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Cyprus

Cyprus captures the true essence of romance and beauty. From golden sandy beaches and rich flora to archaeological treasures and Byzantine monasteries. This island for all seasons combines spectacular scenery with a fascinating history and basks in year-round Mediterranean sun. The west coast of Cyprus is the place to head if you're looking for traditional charm, laid-back living and architectural heritage, whilst the east coast plays host to arguably the island's best beaches and most enticing coves...

Much more to sea

Much more to sea

Why go on holiday to Cyprus?


Cyprus has so much more to offer than the sun, sea and sand for which it is famous. A history of colonisation has given the island a fascinating mix of architectural styles, matched only in variety by its natural delights.

The lifestyle is relaxed, food cheap and weather superb - all of which make Cyprus one of the most popular destinations with British holidaymakers.

How much does it cost?
It's a very popular destination so there are lots of bargains but as a guide, expect flights to Cyprus to cost from £150, a night in a three-star hotel from £30-£45 and a seven-day fly-drive package with B&B accommodation from £470.

When should I go?
July and August are incredibly busy and sizzlingly hot, with temperatures often well above 90F (35C+). April and May are particularly lovely with dry, sunny days in the mid-70s to 80Fs (23-30C) and citrus trees in blossom.

September to October is also a popular time to visit. Easter is the most important religious festival in the Republic and everything closes down.

A land steeped in history

A land steeped in history

What should I do when I'm there?
Don't pass up the capital. Away from the tourist atmosphere of the resorts, Lefkosia (previously Nicosia) is more truly Cypriot than the large towns on the coast.

It is known as "the last divided capital" and UN troops patrol the Green Line that separates the Republic from North Cyprus. Brush up on Cypriot history with a visit to the Cyprus Museum, then check out the wonderful frescoes at St John's Cathedral.

Where else is good for history?
Nine of the frescoed Byzantine churches in the peaceful Troodos mountains are on the World Heritage list, and are definitely worth the trip inland.

The Tombs of the Kings date back to the third century BC and can be combined with an excursion to see the famous Roman mosaics at Paphos.

According to legend, Cyprus is the birthplace of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love; visit the Baths of Aphrodite nestled amongst the lush foliage of the Akamas Peninsula.

Where can I get away from it all?
Invaded by Turkey in 1974, Northern Cyprus has largely escaped the tourist development found on the south coast. Take a stroll along the waterfront at Kyrenia, one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean.

Indulge in a traditional Turkish bath at the world-famous Buyuk Hammam in North Lefkosia. In the Republic, head for the serene fishing village of Latchi on the north-west coast or the pine forests and walking trails of the Troodos Massif.

Warm family welcome
Where's good for nightlife?
Once a small fishing port, the resort of Ayia Napa has shot up the clubbers' popularity charts in the past couple of years and is now something of a Mecca for those who like their nights to keep going until morning.

Lively bars and cafes can be found in all the major towns and resorts, with Paphos and Lemesos (Limassol) particularly popular.

What's the food like?
The island's mixed cultural heritage is highlighted by Cypriot cuisine. Dishes show the strong Middle Eastern influences of Turkey as well as elements from more traditional Greek cooking.

Try a meat or fish meze, a feast made up of about 20 different appetiser-sized dishes, or halloumi, the local cheese that is typically served grilled. Cypriot wine is excellent and Turkish coffee strong enough to wake even the Ayia Napa crowd.

What should I buy?
Bottles of ouzo, the local spirit, and regional wines make welcome gifts. Most villages specialise in some type of craft, whether it be pottery, silverware, basket-weaving or the famous lace from Lefkara. Find these at the Handicraft Centre in Lefkosia.

What is there for children to do?
Children are well catered-for in most resort hotels, with children's pools, games rooms and watersports programmes.

A little history is best introduced by a scramble around the ruins of one of the island's many castles, or with a visit to the medieval fort at Larnaca. Family is important to Cypriots and children are welcome in cafes and restaurants at all hours.

Tourist office
Cyprus Tourism Organisation, 17 Hanover Street, London, W1R 0AA. Tel. 020 7569-8800.

Cyprus ( Part 1 of 2 )

 

Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean and undoubtedly the most enchanting, is reputed to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty. Cyprus is an island of legends with a rich and dramatic history, dating back thousands of years. In Cyprus the sun seems to shine all year round; even in winter when the temperatures drop, the skies are blue and cloudless and the air pleasantly warm. In summer, when temperatures soar, visitors can escape to the cooler, forested slopes of the Troodos Mountains or simply cool down in the crystal clear waters that surround the shores. Fascinating evidence of the past 3000 years has survived in Cyprus, much of it along the south coast that stretches from Paphos to Larnaca. The island is also littered with churches, monasteries and other impressive religious buildings, of historical significance. Cyprus offers her visitors a wealth of activities, in the most beautiful surroundings.

Cyprus ( Part 2 of 2 )

 

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