Argaka, is a village of the Pafos district, located in the coastal plains of Chrysochous at the mid-east section of Chrysochous’s Bay.  It has a distance of about 8 km from Polis (Chrysochous), while it stands at an altitude of about 90 meters above sea level.   

From a geological perspective, it is located upon the calcareous sandstones, the sands, and the marls of the Pleistocene period as well as the lavas and the magma rocks (northeast of the settlement).  From a morphological aspect, what stand out are the coastal, alluvial plain, one or two marine terraces, and a slope that steadily ascends up to 500 meters.  Several streams flow down from the slope toward the sea, indeed with a relatively large one flowing next to the village.  The river of Makounta, upon which the Argaka – Makounta dam was constructed, is located southeast of the village.   

Upon the alluvial deposits, the terra rossa, and the umbers and under an annual average rainfall that ranges between 450 and 525 millimeters, a huge variety of produce is grown.  Due to the relatively large tract of land that is irrigated, almost all of the produces are grown as either non-irrigated or irrigated ones.   Apart from cereals and legumes, forage plants, vegetables (mainly cucumbers, tomatoes, and from the melon family), very few grapevines, citrus-fruits, a few fruit-trees, bananas, almond-trees, and olive trees are also cultivated.  The cultivation of tobacco has also appeared very recently in the village.  The refugees from Karpasia, which settled in neighboring villages and cultivated tobacco, contributed to its spreading in Argaka.  The hot climate of Argaka helps the growing of some semi-tropical plants such as the Indian fig, the loquat, etc.  Stockbreeding in Argaka is relatively developed.    

The settlement of Argaka has two parts.  There is Pano Argaka (Upper) and Kato Argaka (Lower).  Upper Argaka represents the old settlement while Lower Argaka, which followed the Polis – Pomos – Nicosia road, is the new, linear-type settlement.  The houses of the old settlement are mostly traditional, made with hewed limestone or with igneous pebbles.  Because of the stream that crosses it (known as the River of Argaka), of the slope upon which it is built, and of the road through which it connects with the new settlement by the sea, the settlement of Argaka can be characterized as a relatively sparsely structured one.  

Argaka is located between the sea and a pine forest.  While Lower Argaka stands next to the sea, Upper Argaka stands upon the slope with an excellent view towards the sea.  It is not surprising because Argaka is covered by urban-planning zones.  Neither should one find peculiar the fact that the east part of the village has officially been deemed as a region of excellent natural beauty.  

The village’s population has had a rapid growth from the previous century until today.  The 90 inhabitants of 1881 increased to 156 in 1901, to 240 in 1921, to 404 in 1946, to 546 in 1960, and to 669 in 1973.  In 1982 the inhabitants were 642.  In the last census that occurred in 2001, the community’s inhabitants numbered 793.  Behind this increases of population are the fertile land of the village, the easy-to-use transportation network between Polis and Nicosia, the neighboring mine of “Limni” (Lake), the irrigated tracts of land, and the modern agricultural growth of profitable produce.  Including the village in the irrigation plan of Chrysochous has benefited the community to the maximum.  The village constantly adjusts to the new socioeconomic conditions that are created, defying the closing of the “Limni” mine and the blocking of the direct transportation to Nicosia (in essence, the road stops after Pachyamos because of the events of the Turkish-Cypriot mutiny in 1963 and also because of the Turkish invasion of 1974).  It is estimated that today 76% of the village’s financially active population is fully occupied with agriculture, another 14% dedicates 10-50% of its time to agriculture and to non-agricultural occupations and only a 10% has some non-agricultural occupation outside the village.   

With regards to transportation, both Upper and Lower Argaka are located next to the main Polis-Pomos-Nicosia road.  A dirt road east of the village connects Argaka with the neighboring forest of Pafos.   

Argaka is not mentioned by Mas Latri and so we do not know if it was a feud or a royal estate during the Lusignan – Venetian period.  Furthermore, it is not mentioned by R. Gunnis, which is a bit of a strange thing.  G. Jeffery, (1918) mentions it as a modern mini-settlement.  The writers and travelers of the previous century, Sakellarios and Fragkoudis, do not mention Argaka –probably because today’s Kato Argaka did not exist on what was their route.  As opposed to the neighboring Makounta, it does not appear in the Venetian maps.  In the map of Kitchener it appears as Arkaka.   

The country church of Saint Varvara (Saint Barbara) is located east of the village.  It has been extensively renovated and only the few capitals of columns and the carved framings around the doors reveal its age, probably being of the 18th century.  I. Tsiknopoullos mentions the following: “One English mile north of the village of Argaka close to a spring, the “Agiotafitiko” (a dependency of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem) Monastery of Saint Varvara used to operate.  In 1821 its Prior was the “Agiotafitis” Monk Sofronios.  Wealthy, owning two houses in Argaka, he had bee-hives, livestock, and a large flock apart from the staff of servants and two Deacons.  During July of 1821 he was summoned to Nicosia by the Turkish Authorities where he martyred along with the other national Martyrs. Sofronios, versed in the Turkish language, had served for seven years as the Imam of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople but he then regretted and reconverted to the religion of his fathers.  Regarding the Monastery of Saint Varvara, Kyriazis reports the follwoing: “How it was established, we do not know.  It belonged to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and it operated until 1821, having at that time a Prior and two Deacons apart from the staff of servants.  Most likely, the national Martyr Sofronios must have been the last prior of the Monastery”.   

A spring of holy water is also extant close to today’s country church of Saint Varvara.  It is worth noting that the country church of Saint Varvara with the holy water spring next to it is located about one kilometer north of the settlement, at a venue known as “Vrysin tou Kalogirou” (the Monk’s Fountain).  Prior Sofronios was known as the “Kalogiros”.

It is not yet certain whether the Monastery of Saint Varvara was the core of Argaka’s settlement or if the inhabitants of some other settlement -probably in the neighboring forest -transferred to the settlement of Argaka during some phase of the 19th or previous centuries.   

Place-name: “Argaka”, as it is marked in the official maps instead of “Arkaka” in the Cypriot dialect.  In the local dialect “arkatz’in” is the stream and its feminine form implies a large stream.