A Short Break to Cyprus

 

Cyprus is a fascinating destination that despite it’s small size, has an abundance of activities and things to see. It’s long, rich history has helped shape it’s landscape over the centuries so that ruins and buildings can still be seen to this day, coexisting harmoniously with modern day Cyprus.

The third largest island in the Mediterranean sea, Cyprus sees no shortage of sun-seeking tourists looking for a relaxing beach holiday. If that’s what you’re looking for, you won’t be disappointed – the Cypriot coastline is awash with clear, blue waters. However, there’s so much more to Cyprus than initially meets the eye.

 

By Dickelbers, via Wikimedia Commons

The Last Divided Captial

The capital Nicosia, is unique on this planet as the last divided capital city. You can still see the guard towers and barbed wire that line the Green Line, marking the division between North and South. You can now walk the length of Ledra street, the connection between North and South unhindered. The  northern part of the city is well worth checking out, and of particular merit is the Great Inn. Also, worth a stop is a traditional Turkish bath in any one of the old bathhouse dotted around the north of Cyprus.

Strolling around the Cypriot capital is an adventure all on it’s own. Combine it with stops in charming coffee shops or restaurants serving local food & Cypriot wine and you’re off to a winner!

By Dickelbers, via Wikimedia Commons

The Resorts & Nightlife

Cyprus has a well-earned reputation as one of Europe’s hottest nightlife destinations. Young revellers are attracted by the sun and beach resorts by day, and the nightclubs and bars by night. Parties go all night long and are a huge draw for tourists. Ayia Napa in the South East has the biggest reputation of them all, and if visiting during peak season, be prepared for the insanity!

There’s one club that stands out amongst the crowd and that is the Castle Club. It is consistently ranked in the top 50 clubs in the world year on year and with good reason, it is incredible. If you’re looking to continue the day time pool theme, River Reggae and Aqua both have indoor pools.

 

By Romeparis, via Wikimedia Commons

Paphos & the Tomb of the Kings 

The south west city of Paphos is an absolutely beautiful city and the best setting to explore this region of Cyprus. Rather fittingly, it is the birthplace of Greek goddess Aphrodite. It is designated as a UNESCO world heritage site and just by walking around, you’ll see why : ancient ruins are dotted throughout the city, well-preserved and maintained throughout. Take a stroll through the lower Kato Paphos and you’ll come across ancient Roman villas and taverns.

A must see ancient attraction located north of Paphos, the Tombs of the Kings is a well-preserved burial site that is a great way to spend an afternoon exploring. The tombs were carved into the caves around the 4th or 5th century BC and give a glimpse of how life was back then.

 

Mgiganteus1 , via Wikimedia Commons

Food & Drink

My favourite part of travel – the food! Cyprus doesn’t disappoint. Benefiting from separate Greek and Turkish influences, the Cypriot cuisine has combined elements from both into a unique palate that delights the senses. The epitome of typical Cypriot food is the humble Kebab, to be found on literally every street corner. If you can’t see one, you’ll certainly smell one so just follow your nose and you won’t go far wrong.

For real local Cypriot fare, look our for Meze, which you could liken to Spanish tapas. They often come in meat or fish varieties, with the best a combination of both. Some restaurants serve nothing but meze, and you could do no better than checking out the family run Meze Taverna Restaurant in Limassol.

Home cooked Meze, by Ccarlstead, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Another local favourite is Haloumi cheese, which is becoming more and more popular overseas. It’s a unique flavour, made from mixing cow and sheep milk, it’s texture is hard and salty but it is often grilled so it becomes softer and lighter. You won’t need to look too hard to find it, it should be on the menu of most local restaurants.

 

Grilled Haloumi with Mint Pesto

Fresh Haloumi Cheese

 

No matter if you’re looking for a sun holiday or a cultural tour, Cyprus offers both in abundance. Have you been to Cyprus? What are your recommendations, comment below!

 

 

Enda

Enda Glacken is a native of Ireland who loves writing on all topics relating to Ireland, particularly history and folk tales. When he is not busy running The Celtic Jeweller he can be found exploring around Ireland or on a football (soccer!) pitch somewhere.

2 responses to “A Short Break to Cyprus

  1. Great article. The food photos look fantastic. I am biased towards Paphos since that is where I am based and have to say don’t forget to visit the Akamas Peninsula, Lara Bay and Agios Georgios in the Paphos district. There are so many unique places to see and things to do it is hard to include them all!

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We Said Go Travel

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