I went on holiday to Cyprus for the first time earlier this year, and I will definitely be returning (probably next year!). My partner had been before, so he knew the best places to visit, but to be honest I think even without a tour guide you would just stumble across some beautiful sights in Cyprus as it's such a beautiful country.
We were staying in the southern part of the island, but hired a car to make it easier to get round. We visited Limassol, Protaras, Troodos, Chirokitia, Tochni and lots of other small villages en-route. I couldn't really pick a favourite as they're all very different experiences. Everywhere we went had friendly locals and we had no issues with language barriers .
Limassol is a beautiful place with a beach and a castle. The view from the top of the castle is superb, and it was less than 2 euros to look round it. The beach was busy but I'm not a sunbather so it was nice to have a drink along the front and watch the world go by. Driving is a bit chaotic but you soon get used to this!
Protaras was probably the most tourist filled place we went, but had a beautiful harbour and beach. We took a boat trip out to the Famagusta border, and there was a submarine style viewing area underneath the top deck where you could see fish and sealife.
Troodos is a lovely day out although you have to have nerves of steel to drive up the mountains and see how high up you are on some of the steep inclines! The other villages are all very beautiful, some have lots of stray cats which is a bonus if you're a cat-lover like myself.
The food in Cyprus is amazing, they serve meze which is lots of small portions and most meals start with Greek salad, dips, fresh bread and olives. The diet is very healthy so although you'll eat a lot, it's all fresh healthy food so you don't feel too guilty. You can also get some lovely fresh fish in some of the coastal towns, in fact look out for this if you have kids or fussy eaters as sometimes fish is all that's offered on the menu in the fishing towns. Prices vary but you get very good value for money and it's not overly expensive to eat out. You do wait a while for your bill though, although I think this is a British thing that we're always in a hurry so find it hard to relax and enjoy ourselves rather than clock-watching.
The weather in Cyprus is nearly guaranteed to be sunny, and this makes it a very popular holiday destination. The best way of seeing Cyprus is by car, as public transport isn't readily available. You soon get used to the slightly unusual driving techniques of the natives, and learn that you're more likely to get stopped by police for littering than speeding! We always stuck to the limit though because we didn't know the roads, and if someone needs to get past they're not bothered about overtaking on bends.
Cyprus is a gorgeous place to visit, and I hope to return very soon.
I would deffo have to agree with Micky hunt about Cyprus been heaven!! I go on holiday every year and i have only been here 3 times but i LOVE IT! I'm hoping to go back this year, twice if i'm lucky! Forgive me i am useless with names! Every time we'v stayed here we've stayed in Paphos! lovely, friendly place! we first stayed in a hotel very close to were all the bars are, i cant remember its name but its just a few streets of bars and returants next to each other all lit up nicely! the 2nd and 3rd time was pafian sun, my grandma goes here and she swears by it! it is deffo the best hotel i have stayed in! friendly, nice, i think they did it all out last year! The 1st time we went it had really good reps but the 2nd time wasnt the best but it was out of season so thats understandable! i deffinatly want to go back here, when i can afford to go on holiday again it will deffinatly be here!! it is also a very friendly place for kids! the food selection is amazing and theres lots of it too! the hotel is very close to the town. The sea is right behind the hotel although it is a very unsafe cobley path, deffo not suitable for children or old people and is very dangerous because they have massive rocks that lead into the sea or onto other rocks so make sure if you go here that your children do not wonder down here on there own! Also i must add it is not actually a beach it is just a little patch of sand then shallow sea and some big rocks but it does lead out into the sea although i would not advise it! I also went to see the tomb of kings or what ever its called i wasnt really that much interested and it was a while ago but when i got there i did find it very interesting! The town can be quite busy but it is very accesable! do take money though because there is alot to choose from! they also have a castle there but we never went into it! They also have a glass bottom boat on coral bay which looks very interesting but as the sea next to coral bay looks abit shabby we gave it a miss! Also the weather here has never let me down! I went in May 2008 and i burnt like a crisp but stupid me for falling asleep in the soon?!?!?! deffo 20/10 for cyprus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If I had to think of somewhere I could compare to heaven, then for me it would be Cyprus. For the last 6 years on the trott we have been to Cyprus on Holiday. We have hired a villa four times, stayed in a cheap hotel in Pisouri once and in a 5 star hotel in Pissouri last year. For me the place to stay is Pissouri, which is 16 kilometers from Paphos airport travelling towards Limasol. It is made up of Pissouri village up in the hills with Pissouri Jetty down on the beach. I have stayed up in the village and down by the beach and my preference is for the beach, being a water baby. When I arrive in Pissouri I just feel like I have come home.
