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Cyprus night and safari on donkeys

Cyprus night and safari on donkeys

Cyprus night and safari on donkeys

Cyprus night and safari on donkeys

Cyprus night and safari on donkeys

Duration: 8 hours

Location: Achna

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Cyprus night and safari on donkeys


Aphrodite’s Tours includes an excursion to the Donkey Farm, which has something unique to offer. If you want to do something different during your stay in Cyprus, then this donkey riding trip is made for you. A donkey ride gives you a real feel of the area, as you ride through picturesque orange groves and quaint villages, all the way to an ancient Monastery recognised as a World Cultural Heritage. It is one of the places to see in Cyprus.

The Donkey Farm Concept: In 1998, the entrepreneurs behind this scheme came up with the idea of creating a donkey farm where they would provide shelter and veterinary care for the Cyprus Donkey−on the verge of becoming an endangered species. The second part of the idea was to create an exclusive and out of the ordinary excursion product, a way to bring the project into the public eye and make it available for adventurous tourists to enjoy. This enabled them to give their clients the chance to see the donkeys in their own environment and blend it with a physical feel of real Cyprus countryside, original hospitality, fun, adventure, good food and unexpected entertainment.

The whole ambience is exceptional; you have to experience it yourself to understand it!  It's a unique day out for all ages, from children to grandparents. The aim is not only to satisfy of the guests, but also to augment the healthy breeding program instituted for the benefit of the 90 donkeys owned by them. Each donkey bears a sub-skin microchip and the owners have a strong program of preventive medical treatment for all the animals. It is a simple solution to what to see in Cyprus.

Donkey Farm: The farm is situated in 19 hectares of land near the village Achna, approximately 15 km East of Larnaca, one of the most untouched and tranquil parts of the island, the perfect setting for nature lovers. Local facilities blend in with the natural environment. Stone and wood are the main materials of the central hall and up to 160 people can be accommodated for lunch or dinner during winter and 300 people or more in the summer.

On arrival at the farm, guests will sample many of local delicacies such as halloumi cheese, ‘sushukko’ (an unusual tubular shaped concoction made of grape syrup and almonds), village bread, olives, cucumber, all of them produced and made in the village, as well as the famous local distilled strong Zivania brew, a 90 proof liquor.

Donkey Riding: All visitors will have a chance to meet and pet the friendly foals before a demonstration and a safety briefing on how to ride and control the Cyprus Donkey. Each rider will be allotted an appropriate donkey based on his/her weight. The ride will take about 25 minutes through the riverbed and along country tracks passing local shepherds with the flocks of grazing sheep and goats. The entire Donkey Ride is conducted under the watchful supervision of professional staff to ensure the safety and comfort of all.

Party Time: After the meal, guests are entertained with Greek and Cypriot music and dancing, including the famous sirtaki, which will tempt you to join in. The Donkey Farm team will be there to entertain you and to make sure that all your questions and requests will be fulfilled. After some Latin and English music, slow and romantic music is played for dancing under the stars. A final sirtaki will signal an end to the festivities.

Plate Smashing at Celebrations:

Pulsating night life aside, what everyone wants to know about is the tradition of smashing plates or glasses during celebratory occasions. Such an occasion would, of course, not arise in the nightlife discussed above, but is often seen in celebratory functions in smaller Bars and Nightclubs. The origin is not exactly known; in its earliest form, plate smashing may be a survival of the ancient custom of ritually ‘killing’ the ceramic vessels used for feasts commemorating the dead. The voluntary breaking of plates, a type of controlled loss, may also have helped participants in dealing with the deaths of their loved ones, a loss which they could not control. Breaking plates may also be related to the ancient practice of conspicuous consumption, a display of one's wealth, as plates or glasses are thrown into a fireplace following a banquet instead of being washed and reused.

