...OLIVE BRANCH TO YOUR HEART
Akdeniz, formerly known as “Agia Eirini", is a valuable village located on the west coast of Kyrenia, included in the Natura 2000 Nature Conservation Project, surrounded by unique sea and forest beauties.
Compared to many villages in Cyprus that went through urban structuring, Agia Eirini village protects its natural purity to a large extent. Our village, where Turkish and Greek communities lived together until 1974, is one of the small and decent villages in Cyprus with a population of approximately 550 people. The villagers, who mostly work on agriculture and livestock, produce seasonal vegetables and fruits.
Agia Eirini is one of the few places in Cyprus where the sea and the forest are intertwined. As well as a long and sandy coastline, it has a unique beauty filled with natural coves that are suitable for line and harpoon fishing. It has also one of the most important beaches where Caretta Caretta turtles come to lay their eggs. Known with its endemic plants and historical artifacts, Agia Eirini is also one of the must-see locations for tourist in Cyprus. That’s why it is the central region in Natura 2000 Mediterranea.
There are two archeological sites around the village. First excavations took place in 1929 by Swedish archeologists and they revealed an open-air altar.
The sacred space was randomly discovered by the village priest as he was working on his field. The most impressive aspect of this discovery is that 2000 sculptures, most of them in real human size, lined up around a semi-circular altar, were untouched as it was their first day. Most of the statues left here as offerings to the gods are male figures and all have conical heads.
Nearly half of these unique finds dating back to 750-700 BC were taken to Sweden and the rest are exhibited in Cyprus Museum in Southern Nicosia.
The second archeological excavation around Agia Eirini Village is a rock-cut tomb around Paleocastro region. This tomb which was unearthed during the excavations of 1988 was built with shaped stone blocks. The entrance with stairs leads to the main burial chamber. This tomb where many rich artifacts were found, is exhibited in Kyrenia Castle.