The best hotel is the Colombia Beach Club and it's sister hotel the Columbia Beach Hotel. They are right down on the Beach next to Pissouri Jetty with their own private beaches. We stayed at the Beach Hotel last year and it is the closest I have come to the lifestyle of the rich and famous. Our basic room had a problem with the A/C so they moved us to a suite on the first floor and we were there for the rest of our holiday. It was hugh with its own bed room area, a seating area for watching television, two balconies, a hugh dressing room and a bathroom with a separate shower cubicle. I could have lived there for the rest of my life. The balconies both had sea views. To be quite honest it was the best hotel that I have ever been in and they made us feel very special. The other advantage of staying at the Columbia Beach is that it was only a minutes walk to our favourite restaurant Liminaki. The food at Liminaki was excellent fare at very reasonable prices. It was mediteranean food with some eastern twists and a fantastic pudding that they called floating islands which was chocolate sponge cakes filled with liquid chocolate with vanilla ice cream. Yum.
Pissouri is a really good place to base your holiday because it is near to the main highway that travels the length of the Cyprus coast between Paphos and Limasol and beyond. The beach has plenty to occupy with watersports on offer and plenty of good restaurants on the beach and a few just off. For evenings the Village up in the hills is a must especially if they are having a Greek night. Again there are a number of good restaurants and tavernas, particularly the Bunch of Grapes. There is a beautiful little gift shop there called Christina's, owned not suprisingly by a lady called Christina and I go back year after year to buy little trinkets.
Once you feel that you need to expand your wings, you can then start to explore the surrounding towns and villages. Drivng is easy as they drive on the same side as us and the roads are very clear. Just be careful to avoid driving in the mid-day heat if you don't have AC or a roof. We always hire a suzuki Vitara, not the most comfortable of cars, but fun to drive and good on some of the mountain tracks. One of my favourite places to visit is Malcom's cat sanctury down at Fasouri. You take the turning for Fasouri from the main road in Episkopi. They are usually open each day till lunch time and then again from 2pm onwards. If you go about 2pm you get to help feed the cats and they have hundreds all needing a bit of love. I always go there and I always buy from their shop.
Another favourite place is Kurium Beach where they do the Para sailing. Brilliant to have lunch there and watch them. We once had lunch, but when we came to pay were about £5 short. They said to us bring it in next time you come by. We made sure we went back the next day. Can you imagine getting that in the UK. There is also a beautiful ampitheater above Kurium Beach and that is worth visting. They have had opera and theatre presentations in the past. Again this is best for a morning visit as the afternoons get too hot and the white stones get hot enough to fry eggs on.
When the termperatures really get hot in Cyprus one of the best things to do is to visit Pano Platris and Troodos up in the Troodos mountains. It is cool and tranquil up there and very relaxing. We always have lunch at the Petit Palais Hotel. They make a georgeous potatoe salad that goes very well with Lamb souvilaki. On the way back down you can visit Omodos which is a stunningly beautiful stone village. It has lots of ally ways to get lost in with little lace shops.
Unfortunatley we are not going to Cyprus this year, not going any where because of the credit cruch, but if I won some money today, I'd be on line straight away booking back up to go to Pissouri. Well there is always the lottery.
Cyprus is one of my favourite holiday destinations. Golden sandy beaches, clear blue sea, warm relaxing climate and snow. SNOW? Yes snow! I will explain about the white stuff (no, I don't mean the British tourists) later in the review, but meanwhile I would like to share with you the reasons why I find this beautiful island such a great place to visit.
*** Firstly, a little background information on Cyprus ***
The island of Cyprus is situated in the Eastern Mediterranean and is the third largest island after Sicily and Sardinia. Without going into too much laborious information on the history of the island, very briefly, Cyprus has been governed under two separate rules since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974 - Northern Cyprus is currently under Turkish occupation and Southern Cyprus is currently under Greek occupation. There have been numerous attempts at a reconciliation between the Turks and the Greeks in order to make the island 'whole' again, but to no avail.
You can take a holiday on either side of the island, but it is important to remember that, whether you visit the north or the south, you do not cross the border to the other side as there are strict penalties should you do so. The border is demarcated by the invisible 'Green Line' and is patrolled by a number of armed UN soldiers at lookout posts along the way.
On a more pleasant note, Cyprus is rich in history dating back centuries. It is known to many as 'Aphrodite's Island' named after the Goddess of Love who allegedly came ashore on a seashell. If you believe that, you believe anything, but legend has it that if you swim around the Rock of Aphrodite, you will be blessed with eternal youth. Again, this depends on how sceptical you are.
*** When to go ***
I visited Cyprus in the high season (end of August to be precise) and, as would be expected, it was HOT. And I mean HOT! The temperature averaged 31C so for anyone not too keen on the heat, it would be advisable to travel in the springtime or autumn.
*** Getting there ***
Most major airlines fly to Cyprus. I flew with Britannia and the flight took approximately 4 ½ from Manchester to Larnaca. However, with a little price checking, you may find a better deal with Cyprus Airways.
Larnaca Airport has improved greatly over the last few years. I first visited Cyprus in 1996 and the airport was very basic. However, it has since been modernised and is certainly now on a par with the larger airports.
