Discover Larnaka’s Lost Worlds
An excursion to any of Larnaka region's villages is always fascinating, as each has its own character and customs, but did you know that there are also three ‘abandoned villages’ that you can also explore?
There are various reasons why villages on the island have been abandoned, including war, natural disaster risk, and lack of work. In Larnaka, the villages Drapia and Parsata are classed as deserted, but visitors can freely visit and explore them – discovering a lost world of olden-day Cyprus. Petrofani is also abandoned, but can only be viewed from the outskirts of the village.
The Medieval village, Drapia (originally known as Paliodapiais) is located 4km northwest of Kalavasos, on the east bank of the Vassilikos River. It was abandoned in the early 19th century, as a result of the closure of the Kalavasos mines, which provided employment for the villagers. Visitors can see stone-built houses with roofed beams in the ruins of the village, and the stone-built Medieval St. George chapel, amongst the natural overgrowth that now provides a home for local wildlife.
Adjoining Drapia is another abandoned settlement – Parsata, which also relied on the Kalavasos mines for employment, and was dissolved at a similar time as Drapia. Some of the inhabitants set-up home in Kalavasos village instead. The village also has remains of typical stone-built houses, with wooden doors and roofs of various materials, in addition to its charming countryside views.
Petrofani is located about 2.5km southwest of Athienou village, and was a Turkish Cypriot village from the Ottoman period. It was abandoned in 1974, having around 170 inhabitants at the time. Only the ruins of the village now remain, which can be viewed from the outskirts, or the road.
Images copyrights: IX Andromeda (1& 2), Philippos Pattichis (3)