From hosting some of the world’s most historic sites to the vibrant Mediterranean culture, the many charms of Cyprus make it an irresistible destination. Here are 11 reasons why you need to include this warm island on your travel bucket list.
Cyprus is situated at a crossroad of three continents – as a result, its cuisine is a mixture and refinement of a variety of Southern European, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian influences. Locals are known to love vegetables, and this is reflected in the number of vegetable dishes served – whether fried or eaten raw, served cold in cream or with yogurt, or first dried and then cooked, the choice is yours. For a truly local experience, try the much-loved traditional meat or vegetable wraps fillings such as dürüm (Turkish wrap).
A holiday in Cyprus wouldn’t be complete without the traditional sweets. Both the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots delight in making desserts by dipping a string of walnuts or almonds into fruit juice – mostly grape – with honey, before then being left to dry in the sun. These and other easy-to-make syrupy sweets are often served with coffee or tea. You can find them in the markets or on major thoroughfares.
Once you have eaten your fill, it’s time to discover some ancient history – Cyprus has one of the oldest histories dating as far back as 1100 BC. Try taking a trip to Salamis, a city which was once host to successive superpowers including Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians and Romans; or opt for Soli, an ancient Cypriot city kingdom located near Lefke and linked with St Mark. Though excavation in Soli is yet to be completed, there are a number of ancient churches, museums and other monuments are scattered across the island.
Cyprus enjoys mild winters, longer summers and short autumn and spring periods. This typical Mediterranean climate is attractive, especially to Europeans wishing to escape bad weather in their home countries. There are generally at least six hours of bright sunshine every day, even in the middle of winter, giving visitors a truly pleasant climate all year round.
Cyprus is known for its beautiful sandy beaches with clean waters – the European Environment Agency recognises Cyprus’s beaches as the cleanest in Europe. For swimming and other water sports, the island boasts over 40 official blue flag beaches. From each city, you can enjoy a part of the Mediterranean Sea, with the most expansive coastlines being Larnarca, Famagusta, Aiya Napa, Kyrenia, Limassol and Paphos.
Cyprus is the most peaceful place on earth, with rugged mountains and picturesque countryside. Additionally, it is a safe haven, hosting immigrants from surrounding war-torn countries. The friendliness of the locals is admirable. You will see friends exchange lengthy pleasantries accompanied by affectionate pecks – Cypriots are known for their laidback and warm nature.
Turkish-Cypriots are known for their love of having a good time – a year in North Cyprus is a colourful festival-filled period, as the variety of events ensures that there is something for everyone. From the walnut festival to the Memetçik grape celebration, olive fêtes and Agri Cyprus fair, tourists are promised a magnificent experience all year round.
With the world becoming increasingly impatient, stress-filled and anxious, we all need to take a moment to relax and enjoy life. Cyprus offers you once in-a-lifetime carefree and slow-paced days to enjoy long walks by the beach, or to take a ride through the mountains or forests surrounded by flowers and plants.
If you care about Mother Nature, you can enjoy agro-tourism holidays in the heart of Cyprus. Agro-tourism holiday options offer visitors a chance to enjoy the Cypriot culture and rural life like a local. You are free to try your hand at bread making, olive picking or milking the sheep among numerous other activities. If you wish, you can also learn a craft or observe locals as they create artefacts from scratch.
For visitors who wish to appreciate a life of luxury in Cyprus, there are a number of options – from family-run luxury hotels to five star resorts, you are guaranteed the allure of the traditional Cypriot hospitality combined with modern sophistication. Cyprus is also home to a number of casinos, world-class sporting and spa facilities for your entertainment, notably in spots such as the Famagusta beaches and Karpas.
Cyprus is relatively a small island – most distances from one city to another can be covered by car, giving visitors the chance to see the island in a short time. How would you like waking up to a traditional Turkish Cypriot breakfast in North Cyprus, devouring lunch at one of the border towns after a visit to the Walls of Nicosia, then later on, enjoying the evening sea-breeze from your beach hammock overlooking the extensive Mediterranean Sea in South Cyprus as you wait for your fresh fish to bake? It’s all possible here.
Cyprus, also known as the playground of the gods in mythology, is a land of plenty. Her people are warm, and their friendliness rubs off on visitors. The sun shines almost every day of the year, and the beautiful sandy beaches with clean waters makes it a perfect destination. Moreover, there is a variety of unique and healthy cuisines to pick from. What more could anyone ask for?