At the crossroads of three continents lies Cyprus (and its many fancy hotels), the Mediterranean Island characterized by its beautiful beaches, medieval castles, serene villages and stunning coastlines. If you have ever visited Victoria BC and its hotels – you will understand the similarities between the two very distant locations. With both the influence of Eastern and Western cultures, Cyprus has created its own intriguing and unique culture that is fascinating to explore.
Offering both relaxing sightseeing opportunities and adventurous excursions, Cyprus is a popular travel destination for those seeking new experiences. We’ve put together a list of five must-do things when visiting Cyprus. All you need now is a good travel deal and the courage to ask your boss to take some vacation time off!
1. Explore Archaeological Wonders
Cyprus offers rich historical wonders that are not to be missed, including Ancient Kourin, Ancient Salamis and Pafos Mosaics. Ancient Kourin features a Greco-Roman amphitheater that was built in the second century and is considered to be one of Cyprus’ most important historical sites. Ancient Salamis is an ancient city-state that contains fascinating city walls, a gymnasium, theatre, Roman baths and villas, the Basicla of St. Epiphanius and the Temple of Zeus Salaminios that will lead to a day-long exploration. Finally, Pafos Mosaics is a site with beautiful and fascinating Roman floor mosaics that will be sure to fascinate you.
2. Party In Ayia Napa
After a day of exploring historical wonders, it’s time to let your hair down in Cyprus’ party town, Ayia Napa. What was once a quiet fishing village has now transformed into a party destination characterized by its sophisticated beach bars and seaside clubs. For travellers looking for relaxing daytime activities, be sure to visit Ayia Napa’s modern cafes and pubs that offer a variety of caffeinated drinks and unique cocktails. For the night owls, head on to The Square to join a hip crowd in dancing all night long to beats spun by international DJs.
You can’t leave Cyprus without indulging yourself in their traditional tavern dishes. Instead of giving into the tourist taverns, however, take the effort to find local, small-scale taverns that offer their own creative take on the traditional dishes. Small scale taverns include Araouzos Taverna, Koutsonikolias or Meze Taverna. These local eateries allow you to indulge your taste buds into some new flavours including stifado (casserole) with wild boar and wild fowl, kerpasto, which is salted lamb on charcoal or even some wild deer dishes. Exquisite seafood dishes range from sea urchins to crab and pandora fish, all fresh from the waters of Cyprus.
Be sure not to miss out on the renowned Cypriot coffee that is offered by several coffee shops along the island. With unique concoctions and delicious flavours, it will be a coffee experience you will not forget.
4. Take a Hike
Stretch out your legs and prepare them for long and memorable hikes in Cyprus. For more ambitious hikers, Cedar Valley is a trail in the mountains with the long-distance walking path that stretches from Budapest to Larnaka. If you prefer a more relaxing walk, however, the Kalidonia trails in Platres offers a calming hiking experience alongside a refreshing stream.
Alternatively, you can even plan your entire holiday in the Troodos Mountains if you prefer a vacation hidden within cedars and pines. Troodos Mountains provides visitors with plenty of opportunities to walk, cycle or sightsee. Also lying majestically in the Troodos Mounatins are many UNESCO listed Byzantine churches, in which you can experience the enchanting painted buildings alongside the natural beauty of the nearby rivers.
5. Find Your Aquatic Side
Head over to Latsi, a small village near Akamas to lift your feet off of the land and dive underwater. Latsi offers a plethora of underwater activities ranging from athletic adventures to exciting animal watching excursions. For those who prefer to take on more physical activities, rent a jet boat and take a trip around the beautiful peninsula, or swim with the fish by snorkeling in the beautiful Cyprus waters. If you want to explore your aquatic side but prefer a more relaxing activity, Latsi also offers fascinating dolphin-watching and sea-turtle watching experiences.
The warm, clear and peaceful currents around Cyprus also make the island a perfect place to learn how to dive. Many scuba diving schools have emerged in Cyprus, offering scuba diving courses for both beginners and experienced divers. With some scuba diving experience, you are qualified to explore a beautiful underwater world of sea caves, fascinating shipwrecks and diverse marine life.