It’s not only guests staying at the best hotels in Nicosia! It’s also visitors booking Nicosia accommodation anywhere in the city who may also be curious to explore the “Mediterranean” Diet. It can be a real eye-opener to suddenly come across the endless variety of super-sized fruit and vegetables in all their luscious, colourful variety at a local street market. Who could resist the plump, soft velvet and pink flush of an apricot, glistening bronze figs of Biblical proportions or even getting to grips with the papoutsosiko (prickly pears)?
Fresh salad and vegetables are a main part of every Cypriot meal, often prepared and dressed with lemon and the much revered olive oil, together with a moderate consumption of fish, cheese, yogurt, wine and meat. Studies carried out as recently as 2017 found evidence that a Mediterranean diet could help reduce the risk of obesity, high cholesterol, and heart disease, and improve overall health (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2017).
Natural, locally-sourced food ingredients
Doctors, nutritionists and personal trainers repeatedly point to the Mediterranean Diet as a more healthy-eating lifestyle. While “going vegan” i.e. adhering to strictly plant-based foods has gained mainstream attention in recent years, the natural, locally-sourced food ingredients of Cyprus, Greece, Crete, southern France, Italy and Spain have long been a cultural tradition.
It’s no surprise to find that there are numerous markets all around Cyprus where you may join in with the local inhabitants to pick fresh, 100 per cent organically grown produce, such as cherry tomatoes, kale, cucumbers, courgettes and watermelons.
One of the truly remarkable farmers’ markets
In Nicosia, it is the Ochi Roundabout where one of the truly remarkable farmers’ markets is held every Wednesday and Saturday from 6 am until 4 pm. Located close to the Bayraktar Mosque, by one of the 11 bastions (Constanza Bastion) of the Venetian walls at Constantinou Paleologou, a visit is a must-see cultural experience!
The Venetian Walls are a series of defensive city walls surrounding Nicosia in Cyprus, first built in the Middle Ages, but completely rebuilt in the mid-16th century. The mosque takes its name from the Turkish “bayrak” – flag or trophy of war – as legend has it that this was the spot the first Ottoman flag was raised in 1570.
It is in this evocative, historical setting that the Ochi market continues to offer a dizzying abundance of all types of the freshest seasonal, local produce – mainly fruit and vegetables – and where bargains may be had too! The excitement is palpable as the early morning air fills with the shouts of stallholders trying to entice an already heaving throng as they slowly thread in and out of the endless, multicoloured rows of fruit and vegetables piled almost to the sky. But you have to be quick because by lunchtime, the best buys will have gone!
Hypnos by bed N’mix is located only a few minutes from Ochi Roundabout in the city centre of Nicosia. We are rated as one of the best luxury boutique hotels, in a safe area with total security, 24/7. Book your stay today!