Kalavaç is a neat little village to visit if you are around about the Gecitkale or Ercan area, perhaps you may be on an airport run and fancy taking a detour. It has recently been touted in the local media as one of several villages to undergo renovation and restoration with funds donated in 2006 by the EU Commission and UNDP (United Nations Development Project).
It can be reached along the Geçitkale to Boğaz main road, and you will see signs around 10 miles after turning off the main junction in Lefkoşa. Turning left you travel up a long straight road through green fields (well it was winter when we visited!) and up into the village which itself sits on the lowland slopes of the Mesaoria Plain.
A traditional farming village still seemingly in full swing, it’s known for its peace and tranquillity and we have to agree as it was quite sleepy the day we went, but that was probably because it was a Sunday!
The main work to have taken place with the funding is the linking of around 3.2km of pipeline to bring water direct to the village from the nearest reservoir, which has made the lives of villagers much more modernised.
The visual restoration that you can see is in the main village square where the mosque is located, all buildings have been restored with the use of traditional materials and building techniques. You can see the old millstones once used for grinding seed into flour, but now enjoying their retirement as flower pots. The buildings surrounding the meydan include a coffee house and little mini-market which have been restored and branded in tasteful lettering.
If you have a wander around the periphery of the village you will find other little bits of interest such as an old cistern bearing the ER mark, which would have obviously been built during the British times, and some examples of buildings built in the ‘kerpiç’ fashion – mud slab bricks basically, but a building technique which has stood the test of time all over North Cyprus.
We also found a great range of tractors, both used and seemingly abandoned, which, for one of our party was very enjoyable! We had a chat with the local Mukhtar too who was very pleased that so many people were stopping to come and see what all the fuss was about!
Anyway, Kalavaç is a nice little village to visit if you have time on your hands, but try and go on a weekday when people aren’t taking a well earned rest and when the coffee shop will be open!