Incidentally, the building plans for the airport were originally those intended for Miami Airport. I know, another piece of useless information from me!
*** Where to stay ***
I stayed in the resort of Protaras which is located on the South Western peninsula near to Cape Gkreko. Protaras is a fairly quite resort and is ideal for families and couples. The beach at Protaras is known as Fig Tree Bay and is renowned for its soft sand and crystal clear water. Fig Tree Bay plays host to numerous water sports such as jet-skiing, water-skiing and paragliding. However, if you enjoy participating in these, it can work out expensive.
The main street through Protaras has been pedestrianised and runs parallel with the beach, separated only by a few hotels. The street is abound with gift shops, tavernas and bars, but at the same, has a relaxed atmosphere about it. As the evening sets in, the street becomes quite busy with tourists and locals alike.
A little further along the coast is the much publicised Ayia Napa. Sunbathing all day, clubbing all night. Ideal for the younger tourists looking for a good time. If you drive through Ayia Napa in the middle of the day though, be prepared - you have to fight your way through hoards of teenagers riding through the streets on mopeds.
Even Cypriots go here on holiday. Paphos is a small harbour town located on the western side of the island. This is allegedly the birthplace of Aphrodite herself. Paphos is quite a pretty place and is famous for its monasteries within the surrounding area. Very rich in history, Paphos has a mix of the 'old town' lifestyle with modern day living.
A word of warning: In the summer season, Paphos often has a large influx of touts preying on tourists with 'lottery' tickets. Always advisable to ignore them.
Limassol has undergone extensive modernisation over recent years and is now the second largest town on the island. I personally would not choose to stay here because there is not enough to see or do for my liking.
A lot of people associate Larnaca with the airport, and nothing else. Located on the South East coast of Cyprus, Larnaca is a very pretty resort with a promenade lined with palm trees and cafes and tavernas. If you walk a little further into the town, you will find numerous department stores, and for those looking for a little nightlife, there are plenty of clubs and bars.
*** Attractions ***
Tourist attractions in Cyprus are plentiful. I visited the following places:
ARCHBISHOP'S PALACE - NICOSIA
The late Archbishop Makarias was head of the Cypriot Orthodox Church and this is where he had his private apartments. However, you can only view the palace from the outside as the building itself is only open to organised tours.
GREEN LINE - NICOSIA
Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, is well worth a visit. You can stand on the dividing line - the Green Line - that splits the capital in half between the Turkish side and the Greek side. This is patrolled by an armed UN guard but they will allow you to stand on a raised gallery from which you can see into the Turkish occupied territory. Here, you are able the see the hotels that are still in the state they were left in when the Cypriots fled during the Turkish invasion. Tables are still laid in the hotels, and the bullet holes are still very clearly visible. There are also modern day shops in Nicosia such as Marks & Spencer and Woolworths, although these are fairly small compared to the size we are familiar with.
CYPRUS MUSEUM - NICOSIA
This is certainly worth visiting, especially if you are a first time visitor to Cyprus. Full of ancient artefacts from Cypriot history, there is plenty to see.
This is basically a ruin, and I had seen everything there was to see within twenty minutes. There are a few steps to climb so it's not really for the tourist with limited mobility, but in addition to the Keep itself, there are also the remains of sugar cane plantations and vineyards.
This is a spectacular site. The theatre was built into the hilltop overlooking the sea. When I last visited, it was closed for renovation work, but I had been there the previous year and it is certainly worth a visit.
This is where the Cypriots make and sell their lace. Lefkara is a pretty mountain village which is fast becoming reliant on the tourist trade. However, beware of street traders here. They tend to accost gullible tourists by offering their lace goods, allegedly made in the village. I had a look at some of the goods on sale and many of them said 'made in China' so be very careful if you decide to buy anything. Saying that, however, the original Lefkara lace is of very good quality and worth buying.
This is pretty once you get there, but it did take a good half hour to walk to it. The falls are well signposted, but once you park your car, you do have quite a long treck, and bearing in mind you are on holiday and in cool, possibly open toe shoes, the track is covered with big rocks which you need to climb over. As a precaution, take some trainers or "sensible shoes".
Mount Olympus rises 6,400 ft and the Cyprus's highest point. There are spectacular views from the top, but it is spoiled a little for tourists due to the British radar dome, security fences and guards.
The winding roads meandering through the Troodos Mountains go on for miles and miles. If you are driving, make sure you have a tank full of petrol and a good map because they can resemble a maze and the signposts are not too clever in some places.
The mountains are dotted with little Cypriot villages where life goes on as it always has and modern day culture has yet to arrive. In some of the villages, you can see the old ladies - usually dressed in black from head to toe - sitting outside their houses making lace. They are used to tourists and carry on regardless. Old men can be seen walking donkeys along the cobbled streets solely because this is their main means of transport. You essentially take a step back in time. I must admit that some of these villages are not worth the hassle getting to. You spend an hour in a car working your way up the mountain, and when you get there, there is nothing very exciting to look at.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, Cyprus does get snow. People travel to the Troodos Mountains between January and March where the snow is usually plentiful. The snow can measure up to 10ft deep at times. Mount Olympus is equipped with four ski-lifts and is perfect territory for those who enjoy this kind of holiday.