Since plate breaking often occurs at happy occasions, it may have begun as a way of fooling malicious spirits into thinking that the event was a violent one instead of a celebration. Worldwide, noise is believed to drive away evil, and the sound of the plates smashing against the stone or marble floors of the houses would be loud enough to scare off almost anything. Another school of thought says that a plate might also be broken when two lovers parted, so that they would be able to recognise each other by matching the two halves even if many years passed before they met again. Small split versions of the mysterious Phaistos disk are used by modern Greek jewellers this way, with one half kept and worn by each of the couple.

New twists on an old tradition: In recent times, smashing plates has been used to attract attention to Greek restaurants in Cyprus, with ‘plate smashers’ stationed at the doors to periodically toss down another plate and attract the attention of passersby. Some Greek restaurants even cater to the need of clients to break plates by designating a special ‘smashing area’. Many countries, including Britain and Greece, are regulating the ritualised breaking of plates, with mandated safety measures.

What is known is that it is an import from Greece, where knives used to be thrown at the feet of performing artistes, with a warning shout of ‘Opa’ in deference to the performer. As may be expected, there were many casualties and knives were replaced by plates and glasses. This practice continues to be seen on joyous occasions, such as weddings and birthdays, etc. The crockery is thrown onto the ground and stamped with gusto during the celebration. This form of fun was banned in Greece in 1969 by the military dictatorship of G. Papadopoulos that had suspended democracy and ruled Greece autocratically from 1967-1974.

While the ban on plate smashing came to the great disappointment of locals and foreign tourists alike in Greece, it was not applicable to Cypriots. With time, as more and more Greeks came to Cyprus, the practice also died down. Today, it is no longer officially allowed at nightclubs, but still takes place occasionally for private celebrations. The host purchases specially-produced plaster plates, which are less expensive or dangerous, and easier to break. Another modern variation on the custom is for diners at small restaurants or tavernas to buy trays of flowers that they can throw at singers and each other, with basket/tray carrying flower girls selling their wares. Now you know what to do in Cyprus at night.

Lunch or Dinner: The meal is usually a mix of typical Cypriot homemade dishes, such as afelia (pork with wine and coriander), pourgouri (cracked Bulgar wheat) tzatziki (yogurt dip), mixed vegetables, souvla (BBQ pork with oregano & Chicken), potatoes in the oven, village bread, salad and lemon. Village wine and Zivania will be served through the meal, with squash for children. The Bar is fully stocked with soft drinks, beer and other imported alcoholic drinks.

Note: Please check your visa and passport prior to departure.

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Excellent Bus Tour. My husband and I booked seats on Aphrodite Tours to go on the Famagusta Day Trip as we have always been interested in what happened after the Turkish Invasion. This was like a dream come true. The nearest we got previously was seeing Famagusta from a boat. This trip was simply amazing. The guide was a walking encyclopedia. He told us things we never knew and showed us things we didn't think we would ever see. Highly recommended.

Katherine Nichipurenko
Red Bus Tour

I chose the Larnaca-Nicosia & St. Thekla Monastery trip offered by Aphrodite Tours. A practising Christian, I was amazed to hear about and see the resurrection of Lazarus as related with a personal touch by the guide. The Church of St. Lazarus was marvellous; part of the sacred relics of the Saint were discovered just forty odd years ago! Stavrovouni was breathtaking as was the small village of Meniko, where the remnants of the tomb of St.Thekla were kept. The story of Church Panagia Chrysospiliotissa in a natural cave consecrated in honour of Virgin Chrysospiliotissa was very moving. I’m glad I took this tour and I am grateful to Aphrodite Tours for this edifying trip.

Alexandra Chichikova
Larnaca- Nicosia-St. Thekla Monastery Tour

My husband and I opted for Aphrodite’s Tours excursion to the Donkey Farm at Kelokedara Paphos. The concept is noble and the entire package wonderful. The local delicacies like sushukko washed down with Zivania warmed us up for the ride which was most enjoyable. The meal on return was delicious. The whole package was invigorating and exciting. I’ve framed my Diploma! Thank you, Aphrodite Tours, for suggesting this diversion.

Andrea Taylor
Safari on Donkeys