Cyprus’ history is one of wars and invasions – a penalty of being in such a strategic location in the Eastern Mediterranean.Â
As recently as 1974 the north of the island was invaded by Turkey – even today the news in Cyprus is dominated by what hope there is for a reunited island.
A consequence of the 1974 invasion wasÂ many Turkish CypriotsÂ fled north whilst Greek Cypriots fled south.Â
In some cases, entire village populations fled to avoid being in the wrong place and the catastrophic effects this could have on their futures.
The southern part of Cyprus has respected the fact the Turkish Cypriots fled.Â Their properties remain, waiting for them to return someday.Â
The situation in the north is rather different.Â Greek Cypriot land there has been sold on, making it impossible for the original owners ever to return.Â Just one of the many difficult barriers to eventual re-unification of the island.
The result is there remain several deserted villages in the southern part of Cyprus, silently waiting for their owners to return one day.Â
Souskiou is one such village, another you can read about on this Blog is Vretsia.
Souskiou is located on the eastern slopes of the valley of the River Diarizos just north of NikokleiaÂ in Paphos District, Cyprus.Â
As you drive north from the main Limassol to Paphos Highway towards Agios Neofytos, you can see Souskiou on the other side of the river valley.Â The road to Souskiou is ‘interesting’ – clearly seeing very little if any traffic.Â You’ll need a capable 4×4…
Today some of the buildings are used by local farmers, most are deserted.Â Thirty five years of total neglect has left the buildings in ruins.Â
Despite that, it’s not hard to half close your eyes and imagine Souskiou as a bustling village.Â
Off the beaten track, it probably had a tight-knit community.Â It must have been a delightful place to live, situated above the river valley and surrounded by high hills.
For anybody interested in recent history visiting one of Cyprus’ deserted villages is a must.