A village in the mountains of Limassol district, Lofou, is ideal to experience both the culture of the island, with the traditional houses, its churches and museums, but also the scenic natural environment.
Lofou is a charming village nestled in the southern slopes of Troodos mountains of Limassol district and it consists part of the "wine-villages" or "Karassochoria" region of the island (in Greek "Κρασοχώρια").
Despite the fact there are no specific indications as to the primary formation of the village, archaeological discoveries in the area indicate that Lofou has a long and rich history. It seems that the village was firstly inhabited before the Chalcolithic period. Additionally, rescue excavations carried out by the Department of Antiquities in 2010, revealed that the area has been also settled during the middle-Bronze Age. The first written references that survived concerning the village, are from records by Leontios Machairas, revealing that Lofou was handed over by King James I of Cyprus, who ruled in the island during the period from 1382 to 1398, to his brother John of Lusignan. Louis de Mas Latrie, a 19th Century French historian, mentions the village of Lofou (Loffou) as part of the Cyprus villages owned by the King during the Frankish Rule.
The name of the village is associated to its location. More precisely, the village is surrounded by mountains and built on a hill. In Greek the word "hill" is translated into "lofos" (λόφος). Therefore, the village was widely called "Lofos", changing later to the feminine term "Lofou", from the expression used by the population "the settlement/the earl of Lofou" (in Greek "η κώμη της Λόφου").
Nowadays, Lofou maintains its traditional and scenic environment. The village was almost entirely abandoned after the late 1940's. Subsequently, the village maintained its character, remaining untouched by the constant developments, as a notable example of the Cypriot village architecture. Wandering around the cobblestoned streets of the village one can see the numerous houses, built with traditional stone, complemented by the wooden balconies and tiled roofs. The old school stands as a focal point with its Neoclassical structure, in the centre of the village and it was in operation until 1973.
Another significant part of the village is the traditional Olive Press Museum. The Museum is owned by the church of Lofou. It is a stone-built building, consisted of two rooms; in the first room, which is the main facility, is located the big stone mill, which was necessary for the production of oil, while the second room was used as a storage. Another museum worth mentioning is the Folk Art Museum, that is a private collection of items showcasing the life of the village.
Near the museum, on the west side of the village, on a small hill, is situated the main church of the village, Panagia Chrysolofitissa (translated as our Lady of the Golden Hill), that is dedicated to the Annunciation of Virgin Mary. The church was built between 1854 and 1872, with the voluntary work of the population. It is a single aisle church, characterised by its gothic influence, and is decorated internally with wall paintings and externally by the two bell towers, added later during the 20th century. A bit outside of Lofou, on the road towards Alassa village, is located a smaller chapel, that of Prophet Elias which was renovated around the year 2000.
The little natural trail gives the opportunity to explore the scenic nature of the village. It is a linear path of 1.5km that starts outside the village. It passes through a small valley, and it follows a descending path towards the faucet of Elitzi, which was the village's source of water until the mid-20th century.
Lofou is one of the picture-perfect villages in the mountains, that offers an unspoiled experience and gives the opportunity to enjoy the cultural and historic site of Cyprus.