Bellapais and the surrounding area have been extensively developed in recent years. Perhaps when I visited last it was closer to Lawrence Durrell’s description in the 50’s.
From “Bitter Lemons of Cyprus”
I was prepared for something beautiful, and I already knew that the ruined monastery of Bellapaix was one of the loveliest Gothic survivals in the Levant, but I as not prepared for the breath-taking congruence of the little village which surrounded and cradled it against the side of the mountain.
Fronting the last rise, the road begins to wind through a landscape dense with orange and lemon trees, and noisy with running water.
Almond and peach blossom graze the road, as improbably precise as the décor to a Japanese play.
The village comes down to the road for the last hundred yards or so with its grey old-fashioned houses with arched vaults and carved doors set in old-fashioned mouldings.
Then abruptly one turns through an arc of 150 degrees under the Tree of Idleness and comes to a stop in the main square under the shadow of the Abbey itself.
Young cypresses bent back against the sky as they took the wind; the broad flower beds were full of magnificent roses among the almond trees.