TOMB OF ARCHBISHOP MAKARIOS
This is also situated in the Troodos Mountains and is a bit of a trial to reach. Situated on top of Throni Hill, you do have a little walk to take after parking the car. The tomb is in the open air, but permanently guarded by a Cyprus National Guard.
*** General ***
As I mentioned earlier, there are many places of interest in Cyprus, but I have obviously only reviewed the places that I have seen myself (with the exception of skiing). This review therefore only concentrates on the southern side of the island.
The churches, monasteries and museums are never ending and it would be impossible to review each and every one. This is an ideal holiday location for anyone interested in the culture and history of a place.
The north of the island (under Turkish rule), i.e. Keryneia, Famagusta, Karpasia etc. also attracts many tourists but not on the same scale as the south.
For anyone wishing to take a holiday in Cyprus, there is no need to worry about getting vaccinations before you go.
The island gets extremely hot in the middle of summer, Nicosia averaging 35C. However, it obviously remains a little cooler towards the coast.
Unlike many Mediterranean holiday destinations, Cyprus is one of the few where you drive on the left, so if you decide to hire a car, which I found very helpful and convenient, this makes life simple for tourists from the UK.
Crime on the island is very low and any crime that does occur usually involves tourists as opposed to the locals. Cyprus did get a bad reputation a short while ago with some of the British soldiers who are based in Cyprus. However, everything seems to have calmed down now.
*** Points to note ***
For anyone wishing to visit the island with a view to looking round the churches and monasteries, ensure you take some long trousers/long skirt as you will not be permitted entrance to these buildings if you are in shorts. We got caught out on a few occasions. I was not particularly concerned about visiting these places - afterall, I had gone there for a bit of sunbathing and sightseeing - but I thought I may as well have a look at some of these place while I was there. However, as soon as it is noticed you are wearing shorts or short dresses, you are turned away immediately.
If you are hiring a car, take care when driving through the resorts as many of the younger tourists hire mopeds and these are usually ridden fairly erratically.
*** Finally, would I recommend a holiday in Cyprus? ***
Definitely. Saying that, though, it does depend on what you look for in a holiday. If you want a beach holiday, doing nothing more than sunbathing all day and clubbing all night, then this is the place for you, especially Ayia Napa. If you want a little culture and intend to travel round the island exploring its history, Cyprus is definitely for you too.
Overall, Cyprus is a wonderful place. You just need to decide which areas of the island is best suited to your kind of holiday.
Thanks for reading.
(Also on Ciao - matthewsmum)
I am currently embarking on my third trip to this island over an eight year period. I have visited most of this island by car and so can comment on its various resorts.
Paphos is a quaint place with a nice harbour with tavernas and restaurants along the front. It does not have a beach here but you can get a bus quite easily on the main road to Coral Bay where there is a golden sand beach and cove.
Ayia Napa is a lively resort but it is best to stay in Macronisos just on the outskirts. Here you can benefit from the quiet for sleeping but can venture into the nightlife if desired. It also host Nissi Beach which has white sand and turquoise water.
Larnaca and Limmasol have a picturesque fronts with shops and a few nice restaurants. They both host a nice promanade for walking.
All in all this is a fabulous island and I would highly recommend hiring a car to see all of these diverse places as well as venturing up Mount Olympus and the Troodos villages.
I have only ever been to Cyprus once in the past couple of years, and I have to say that it is one of the most beautiful countries that I have ever been too, it is brilliant. Cyprus is one of the greatest places to get married, and when I went I was a guest at one of my friends weddenings, at it had the perfect backdrop to the whole occassion. We were there for two weeks, and during that time, it didnt rain once, the weather was unbeatable, in fact I would go as far as saying it was a little too hot.
I found that while we were there, we had a lot of interaction with the people of the country, and they are poliet no matter where you go, are very welcoming. Compared to other destinations, it doesnt actually take that long to get there with only a 5 hour flight from most UK airports, so not that long in all. The currency of this country is the Euro, which now hasnt got the best exchange rate, but when it does go back up again, you can get some great deals on a lot of products, such as clothes and gifts for family and friends. When I get the chance, I will definitely be going back to this country, as not only is there plenty of things to do during the day, but the nightlife here is great, with loads of clubs and bars lining the streets of major resorts.
Cyprus certainly gets a recommendation from me, and the whole family will enjoy this holiday, especially with the sunny beaches.
A reflection of Cyprus
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and it has a population of 800,000 and over 2 million tourists flock there every year. It was an island retreat of the Greek Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, and steeped in history, culture, and tradition it remains a wonderful place to spend time enjoying the simple pleasures of life. It is also a party place and in summer the main beaches are tighly packed rows of sardine sunbathers and for me these are to be avoided.
