10 reasons to go to Cyprus now
If you’ve ticked off Greece, here’s another Mediterranean destination that will satisfy your cravings for cobalt blue water, rich culture and delicious food.
Cyprus; an island located at the cross roads of Europe and Asia and a destination I have no doubt you’ll fall in love with. Here are my top 10 must-visit places in Cyprus to make your next European adventure the best yet!
Walk along the fortified stone walls dating back to the 1500 Venetian expansion and then wander the Green Line, an eerie reminder of the devastating 1970s conflict. Nicosia remains the last divided city in the world with the Green Line dividing the Turkish in the north from the Greeks in the South. Take the time to walk around the old part of town, taking in the beautiful architecture and rustic charm, eye off traditional Cypriot handicrafts next door to the latest European fashion. When your feet get tired, relax with a steaming Cypriot coffee in hand and simply watch as people pass you by.
If culture is what you’re craving, you’ll find it in the North West in Polis. Notice life slow down as you drive along the coast towards the seaside village. Once settled in, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into another world which echoes the same simplicity of centuries gone by. Take your cue from the Cypriots and relax. You’ll feel revitalised and won’t wanna leave.
Blue Lagoon, Latchi:
From Latchi Harbour, a short drive from Polis, take a boat trip out to the blue lagoon on board the Alkion II. This is a great way to take in the beauty of the coast while soaking up the Cypriot sun.
You’ll soon arrive at the Blue Lagoon where it won’t take much convincing for you to dive into aqua water.
This quaint village is a must see. The smell of freshly baked bread wafts through the maze of cobble stone streets and alleyways. Cypriot culture, vibrant colours and friendly faces wait around every corner. Take the time to simply wander and explore. You’re likely to always find your way back to the main square where sitting down with a Cypriot coffee and people watching is just as awesome.
This vibrant seaside town is home to Cyprus’ biggest port. Elegant yachts, colourful fishing boats, pumping nightlife and luxurious resorts combine to bring this renowned tourist destination to life. Be sure not to get caught up on the main strip – the old town surrounding the historic Lemesos Castle is also not to be missed. Restaurants, bars, cafes and shops have sprung up within the ancient surrounds providing a unique experience for tourists and locals alike.
Rising to 1,950 metres, the lofty peaks of the Troodos Mountains, full of majestic cedar and tall pine trees, continue to bring nature lovers from across the world. This mountainous landscape sets Cyprus apart, contrasting nicely with the coastline. Delights await walkers, bike riders, wildlife enthusiasts or those simply seeking the fresh mountain air. The Troodos Mountains are only one hour away from either Lemesos or Leftkosia.
Mosaics of the Houses of Avion and Dionysus, Paphos:
Thanks to the city’s impressive history, Paphos itself has been designated as UNESCO World Heritage site. Of particular interest are the Mosaics of the Houses of Avion, Theseus and Dionysus. Excavations at the site have unveiled detailed mosaics dating back to the 3rd and 5th century. Although buried for over 16 centuries, these ancient artworks remain incredibly intact.
Petra tou Romiou (Aphrodite’s Rock):
Aphrodite’s birth place was a place of pilgrimage for the entire Hellenic world. If you’re driving past, make sure you pull over for a photo stop along the way. Once you’ve experienced the landmark from above, it’s well worth your while to make your way down to the beach itself for a walk around or a quick dip. The beach holds great significance in Cypriot history and culture as well as being a gorgeous beach.
Kourion is one of the most popular and spectacular archaeological sites on the island. Dating back to 2nd century B.C, the Greco-Roman theatre is something you just have to see. If you have time, see a performance at the ancient theatre. Sitting in the same seat as those of ancient times watching a play, opera or ballet overlooking the Mediterranean is something you’ll never forget. While here, be sure to check out the stunning mosaics uncovered from what is believed to be the remains of villas owned by the Romans in 5th century A.D.
Cyprus is a must for foodies. Cypriot cuisine is based on classic Mediterranean style with a distinct twist. You’ll find plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, olive oil, seafood and pork. Haloumi, the signature cheese and everyday delicacy of Cyprus is everywhere (yay!). And don’t resist the temptation to indulge in delicious, piping hot loukoumades – mini-doughnuts dripping in honey syrup – and prepare your stomach to indulge in several meze style meals. Food is a celebration and a meal is designed to be enjoyed over several hours as friends and family savour good food, wine and company.
Have you been to Cyprus? Share your travel tips in the comments.