What’s not to love about Cyprus? With its scenic coastline, breath-taking views, delicious cuisine and friendly locals, this is one destination that needs to be added to your bucket list. As the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily and Sardinia, the island is geographically located in Asia, however, politically it is a European country. It is also a half member of the European Union.
Legend speaks of Cyprus being the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite. It is only fitting that the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and procreation be born in such an exquisite place. With so many must-see attractions, it’s very possible that you may feel compelled to visit Cyprus time and time again to get through them all. Cyprus’ beauty is indeed as alluring as Aphrodite was said to be. However, in the Mycenaean Greek, she was known as Kýpria. Maybe this word was at the island’s name origin, maybe just the Mediterranean cypress tree .
While many say that Cyprus is best visited during spring, if you’re not too concerned about the weather, the island can be visited all year round, but be warned: its summers are hot and dry and winters are cool and wet, so if you’re sensitive to warmer or cooler weather, plan carefully. Due to the recent turmoil surrounding the country’s banking sector, summer tourism has taken a steep nose dive, with a 43% drop in year-on-year tourism. It is unlikely that tourism will be affected in the long run, but for now it can either unravel your plans or create a unique opportunity for you to take advantage of this destination as it is very likely that tour operators will be offering large discounts if bookings don’t pick up soon. Now enough about the details and more about what there is to see.
If you’re in search of a relaxing vacation, then heading for the Troodos Mountains is a brilliant idea. Take gentle walks, go cycling or simply relax beneath the shade of cedars and pines. Don’t mistake this for being a ‘boring’ option as there is much sightseeing to do and villages to explore. Be sure to take time to visit the Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis, an eleventh-century monastery church, near the enchanting village of Kakopetria.
In order to get a real sense of history, visit at least one of Cyprus’ top 3 archaeological wonders. One of the island’s most important archaeological sites is Ancient Kourin. This Greco-Roman amphitheater which was constructed in the second century BC, is right on the peak of a cliffand and has undergone extensive renovations over the past few years in order to protect the priceless floor mosaics.
An all year round attraction is the Paphos Harbor and Castle. With its beautiful location and incredible views, don’t miss the opportunity to stroll around the quay and visit the numerous cafes and seafood restaurants. The remains of the ancient castle which are dated back to 1391 can be seen here. Take one of the daily boat tours in order to see the pristine neighboring beaches and exquisite coastline.
When it comes to nightlife, Cyprus doesn’t disappoint. Potamós Germasógias, which is located in Limassol, is home to some of the many exciting seasonal clubs and bars, however most of the clubs in the restored Lanitis Carob Mill complex are operational all year round so you shouldn’t be left stranded. If you do find yourself in one of these ‘seasonal’ areas at the ‘wrong’ time of year and are in the mood for some excitement, you could always manage with some scuba diving, rock climbing or archery.
No matter what your interests, you are certain to find plenty of things to add to your itinerary. Whether you’re adventure-hungry or simply looking for somewhere to unwind, Cyprus provides the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. It is also a destination that is suitable for young and old alike, and its hospitality is to be applauded. In a nutshell: Cyprus is the full package.
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