OMODOS is the epitome of the Troodos foothills wine village. That’s why it attracts so many visitors and that’s why it’s lambasted for being too touristy. Don’t listen to the critics – if you’ve only got time for one village, make it this one. Surrounded by vineyards, Omodos is laid out around a large pedestrianized cobbled square which slopes gently down to Timiou Stavrou (Holy Cross) Monastery. Around the square is a bunch of souvenir shops, together with a good range of tavernas/café-bars: check out the Village Inn, for example. There’s a massive old wine press near the square, dating from the Lusignan period, while 1km north is the Ktima Gerolemo winery, which offers winery tours and wine tasting (25422122), as well as a gift shop. In addition to wine, Omodos also makes zivania, an explosive spirit, together with a number of sweets made from wine must.
Outside the entrance to Timiou Stavrou (Holy Cross) Monastery, a statue commemorates a past abbot, Dositheos, who was one of 486 Greek Cypriots beheaded or hanged in Nicosia by the Turkish authorities on July 10, 1821 during the Greek War of Independence. Inside, what was the monastery church now acts as the parish church, while several of the rooms and outbuildings have been colonized by the Struggle Museum, which has lots of memorabilia of the EOKA campaign against the British. Other areas of the monastery host an Icon Museum, which not only includes icons, but also decorative woodcarving (look up at the ceiling for a wonderful example), and an Ecclesiastical Museum. The museums give an interesting taste of how the village sees itself.