Kakopetria Cyprus Travel Guide

Kakopetria is a village sitting between the Kargotis and Garillis Rivers, just over 30 miles from Nicosia. Standing at an altitude of 667 metres it is the highest village in the Solea Valley. The pure mountain air and authentic atmosphere here make Kakopetria the perfect destination for a relaxing holiday. During the winter months Kakopetria makes an ideal base for skiing on Mount Olympus in the Troodos Mountains. The whole of the old town is a protected national monument with tiny streets lined with old stone houses and historic churches and buildings. Stroll around and soak up the amazing atmosphere before relaxing over a quiet meal or drink at one of the traditional tavernas that are found in the shady town square.

This authentic romantic mountain village offers traditional shops, a market and some great cafes and bars serving traditional local cuisine and local wines. If you enjoy a glass or two of wine a visit to one of the mountain wineries to sample some of the local vintages is a must on your holidays to Kakopetria.

The area is steeped in history with many ancient monasteries and Byzantine churches, including Kykkos Monastery which is one of the most famous in Cyprus. Historical places to visit include Paphos which is a World Heritage Site. Here you will find the Tombs of the Kings, the House of Dionysis, Paphos Castle and the Archaeological Museum.

The thick forests, beautiful valleys and array of flora and fauna attract walkers, hikers, nature lovers and bird watchers. There are many marked trails that will guide you through vineyards and orchards, passing mountain streams and old churches on your way. Pears, apples, plums, apricots, peaches and cherries are grown in the regions orchards. A hike along one of the scenic routes to the Troodos Mountains will give you the chance to explore the amazing monasteries dotted about on the mountain side. Another way to explore the beautiful countryside is by mountain bike. There are many trails that lead riders through different types of terrain, including easier ones for visitors just wanting a leisurely ride and more challenging ones for the more experienced and adventurous. Other ways to explore the countryside include jeep safaris and horse riding excursions.

The south coast beaches near Limassol are ideal for some relaxation, swimming and water sports. There are also excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities along the coast. For golfers there are several golf courses a short drive away from Kakopetria.

The climate here is hot and dry in the summer but not as hot as the holiday resorts along the coast. Temperatures often reach 30C but the cool mountain air makes it more pleasant and less humid than at the coastal resorts. Kakopetria enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine a year, even April sees 8 hours of sunshine a day, an ideal time to book one of the many holiday deals available to Cyprus.

Spring and autumn are the best times for cheap package holidays to Kakopetria. Spring sees the region burst into life with the mountainside covered in beautiful flowers and the trees in the fruit orchards covered in blossom. Autumn is ideal for walking and hiking in the warm sunny climate that the area enjoys at this time of the year.

China Shanghai Travel and Tour

The city of Shanghai is the biggest commercial and financial center in China and also one of the most important international port city in the western-pacific region. The city of Shanghai, bordering on Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces in the west, is washed by the East China Sea in the east and Hangzhou Bay in the south. North of the city, the Yangtze River pours into the East China Sea. At the central point along China’s coastal line, Shanghai has ready transportation facilities. Thanks to its advantageous geographic location, Shanghai has both excellent sea and river ports and a vast hinterland.

With a pleasant northern subtropical maritime monsoon climate, Shanghai enjoys four distinct seasons, with generous sunshine and abundant rainfall. Its spring and autumn are relatively short comparing with the summer and winter. However, nearly 50 percent of the precipitation came during the May-September flooding season, which is divided into three rainy periods, namely, the Spring Rains, the Plum Rains and the Autumn Rains.  

As a city of a long history, Shanghai has 13 historical sites under state protection, including characteristic gardens built during the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. A group of architectures built since the 1990s have added something new to the scenic attractions of the city. The Oriental Pearl TV tower, the No. 1 skyscraper in China and the People’s Square well fit into the urban landscape and compete with the Western-style architectures built along the bunds. Being one of the earliest city to underwent economic reform, Shanghai has a large expatriate community and foreign businesses, more so than the capital of Beijing.

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Wine Travel – New York’s Niagara Wine Trail is a Shining Star

As any wine lover knows, that next great bottle of wine can come from any of the world’s great wine producing regions.

And while this travelogue’s destination is very well known, we’d also like to tell you about a friendly, terrific city that, frankly, probably isn’t on many must see lists.

The New York State Wine Scene

Wine and grape growing have long been a part of New York state. New York is consistently in the top 10 states in terms of grape growing and wine production, and boasts well over 100 wineries. Wine trails abound here, from Long Island to the beautiful Finger Lakes, and many more. Most of the state’s climate and topography are ideally suited to grape growing, and wine production has been thriving since the 1800’s.

Western New York is an especially ideal area for wine lovers, as the proximity to two Great Lakes creates a perfect microclimate for wine grapes. The Niagara Wine Trail, just minutes from Niagara Falls and only 1/2 hour from Buffalo, boasts of 12 wineries that offer a welcoming introduction to New York wine.

