Cyprus

Cyprus an island nation in the beautiful Mediterranean sea perfect for that holiday with Sun Sea and Sand. It is the third largest and most populated island in the region with influences from the Greek and Middle Eastern culture and a member of the European Union.

 

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Cyprus is a very popular holiday destination with most of  Europe. When you think of Cyprus it is a holiday to relax, soak in that golden sunshine by the pool and enjoy the warm sea and savour the delicious Cypriot cuisine.

 

Best time to go.

Being one of the most warmest countries in the Mediterranean Cyprus attracts a lot of visitors from far and wide with hot dry summers and cool mild winters. The best time to visit being spring onwards which is typically mid February. We visited Cyprus in early April and the weather was perfect.

 

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The ocean is still not warm enough to swim at this time of the year but you are guaranteed sunshine. The summers last long, from May until October generally and at its peak can get scorching.

 

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Getting There 

There are plenty of airlines that fly from Europe into the 2 main airports including some of the budget airlines like Ryanair and Easy Jet. Larnaca International Airport is located 4 km away from the city and is the main international gateway to Cyprus. The other airport being Paphos International Airport on the island’s south-western coast.  As Cyprus is a small country the best way to go around is to hire a car. Upon arrival we collected our rental car and headed to Limassol which we used as our base to travel the island. Cypriot’s are known to be extremely welcoming and friendly people and generally all speak English which makes it easy to get around for tourists.

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After a short flight from Heathrow with British Airways we arrived at Larnaca, one of the two important airports on the island.

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Where to Stay

Larnaca itself is a nice destination with a sandy beach and a busy working town and reflects the authentic Cypriot life.

Paphos  again a very popular destination with an airport and has many tourists visiting through the year. There are no sandy beaches here but a lively town and good nightlife.

Limassol is quite in the middle and you can connect to both 2 airports quite easily. Limassol, a busy port town on the south coast of Cyprus and one of the largest one too.

We stayed at the family friendly Mediterranean Beach Hotel. The Mediterranean Beach Hotel is a 4 star hotel perfect for a luxury escape with exquisite beaches on its doorstep. A very comfortable stay and well managed facilities including a Spa.

Things To Do.

Limassol

It is as popular and well connected as the capital, Nicosia if not better. In the heart of the city is the famous Limassol Castle, where it is said Richard the Lion Heart wed Queen Berengaria. The old town is full of cafes, small local restaurants and shops you can get some bargains in. A great place to spend a pleasant evening walking around the harbour and the perfect place to relax and have a typical Cypriot meal.

 

Limassol also has a long stretch of seafront and a 7 km promenade where you can find some of the best shops and residential areas Limassol has to offer. Limassol is not only a busy modern city but also has tonnes of history and culture. It has the Roman ruins of Amathus including a very well-preserved amphitheatre in the centre. The Roman Villa’s dating back to the second century AD have a handful of mosaics that depict ancient Roman stories and is well worth a visit. There is plenty of nightlife here as it is a large modern city and appeals to a lot of tourists.

 

 

Paphos –

Paphos is said to be the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite and is filled with ancient Roman ruins, beaches and some great restaurants and nightlife.

 

If you drive from Limassol to Paphos half way through the journey you come across this beautiful rock formation protruding out of the sea and legend has it that this was where Aphrodite was born. It is believed that if you swim out and around the rock you will be blessed with eternal beauty. I did not try this and would not recommend this unless you are after that eternal beauty. Aphrodite’s Rock is a beautiful place to visit and some great photo opportunities await you here. There is a small souvenir shop just across the road and a good place to stop and have a quick beverage or snack.

 

 

Paphos has more than 50 kilometres of coastline with 12 beaches that have been awarded the Blue Flag status so there is plenty of sun and sea for you to enjoy.

You can visit the Paphos Archaeological Museum and see some of the artefacts that document human activity in Cyprus from the Neolithic age.There is a great marina with in the heart of the city lined with cafes bars and restaurants and a great place to spend the day.

 

Troodos Mountains

If you have had you share of the beach life and fancy a change of scenery you could always take a days trip to the famous Troodos Mountains. It is the largest range on the island with Mount Olympus overlooking the beautiful island.

 

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There are small sleepy villages at the foothills lined with olive trees which make a perfect stop to taste a bit of Cypriot local life.

As you make your way you will come across Byzantine churches and monasteries which is a UNESCO world heritage site. These medieval buildings are not very fancy from the outside but house some of the most incredible painted murals inside.

 

Ayia Napa and Nissi Beach.

Nissi Beach is a world famous beach with 500 metres of absolutely pristine blue waters and awarded the blue flag designation. The beach, which runs the length of its own cove, takes its name from the small islet of Nissi located close to the coast.

 

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Just across the beach is Nissi Avenue which heads right into the centre of Ayia Napa filled with a great selection of restaurants and bars which are family friendly. Most of these have a children’s play areas which make it the perfect stop for families. You can also find supermarkets and souvenir shops here and is very famous for its nightlife.

 

 

Ayia Napa is a great choice for travellers who are looking for a holiday to let their hair down and party into the wee hours of the morning. It has a vast selection of clubs & bars and is a popular bachelor party destination.

 

Food

Food is a big part of the Cypriot culture and the cuisine mainly is made up of  some delicious halloumi, mezze, various meat kebabs, small dips and traditional  flatbread and souvlaki.

Halloumi is probably Cyprus’ most famous product.

 

Souvlakia and sheftalia – A spin-off from the famous Greek dish, Cypriot-souvlaki consists of small chunks of charcoal-grilled meat on a skewer, with fresh salad.

Loukoumades (lokmades) – deep fried dough balls, soaked in honey and coated with crushed nuts, sesame seeds, cinnamon.

