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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Shopping Cyprus

When you think of shopping in Cyprus, Lefkara lace is probably about all that comes to mind. As lovely as it is, if you know where to look and what to buy, Cyprus has some gorgeous surprises in store, in both the North and the South. While Larnaka and Nicosia have some fabulous boutiques and design stores, you won't find anything you can't buy outside of Cyprus, so the best buy is traditional handicrafts. Handmade lace and embroidery is what the island is celebrated for. There's a long tradition of lacemaking using traditional techniques passed down from generation to generation, the most coveted lace being lefkaritika from the village of Lefkara. You'll also find rustic textiles, including bedcovers, wall hangings and tablecloths, made in the North (where the colors are more vibrant and the styles are more Turkish) and the South (where they tend to come in neutral colours in heavy natural wools, which is more typically Mediterranean). Other handicrafts include colourful handwoven baskets, rustic pottery, ceramics, and glassware, lovely olive wood products (including big beautiful bowls and wooden cooking and salad spoons), and chic jewellery (often contemporary interpretations of ancient Cypriot styles). Aside from the villages where traditional handicrafts are still made - Omodos, Fyti, Liopetri, Sotira, Xylofagou, Geroskipou, Koloni, Omodos and Foini are all good places to look in the South - the best place to buy handicrafts in the South is at the government-run Cyprus Handicraft Centre and in the North at the Buyuk Han in Northern Nicosia. If you're taking things from the North to the South and are unlucky to get searched at the border, your Northern goodies might get confiscated. Hopefully, as border restrictions relax, that's one rule that will be scrapped.


The Bohemian Bahamian said...

Something about seeing colorful textiles just makes me stare and drool. I love it!

Lara Dunston said...

Oh, me too! I love colour! Especially in white minimalist spaces.

Anonymous said...

I love a place with white walls,a nd color placed across them. Like my apt now has white walls, but I bring in color with paintings and on my bed and through the decor. I feel like it pops that way.