Cyprus, once a centre for the cult of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, retains an essentially Mediterranean character that is part tradition, part cosmopolitan.
This gem destination is now easily accessible thanks to Cyprus Airways with two weekly flights on Wednesdays and Sundays. Travelling under the current COVID-19 restrictions (at the time of writing the only obligation was to present your EU COVID-19 certificate at airport controls and at check in to hotels, bars and restaurants) was made easier thanks to great cabin comfort and a direct 2 hours and 40 minutes journey.
Here is a little guide of where to visit, eat and stay when in Cyprus:
Where to Stay
Limassol – Checked in to the beautiful Royal Apollonia https://theroyalapollonia.com/en/ in Limassol, Cyprus’ second largest city which sits on the southern coast. The city appeals to a wide range of visitors, from people interested in sun and sand vacations to culture vultures with its museums and archaeological sites.
The Royal Apollonia is a 5-star beach hotel ideally located in the lively district of Germasogeia. This renowned part of town offers an array of boutiques, cafés, restaurants and clubs, all 2 minutes’ walk away. The historic centre of Limassol with its traditional, well-preserved narrow streets, is 5 km from the hotel and is a must to visit.
Paphos – https://www.athena-cbh.com/the-hotel/ The Athena Beach Hotel, having been lavishly renovated and generously upgraded with even more facilities, proudly offers guests a superb standard of service and comfort, equivalent to those of a luxurious 5-star hotel. The property is situated directly on the beach in Kato Paphos, a pleasant walk from the picturesque harbour, the archaeological sites, the shops, and the nightlife. If you’ve hired a car to get around, parking in the hotel car park is free for guests.
Platres Village – Petis Palais Hotel – This elegant hotel offers interconnecting rooms, 1 executive suite and 1 junior suite, with forest and village view from balcony and/or windows. Terms of stay are usually bed and breakfast and there’s an a la carte menu available. You’ll find a gym, sauna, jacuzzi and massage rooms at the attic. The lobby has a unique fireplace. http://www.petitpalais.com.cy/
Sitting in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus boasts historic, mythical and cultural delights. There’s so much to do here – from visiting archaeological sites to enjoying the great outdoors by hiking or by boat. Here are the top attractions and things you need to do when visiting the island:
The coastal Ammochostos (Famagusta) region, east of popular tourist resort Ayia Napa, delivers sun, sand and sea by the bucketful. The area’s smaller resort towns of Protaras and Pernera are completely devoted to the summer tourist crowds and are packed with families and older visitors set for a holiday that involves boat trips and kicking back on the sand. While you’re in the area, take time to explore the Protaras coastline, the beautiful caves of Cape Greco and learn about the ghost town of Famagusta. A boat tour includes a stop for swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Cyprus’ own Blue Lagoon.
Nissi Beach, located 3.3KM west of Ayia Napa centre, is 600 metres long and among the most famous in the region, attracting large crowds with its alluring combination of beautiful coast, music, bars and beach parties.
Troodos is a magical place with panoramic views of the mountains and exquisite natural beauty. Make sure you explore small surrounding villages, walk around and enjoy the fresh air. View the magnificent cascading waterfalls, the gorgeous green wilderness of Troodos hides. Troodos is a cool escape during the summer at the green heart of the island and a snow-filled winter destination with four ski slopes. An ideal trip for nature lovers.
Omodus Village, in the Lemesos (Limassol) district, is a pretty, wine-producing province that sits at an altitude of 800 metres on the Troodos Mountain range. Omodos is one of the most traditional and charming villages on the island and has existed since the Frankish period and is marked as ‘Homodos’ or ‘Homoclos’ on old maps. Its name originates from the Greek word for street, ‘odos’. Famous for its wine, Zivania spirit, handmade narrow-knit lacing and ‘arkatena’ bread, its quaint environs are perfect for agrotourism.
When you walk through Oenou Yi–Ktima Vassiliades https://oenouyi.wine/the-winery/winery, you instantly feel a sense of completion. Built between Afamis and Laona hills, the winery is carefully looked after and privately-owned vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see. True to its promise of “Honouring our heritage, continuing our tradition”, the winery comprehends and favours the connection of wine with culture, promoting both. History conferences and cultural events, school visits, educational tours and book publishing contribute to the promotion of Cypriot culture. Overlooking the green slopes of the area, where the vineyards ripen, exploiting the special terroir of Omodos, Oenou Yi – Ktima Vassiliades winery promises to entice you to an unprecedented discovery of senses as well as a unique cultural experience.
The birthplace of Aphrodite is one of the most beautiful beaches near the city of Pafos, where Cypriots enjoy swimming with their families. In the water one can see the enormous rock where legend has it that Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, was born from the ocean. The beach is about a 25-minute drive from the harbour of Pafos and is close to the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, which is part of the World Heritage site.
The Latchi Harbour and Marina is in the Polis Chrsoschous area in the Paphos District and is an official port entrance to Cyprus. Latschi was originally a small, quiet fishing port but it has grown into a main stopping point for various vessels. Polis is the nearest town to Latchi, just 2 kilometers away.
The Archaeological Park of Kato Pafos (Paphos) is one of the most important archaeological sites of Cyprus and is a UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The park encompasses the ruins of a castle, 40 columns, four villas with preserved mosaic floors (House of Dionysos, House of Aion, House of Theseus, House of Orpheus), the Agora, the Odeon, the Asclepion and a lighthouse.
The House of Eustolios at Kourion, just 17 kilometers west from Limassol is one of the most spectacular archaeological sites on the island. Kourion was an important city kingdom where excavations continue to reveal impressive new treasures. Noted particularly for its magnificent Greco-Roman Theatre, Kourion is also proud home to stately villas with exquisite mosaic floors and an early Christian Basilica among other treasures. The House of Eustolios, consisting of a complex of baths and a number of rooms with superb 5th century A.D. mosaic floors, was once a private Roman villa before it became a public recreation centre during the Early Christian period. The Early Christian Basilica dates to the 5th century and was probably the Cathedral of Kourion, with a baptistery attached to the north face.