 

Must Do’s

  • Day Trip to Nicosia: The capital and divided city of Nicosia is a must if you have more days in Cyprus.
  • Kolossi Castle: Visit the ruins of this  thirteenth century fortification.
  • Enjoy the warm Mediterranean waters and soak in the sun.
  • Party: Enjoy the nightlife of Ayia Napa and the blue waters of Nissi Beach
  • Hike the Troodos Mountain on a days trip and relax with a wine tour.
  • Archaeological Park of Kato Paphos: Envy its amazing mosaics work.
  • Tombs of the Kings: A UNESCO world heritage site not far from Phaphos.
  • Enjoy the best Halloumi you can ever get.
  • Paphos Castle and Harbour : Spend an evening along the water front in Paphos and admire the castle.
  • Aphrodite Rock: Swim around the birthplace of Aphrodite for eternal beauty.

 

Please refer to the official Cyprus Tourism site for any further information

http://www.visitcyprus.com/index.php/en/

 

 

 

 

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47 thoughts on “Cyprus

  1. I have always wanted to visit Cyprus and this article wants me to visit even more! Have you visited both, the Greek and the Turkish part of the island? Are there big differences between the two?

  2. These pictures have really got me thinking about planning a trip to Europe. I am very much a history person and it seems like Cyprus has a good bit of history to offer. Will definitely look up Limassol and Paphos when I plan to visit.

  3. I loved Cyprus when I visited many years ago. We did visit Paphos and saw Aphrodite’s Rock, it’s very pretty, but honestly is any other rock if you didn’t know the story! I’d like to return to see Limassol and Nicosia; there are so many great things to see, do and eat there it seems!

  4. Well, Cyprus is slowly moving its way up on my travel list. How can I deny the beauty?? Thank you so much for sharing this, I am inspired!

  5. Cyprus is so much more interesting than I expected. I’m willing to swim around Aphrodites’ Rock for eternal beauty! I didn’t realize that Aphrodite was born here and I love visiting Roman ruins. Plus the food sounds healthy. I prefer less crowds so your April visit was perfect timing.

  6. I’m from Canada so I assume the European holidays are a little different, but does it get busy there during February-April? The beaches, the food, ughh everything is just screaming at me to pay a visit. This looks like such a perfect vacation destination!

    • It’s great in that part as it’s not the crazy summer rush and weather is changing.

  7. This certainly sounds perfect! In early April in my country can be still snowing and you show me the picture of the beach and say the weather was perfect… I am considering moving to Cyprus resiously

  8. It looks so beautiful in the pictures. I have heard about It but the way you have put things, it makes it so simple. Would love to plan a trip soon.

  9. Cyprus is really an amazing island with influence of Middle east and Greek cultures. Also the beaches look very clean and peaceful. Paphos, Ayia Napa and Nissi Beach are looking truly stunning places with nice sunshine and beautiful beaches. I prefer mountains over beaches, so definitely Troodos are worth visiting for me. Thanks for sharing all details about food, stay and places to visit.

  10. This could no tbe a more timely post! Our good friends just moved to Cyprus and a whole group of us were thinking of making the trip to visit them! We love swimming in the ocean so do you recommend we only visit in the summer? At the same time, I don’t want it to hot that it becomes unbearable. Maybe Febraury is the best time as you suggested. What do you think?

  11. I’ve never been to Cyprus before but it looks like the perfect beach vacation. I love that there are Roman ruins there too – I would not have guessed that. And the food looks delicious! I’d love to visit.

  12. Nissi Beach is absolutely gorgeous. And I love the legends surrounding Aphrodite rock, but I totally agree—maybe not a great idea to actually swim around. Cyprus is definitely on my list. Hopefully soon!

  13. I had no idea about Cyprus. It is still such an offbeat destination. The beaches look so pristine and gorgeous. Mediterranean Beach Hotel looks great, especially that pool! Limassol looks like my kind of place. But what I find most exciting are the Troodos Mountains.

  14. Never realised there was so much history on Cyprus, I always thought it was just a beach destination. And I love the crazy rock formations, very cool! I would love to swim around Aphrodite Rock, I could do with some eternal beauty lol

  15. The sea , beaches and landscape itself is mesmerising. The UNESCO heritage site is just a cherry on the top. would love to visit the castle too. Amazing itinerary

  16. April looks lovely for Cyprus. The beaches look great. I had no idea about the 50 kilometres of coastline with 12 beaches and the Blue Flag status. Troodos Mountains and Ayia Napa sounds interesting. And last but not the least, I would love to explore the inviting food.

  17. Cyprus has been part of my bucket list. We were planning to visit last year but plans got cancelled due to work demands. Your post got me excited to visit again. Would love to walk on the beach and enjoy these really clear water. Will check out Mediterranean for our future trip. 🙂

  18. Honestly you had me at sunshine but then I realized how many things there are to do there. Paphos seems interesting, as well as, the food. I could spend an entire day just soaking up the sun. You detailed so many things I feel my trip is basically planend.

    • Thanks. It is indeed a great plane to visit with a lot of different things on offer.

  19. These pictures are fabulous and would make anyone want to visit Cyprus! No wonder Cyprus is very popular holiday destination in Europe! Relaxation, sunshine and wonderful cuisines are a perfect combination for an amazing vacation! Good to note the best time to visit as it enables planning and it is helpful to know that language is not a challenge in Cyprus as most people speak English. Would definitely want to visit the Limassol Castle and Paphos for a perfect historic experience.

  20. Limosol looks straight out of Roman epics and that blue door of Byzantine is truly mesmerizing.I have a thing for UNESCO sites and glad to know about this place through your post. My uncle had stayed in cyprus for over a decade and I have fond memories of him sharing interesting things about this place. Those memories have been refreshed through this post of yours 🙂

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