ parties … and its a 2 air conditioned bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, and sleeps up to 4 people, or 8 in the summer if you include the outside sofas ;), and for special off season offers give them a call …
Full self catering is an option of course, but you can also request for a full catering service, gladly hosted by the family, from enjoying the splendours of breakfast at the museum with free range eggs of course, and with many other local produce from their farm, and traditional seasonal Cypriot cuisine, cooked by mum ‘Ellie’ using great grannies recipes older than the house … and just wait ’til you taste their wood fired oven bread … btw, they also love to host your parties, for up to 150 guests and their reviews speak for themselves!
I can’t recommend this enough, from the perfect weekend getaway, to a romantic honeymoon stay, somewhere to get ready for the wedding aka ‘Ta Allamata’, or a perfect place to host the after party, there’s a gorgeous little church really close too … all with an adorable family, traditional Cypriot hospitality, then there’s the little things like the museum and all the little extra things you can buy to remember, from the honey, beeswax, and natural skin cream, to the Pomegranate Liqueurs, mixed with a little Zivania in the summer or the homemade Commandaria, the sweetest Port wine you’ll ever taste!!!
Open All Year
Daily: 9 am ’til 7 pm
There are several ways to get there but the best is taking the turning towards Lefkara from the A1 Motorway at Skarinou, near the Mc Donalds rest area … its about 20 minutes inland and uphill … take the turning to Kato Drys and you’ll find the house on the road into the village … See map below …
GPS: 34.851109, 33.303147