First Stop: Niagara Falls

As we entered New York from the Pennsylvania border, we had our hearts set on an afternoon visit to Niagara Falls. First discovered by European settler Louis Hennepin in 1678, the world has been beating a path here ever since. And the Falls always delivers! The spectacular cascade of water is a jaw dropping and awe inspiring sight.

There are numerous places to view both the Horseshoe and American Falls, on the U.S. or Canadian side, but the best place to truly feel the Falls is on the legendary Maid of the Mist. Before you step aboard, you’ll be given a bright blue rain slicker, complete with hood. As the boat chugs toward the Falls, it will rock and bob as it churns over the turbulent water. Ultimately, you’ll be ferried to the base of the Horseshoe Falls. Here, the true power of the Falls looms before you, with a roar so deafening you can barely hear the captain’s dramatic announcement, “This … is Niagara Falls.”

Of course, there are numerous places to part with your money here, from wax museums to souvenir shops to helicopter rides. But no matter how you choose to experience Niagara Falls, we have just one piece of advice: Bring lots of film!

Experiencing Buffalo: Wings And Other Great Things

After drying off from our exhilarating Maid of the Mist experience, it was time for the short 20 minute drive to the Lake Erie port city of Buffalo. From reading the brochures we’d collected beforehand, we were intrigued by the promise of historic architecture, trendy entertainment and shopping districts, and local food specialties.

We checked into our downtown hotel, the convenient Best Western Inn on the Avenue, to settle in for our 3 night stay in the Buffalo-Niagara area. With a particular local food specialty on our mind, we set out for a Buffalo institution, the world famous Anchor Bar.

The Anchor Bar is, of course, known as the origin of Buffalo wings. Since 1964, this neighborhood gem has been turning out several chicken wing styles, one more delicious than the next. As good as the chicken wings are, be sure to try another Buffalo specialty, Beef on Weck. It’s a thinly sliced roast beef sandwich, served on a specialty roll called a Kimmelweck, which is basically a round deli style bun with course salt and onion on top. Washed down with a pitcher of the always marvelous Genesee Cream Ale, this is as close to heaven as you get in western New York! If all this is making you hungry, never fear, the Anchor Bar ships wings overnight all over the country.

Over the course of the next three days, both before and after winery visits, we came to experience and know Buffalo. This is a proud, friendly city teeming with historic architecture and lively entertainment and shopping districts. It’s also a city of four distinct seasons. Temperatures are moderated by Lake Erie, and we learned that the mercury has never hit 100 in Buffalo. In winter, the area surrounding Buffalo is a skiers paradise. So no matter your pursuit of choice, there’s something waiting for you in Buffalo. For a complete list of things to see and do, visit our Recommendations section below.

Niagara Wine Trail

The Niagara Wine Trail is very convenient to both Buffalo and Niagara Falls. From downtown Buffalo, it’s less than 1/2 hour to the main cluster of wineries, situated just west of the small village of Lockport, NY. Just take Route 425 north from Buffalo and follow the winery signs.

There are 12 wineries on the trail, 11 of which are right in Niagara County. Even if you don’t have the opportunity to visit all 12 as we did, take the time to enjoy the pleasant short drive from Buffalo or Niagara Falls to see one or two. This is agriculture country, a haven for fruit growing. There’s a sense of serenity here, with rolling breezes off Lake Ontario just a few miles north.

The wineries here celebrate the passion of winemaking, and you’ll be in luck if the wine trail is hosting an event while you visit. You’ll find everything from Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, dessert wines, and fruit wines. Of particular note, we found that most wineries on this trail had a unique style specialty, with almost all using grapes and fruit from the immediate area. Let’s get to know each of the 12 wineries …

Vizarra Vineyards: This is a great family destination, with two outdoor patios with vineyard and sunset views, and U-Pick opportunities from onsite orchards. The vineyard itself is part of Becker Farms, a well known attraction in this area.

There’s a full selection of reds, whites, and specialty fruit wines here. We enjoyed the crisp Rusty’s Riesling and the sweet Barreled Over Niagara, made from the Niagara grape common in the region.

Eveningside Vineyards: Eveningside is a family farm winery (complete with gorgeous red barn!) specializing in Chardonnays, Rieslings, and Cabernet Franc. We particularly recommend the 2007 Riesling, an excellent example of the style, and the Crofton Blush, a semi sweet offering that’s ideal for summer sipping.

Honeymoon Trail Winery: Having the perfect name for a winery in the Niagara Falls area, Honeymoon Trail offers a beautiful setting to sample their wines. Try the rich spicy Cabernet Franc and the White Lace, a blend of Riesling and Cayuga White. We also took home two bottles of Just Peachy, a crisp and fruity wine made with New York grown peaches.

