All You Need to Know About Cyprus

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All You Need to Know About Cyprus
Thinking of a cheap holiday to Cyprus in 2022 or next year? You’ve picked well! This fascinating island packs a big punch and really is an island for everybody. Just take a look at what to expect on a Cyprus holiday

The Legendary Island

The Island of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty. Greek Mythology has given us a deluge of fascinating tales, myths and legends and Aphrodite’s story starts on Cyprus where the legend varies but the most popular version is that of Hesiod, the ancient Greek poet who describes the birth of Aphrodite in his Theogony poem. Kronos, castrated his father Uranus and threw his genitals into the sea. A white foam appeared from where the beautiful goddess emerged in the sea close to Aphrodite Rock near Paphos. Her name, Aphrodite, comes from the Greek word “afros” meaning foam. 
 
 
The festival of Aphrodite was known as “Aphrodisia” and her name lives on today in the love potions we all refer to as Aphrodisiacs. Her legends still live on, on the island. It is said that if you swim around Aphrodite’s rock three times, you will find true love and if you bathe in Aphrodite’s baths, close to Latchi, you will be gifted with eternal youth. True love and eternal youth – what other reasons do you need to visit Cyprus? 

The All Year Round Sunshine Island

 
 
With a warm Mediterranean climate and year round sunshine, you’ll be spending plenty of time on the island’s sun-drenched beaches soaking up the sunshine and perfecting that tan. Temperatures in the peak summer months can soar, however, sometimes to as high as 35C – 40C so you will need to take extra care and ensure you are well protected with copious amounts of sunblock, good sunglasses, a hat, avoiding direct sunlight especially in the peak midday hours and running indoors to the air conditioning! Cyprus enjoys one of the warmest winters in the Mediterranean with and average temperature of 22C – 25C during the day in the winter months and 12C – 14C at night. Rain is also common during the winter months but this does not last for long and the sun shines brightly immediately after. So no matter when you choose to visit on Cyprus holidays, the weather will not let you down. And if you choose to visit during the coldest months of December and January, you may be rewarded with snow atop the Troodos mountain range.
Top up the tan by the pool in the morning and wrap up warm to visit the snow peaked Troodos mountain range in the afternoon. You may even get a white Christmas up there.

The Beach Lover’s Island

 
There is a large and diverse selection of beaches dotted all along its coastline, from small sandy coves enveloped in rocky arches, swathes of golden sand, and expansive pebbly curves, unspoilt and wild or widely popular and lively, there is a beach in Cyprus for everyone. Many of its beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag status which recognises the environmental and quality of the bathing water. And the best bit? All beaches are municipal so entrance to any beach, including hotel beaches is absolutely free, bar the small charge for sunbed and umbrella hire if you wish to make use of these. All you need to do is choose which beach. The curvy pebble beach and clear waters of Latchi or the swathes of golden sand at Coral Bay on the West coast? The mixture of fine sand and pebbles at Akti Olympion in Limassol? The sandy and clear shallow waters at Nissi Beach or the dolphin tail shaped peninsular at Macronissos? Fig Tree Bay or Konnos Bay? The choice is all yours. 
 

The Romantic Island  

 
Weddings and honeymoons in Cyprus have increased in popularity and where else to tie the knot than on the island of love? You can get married in one of the many lovely hotels on the island. Most hotels cater for weddings with exotic and romantic settings for anything from a small intimate wedding to a grand celebration and some hotels have chapels in the hotel grounds. You can also get married on the beach, or the town or village where you are staying.  Marriages performed in Cyprus are internationally recognised so no need to do it all again when in the UK. You can get all the details of the documentation required from the Cyprus High Commission so you can plan your most romantic day prior to travelling. 

The Accessible Island

Cyprus is closer that you think. It’s only a four and a half hour flight away and it has two airports so the journey to your accommodation will not be too long after you land. Limassol is served by both airports as it’s located at approximately the same distance in between them.  Larnaca Airport in the East, serves the resorts of Larnaca, Protaras, Ayia Napa and Limassol and the capital city of Nicosia. Paphos in the West serves the resorts of Paphos, Coral Bay, Polis, Latchi and Limassol.

The Photographer’s Island

 
With the Troodos mountain range offering fantastic cedar and pine forests, valleys, gorges, rivers and waterfall landscapes, the Akamas National Park Peninsular with its diverse selection of flora, variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and butterflies and the beaches on the west coast offering amazing sunsets, Cyprus will not disappoint any photographer. Avoid taking photographs near potentially sensitive areas like military establishments or border crossings to the Turkish occupied territories.
 

The Trekker’s Island

With 10 thousand years of natural beauty, the Troodos mountain range and the island’s rugged coastline offer up fantastic walking and hiking trails all around the island. With a favourable Mediterranean climate and total of 52 nature trails scattered throughout the island, you can walk through nature, history and culture aided by the sign posted paths and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of pine forests, rivers and waterfall with all their flora and fauna and delight your senses with the sights, sounds and smells of nature particularly during the winter, spring and autumnal months when the temperatures are cooler. Feeling more energetic? Holidays in Cyprus are ideal for cycling enthusiasts too with a wide range of mountain bike trails to choose from. 

