Imagine a beautiful island where east and west fuse together in the local culture and heritage. Dubbed the island of fun, there is plenty to see and do 24/7 on Cyprus. Picture stunning Gothic castles, ancient archaeological sites and pristine mountains.
Explore the Archaeological Sites
For travellers with a desire for history, the Ancient Kourion is a must see spot. This amphitheatre is located right on top of a cliff side with an amazing view of the sea. Another great location is the Ancient Salamis; at this location visitors can explore ancient city walls, gymnasiums and Roman bathhouses.
Diving into Cyprus
Cyprus has plenty of beaches and crystal clear waters to explore. There are scuba diving schools located all over the island, where you will come face to face with marine wild life as well as ship wrecks and seas caves. One of the most famous diving sites is the Cypriot dive which will allow you to swim around the old wreckage site of the Zenobia. This dive is considered by many to be the finest in the Mediterranean Sea. For the more adventurous spirit you can check out the seas caves at Kronos Point, this sea escapade allows you to actually interact with the marine life and feed them.
Visit the UNECO World Heritage sites in Cyprus
There are 3 UNESCO sites on Cyprus; Choirokoitia is a Neolithic settlement and an incredible important prehistoric site which was inscribed in 1998 and is situated in Larnaca. Inhabited since the Neolithic period, Paphos is a very important site in terms of Cypriot heritage. Inscribed in 1980 the site of Aphrodite is of particular importance with vital remains including palaces, tombs and villas. The Painted Churches within the ancient Troodos Mountain Region also have World Heritage status.
Sample the local Cypriot wines
If you enjoy tasting new wines from different countries, than you are in luck! Cyprus has more than fifty wineries across the Troodos Mountains. The cool thing about these vineyards is they allow you to sample their wines, so you can try literally hundreds of different wines during your travels in Cyprus. One great place you must try is the Wine Villages that have a vintner named Agia Mavri Winery, which is famous for its white muscat. If you are planning a trip to Cyprus during the autumn, you should really go to their annual wine festival. This festival lasts up to two weeks!
Chill out on the beaches
When the non-stop party atmosphere gets to you, chill out at the beach. Afantou is a large expanse of beach filled with pebbles, clear blue waters and beautiful landscape. Also check out Tsampika Beach which is a sandy smooth beach that looks particularly alluring at sunset.
Get back to nature in Paphos
Explore the coastal area of Paphos which is located on the west side of the country. It offers great insight into the healthy and rich culture of the Cypriots. Paphos is the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty and love. The clean, white sand beach is a particular draw. Paphos is also a trading area for most of the citizens in the country. In fact, this is an ideal place to shop for the things that you would like to bring home after your vacation.
Try the coffee in Cyprus
Cyprus is the perfect location for coffee lovers with plenty of little traditional cafe’s and older style coffee houses. The typical Cypriot coffee is similar to an espresso (meaning it is served in a small cup and taken black). For those of you looking for a cool summer treat there are frappuccino kiosks and cafes. Some Cyprus cafe hotspots are the Da Capo, which is more of the local scene for strong coffee. If you’re looking for a more relaxed cafe you can check out the Oktana.
Check out the Snake George’s Reptilian Park
The Paphos attraction of the Snake George’s Reptilian Park is renowned for its fascinating lizard and snake exhibits that allows adults and children to enjoy it. The small fee is for the general upkeep of the exhibit but the experience is well worth it.
Experience the delicious Food
For those rumbles in your stomach, you can indulge your taste buds in the great cuisine of the island. In Kathikas you can experience an interesting casserole made from wild boar and salted lamb or deer and baked asparagus. If you like to sample unusual cuisine, try the pandora fish and sea urchins.
Explore the Wilderness
Though Cyprus is an island, it still has a vast wilderness with many pine trees, steep mountains and endemic vegetation. Along the Akamas peninsula there is plenty of pristine untouched terrain just waiting to be explored. Consider a bike trek to really get out and about.
By Julie Bowman