Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Visiting Cyprus? Top ideas for fun for holidaymakers.

I will be visiting Cyprus this year once more - partly because my mum lives there and partly because I love that part of the world. Olive trees, sunshine, history, great food - what's not to love?

I will be travelling with my husband and during our visit we will be celebrating our silver wedding anniversary - 25 years of marriage which seem to have flown by!

It seems to be appropriate to be visiting the island of love at such a time - mum's village is a short drive from the place legend says Aphrodite (the Goddess of Love) rose from the sea.


Last time we visited on our anniversary (which is in May - a lovely month on Cyprus before it gets mega-hot) my husband made a heart from rocks on the famous beach. I use part of the picture we took of his creation as my blog logo. All together now, ahhhh.


You might think it could get boring revisiting the same island but for such a small country there is loads to do on Cyprus. There are historical sites, some stunning natural areas ranging from mountains to nature reserves and a range of beautiful beaches.

There's always a friendly welcome for couples or families in the tavernas, restaurants and bars. You can eat in well-known chains like Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays or KFC or find a gem of a traditional eating house where there is no menu, only food made from ingredients chosen fresh from the garden, sea and market that day.

You can hike, bike and in some seasons, ski! There are water parks, animal parks, there's crazy golf  and karting.  There are soft play centres, bowling alleys and cinemas for the occasional rainy days in low season.


In the past we have enjoyed harbour tours on a glass bottom boat and a day fishing in the bright blue water. We have snorkelled and you can do scuba diving or ride a bouncy banana round the bays if that's your thing!


As a churchgoer I felt the scenery brought my image of biblical times to life. I could imagine disciples followed by generations of pilgrims with dusty sandals taking refuge under the shade of the olive leaves.

I loved attending a Sunday Service at the church by St Paul's Pillar  (Ayia Khrysopolitissa) in Kato Paphos. It's an ancient (Byzantine) building shared by a variety of church communities  - when I was there there was an Orthodox service followed by an Anglican service followed by a Catholic service. Brilliant!

One day I will fulfil my dream of taking a day trip  from Cyprus to the Holy Land. It's around a 45 minute flight which gives you plenty of time to get a taste of Israel's unique historical sites and the amazing culture of the land. You can also obviously spend a couple of nights in Israel if you want to explore further. Check online or local travel agents on Cyprus for details of tours.

You can visit other places from Cyprus too - Egypt for one. My mum did a day trip to Syria from Paphos when she first moved abroad but I'm not sure I'd be so keen to do that nowadays....

There are other day trips too, within Cyprus, You can experience the different flavour of the north of the island, now the border is open to visitors. Famagusta, Nicosia and the coastal towns to the north are all worth visiting.

Don't just stay in your resort - hire a car (they drive on the same side of the road as the UK), use taxis  or make the most of the decent bus service. You won't be able to take a train though - there aren't any on the island!

Before I go, even after as many visits as I have made, I check out what festivals and events are on during my visit. I will never forget the fabulous local entertainment and food and drink at a village peanut festival we joined a few years ago. There were fire eaters, drunken dancing and a lot of alcohol. We were made to feel very welcome by the locals.

Check out what local dishes are available and download a translator to make the most of the restaurant/taverna menus. You can even get some translator apps which use your phone camera to scan signs or a menu the app will translate it!

Shopping is great in Cyprus with old style markets alongside modern malls and lots of little boutiques. The currency is of course the Euro. Last time I was there I bought some beautiful little glazed bowls, some lovely solar lights and a very colourful hammock for my garden.

Whatever you like from a holiday I bet you will love Cyprus. From clubbing teens to older folk in search of a restful break, pre-schoolers to pre-teens there are activities to suit everyone.


Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. I just love Cyprus!

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