Polystipos is one of the 5 highest villages in Cyprus. It stands at an average altitude of 1150 meters above sea level. The climate in winter is cold and rainy while dry and mild during summer. Its average annual rainfall is quite high, especially during winter, autumn and spring. Sometimes even during summer. Snowfall is often heavy during winter.
Polystipos was bestowed by nature with many springs and running water. Vegetation in Polystipos is hence wild.
Architecture in the village is noteworthy, as the roofs of the houses were built with roman tiles produced locally. This beautiful site was denatured mostly after cement was introduced since 1960. However, the vineyards surrounding the houses throughout the village added to the community’s beauty and compensated for the loss of traditional architecture after 1960. Thus, Polystipos and the surrounding area seem like a wonderful painting that changes its colour when the seasons change. Summer in Polystipos feels like being in heaven.
On the mountain peaks stand a wild kind of oak trees; a bush that rarely becomes a tree, evergreen with deep green leaves, known as “latzia” or quercus alnifolia. On the same altitude stands the “invisible”, a tree similar to a cypress, that grows slowly; its wood is soft and has an intense scent. On some slopes, the visitor can see dense Venetian sumac plants, known as “rouda” locally. Further down, one can see pinus nigra trees with their deep green leaves and then the kingdom of pinus halepensis trees.
Then follows the kingdom of oak trees, or “klados” as it is known here by the elderly. There used to be an ancient forest in Polystipos. The worship of trees is still revealed in some of the customs of locals. This forest was destroyed by lumber jacks during the years between 1940 and 1954. Fortunately, 100 trees have been saved and the positive aspect is the fact that ever since goat stopped being breaded, oak trees have been growing in the area. Lumber jacks destroyed more than 650 oak trees.
Then starts the vineyard zone. It seems like a green covered carpet, like a frame of a painting from April to November, decorating the slopes of Polystipos. This frame is also decorated with fields filled with almond trees and wild vegetation (mostly with what is known as xystarka). During spring, this wonderful landscape is filled with the singing of the happy when mating partridge.
Our arrival at the valleys is the centre of nature’s charm. The green carpet of leptokarna is everywhere. During winter, when everything is naked the birds hibernate. In spring the nightingales are the lead singers of a choir of sweet singing birds. A journey on this earthly paradise is a unique and unforgettable experience. The fields in Polystipos filled with hazelnut trees are a rare biotope with rare flora and fauna harmonically coexisting. Summer and autumn in Polystipos are extraordinary.
There are hundreds of kinds of wildflowers in Polystipos. Cyclamens are the ones stealing your heart during Autumn, while violets blossom in the mid of March. Another kind of wildflower is “yellow violet” and “Virgin Mary’s tears”. The scents of flowers will make you feel like being in another world.
The natural environment of Polystipos is paradisiacal, attractive and once you see it, you will remember it for ever. If you reach the roots of “gourounias”, an old oak tree south of the church dedicated to Apostle Andreas, you will be able to enjoy the breathtaking view. His oak tree is surely more than 600 years old. It is an old but proud tree, one of the many oak trees near the church of Apostle Andreas.
When the lumber jacks tried to vanish the forest, the oak trees requested to be saved, Apostle Andreas saved them, as their request was just.
The next day, the chief lumber jack, Christofis tou Yirgarou suddenlt got sick. Their plan was destroyed and the forest was saved….
….Before leaving from Polystipos be sure to plan your next visit as its natural environment will have you enchanted …