If I was a betting kind a gal, I would bet that the majority of people do not regularly frequent the Cyprus farmers’ markets. Why? Well, I honestly don’t know is the simple answer. Perhaps it is because grocery stores tend to sell fruits and vegetables that are “local and in season” anyway. Perhaps it is because it is more convenient to go to a grocery store. Having said that, have you tried the fresh vegetables and fruits from a Cypriot farmers’ market? It’s cheaper. And – in a lot of cases – it’s tastier. I, for one, am a convert. Below is my guide to Cyprus farmers’ markets. At the very bottom of this article is a list of my favourite Cyprus farmers’ markets – including where, when and why you should go.
Sure, the settings aren’t plush. In Cyprus, some of the farmers’ markets literally take place in fields or parking lots. Also, not every farmers’ market is going to be at a convenient time, but there is at least one weekend market in Limassol and in Nicosia, so that’s two major cities covered. And, yes, the parking situation can be a bit tricky but there is always parking even if it means you have to walk 100 meters. But it’s worth it. If you want more “plush” settings, try the “covered” markets – the ones that take place in the old halls in Limassol and Nicosia. You may find a greater variety of fresh produce literally out of the back of farmers’ trucks, but it’s still very fresh!
2. Go Early
Farmers’ Markets in Cyprus start very early. Some start as early as 5am, and people go to shop as early as that too. Having said that, if you go by 11am, you will still find an ample selection of things. It’s around 12pm onwards that the selection starts to dwindle and, in some markets, the producers start to pack up. In addition, parking can be a nightmare close to the actual markets and it’s best to go early to find a good spot.
3. Browse Around
It can be overwhelming when you first arrive at a farmers’ market. Everything will look amazing and you might think you might as well just buy the first things you see. But look around. On closer inspection you will see that some stalls have cheaper prices or “deals”. This might be because the produce is older or not as fresh. The quality of produce also varies between stands, some have the best greens, others the best fruits, etc. Which leads us to the next tip.
4. Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Is the produce locally grown? If so, which city does it come from? When was it cut or picked? I’ve noticed that not all fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets are locally grown, so be sure to check before buying. Sometimes vendors might be willing to give you a sample, or show you the inside of the fruit or vegetable, but not always. It doesn’t hurt to ask and the vendors are always very friendly.
5. Carrier Bags
If your car is not nearby, and you plan to buy a lot, you might need a little trolley bag. There are people who bring these as it’s just easier than carrying many heavy bags around. If you buy a lot from a vendor, there may be someone there who can help you with your bags. This has certainly happened to me before and is quite welcome when you already are carrying 5 heavy bags!
No one takes payment in cards. It’s all cash. Something which I think is rather obvious, but I have forgotten this a few times and only realised once I arrived at the market. It’s very annoying. So bring cash with you.
7. My Tips
If you visit the Limassol New Town Farmers’ Market on a Sunday, there is an excellent bread maker who makes traditional Cypriot “arkatena”. You won’t be disappointed – I’ve had to carry loaves of this bread to Canada for relatives it is that good. But go early, she sells out quickly. Ask for “Georgia” if it’s not clear where you should go. Also, make sure you visit the Agro-Ktima truck at the end of the vegetable stalls. It’s a company that sells free range, locally grown chicken – a whole chicken (or one chopped in pieces) will cost you 10 euro. The company started 8 months ago – in 2013 – and already sell their produce in Melis (a major Cypriot butcher chain) in Limassol, and will be selling in Nicosia soon. Also, keep your eye out for carrots with long stems. For some reason I can only find baby carrots or very large carrots in the grocery stores, but I have found carrots which clearly look “homegrown” at the Limassol New Town Farmers’ Market. If you visit the Nicosia Oxi Market, keep an eye out for the small sweet strawberries in February and March. They are delicious.
MY FAVOURITE MARKETS *
Oxi Square Market. WHERE: It used to take place in Oxi Square (Leoforos Konstantinou Palaiologou, Constanza Bastion, Lefkosia) in the center of the old town, but has temporarily moved to a large parking lot on Konstantinou Palaiologou Street, walking distance from Ledra street. WHEN: Wednesday & Saturday, 6am to 4pm. WHAT: Fruits, Vegetables, Traditional Dried Meats & Pulses, Olives, Flowers, Traditional Cypriot Bread. PARKING: It is busy, but you can find parking usually within 100m and walk, or right next to the market itself. WHY I GO: It’s one of the biggest markets so there is a huge selection of fruits and vegetables and you can find a lot of hard-to-find local ingredients. TIP: Look out for fresh little strawberries in February and March, you can’t them in the supermarkets.
Strovolos Market: WHERE: Dimitri Vikellou Street, next to the old Orphanides supermarket in Strovolos. WHEN: Friday 6am to 4pm. WHAT: Fruits, Vegetables, Traditional Dried Meats & Pulses. PARKING: Not a problem. WHY I GO: I used to go because it was close to my house. It’s a decent selection.
(Covered) Agios Antonios Market: WHERE: Evgenias & Antoniou Theodotou 1 WHEN: Every Monday to Saturday 7:30am to 5pm, until 2pm on Wednesday and 4pm on Saturday. WHAT: Fish, Fruits, Vegetables, Traditional Dried Meats & Pulses, Olives, Flowers, Traditional Cypriot Bread, Traditional Cheeses. Coffee Shop In The Market. PARKING: Difficult. It is on a busy road, and you have to look a bit. WHY I GO: I love the fact that it is in the center of town, and there is a variety of produce – including fish, cheeses and vegetables in the same place. It is covered which is good when the weather is too hot or too cold, and you can have a wonderful coffee at a nice casual Italian cafe/restaurant in the market itself.
