Relax in the warm Mediterranean waters, enjoy a meze feast and take in the ancient culture on a holiday to Cyprus.
Situated in the Eastern Mediterranean sea, Cyprus is a destination that has been attracting and enchanting visitors for generations. With a climate of all-year-round sun, bustling resorts and a rich historical legacy, Cyprus offers an abundance of options for couples, families and groups of friends alike.
Cyprus caters for those who like nothing more than relaxing in a luxury resort and playing a few holes of golf or enjoying the spa, to those who prefer the self-catering apartments of the party towns and many of its resorts offer a great range of facilities for families. The island offers a warm welcome to Brits, English is widely spoken throughout the island with a large portion of locals being British born Cypriots.
Sipping on a glass of Cypriot wine and snacking on a haloumi Greek salad, you may wonder why it took so long to lose yourself to Cyprus.
Most Flights to Cyprus arrive either via Paphos International Airport (PFO); or the much larger Larnaca International Airport (LCA), home to the majority of scheduled flights. This is a great introduction to the country; the palm tree-lined, picturesque seafront sits comfortably with the ancient Greek architecture of past civilisations such as the Agios Lazaros Church and the Stavrovouni Monastery. The laid back atmosphere around the beaches of McKenzie, Castella and Phinikoudes help make Larnaca a relaxing break in a truly modern city full of character.
The bustling commercial Port of Limassol is the second biggest city on the island. Seven miles of seafront, with many attracted to the sands of Dassoudi, or the cliffs of Curium Beach. Accommodation in the city ranges from five-star luxury hotels and spas to the self-catering apartments favoured by the younger holidaymakers attracted by the full on party atmosphere. Shopping options also vary from souvenir bazaars to designer boutiques.
West of Limassol is the fully restored Kourion ancient amphitheatre; the spectacular structure sits on a cliff top overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, providing a perfect backdrop to music and theatre events. Nearby are the well preserved public baths and mosaics, a further testament to the former Roman rule.
Between Limassol and Paphos is the small village of Pissouri. A sparsely populated paradise built on the side of a green hill near Cape Aspro. The village retains the charm of traditional Cypriot life, while the locals manage to ensure a lively village square in the evenings. Away from the centre is the more tourist led feel of Pissouri Bay.
West of Pissouri, in the south west coast of the island is Paphos. The charming fishing harbour of Kato Paphos is lined with tavernas serving the day's catch with delicious Greek-Cypriot meze. The area seems designed for whiling away an afternoon with a glass of wine or local Ouzo. Nearby are the historical landmarks; the Pillar of St Paul, the well preserved mosaics of Pathos, as well as Petra tou Romious (Aphrodite Rock), the site where legend states Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love was born from the waves.
The sands of Coral Bay are only a short bus ride away, one of the most beautiful beaches to be found in Cyprus. The area has all the opportunities to crash through the waves on a jet ski, take a sedate pedalo ride or play a game of golf on the immaculately landscaped courses but the area essentially trades on its pristine beachfront.
Cyprus is a great place to hire a car and head off on an adventure. Larnaca leads into the winding roads of the Troodos Mountains, a picturesque region of dense forest, alpine skiing and incense-scented Orthodox monasteries. The mountains also offer up spectacular views of the Mediterranean coastline below. Anyone wanting to sample some genuine Cypriot Commandaria will want to follow the wine routes of Diarizos Valley or the mountainous vineyards of the Nom d'Origine' Pitsilla.
Those in search of the livelier side of Cyprus will be heading straight for Ayia Napa and Protaras in the Famagusta region, on the Eastern coast of the island. By day, visitors enjoy some of the most stunning beaches to be found on the island, the fine white sands and turquoise blue waters are teeming with jet skis, para-gliders and scuba divers, while families are occupied with the go-kart tracks and water parks. By night, the city's famously lively nightlife comes alive and lasts well into the early hours. If you're looking for a slightly quieter party option, nearby Nissi Beach could be worth a look.
In the north of the country you will find Nicosia, the Cypriot capital and main business centre of the country. The city is divided by the border which separates the Republic of Cyprus from the Turkish occupied Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Since 1974 the city has been a divided capital, with the northern part of the city under Turkish rule.
Troodos International Ski Competition; March; Troodos: The international Ski Federation holds its annual competition high in the Troodos Mountains. Skiers are challenged with a Slalom and Giant Slalom race.
Cyprus Salsa Congress; March-April; Ayia Napa: The biggest annual dance event on the island. A haven for lovers of Latin dance, four days of non-stop dancing. DJs pump salsa all night as participants dance, jump and spin into the early hours.
Berengaria International Music festival; April-March; Limassol: Held in the Rialto theatre the festival brings chamber and solo music from more than 15 countries, playing various forms of classical to novices and connoisseurs alike.
Shakespeare Festival; June; Kourion Ancient Theatre: Annual performance of one of the bards classic plays, performed against the Mediterranean backdrop.
Paradise Jazz Festival; July- August; Pathos: A hugely popular jazz and blues festival featuring some of Europe's best talent. Alongside traditional performances, visitors enjoy a number of original compositions by local musicians, performed on self-made instruments.
Ayia Napa International Festival; September; Ayia Napa Square: This annual festival takes in local music, dancing fireworks and lots of Cypriot delicacies. A great event for the whole family, activities include puppet theatre and displays of Cypriot arts and crafts.
Best of Cyprus holidays for...
Relaxing: Head to the Troodos Mountains for spectacular views and mountain air. There are a number of wineries scattered across the region, so book a tour with your other half and enjoy a relaxing tipple or two.
Active types: Discover wild untamed beauty on the Akamas Peninsula. Hire a bike and explore off-road tracks as you cycle past secluded bays and blue lagoons.
Romance: Loved-up couples should pack a picnic and pay a visit to Aphrodite's Rock which can be viewed from the pebble beach near Limassol.
Kids and teens: The Fasouri Waterpark in Limassol will give kids and teens the chance to let off some steam. A huge wave pool, speed slides, a lazy river and a pool for the little ones make this a great day out for all the family.
Grown-up families: Grown-up families will enjoy a trip to Ancient Kournion, one of Cyprus' most important archaeological sites. Explore the cliff-top amphitheatre as you immerse yourself in the island's history.
Nightlife: Tempting cocktails, all night clubs and dancing till dawn await revellers in Ayia Napa. Sophisticated beach bars are on offer in Limassol for those in search of a slightly calmer night.
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