Arsos, a small and captivating village situated in the Limassol district, has earned its reputation as one of Cyprus's well-known wine-villages. Nestled in the southern slopes of the Troodos mountains within the Laona region, Arsos offers a breathtaking view of the countryside due to its location on a steep hill.
The village's name has two proposed origins. The first theory links it to the location where the "Holy Grove" of goddess Aphrodite was believed to have been situated. As a result, "Arsos" is considered a variation of the word "Alsos" (in Greek "Άλσος"), meaning "grove." The second explanation suggests that Arsos was one of the towns established by King Ptolemy II Philadelphus of Egypt, named in honor of his wife Arsinoe.
As part of the "Krasochoria" region (wine-villages) of Limassol, Arsos is one of 20 villages along a scenic route adorned with wineries that offer visitors a diverse and exceptional range of wines. The region's geography and climate are conducive to the cultivation of two primary grape varieties: Mavro (well-known for its use in Commandaria) and Xynisteri (an indigenous white grape). In total, the region boasts over 20 different grape varieties.
The village has meticulously preserved its authentic ambiance and rural architecture. Characteristic of Cypriot villages, the houses are constructed closely together with stone and plinth materials, featuring both single-story long-houses (makrynaria) and two-story houses with courtyards or wooden balconies and tiled rooftops. The cobbled streets between the houses lead to the village square, the heart of the community and a typical gathering spot. There, one can find taverns, coffee shops, and shops selling traditional products, including spoon sweets, palouzes, and shoushoukos, which are Cypriot delicacies made from grape juice.
At the center of the square stands the village's church, dedicated to Apostle Philip, a Byzantine church dating back to the 12th century. Notably, the church's interior features an 18th-century wood-carved iconostasis. Nearby is a smaller chapel, honoring Saint Mariamne, the sister of Apostle Philip, housing various religious treasures such as ancient icons from the 15th century, holy gospels, and sacred vessels.
Preserving the area's traditional ways and customs, the Folk Art Museum, housed in a beautifully restored old residence, showcases an original household with a comprehensive collection of items and furniture. Additionally, the museum displays tools and utensils related to viticulture, including a boiler used in the production of "Zivania," a traditional Cypriot alcoholic drink.
For those seeking to immerse themselves in the lush greenery, a nature trail stretches for 2 km along the river, passing six medieval fountains scattered throughout the village. The landscape features rich vegetation with platanus, willows, poplars, and walnut trees. The trail also connects to side-roads leading to a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the traditional Olive Mill.
Surrounded by vineyards and embracing its traditional essence, Arsos remains one of Limassol's most beautiful and remarkable villages along the wine route. Offering an exceptional opportunity to savor local wines and traditional delicacies, the village has evolved into a mountainous destination beyond the ordinary.