If you take the E712 from Polis, travel through the small, rural villages of Lasa and Fyti, you will eventually arrive at the entrance to the hilly village of Agios Dimitrianos (Agios Demetrianos) with its welcoming sign. Next to the welcome sign you’ll see an old water basin that used to provide the inhabitants’ livestock with water.
A few metres up the road is where a nature trail begins. Actually, there are two, a long way and a short way, being 4kms and 3kms respectively. Halfway through the hike you’ll come across an area called ‘Arnies’ where an inexhaustible spring can be found. In bygone days the local inhabitants used this spring for drinking, washing their clothes, watering their animals and irrigating their fields. There are helpful signs along the paths identifying the various local fauna and also a few sitting areas where you can pause to admire the fantastic views.
The Cyprus government, the EU and the local council funded the nature trails in an effort to upgrade and revitalise the village after it experienced a gradual decline over the past few years. According to the local council, one of the aims of the project is “to terminate the urbanism that has been plaguing the mountain villages and encourage the, even partial, return of the emigrates who abandoned their villages years ago due to the adverse living conditions”. The council also hopes that projects such as the nature trails will meet the needs of the local and foreign tourists and contribute effectively to the formation of environmental consciousness. Way to go!
If you choose not to take either of the nature trails, why not take a short stroll up to the church of Agios Dimitrianos. Below the church and shaded by a huge olive tree is a cave where the saint spent his ascetic life. Just by the church in a stone-paved square stands the old primary school, which now houses the village’s medical centre, a community information office and public conveniences. Leaving the community park and strolling up to the village itself you will encounter many old, stone houses. Many of these dwellings have been left in ruins and are now home to chickens, turkeys and goats, with pigeons making good use of the old bread ovens. A few houses are currently being renovated and there are others that have been completely restored. There are two coffee houses in Agios Dimitrianos with one of them serving as the local shop and post office.
(We have added a second gallery for Agios Demetrianos village)