A horse walks by with a young girl balancing on his back. A few metres behind staggers a wobbly foal. The man who keeps the big horse’s reins stops at the viewpoint to allow the girl and her mother, who rides on another horse just behind, to have time to see the clear ocean view that this sunny Sunday afternoon offers. They then continue at a leisurely pace into the pine-scented forest.
The waiter serves our wooden table with Cypriot meze dishes, salad, freshly baked bread and kleftico – baked lamb marinated with garlic, lemon and herbs – a typical delicacy of the Mediterranean. Under the table our puppies play around biting each other playfully in the ears and tails, equally intoxicated by the fresh air.
We are not the only ones visiting Kozan Restaurant and nature area that day, as right next to us the tables are crammed with weekend-enjoying lunch guests. The picnic tables further into the forest are also frequented by Cypriot families making barbecues, drinking coffee and talking. To bring picnic and visiting nature and socialising is an important Cypriot family tradition across the generations and on weekends you can see this in many places around the island.
Kozan Cyprus is a traditional restaurant, while being much more. With its unique location several kilometres up in the hills above Karsiyaka, and with a slight breeze that sweeps through the tree tops and valleys, it is a perfect destination for those seeking a harmonious nature experience. They call it “The Kozan Experience” for a reason, there are lots of activities for both the old and young. Everything from horseback riding, biking and hiking, yoga, meditation and jeep safari in the mountains.
Kozan and nearby villages grow and produce almost all the food served at the restaurant. It strives to create culinary taste experiences by exclusively using fresh and organic ingredients in cooking. The food is prepared in the kitchen and then cooked over a grill or slow cooked in a traditional clay oven outdoors. The farm also has its own shop that sells organic honey, olive oil, syrup and locally made arts and crafts items.
The forest is a natural playground for children. There are also swings and board games, and paddocks with donkeys, goats and dogs that children can help to feed.
After we finished our meal, we take a walk towards the horses that have returned from their ride. Now, it is the little foal’s turn for a long overdue lunch and his mother’s milk cools well after the ride. It is as new people we leave Kozan to return to Kyrenia. One afternoon in nature definitely does something for the soul.
Summer (May to October) 10:00 until the sun goes down.
Winter (Nov-April) 10:00 to 16:00.
Reservations are recommended!
Telephone: +90533845 70 70
Kozan Experience on Facebook.