The “Beautiful Villages of Cyprus” Network has been established under Axis 4 – LEADER of Rural Development Program 2007-2013, on 24 April 2012. The establishment itself is the main output of the National Cooperation Project “Wanderings in the Less Developed Rural Areas of Cyprus”, that is implemented through the Local Development Strategies of the approved Local Action Groups (LAGs) under Axis 4 – LEADER. The four LAGs are: Larnaca District Development Agency, Limassol District Development Agency, Development Agency of Paphos Aphrodite and Troodos Development Orginisation.
The main objectives of the Project are:
1. The preservation and the promotion of the history, the heritage and the quality of the areas landscapes, the encouragement of economic development and the stabilization of the population in these areas.
2. The reinforcement of the reputation and the local identity of the areas, encouraging an economic activity that is related to tourism.
3. Activation of local authorities and people for exchanging good practices experiences.
4. Animation of the sense of pride for the local identity of the areas, through the active participation of the local population during the implementation of the project.
The first 20 villages composing the Network are:
• From Larnaca: Athienou, Lefkara, Tochni, Khirokitia and Kalavasos.
• From Limassol: Anogyra, Prastio Avdimou, Lania, Agios Georgios and Sylikou.
• From Pafos: Amargeti, Choulou, Kallepia, Salamiou and Kelokedara.
• And from Troodos: Kakopetria, Pedoulas, Agros, Agios Therapon and Phini.
The “Beautiful Villages of Cyprus” Network is promoted through the official website of the Network (www.beautifulvillages.com.cy), social network sites, the design of thematic routes and integrated proposals for the visitors of the villages, the production of a tour guide (information about accommodation, heritage centers etc.) and through organized journalists visits to the villages. There are many other activities under the project like an educational activity (painting contest for students) and a conference for the conclusions of the project.