If you are thinking of going on holiday to Cyprus and maybe only have an idea of what might be waiting for you I want to let you know a little of what it is like and what you might expect.
So much depends on your personality and for the purposes of this review I will tell you a little about mine. I enjoy everything which is natural, unspoilt, and not man made and I do not enjoy built up areas or crowds.
For this reason I did a lot of research before I booked because not all of Cyprus is about peace and tranquillity, you have to look inland. For the purposes of this review I will concentrate on the Greek part to the south as the north is the Turkish side of which so far I have limited knowledge.
Please also bear in mind the difference in the seasons as summer brings crowds to the beaches, where in the winter they may provide quiet places to walk and relax. The wettest month is January. The season is longer than other Mediterranean destinations because of its proximity to Israel summer can go on well into November and by February the climate is recovering from the brief winter chills.
In my opinion by far the best way to visit the island if you are looking to experience the real Cyprus is to book a villa with a company who specialize in renting out Cypriot owned properties. There are many on the internet and I shall be writing about one such company www.getaway-villas.co.uk in another review shortly. The benefit of this is that many of these are in villages and locations where the natural beauty is still unchanged. Book your flights early -a year in advance if you can to get the best prices. If you do this you can go for half the cost of booking with a villa company who offer total packages. We went in summer 2007 and the total cost of a luxury villa with pool and 5 bedrooms totally secluded in a rural setting was £1800 in the height of the summer including flights and car hire.
The coastline in Cyprus is gradually being enveloped in a building programme and everywhere along the roads there are signs advertising developers. As you drive along the road these signs are everywhere as are half built apartments and dusty trails to new and proposed sites.
Driving on Cypriot roads is not difficult as they drive on the same side as the UK. This is helpful as you can be tired when you arrive after the flight which is about four and a half hours. You do have to be careful as there are a lot of motorbikes and local traffic tends to go quite fast, but if you are careful it is a pleasant experience.
It is also possible to hire a jeep as there are many roads in Cyprus which are only accessible by 4 by 4 vehicles. If you do this make sure it has air conditioning! The advantage of doing this even if only for a day is that it gives you a chance to explore the more remote beaches such as the one at Lara bay. This is on one of the last remaining wildernesses in Cyprus- the Akamas peninsula.
Here green turtles breed and the beach is shaped like a horseshoe. Lara bay sits on the Paphos end of the peninsula and is an 8km drive from Ayios Georgios. The ride is very very bumpy! My advice is to go soon because the scale of the development of the coastline is frightening and limited development has already begun to spoil the Latchi/Polis side of the Peninsula
Having booked yourself a local villa it is a good idea to spend the day resting and stocking up with essentials. The company we used supplied a wonderful welcome pack which had everything you could wish for and more, and we really didn't need to shop at all the first day.
Check to make sure the villa has air conditioning and what the cost is if it is an extra. It is vital in the summer as the bedrooms will get really hot and if you go in the winter make sure it is heated as it will get cold at night. Expect to pay £4 a night per bedroom for the air conditioning.
When you do go shopping you will find the prices in the supermarkets are roughly the same as the UK and recently they changed to using Euros instead of Cypriot pounds which was their previous currency. Look out for the fruit and vegetables which are often locally grown and come in daily from the hills and villages. The fresh food is superb and the other items we really enjoyed were local Halloumi which is a wonderful cheese. The local one is less squeaky than the one sold mostly in the UK and it is beautiful when grilled. Local wine is really lovely and is grown on the hills. The vineyards of Cyprus are mostly on the southern slopes of the Troodos mountain range near Limassol. The second area is in the south-western part of the island near Paphos.
If you want to keep in contact with home when you are away it is good idea to buy a Cypriot sim card which is so much cheaper than using your own mobile.
The way we enjoyed our holiday was in many ways to avoid the tourism and head inland to see the local villages and we were rewarded many times over.
Go to www.cyprus-maps.com and you will be rewarded with great maps to see the routes you might plan. The road from Polis to Drouseia and onto Kathikas and through the tiny roads to Pano Akourdaleia and onto Miliou takes you through some of the most beautiful wine regions of Cyprus. We loved the tiny village of Akourdaleia where there is a herb garden. Here amidst the smell of oregano, thyme, and under the shade of olive tress you can sit in utter peace even in mid August.
Walking from here amidst groves of peach and lemon trees is out of this world and there are a sprinkling of local tavernas.
Another beautiful drive takes you towards the Troodos Mountains. The drive here is amazing. The roads are a hairpin bend series of trails which snake through wooded mountain slopes through quiet villages where figs and dried fruit lie basking in the sun to dry. When the fruit trees start to blossom from February onwards, starting with the almond, in the fertile valleys the views are breathtaking.
So for me this is the real Cyprus and I hope you can see that a holiday is possible here away from the tourist areas.
