What to bring from Cyprus for yourself and your loved ones?
Our small but very sunny and friendly island is ready to share its warmth of pleasant memories with you for a long time even after you have returned home. So, how can Cyprus please you when the vacation is over? To help you, we have created a shopping list!
Sweets and jams
Cyprus is definitely an island for sweets lovers! The traditional jam (γλυκό) is literally made from everything, even carrots, you can find in supermarkets and small shops, in taverns and during Cypriot feasts. Multicolored “piles” from the cans of glyko you can see during tours, for example, near the monasteries and other places that attract lots of tourists.
This bright and very sweet jam will be a gem at a cozy family tea gathering. For a souvenir, green walnuts, eggplants, watermelon jams are suitable – in fact, you can find glyko from almost any fruit, berries and vegetables that come to your mind!
An interesting gift will be the Cypriot version of the famous churchkhela: made from grape juice, honey, and nuts – called Sujoukos (σιουσιούκκος). This not too sugary delicacy is perfectly combined with tea and coffee. Puff pastry honey baklava, colorful Turkish delight, kantaifi (κανταΐφι, a cake made of thin “threads” filled with syrup and spices) are also worthy of your attention.
Do not forget to take a jar of Cyprus honey with you, this is real sunny nectar, which absorbed the healing properties of the nature of the island! Cyprus boasts not only flower honey, which is familiar to us, but also orange, thyme, lavender, and even eucalyptus types.
Delicious and healthy carob products
Carob tree (carob χαρούπι) – one of the symbols of Cyprus. From its fruits, which are long flat bean pods, the locals make a powder that is actively used in cooking, for example, for preparing a kind of “cocoa” without caffeine. From the same powder a “chocolate” that can brighten the life of anyone who suffers from allergy, is produced. The carob syrup, similar to maple, is very popular, too. It is added to pastries, cheese, ice-cream.
Carob is very beneficial to the body, strengthens the immune system, and lovers of something unusual will like it.
Local homemade cheese
The gold winner is Halloumi (Χαλούμι), the famous cheese well known beyond the borders of Cyprus. Halloumi is similar to Adygei cheese, salty and dense, based on a mixture of cow and sheep (or goat) milk. Halloumi can be grilled or eaten with a watermelon – a great snack on a hot day. Cheese is sold in any supermarket or market; it is better to choose a vacuum-packed Halloumi if you fly. There is also an almost unsalted Halloumi – in some shops, you can find this option.
Anari (Αναρί) – the cheese similar to ricotta. Soft, slightly sweet, snow-white. Light anari is suitable for breakfast with honey, nuts or carob syrup.
Feta (Φέτα) – an analog of our brynza. It has long been a favorite guest on the tables of Russians as a nice addition to vegetable salads. Fresh homemade feta will never spoil any celebration, so take it!
Olives and olive oil
Cyprus is a recognized producer of olives and oil from them – even on the coat of arms of the Republic there is a dove with an olive sprig in its beak. Oil can be of factory production, or made in villages at house oil mills. Olives are sold in a wide variety of forms: with and without pits, stuffed, chopped.
An interesting option for a souvenir: a mixture of several types of olives with spices in a vacuum packaging.
Famous Cyprus wine
If Italian, Spanish, French and other wines of Europe and the New World are presented in the Russian market in abundance, Cyprus wine is not easy to find in Russian supermarkets. And it makes it special! The largest areas where wine is produced on the island are located near Limassol and Paphos – close to the popular coach tour routes.
Popular villages that are famous for the production of wines: Omodos, Mandria, Panagia, and Arsos.
Wines can be tasted and purchased at family wineries, as well as purchased in supermarkets. Large production of wines offers four large plants ETKO, KEO, LOEL and Kamanterena (SODAP), limited quantities of interesting wines are made on countless domestic grape farms.
The most famous wine variety in Cyprus is considered to be the sweet Commandaria, which has won a huge number of international awards. The classic dry white, red and rosé wines of Cyprus have also long found their fans.
Another well-known local drink – zivania (Ζιβανία), made from a mass of squeezed grapes. It will be appreciated by lovers of stronger alcohol – its strength is 45 degrees. Those who prefer liqueurs should choose orange, lemon or tangerine FILFAR.
Scented Natural Soap
Pieces of soap on basis of olive oil with a wide variety of floral and fruit flavors will remind you of your trip to Cyprus for a long time (or they will make you wish to come here). Unpacked soap does not look too elegant, but its smell gives great emotions, rely on your scent! For sale – everywhere.
Cosmetics based on natural ingredients
For the production of cosmetics Cypriots, of course, use olive oil, as well as essential oils of rose, honey, zest, and citrus essential oils. In the village of Agros, there is a real factory that produces a wide line of natural cosmetics from rose petals: creams, gels, lotions, etc. Cosmetics for face, skin and hair care can be found all over the island. Do not forget that the shelf life of natural cosmetics does not exceed six months, and it is better to keep it in a refrigerator.
Probably the most authentic place to choose lace tablecloths, napkins, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, and other things is the mountain village of Lefkara. It’s home to many generations of Cypriot lace makers, who for centuries have been passing the secrets of mastery to each other. Handmade products are expensive, exclusive and will be the pride of any hostess. But if you do not plan to spend hundreds of Euros on lefkaritika (Λευκαρίτικα), you can always choose a truly interesting hand-made souvenir at a reasonable price for yourself or your close ones. Machine-made or blended lace products are also sold in markets and small shops.
Unique silver jewelry
In the same place, in Lefkara, silver jewelry is created, too. Interestingly, women are exclusively engaged in lace, and jewelry work is mainly done by men.
Here you will find all possible types of jewelry, as well as dishes and other handmade silver objects. Some of them are covered with white gold to avoid darkening with time. Products are of high quality and subtle work.
Mini–figures of funny donkeys
A donkey in Cyprus is a special animal. For centuries, he has been a car, a worker, and a carrier. Cyprus has a donkey farm, during an excursion to which you can ride donkeys and feed them. Cypriots express tribute and sympathy to this animal by various mini-figures, as well as images on objects and prints on fabric.
Icons and other religious items
For centuries, Cyprus has been visited by pilgrims from various countries seeking to get to the Orthodox monasteries of the island purchase icons (including handicrafts), body crosses, religious books, lamps, and other items relating to Orthodox history and culture.
In almost any temple, where they take tourists, you can purchase icons (including handicrafts), body crosses, religious books, lamps, and other items relating to Orthodox history and culture.