Contemporary life is filled with complications and distractions, such as rapid technological change, constant news alerts, an unending stream of texts, calls, and emails, and a need to multitask, leaving many of us overwhelmed, stressed, and unable to focus. One way to overcome this situation is to cultivate mindfulness—the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing—instead of simply reacting to the latest stimulus. In coordination with Travelgems, the experiential travel agency, Almyra is now offering a Mindfulness Week to help you develop the capacity to live in the moment. The seven-day retreat (27 September through 3 October) offers instruction in nutrition, holistic exercise, yoga, and meditation. We have assembled an internationally recognised team of experts to lead the sessions. Nutritionist Christina Kostara, head of the IASO Hospital Clinical Nutrition Support and Dietetics Department in Athens, will lead eating sessions focusing on mindful approaches to Mediterranean cuisine. Marianne Chrysikakou, who completed degrees in physical education in both Greece and France, will guide you through the holistic workout sessions. Sharon Hill is our yoga master. Her practice takes her regularly from New York to Tel Aviv to India. Accredited by the International Yoga Alliance, she will teach you yoga techniques and meditative practices. The entire week takes place on the lushly landscaped seaside grounds of Almyra, where you will be immersed in nature. For bookings, please contact Almyra by email (almyra@thanoshotels.com) or by phone (25 888700).
With its level terrain and network of pathways, Pafos is an excellent place to go for a run or a bicycle ride. Almyra wants to help you get on your way. Every Thursday morning at 7:30, the Almyra Jungle Running Club gathers at the hotel’s entrance for a five-kilometre run. Guests are invited to join the group of about twenty dedicated local runners; Almyra provides complimentary water and fruit at departure and more water and coffee upon completion at 8:30. Our spa facilities and showers are available for the runners. Another option is to join the Almyra Athletic Club on Strava. After setting up your account, you can record the distance and time of your exercise sessions and compare your progress with club members. Using their app with GPS technology, you can follow routes planned by Almyra to take in some of the area’s sights. To motivate you, Almyra is offering prizes to those who complete the routes. Complete the short Pafos Old Town cycling tour (13.1 km) or the Lighthouse run (5 km) and receive a signature cocktail or healthy smoothie. Finish the medium Pafos-Coral Bay bike tour (28.7 km) or the Kings Route (10 km) and be rewarded with a foot treatment at Almyraspa. Conquer the long Sea Caves Adventure ride (38.5 km) or the Pafos Coast-to-Coast run (15 km) and we’ll honour you with a set menu dinner for two at Notios. Just record your journey and share it on Facebook or Instagram with Almyra’s hashtag; your friends will send you congratulations, too!
Ceramic art has long played a role in the culture of Cyprus, as is amply attested by archaeological finds of ancient terracotta amphoras, bowls, cups, and votive figurines. In ceramic art, one often senses a tension between functionality and artistic expression, between handicraft and fine art. This tension is highlighted and explored in the ‘Ceramic Waves’ exhibition currently on display in the Lobby of Almyra. Proposed by Savvas Christodoulides and introduced by former Minister of Culture George Demosthenous, the exhibition brings together recent work by ten ceramic artists from the Pafos region. Each artist explores the tension between functionality and aesthetic expression, with some clearly leaning toward utility and others striving for pure art. The exploration of the tension creates a lively dialogue as a diverse array of objects—figures, pottery, simple objects—ask us to oscillate between evaluations of each one’s utility and beauty. The emergence of Pafos as a centre for contemporary ceramic art goes back to the 1974 Turkish invasion: potter Savvas Georgiades relocated from Kyrenia to Pafos in its aftermath, setting up an atelier here. After he passed away, his sons Giorgos and Panicos continued his work; both are represented in the show. Around the same time, brothers Giannis and Avgoustinos Kontos set up shop in their native village of Yeroskipou; Avgoustinos’s work is likewise included. The other artists showing are Elysia Athanatou, Vasos Demetriou, Eleftheria Fili, Nina Iacovou, Melita Kouta, Giorgos Kypris, and Panayiotis Pasandas. The exhibition continues through 13 August 2019.
