Our story

Topos Retreat is a writers’, musicians’ and artists’ retreat in a small wine village in Cyprus, Vasa Koilaniou (Βάσα Κοιλανίου/pronounced ‘Vássa Keelaníou’; commonly referred to as ‘Vasa’).

Topos aims to bring people to the village outside the traditional holiday months of July and August, and to generally avoid high seasons, such as Christmas and Easter. We also aim to get as many of the residents of the village involved in the activities of the retreat, by using village facilities and creating jobs for its inhabitants.

Topos (Greek for ‘place’ [τόπος]; also a traditional theme or formula in literature) was created by Nicoletta Demetriou, an ethnomusicologist, writer, singer, and documentary maker from Cyprus. After twenty years of studying, living and working abroad as an academic, Nicoletta decided to return home to write and to help others do the same. In addition to Topos Retreat, Nicoletta also directs The Writing Room, which offers creative writing workshops in the heart of Nicosia, as well as Cyprus Music Archive, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of Cypriot folk music and poetry. Nicoletta believes that Cyprus – with its sunny weather, its unique light, its beautiful scenery, and its fantastic food and wine – is a remarkable place where one can both rest and create, away from the stress of everyday life in a big city.

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