For me, Cyprus offers so much more than meets the eye. Famed for its immaculate beaches and exquisite sunshine, this magical island is also graced with enthralling heritage. Whilst I was there I visited the Baths of Aphrodite – characterised by mythological connotations and mesmerising views. Dotted along the landscape, visitors will discover striking ancient architecture that offers insight into the captivating culture of Cyprus – whether it is in the streets, monasteries or the old castle ruins. Traditional values are still very much adopted throughout the island and to experience the true spirit of Cyprus, I would recommend visiting one of the small villages. Take a seat on the terrace of a local taverna nestled on the edge of the village square and savour the local cuisine and wines. Paphos is a great place to explore, with everything from fascinating mosaics and churches, to golden sand beaches and coastal harbour views.
An island filled with mysticism and legend, Cyprus is the fabled birthplace of Aphrodite, born from the rich foam of the sea. A classic destination for rest and relaxation, the coast calls to sun seekers. Heavenly beaches are backed by rugged mountains, whilst inland traditional villages, medieval castles and impressive ancient sites nestle within verdant landscapes. The remote valleys of the Troodos Mountains beckon, with magnificent frescoed monasteries strung out amongst the pine forests, whilst the Akamas peninsula is splashed with the vibrant colours of orange trees, flowers, fruit and fauna. Village squares are filled with the chattering of exuberant locals; ladies robed in black and groups of men engaged in lively games of cards. The convivial Cypriot spirit comes alive in village ‘kafeneia’ with generously shared mezes of olives, tzatziki, taramasalata and grilled halloumi. Sublime Mediterranean cuisine is dressed with pungent herbs and spices with lashings of olive oil, all accompanied by the ubiquitous aniseed-flavoured ouzo. Everywhere, the past mingles with the present and a tangible sense of being at the crossroads of east and west pervades. Visit Kourion, where the Greek-Roman temple is built into a bluff overlooking the Mediterranean. Impressive mosaics in the Houses of Dionysus, Theseus, Orpheus and Arion in Paphos relay stories of a colourful past. These living remnants of history inspire the imagination – Aphrodite’s spirit is alive and well.
The island’s Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers is ideal for beach lovers with temperatures peaking in August. Mild winters are perfect for exploration, with increased rainfall expected between December and February.
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