Cyprus // Lemesos and around //

The Santa Marina Retreat

Just outside the village of Pareklissia north of the A1’s junction 21 lies the Santa Marina Retreat. Once a disused copper mine, it’s now a popular and surprisingly peaceful mixture of stud farm and activity centre. It combines stables, paddocks, two race tracks, even a horse exercise pool, with a putting green, driving range, archery area, football pitches, adventure playground, climbing wall and a ten-metre-high “sky trail”. For the less sporty there’s a lake stocked with koi, a barn containing displays tracing the history of horses in Cyprus, a small petting zoo, a Venetian chapel and the Manghaleni copper mine, the original development on the site, with its own visitor centre. As well as the somewhat pricey organized activities (archery €8 for 15min, mountain-bike hire €12/hour), there are nature trails which can be explored on foot as well as on horseback or by bike. Once you’re done riding/climbing/hiking, you can take refreshment at the very pleasant Terrace Café.