The legendary King Midas received an extraordinary gift from the gods: all that he touched would turn to gold. Now, thanks to London facialist Emma Hardie, you can be touched with the transformative power of her natural skincare products, which give a lustrous, radiant glow to your face, neck, and décolletage. Almyraspa now offers The Midas Touch Facial by Emma Hardie. It begins with a gentle cleansing using her celebrated, antioxidant rich Moringa Cleansing Balm. After a light misting with an aromatic spray, you will receive a scrub using rosehip exfoliating seeds. The therapist next applies a detoxifying mask to your face; as it settles, you will enjoy a massage of your hands. Once the mask has been removed, you will be sprayed with the hydrating mist. Then a serum is applied with a cool, jade roller, which aids in lymphatic drainage. Lotions are applied to the face and décolletage to protect the skin from sun damage. Finally, the therapist gives a gentle massage of your legs and feet. Throughout the treatment, you will listen to soothing music as you take in a light fragrance reminiscent of balsam and citrus. The therapist uses a range of massage techniques to relax muscles, firm the skin, and achieve the best results from the products. This holistic treatment evens and tones the skin and provides a luxurious lift to your complexion. You will emerge as though touched by Midas himself. Contact Almyraspa on 26888720 for an appointment.
The rembetiko music played in the tavernas of Cyprus can be enjoyed for its intriguing instrumentation and soulful vocals—but it can be difficult to fully appreciate it if you cannot follow the Greek lyrics. Some familiarity with common themes can help you understand the genre. Though rembetiko developed in the multicultural port cities of the Ottoman empire, it became an important expression of Greek working-class identity after the 1922 destruction of Smyrna forced mass migration. Perhaps the best-known singer-songwriter of rembetiko in this era was Markos Vamvakaris. His 1938 song ‘Oloi Oi Rebetes Tou Ntounia’ / ‘To All the Singers of Rembetiko around the World’ presents him as a poor, wandering martyr who lives in exile and is filled with longing; he also celebrates the audacious man who rebels against his fate. Another popular theme is a man’s desire for a woman of another culture, perhaps best expressed in ‘Misirlou’ by Nikos Roubani. The title character is an Egyptian woman who beguiles the singer with her beauty; versions of this song exist in many Middle Eastern languages and cultures, and a fast-paced rendition features memorably in the movie ‘Pulp Fiction’. Another well-known, brooding song in the genre is ‘Eimai Aitos Horis Ftera’ / ‘I Am an Eagle without Wings’ by Grigoris Bithikotsis; in it the singer is an eagle who had soared in the sky before a ‘beloved hand’ clipped his wings, yet he forgives the beloved hand and vows to ‘love it forever’. These and other rembetiko songs can be heard regularly in Almyra’s seaside taverna, Ouzeri.
During the period of Roman rule in the ancient town of Nea Pafos, civic activity focused on the Agora marketplace and its adjacent Odeon. Built in the second century, these structures persist in ruins that can be visited in the Archaeological Site of Kato Pafos. Civic activity continues at the Odeon, as it has been restored by the Department of Antiquities and hosts a series of performances you can attend throughout the summer months. On 17 July at 21:30, singer Eleni Vitali will pair up with classical guitarist Panagiotis Magaris for a concert of Greek popular music; the programme benefits Access City Cyprus, a charity promoting access to public facilities for persons with disabilities. A performance of Euripides’s ‘Bacchae’ will be staged by the Belacqua Theatre of Cyprus on 22 July at 21:00; it is part of the International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama, which invites theatre companies from around the world to perform Greek classics throughout Cyprus. On 30 July at 21:00, composer-pianist Stefanos Korkolis presents ‘We Sing Our Poets’, a concert of modern Greek poetry set to music; he is joined by singer Sofia Manousaki. The Odeon is an outdoor theatre with twelve rows of limestone carved in a half circle for seating. For performances, access the Odeon by following the sign from the B20 road rather than through the main Archaeological Site entrance. Tickets are available in advance online and in various stores throughout Pafos; contact Guest Services for assistance.