South side’s Cyprus Tourism Organisation has named Pitsilia region as the best Tourism and Local Gastronomy Destination in Cyprus, turning many villages in the area into top listings.
The CTO organised the competition as part of the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) programme, which supports participating countries in excellence theme-destination awards.
Pitsilia region which is east of Mount Olympus, along with the Xeros and Diarizos valleys which came second, meet the EDEN criteria, such as promoting diversity, uniqueness and quality.
There are about 40 villages in Pistilia, making it the most gastronomically diverse region in the mountains. Picturesque villages nestle on the mountainside amid vineyards or are hidden in valleys, maintaining much of their traditional charm.
Pitsilia is best known for the world famous Commandaria, which is as sweet red dessert wine, as well as authentic spirit Zivania. There are also other products unique to the region, such as fruit preserves, liquor, bread, cold meat lountza, and sweet shoushouko/sucuk.