My first memory of Cyprus was when i was 9 years old, i was staying in my Nan and granddad's villas on the side of a large mountain over looking the sea, and to the left of me where about 10-15 donkeys roaming on the side of the mountain looking for food, it was a beautiful sight.
Cyprus has a very big place in my heart as since i can remember i have been going every year on holiday.
Back in the early 1980's my Nan and Granddad brought a villa over there and over the years have worked on it, to make it their own.
Speaking to my Nan a couple of years ago i asked her why they choose Cyprus and she explained because it was such a beautiful island, with so much character, culture and history, they fell in love with it.
After visiting the island so many times i have learnt so much about the way the cypriots live and work,Ten years ago roads where nothing but dust tracks but nowadays have made way for motorways and proper tarmac roads, and like any other country it has changed in so many ways.
Paphos is where we used to stay and was a central point for many different attractions, about 20 miles away is where the famous Aphrodite rock lies in the sea. Further up the mountain where we stay is the trudos mountains and caves.
There are two main airports Lanarca and Paphos both of which are international, you can also arrive by boat.
Most Greek Cypriots are members of the Greek Orthodox Church, whereas most Turkish Cypriots are Muslim and you will find plenty of church's almost one in every village you pass.
The currency used to be the Cyprus pound before it became a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004. It adopted the Euro on 1 January 2008.
Nicosia is the capital of this island, and after that is then divided into 6 districts Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos.
Food plays a huge part in the Cyprus culture and being part of the Mediterranean, the Cypriot cuisine is shaped by the island's Mediterranean climate, geography, and history. One of the best ways of enjoying Cypriot food is by ordering a mezze , a large selection of a number of different local dishes, made up of around 16 items, ranging from fresh bread, cous cous, greak salad's, cheese's, Cyprus sausages, seafood, lamb etc, and their are plenty of local taverns where you can experience this wonderful homemade cooking.
Cyprus may be renowned for it's history, but it also attracts alot of tourists due it it's excessive sunshine and high temperatures, there winters are shorter and sunshine is expected right up until November but cooling down around October. To fly to Cyprus isn't really expensive at all and the hotels and villa's are cheap to stay in meaning you have more money to explore Cyprus itself, I remember once our family going our to eat at a tavern i think there where ten of us at the time and the whole meal came to £28.00 including drinks! now that doesn't happen often nowadays and my dad still has the receipt in his old wallet.
Cyprus is great is so many different ways and there is so much to do and see, if you were to visit i would recommend staying for 2 weeks so you get to experience it fully
Having visited cyprus twice I can throughly reccomend it. There is everything there you need for a great holiday.
We stayed in paphos, the first time, in a resort self catering place called the Valley of the Kings apartments. It was fine, as a base, clean and tidy, nice pool for a dip at the end of the day, and the on site restaurant was surprisingly good.
Second time we split our stay between a private rented apartment in Chlorakis, on a gated community, which was all very cliquy ex pats, and really didn'rt enjoy this so much, but loved our stay at the HOtel Minerva in Platres, run by a botanist with a special interest in orchids, he was fascinating, and the garden of the hotel was extrodinary. The rooms were beautifully done, with 4 poster beds, very romantic. Great places to eat in Platres too- Johns Cafe highly reccommended.
We spent most of our time exploring.
Hire a 4x4 and go off roading on the Akamas penisula. If you want a special beach drive around Akamas to Fountaina amarosa, a deserted, sandy beach with blue sea, just perfect. Some of the tracks are really steep and quite scarey to drive, but well worth it for the view.
Swim in the sea caves around Aghios Georgios. Also a great spot for bird watching, esp Hoopoes. There is also a little bird garden worth visiting.
Drive up to the north coast and visit the towns of Polis and Lacthi, OK beaches, with places to eat along the front. From Latchi you can drive on to the bathes of Aphrodite, a bit of an anti climax, but carry on up to access the Akamas pensula from the top.
Visit the mountain villages of Pegeia and kathikas to see the real cyprus, and again some really nice tavernas to stop at.
Also take a trip up into the troodos mountains, much cooler, when its getting hotter by the sea. Many great walks available from the town of Troodos. There is a donkey sanctuary near platres that does great work, so please visit.
For the kids the water park in Paphos is really good fun.
Paphos itself is OK, nice to wander along the harbour at night, when its all lit up, but quite touristy.
I would avoid Coral Bay, that really is touristy, with shops selling hats and sunbeds and a very busy, crowded sandy beach. There are so many nicer quieter beaches to choose from.
On Akamas, Lara Beach is a wide sweep of a bay, where apparently the turtles come to lay eggs.
Because they drive on the same side of the road as us it is even easier.
Lovely people, nice food, and loaads of things to do.
See some of the "other cyprus"
Cyprus is a great holiday location and we had a super week in Proteros which is on the eastern coast of this Mediterranean island, it is on the Greek side of the island which is split in two, the souther part under Greek Cypriot contrl while the north is controlled by Turkish Cypriots, the war between the two sides has left the island divided, Proteros is a nice small coastal town close to the Turkish side of the island, indeed from our hotel you can see Famagusta.
