Some background information on the Laona Foundation
The Foundation is a private non-profit-making organisation established to implement the Laona Project, a US$1m. rural regeneration and ecotourism project in western Paphos, which was completed in 1994. The project involved five villages on the border of the proposed Akamas reserve area and helped introduce the concept of agrotourism to Cyprus through the project’s activities. A total of 26 traditional buildings were restored, points of visitor attraction were developed in each village, and a number of publications were produced.
Since 1994 the Laona Foundation has continued its activities, offering guidance to the people of Laona; but at the same time, at the request of other communities outside Laona, it has broadened the scope of its activities to cover all areas of Cyprus. In recent years the Foundation has worked closely with the Cyprus Conservation Foundation/Terra Cypria and with the Cyprus Architectural Heritage Organisation; since 2003 it has been taking an increasing interest in issues of landscape and participates as an observer in the meetings of the Landscape Convention, Council of Europe.
Board of Directors
Mr Costas Kleanthous, Businessman
Dr Vassos Karageorghis (AG Leventis Foundation) Archaeologist
Mrs Edmee Leventis
Mr Adrian Akers-Douglas, founder of Friends of the Earth (Cyprus)
Dr Artemis Yiordamli, management consultant
The Laona Foundation has carried out the following projects:
We have also produced the following publications:
Walks, Strolls and Drives in Laona, 1990.
The Birdwatcher’s Guide, 1991(out of print).
Guidelines on furnishing and equipping traditional houses offered for agrotourism, 1993.
Laona Project ‘Final Report’, 1995.
Laona-Akamas, Myths and Legend (in Greek, English, French and German), 1996.
Kilades Project - Final Report, 2002.
Preliminary Model for Sustainable Rural Development in the East Mediterranean, CD, 2002.
With assistance from the Laona Project, a number of houses in five villages close to the proposed Akamas National Park have been restored in the traditional Cypriot style and may be rented by holiday-makers. The accommodation is all self-catering; the houses are well furnished and equipped and all include a kitchen (or kitchenette) and bathroom with shower. The sizes of the houses vary from studios to two double bedrooms. Houses currently available are shown on the following pages.
The villages in which the Laona Project properties are located are all small and vary in the facilities they have to offer. All the villages lie about 10km south of Polis and about 20km north of Paphos. The Laona area is extremely attractive, especially in Spring, with a wide variety of landscapes from coastal to hill country. Those guests interested in seeing the Spring flowers should visit between the beginning of March and the end of May. The main bird migrations, when a wide variety of species may be seen, take place in Spring and Autumn. The Troodos mountains, which reach to 2000 metres, and the Paphos forest (home of the moufflon, the island's indigenous mountain sheep) are close by. The Laona Project villages are:
An attractive villages set amid fruit and nut trees. An abundant water supply means that it is always green, even in the heat of summer. Set on a hillside, it offers the possibility of good walks. The village hosts the Environmental Studies Centre, and has two coffee shops, a post office and a grocery store. It is five minute's drive from Droushia, which has numerous small restaurants and a hotel.
A tiny village set amongst almond trees and vineyards, in which the Laona Project has renovated several houses and has established a Nature Garden at the old school. Excellent walking country and local sites include spectacular gorges and ancient churches. A small coffee shop opens erratically, but there is no taverna or shop: supplies may be obtained from Kathikas, about 7 minute's drive from the village. Kathikas also offers several tavernas; the Araouzos Taverna and Farm Yard Taverna have been assisted by our Project.
A small village set on a hillside overlooking the Troodos mountains. It contains Amarakos Inn which offers meals and a coffee shop, but no shop. The Folk Art Museum is well worth a visit. The Inn with its stone court yard and well appointed bedrooms was renovated with assistance from the Laona Project. Excellent walks to the restored Miller's House and a Byzantine chapel on the edge of a spectacular, "undiscovered" gorge.
This small village is almost buried in trees and orchards thanks to an abundant supply of water. It has a coffee shop/taverna. Close by is an abandoned monastery turned hotel, where a therapeutic sulphur spring still runs. The village offers the possibility of several attractive walks, and traditional weavers work here.
Although no houses are offered for rent by the Laona Project in this village, other houses are available, and it is well worth visiting for its tavernas, its Visitor Centre, and some good general stores.
The Laona initiative has inspired the restoration of more houses, in all villages and those available for rent can be found via the Cyprus Tourism Organisation.
For more information on the Laona villages click here.
We strongly recommend that you hire a car if you intend to stay in one of the Laona villages, as the local public transport is very limited and serves the villagers' needs rather than those of the tourist.
For guests wishing to bring children with them, we suggest that the most suitable properties available are Amarakos Inn at Kato Akourdalia, Mr Karamanos' maisonette at Miliou and Chloe's house at Pano Akourdalia. We should point out that the Laona villages are very quiet and offer no modern entertainment facilities for young people. It should also be noted that there is no central heating in the houses, but the owners provide heaters in the Winter.
Please note that the Laona Foundation is a small non-government organisation promoting sustainable development. We are not a travel agency and although we are glad to offer information about the areas, in which we are working, we cannot provide details of other parts of Cyprus or the facilities on offer there, nor do we have data about other properties in our own areas of activity.
UK holiday makers wishing to rent one of ‘our’ houses in the Laona area, are advised to contact Sunvil Holidays, London, for all bookings. They offer an attracting package including flights, hire car, etc.