Anthoupoli Market: WHERE: Anthoupoli, next to the church. WHEN: Every Sunday 6am to 1pm. WHAT, PARKING, WHY I GO: I have not been to this market but have had it highly recommended to me by a reader. I understand the market sells fruit, vegetables, local cheese, olives, fresh prozimi, eggs, chicken and rabbit.
Organic Farmers’ Market: WHERE: Just off Lisimahou Street, Ayia Fyla, Limassol (+99 332 581). Take the Ayia Fyla round about north towards the mountains. When you get to the second grocery store, you will see a small road on your right. Take it, Then take your first left, and second right. You should see the house and field. WHEN: Every Saturday morning until 1pm. WHAT: Fruits, Vegetables, Fresh Eggs, Rabbit, Homemade Organic Cheeses PARKING: Ample parking WHY I GO: This is the only organic Cyprus farmers’ market I know of, and I love it. Chrystalla, the owner, is also lovely.
(Covered) Limassol Municipal Market: WHERE: Georgiou Gennadiou, Old Town, just behind the Central Bus Station. WHEN: Monday to Saturday, 5:30am to 2:30pm, Wednesday until 1:30pm. WHAT: Fruits, Vegetables, Fresh Fish, Fresh Meat, Traditional Dried Meats & Pulses, Flowers, Traditional Sweets, Traditional Bread, Pastry Shop, Souvenir Stand PARKING: This market is walking distance from the Main Bus Station where there is ample parking. WHY I GO: I love the Old Town, and it is nice to wander through this beautiful building. There is a good selection of produce, fish, and dried goods. I am also really looking forward to the coming improvements.
New Town Market: WHERE: Aigisthou Road (Where 8th Road and Nikaias Road intersect), Pano Polemedia. (The New General Hospital of Limassol is on Nikaias Road.) WHEN: Wednesday and Sundays, 5am to 12pm. WHAT: Fruits, Vegetables, Flowers, Traditional Breads, Traditional Dried Meats & Pulses, Cyprus sweets, Fresh Chicken. PARKING: Not a problem. WHY I GO: This is my favourite market hands-down. The prices are great, and the produce is always very fresh. There is fresh meat, and delicious bread, as well as Cypriot sweets such as loukoumades. There is a make-shift coffee shop and the vendors are very friendly. It’s a bit “rustic” as it is in a field, but it has a fabulous selection. TIP: Try the “arkatena” bread that Georgia makes. You won’t be disappointed. Also make sure to check out the free-range chicken truck at the end of the stalls.
Pano Akourdaelia Herbal Gardens Farmers’ Market: WHERE: Next to the Pano Akourdaelia Herbal Gardens. If coming from Limassol on the highway, arrive at the main roundabout entering Paphos, go straight over (2nd exit); over traffic lights; at next roundabout (note water feature) go straight over (1st exit); at end of the road traffic lights turn right. Continue up this road (Mesogi road) towards Polis and follow Pafos directions. WHEN: The first Sunday of every month between 10am and 2pm. WHAT, PARKING, WHY I GO, TIPS: I have not been to this market, but have been told by the organizer that it sells fruit and vegetables, homemade tarts, pies, cookies, breads even gluten-free, jams, marmalades and preserves, eggs, olive oil, raw honey, bee pollen, spices, herbs, dried fruits and nuts, fresh plants. It sounds lovely, and I will definitely be paying it a visit.
Timi Fruit & Vegetable Market: WHERE: If you are leaving Pafos, take the old highway towards Limassol. Just before you reach the Pafos airport turn-off the market will appear. WHEN: It is every Sunday, from about 7am to 1pm. WHAT, PARKING, WHY I GO, TIPS: I have not been to this market, so can not comment on these, but from what I have heard it sounds like a solid fruit and vegetable market.
Old Municipal Market: WHERE: This is the municipal market in the Old Town of Pafos. not far from the bus station and close to the main shopping street Makarios Avenue. Starting out from Makarios avenue, you will enter into a covered alleyway, with shops and stalls either side. Just off the market is the main market square – another covered area, and it is off this area that you will find the meat, fish and fruit and vegetable areas of Pafos Market. WHEN: Monday to Saturday from 9am to 2pm. WHAT, PARKING, WHY I GO, TIPS: I have not been to this market, but I understand that it sells much more than just fruit and vegetables. I would expect that you would find a large variety including meat and fish.
Stroumpi Market: WHERE: Stroumpi, behind the large church in Stroumpi square. WHEN: Twice a Month, on Sundays, 10am to 2pm. WHAT, PARKING, WHY I GO, TIPS: I have not been to this market, but have been told by the organiser that in addition to fruits and vegetables, vendors also sell pies, honey, eggs, jams, chutneys, cakes, biscuits, home made sauces, curies and local crafts.
Larnaca & Other
If you can recommend a market in Larnaca, please let me know in the comments.
There is also a weekend market in Morfou and a Thursday market in Famagusta, but I don’t have the exact location for these. From the pictures I have seen, the markets look lovely. You can find a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as fish. But I don’t really know too much more having not visited. If you do know more, please feel free to comment below! (e.g. WHERE, WHAT, PARKING, WHY TO GO, TIPS).
*THIS LIST IS NOT EXHAUSTIVE. THESE ARE THE MARKETS I RECOMMEND AND REGULARLY VISIT.
KNOW ANOTHER? HAVE A FAVOURITE? TELL US IN THE COMMENTS.