If you like beach life then Cyprus is excellent, hiring a car is well worth it, we were not far from some great clubs in Aya Napa which was good for night life nad not too bad by cab but for other places we drove, I loved the Trudos mountains which were very beautiful and the drive across to Paphos was really nice on the western coast of the island, taking the long coastal road we also stopped off at Arphodite birth place which are three rock formations in the sea.
The food in Cyprus was really nice, lots of meze style restaurants however it is worth trying to drive away from the more touristy places. Being there in the summer I found Niosia too hot and because that day was not a lot of fun we avoided Larnaca for an extra day sun bathing.
I enjoyed our holiday, the people were friendly and the weather is great, definately somewhere I would consider again.
Cyprus is probably my favourite place in the Mediterranean.
It is a big island, one of the largest in the Mediterranean (I think the third of fourth, if my memory serves me correctly!) and is basically divided into two parts- a Turkish part (the North) and a Cypriot part (the south). The UN has made a line between these two parts. (By the way, it can be quite dangerous to visit certain parts of Cyprus because they are still arguing about whose part of the island is whose, so always check the current political situation.)
The island has an interesting history that dates back to several thousand years BC, and my friends and I enjoyed visting certain places, such as the Kourion Theatre and Salamis, and I would recommend these places to others also.
When I visited the island I found it to be quite expensive. I probably spent about fifty quid per day and we weren't staying in luxury places. (They use the Euro there, by the way.)
I would recommend visiting Cyprus if you are interested in history and archaeology and if you can afford it!
I have visited Cyprus also few years ago and I have loved it. The weather was lovely,nice and hot. Clean sea and lots to do and see.
It takes about 4 hours on the plane from uk tu Cyprus. And it goes really fast when you watch Tv and films.
Stayed in the town of Limassol ,lovely place nice beach,plenty of hotels to choose from,nice restaurants,people are friendly ,warm and welcoming. Lots of interesting shops that sell traditional things from Cyprus and other countries.
I like to visit hot countries because of the nice weather and you get to see other cultures and how other people are living and the arhitecture and old buildings.
Cyprus is nice place for a holiday any time of the year as the weather is very nice through out of the year.
And the best part of it is the food where you can try Cyprian traditional specialities which are great.
I would recomend Cyprus for anyone.
I have been to Cyprus, also known as the 'Island of Love' or 'Aphrodites Isle' on many occasions now. I tend to stay in the eastern part of Cyprus - not far from the famous ghost town of Famagusta. This part of the island has the best beaches and Protaras - one of the main tourist resorts - boasts the beautiful 'Fig Tree Bay' with its long stretches of golden sands. All kinds of water sports are available there including paragliding!
There are numerous places to eat out in Protaras. tradiional Greek tavernas, Italian, Indian, Chinese, 'Only Fools and HOrses' - you name it there is a restaurant there.
The Cypriots are very hospitable people and really give you a warm welcome. The weather and climate is superb and I have been out in October and March as well as in the summer season and still came back with a tan.
If you do visit Cyprus you must try the dish 'Kleftiko' which is lamb that has been cooking all day in a clay oven - it is absolutely sumptuous.
One of the best excursions I went on was a 'jeep safari' which took us into the Troodos mountains...we went off roading, visited monasteries, saw lace making, wine making, had a traditional Cypriot meal, took part in traditional dancing and lots more...It was an experience I will never forget.
Cyprus has two major airports - Paphos and Larnaca. Larnaca is the nearest airport to Protaras. It is about an hours journey from Larnaca. Ayia Napa - the 'party' resort is just 10 minutes away by car from Protaras. The famous Nissi beach in Ayia Napa has some of the best beaches on the island.
For those who like it a little bit 'quieter' Pernera - a little fishing resort is ideal.
There is plenty to do and see in Cyprus. One of the current drawbacks at the moment. however, is Cyprus is experiencing a bit of a water shortgage and water is being shipped in from Greece. Also with the current exchange rate - you don't get many euros to the pound!
Cyprus is the third biggest island in the Mediterranean sea. After Sardegna and Sicilia. The island is divided in two parts. In the south the Republic of Cyprus, the internationally recognized state, and in the north, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
On the south the people speak Greek while on the west Turkish.
Cyprus has been a member of the EU since May 2004 and using the EURO since January 1st 2008.
It's a quite big island, with a small population. Around 800,000 people.
The island now(after 1974 when Turkey invaded Cyprus) has four main towns. Three of those are by the sea and the fourth, which is the capital, is not.
Larnaka: Also known as "The Town of Kimonas". What I really like about this town is that everything is on one street, ok make it two, called "Foinikoudes". Pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants, fish taverns, the beach, everything. Larnaka is mostly known for it's delicious fish and relaxing atmosphere.
Lemesos: The biggest town of Cyprus. It has nice clubs and cafes, but other than that I do not know much about it.
