Rodostagma – Rosewater
Heartland of Legends mountainous Troodos villages are a realm of roses where the flowers’ colors and celestial scent lure you for an unforgettable experience of rosewater and rose products production.
In Cyprus Agros and Milikouri villages have been known for their rosewater production for the last 70 years. Agros and Milikouri villagers have planted roses along their vineyards and pick the roses every April and May. Through rosewater production they supplement their income.
Did you know that you cannot get rosewater out of any kind of rose but only from Damask Rose or Rosa Damascena? Rose petals are picked at dawn, before the strong sun evaporates the essential oils. Then they are placed directly in the distiller. The generated water vapor passes through a helical cooling pipe where it is liquefied. Rosewater obtained by steam distillation of fresh rose petals has a number of beneficial properties for the skin.
Apart from its cosmetic properties, rosewater adds a floral aroma to local desserts such as baklava, spoon sweets of rose petals, marzipans, wedding loukoumi, rose ice cream, palouze, soutsioukkos, daktila, loukoumia delights and mahallepi pudding. You may try all these delights at cafes and coffee shops all around the island, as well as at the Cyprus Breakfast offered at hotels and agrotourism guest houses.
Rosewater is not merely a cosmetic or confectionary product though. It is seen as a luxurious, refreshing and purifying liquid, and as such it is strongly linked to the island’s culture and heritage. In the past, when people attended gatherings such as weddings, baptisms and other parties, they were welcomed by their hosts with drops of rosewater in their hands. Rosewater was also used when preparing the bride and groom for their wedding, as well as at certain religious ceremonies at church. A special silver perfume jar was used for this purpose: mereches, which allowed only a few drops of this pure, precious liquid to be used each time.
Every May, the Rose Festival is celebrated in Agros village, one of the biggest villages of the Troodos Mountains. Agros village invites you to experience and indulge in the scent of roses, taking part in a variety of workshops that make rose products. It will be a lifetime experience that will trigger your senses and create long lasting memories for you and the whole family.