Are you in the process of planning your vacation to the beautiful island of Cyprus? Well, if you are, or even if you are just considering it, this article will give you some inside tips for the best things to see and do once you arrive on this stunning European island.
The island of Cyprus may be relatively small in physical size, but it offers a massive dose of natural wonders, tradition, and culture. Before the Mediterranean became a hotspot for modern-day tourist hotspot, the island was a popular destination for conquerors and power-hungry leaders as well. This was mainly because of the island’s strategic position between Africa, Europe, and Asia. Due to this unique positioning and postulating over who laid claim to the island, Cyprus is a magical island with a unique blend of culture from all three vastly different nations.
Therefore, throngs of travelers looking for the thrill of adventure and authenticity are attracted to Cyprus. Take a look at this list to see the ultimate things you should experience in order to make the most of your travels to this culturally rich and interesting island.
- Visit the Famous Female Goddess, Aphrodite
There are few goddesses as well known as the goddess of female sexuality and beauty, Aphrodite. According to local folklore, Aphrodite can be seen through the foam of the crashing waves on a rock dubbed ‘Aphrodite’s Rock.’ Apparently, this rock situated amongst the turquoise sparkling sea is the birthplace of the famous goddess and, what’s more, those who swim in the water around her birthstone will be blessed with eternal beauty. This site is truly a shining representation of the island of Cyprus herself; captivating natural beauty in combination with magic and myth.
- Explore the Troodos Mountains
The Troodos is known and loved as the ‘green heart of Cyprus.’ And it is easy to see why; the area is filled with small villages and nature typical of the Mediterranean, green and vibrant. If you visit the Troodos area, you can expect to fill your days with hikes and bicycle trails through the mountains, campsites and even skiing in the season. And, the fact that the island is so small means that the Troodos area is easily accessible from any of the main cities.
- Immerse yourself in the Kourion Ruins
The ancient city of Kourion is the perfect place to explore Cypriot history. The location of these ruins is enough to draw you in; it overlooks the entire Episkopi bay. This sweeping coastline is the backdrop upon which lies the historic city ruins, where you can find your heart carried away into the sun setting over the horizon. What’s more, you can enjoy viewing the ancient baths and marketplace used back in the day when the city was at its commercial height. The area is all marked out well for the tourists and you really get a feel of going back in time, to a time when the city of a hive of trading activity – and one of the most important cities on the island.
- Family Fun at Fasouri Water Park
Are you traveling with young children? Chances are, they won’t be too interested in viewing ancient ruins. If they aren’t, perhaps a promise to visit the Fasouri Water Park may help you lift their dragging feet. The Fasouri Water Park is by no means the biggest on the island, but it is certainly the most well-loved and enjoyed. It is located in the Limassol Province, an area that boasts orange fields that make for a picture-perfect stopover on the way to the water park, which was voted ‘Europe’s Leading Waterpark Attraction’ in 2007.
- Relax on the Agia Napa Beaches
If you are more in the mood for summer beach parties then you will definitely want to make a stop on the beaches of Agia Napa. Every year, swarms of young adults come to this coastline to indulge in summer beach parties. While most of these beaches can be overpopulated in the main season, there can be some emptier beaches in the area. If you are looking for the parties, then head on over to Nissi. But if you are looking for something more peaceful, then head for Kermia, Macronissos (and the close-by ancient tomb) and Agia Thekla.
- Wander Down Ledra Street
Ledra Street can be found in Cyprus’s capital city, Nicosia. The street is well known for the great shopping because the history books tell us that when the Turks were the occupants of North Nicosia, this became the trade connection with South Nicosia, occupied by Cyprus. The street has more than just shopping, it also has numerous eclectic bars and restaurants that offer your tastebuds local delights. In 2008, the road was reopened to signify a union between the two vastly different cultures and communities.
- Visit Limassol
This coastal town is located in the south and has seen an injection of energy and regeneration. In a successful effort to maintain a sense of history and culture, the town was repaved to make it accessible for all and to still maintain the historical attributes. The food will tantalize your taste buds and you are free to amble through the medieval town with its architecture that has an interesting blend of Colonial and Venetian styles. Few towns can offer tourist the authentic medieval charm that Limassol can.
- Meander Through Akamas
Akamas is another area that combines astounding natural beauty with the mythical legend. The area is a stunning combination of mountains and forests that will transport you to the time when Aphrodite and Adonis first met; which, according to the Greek text, was in this very area. If you are a romantic at heart, there could be no better place to plan your wedding. Plan an extra special occasion and read more about how to get married in the area that Aphrodite and Adonis first met.
- Visit the Paphos Ruins
Paphos was a city that housed nobles and has some of the most ancient and imposing architecture. The city has several underground chambers and Paphos has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a visit to the Tombs of Kings, you will have enriched yourself with culture and history. What’s more, the site displays mosaics that have been dated to the 2nd century A.D.
- Take Time Out at the Adonis Baths
A visit to Cyprus would be incomplete with a swim in the very baths that Aphrodite and Adonis had their children. The baths were supposedly a favorite spot of the two and tourist are able to make a hike or drive in order to frolic in these pools. A waterfall cascades into the pools and provides some of the most magical scenery you will ever witness. There are also museums to peruse, statues to examine (including an astounding 10m statue of the goddess Aphrodite) and baths and mud therapies to indulge in.
Cyprus in an island to be enjoyed year-round but the absolute best times to go (in order to get the best weather and beat the crowds) will be in May to June or in September through October.