Paphos: Beautiful quiet hotels, clean waters, good food and even better wine. What more do you need for a romantic vacation?
Nicosia: The capital of Cyprus. The best rock pubs on the island. With various different bands performing live on Tuesdays and Weekends, playing Greek and foreign rock. It has a lot of students, due to the colleges and universities that are there.
Ayia Napa: Even though it's not one of the main towns, it's THE PARTY town of Cyprus. It's so packed you won't believe it. A lot of bars, pubs and clubs, a lot of alcohol, loud music and parties that never end. It also has the best beaches on the island. Let's just say, if you are looking for fun, that's the place to go to. Pay attention. In Ayia Napa it's been known that some kiosks overcharge foreigners for bottles of water, cigarettes etc. If you think you payed too much for an item ask one of the locals about the price.
The people of Cyprus are very hospitable and friendly. Also a lot of them speak English, especially younger people. So don't be afraid to ask any question, I promise you they will do their best to try and help you.
The prices are a bit high, for most tourists, something that does not apply for British tourists since the cost of living in the U.K is ridiculously high.
The weather is beautiful during the summer. From 33-37 C. Some extremes of 45 C have been recorded.
Cyprus has a very interesting cuisine, it's a mixture of Greek and Middle-eastern cuisine. Believe me, it's delicious:
order meat-meze to try souvlakia, halloumi, sheftalies and a lot more
or fish-meze to try calamari, octopus, squid, trout and others. All of them fresh.
I was curious about where my roots originated from, so I came to Cyprus for a holiday in 1985. My father, was born in Strovolos, Nicosia in 1939. He left his country before the war and at that time it had been twenty five years since he'd left. I was lucky, because my uncle Yannis, my father's brother, who lived in Nicosia was visiting England that year and so, I was able to go back with him for two weeks.
I remember arriving at Larnaca airport on 20th August 1985 at the age of 17 years. It had been a night flight and I remember thinking how hot it was when I emerged from the aeroplane. I was nervous and excited in meeting my Aunt Lea and cousin Marino, who was only about 6 or 7 years old at the time.
We arrived at their flat in Nicosia, which was small. My Aunt Lea was very hospitable and had laid out a feast of food on their dining table, but I wasn't that hungry and only ate a little, as it was the middle of night. All I had wanted was to go to sleep, but to them food came first.
Eventually, a bed was made up for me in Marino's room where I was to sleep. I didn't mind, as I'd been excited just to be there. The only problem was the heat. It was the middle of August and without air conditioning I was beginning to suffocate. All their windows were wide open, but there wasn't any breeze coming through them. My uncle had told me that it was always this hot in August. I was shocked, as I had never been anywhere as humid as this.
I slept for a few hours and awoke to the sound of ringing bells on a Sunday morning. I was told that it came from a church nearby. I was accustomed to the Greek Orthodox church, as my father loved it and we went regularly in England. He always joined in with the Priests and sang the mass with them, so I'd heard it many times before.
On my first morning, my Aunt came out from the kitchen and again lay a feast of food onto the table. I wasn't accustomed to eating large amounts of food in the morning, but I ate more than I should have from what I remember. There was pita bread, dips, eggs, salad, bread, Greek Hamburgers named 'cufftatoes' in Greek and more. I was stuffed.
Later that afternoon we visited my aunt's sister's house. We had Greek coffee and a syrup desert, which I thought was delicious. Her bungalow had marble floors throughout and I remember how shiny they had looked. After that, my uncle took me to their clothes shop, which they owned in Strovolos. My uncle was, also, a teacher at the College in Nicosia and he was off work, because of the summer holidays. My aunt was a dress maker and she was very good at it. She made a lot of her own clothes and sold them in her shop.
As the days went on and nearing the end of my two weeks in Cyprus, I went on walks around Strovolos shops and in Nicosia. I remember seeing the line that cut the country in half. It hadn't been there that long, so I stood there for a while just looking at it. Seeing this made me feel sad to think that Cyprus had to go through to all this trouble and then have this line through the middle of their country.
They took me to Governors Beach in Limassol one evening where we had a meze meal and watched the sea roll in and out. At midnight, my uncle said we would all go in for a swim. I thought this odd, but followed them anyway. We walked into the sea. It was warm. At first it was hard getting in as there were stones at the bottom, but then all I could feel was sand. I remember how fun it had been and I hadn't realized until afterwards how much I had enjoyed myself.
It was a wonderful experience to be in Cyprus for the first time, as I had seen a different way of life and how my uncle and his family lived. I realized I loved my father's country so much that I would try to get him to return for a visit as soon as possible. Of course, today he visits Cyprus regularly, but back then he had too many bad memories of the past whilst living in Cyprus with the other side before the line was put in place. He has stories of the past that I may write about one day.
Also, posted at e-zines website under my own name.
Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus is a Eurasian island nation in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea south of the Anatolian peninsula (Asia Minor) or modern-day Turkey. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.