Warm Lake Estate: Pinot Noir is the name of the game at Warm Lake Estate. Wine Spectator consistently praises the Pinot Noir, rating it the best of its kind in New York. Their expansive vineyard, hosting exclusively Pinot Noir grapes, is viewable from the outside deck.

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards: This alluring family farm winery has a wide array of grapes in its vineyard, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, and Chardonnay, all of which do well in the Niagara region. The result is some of the more spectacular wine we enjoyed on this trip.

We loved the smooth, buttery 2006 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay in particular. Another we added to our collection is the Apogee Red, a delightful blend of European varietals that stands well on its own or with a meal.

Niagara Landing Wine Cellars: One of the older wineries in the region, Niagara Landing offers over two dozen wine selections along with an inviting gift shop with artwork from local artists.

Go for the House White, a fruity blend, and the red Baco Noir, one of the most complex berry and spice reds we’ve had. Another wine worth crowing about here is Red Rooster, a smooth drinking red blend. Last but not least, try the Boxer Blush, named after the family’s pet boxer, Sir Arthur. Also of note, we found the prices here to be a great bargain.

Spring Lake Winery: The vineyard at Spring Lake Winery is part of the peaceful 78 acre site, complete with an 8 acre lake and numerous walking paths. We enjoyed an invigorating 2 mile hike through the property before ending at the Tuscan style tasting room, where we dove in and tried the Gewurztraminer, with its bouquet of apricot and banana. If you visit, be sure to ask about their Wine Train excursions, a cooperative effort between the winery and a local railroad museum.

Chiappone Wine Cellars: Located on a beautiful farm setting near the small town of Newfane, Chiappone Wine Cellars has a long tradition of winemaking over three generations. We thought the whites were the stars here, in particular the Morning Star, a dry but fruity Riesling that has won numerous wine awards. Also try Moonglow, a clean and smooth Traminette.

Schulze Vineyards and Winery: Just a stone’s throw from the shores of Lake Ontario, Schulze Vineyards and Winery is situated on 120 acres of beautiful farm land. When you visit here, you’ll literally experience the fresh aroma of grapes and Lake Ontario at the same time.

In their vineyard, current plantings include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Catawba, Vidal, Niagara, and Riesling. In terms of wine, we were delighted to taste some very interesting sparkling wines here, before moving on to their very nicely done Cabernet Franc Nouveau and Vidal Blanc, among others.

Freedom Run Winery: Freedom Run Winery is family owned and operated, with fragrant orchards surrounding the new tasting room. When we visited, 11 wines were available. We thought the Manning Manor Blanc was superb, a blend of Cayuga White and Vidal Blanc, making for a pleasant and mildly sweet taste. Also we recommend the Cabernet Franc, with big flavors of dark cherry and blackberry. Before you leave, be sure to see the various works of glass and pottery art, handmade by one of Freedom Run’s owners and available for purchase via their website.

Leonard Oakes Estate Winery: This brand new winery is the only Niagara Wine Trail member outside of Niagara County, as it’s just over the Orleans County line, just 5 minutes from Vizcarra Vineyards. The official grand opening is early July, but the wines and tasting room were ready to go when we visited a few weeks prior.

Leonard Oakes Estate wines are all produced from grapes grown on site, and are fun and easy to drink. Try the wonderfully complex Frontenac, with notes of dark fruit like blackberry and plum. On the lighter side, opt for a true taste of the region with White Oakes, a refreshing blend of Chardonnay, Seyval Blanc, and Cayuga White.

The Winery at Marjim Manor: Finally, we’d like to take you to the shores of Lake Ontario to the gorgeous grounds and setting of The Winery at Marjim Manor. The winery’s location has an interesting history, serving at various times as a grainery, a home, and even a convent. Some even say the place is haunted!

The wines, though, are very upfront and friendly. Fruit wines rule the day here, all produced from the owner’s large orchard. And this is truly a spectacular location to taste wine and linger, with a commanding view of Lake Ontario. We found several truly unique wines here, with one of our favorites being Thursday Afternoon At Three, a blend of Niagara grapes and peaches. Another was the white One Hundred Windows, an easy to drink, fruity selection. Be sure to take your time here … the setting and the grounds are stunning.

We divided these winery visits into a three day period, visiting a maximum of four per day. The best part about this wine trail is the close proximity of the wineries … not only are they an easy drive from one another, but they’re very close to Buffalo as well.

The New York leg of this journey was a great combination of rural farm wineries and city attractions. In essence, the best of both worlds. We hope this issue piqued your interest in this scenic and underrated wine producing area!

The Niagara Wine Trail is just one of many highly enjoyable wine travel destinations in this part of the country. New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are brimming with wineries and wine trails, so be sure to put these destinations on your wine travel wish list.