The Last of the Big Spenders Island

Cyprus in in the Eurozone which means the local currency is the Euro. Exchange rates change on a daily basis but there is generally €1.20 to the £1.00 sterling. 
Tipping is a way of life in Cyprus and it is usual to tip in bars, restaurants and cafes in the same way that you would in the UK. Anyone who offers you a service will appreciate some form of gratuity. Time to go shopping? Cyprus will happily provide. Apart from the plethora of souvenir shops selling locally made arts and crafts sprawled all over all the tourist resorts and villages, Cyprus has impressive shopping malls in Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos and the king of all shopping malls is considered to be the one in Nicosia, the capital city, where else? You will find anything and everything here from small boutique shops to all the latest trends and fashion offered by international brand labels. 
 

The Culture Vulture’s Island

With one of the oldest histories, (the island was first inhabited around the 11th millennium BC) Cyprus has been invaded, conquered, colonised, dominated and occupied many times during its 10 thousand year history. Remnants and historical attractions from all the different settlements and civilisations are scattered all around the island including archaeological ruins, medieval castles, and other cultural attractions such as old UNESCO World Heritage villages, churches and monasteries. Cypriot Folkloric Art is in abundance and you can experience old traditional methods or architecture, pottery, basketry, weaving, embroidery, metal work and jewellery making and wood carving among many others in and around all of Cyprus and its old traditional villages. With the north of the city lying in Turkish occupied territory, Nicosia, the island’s inland capital is Europe’s only divided city in Europe today, bearing similarities to Berlin which was divided for approximately 50 years – Nicosia has been divided for almost as long.  
 
 
The city bears witness to a vast selection of different architecture left behind from all the different civilisations and settlements that occupied the island over the last five thousand or so years from Venetian, Byzantine, Medieval, Gothic, Neoclassical and all sitting side by side with modern tall buildings and a multi-level central city square. All sites are walkable and you’ll have time to while away the hours in trendy slick coffee shops, quirky restaurants and visit the art galleries museums and old and well as modern shopping streets of the city.
The Wine Lover’s Island
Samples of pottery excavated on the island have provided evidence that viticulture has existed on the island since ancient times. The oldest recorded wine, Commandaria, was made here and it is still very much in production today.  Wineries on the island are abundant and they all take visitors, you can see the wine making process, sample the Commandaria and a wide selection of other locally produced wines here and buy a bottle or two to take away with you. The local spirit made by distilling wine mixed with pomace, Zivania, is also made here and is a must try, whether during a visit to a winery, in tavernas, a bar or at any other given opportunity.

The Party Island

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Cyprus (@cyprus)

 
Ayia Napa holidays need no introduction. What was once a small (tiny) fishing village developed into a lively tourist resort, thanks to the wide stretches of sandy beaches nearby. The resort was made popular by a host of local and international, mainly garage, DJ’s during the nineties and has remained a firm favourite among the young and sprightly, looking for a lively holiday with good nightlife. 
 

The Hospitable Foodie’s Island

 
 
Cypriot society revolves around family life and it is still common for families to eat together, either at home or in a restaurant. It is also completely normal to welcome guests into the home and there will always be something to drink on offer accompanied with a little something (or more often than not a lot) to eat. This hospitality is genuine and completely normal and you will feel totally welcome in any Cypriot home. Although this can seem intrusive (as questions are likely to be asked about your family, your relationships, your profession and even the details of your income) it is simply the Cypriots’ honest and sincere interest in making other feel welcome. Cypriots are also very animated and lively conversationalists and what may, to an outsider, sound like a furious argument is usually a perfectly amicable conversation. Eating in Cyprus is a serious pastime and many culinary delights await you.  Being an island full of old fishing villages along its coastline there is fresh fish and seafood all over the island. Halloumi, Cyprus’s very own cheese, has become a favourite for chefs around the world and appears in dishes in trendy restaurants and even in fast food chains. It should be tried fresh alongside a mouth-watering piece of watermelon during your Cyprus holiday. There are many other familiar dishes on offer such as pork and lamb kebabs (souvlakia) served with salad in pitta bread, with newly found alternatives for vegetarians with halloumi and mushrooms replacing the meat, Kleftico (slow cooked lamb) Stifado (usually beef or chicken stewed with a lot of onions) and of course moussaka. In Cyprus, Souvla is probably the king of meat dishes and it is traditionally eaten by Cypriots on Easter Sunday (and obviously on many other days) accompanied by a range of other dishes. And of course a visit to Cyprus would not be complete without a Meze. Meze or Mezedes  or Mezedakia is a selection of many different dishes that you should definitely try out. 
Does all this make you eager to book up a 2022 Cyprus holiday? Me too! Treat yourself an you will not be disappointed with all of this to experience plus plenty more! 
 
 
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