With a heady mix of well-preserved archaeology, sizzling local cuisine and over 300 days of sunshine each year, Cyprus is already a seductive holiday prospect. Throw in a stay at one of the island’s upscale hotels, with a swim-up balcony or butler service, and you’ll never want to leave this Mediterranean destination.
No detail has been spared in this grander-than-grand hotel. Bounce-worthy beds combined with the ability to close the curtains and switch on the bathroom light at the touch of a tablet make a convincing case to stay in your luxe room. However, it’s well worth sauntering to the balcony of the M Fusion restaurant to spot celebrities at sunset over a silver platter of caviar. What else?
This hotel is only for couples, but you’ll be forgiven if your head is turned by the views. Every room has floor-to-ceiling windows that show off a view of the coast and Paphos Castle on your right and St Nicholas Church on your left. Looking to kick the passion up a notch? Head straight for the plush seating at Selene Bar and order a sharing blood moon cocktail – it’s served ignited in a volcano-shaped cup.
A secluded, honey-hued hotel that borrows its colour palette from the surrounding Cape Aspro trail. Think terracotta roofs, azure soft furnishings and caramel-coloured stone archways. Rooms have a rustic feel with exposed wooden beams and hand-woven rugs. Food wise, there are a handful of tavernas speckling Pissouri Bay street, but you should head to the hotel’s Apollo Taverna for traditional souvlaki served on a wooden plank with a zing of lemon.
Despite being only 15 minutes from the thumping bass of Ayia Napa’s clubs, Sunrise Jade is all about tranquillity. Mornings here start with sunrise yoga next to the neat, rectangular pool, but night owls can relax – every guest is allocated their own sunbed, removing the need for towel-bagging at dawn. Rooms are simply decorated in soothing shades, and you’re only likely to see another soul in the shared, swim-up pool lapping at every balcony.
Byzantine village vibes run deeper than the design at this hillside retreat. It’s an arresting combination of swooping archways, marble and a sky-lit thalassotherapy spa (which draws its waters from the glistening Med below). Everything in the hotel is locally made – from the jaunty bedroom stools to the cheeses on offer at lantern-lit Helios restaurant. Staying on a Saturday? Head to the hotel’s very own ‘village square’ for folk dancing and live music.
Sitting metres from Unesco World Heritage site Tombs of the Kings, this palatial resort is a breath of bougainvillea-scented air after the hubbub of Paphos. For a seriously upscale stay, opt for a villa set around a sunken pool – which also happens to be the shadiest reading spot on a roasting afternoon. Out of the four restaurants, there’s a lazy theatricality to be found in the Mediterraneo Restaurant’s open kitchen – and their halloumi salad is excellent.
The suites at Cape Serenity are individually decorated. The Med is a vision in seashell shades; the Nirvana decorated in neon pinks and hanging Moroccan lamps; the Thai is all about fringed lampshades and red plush carpets – as well as a complimentary butler service. Outside, there’s a white curtained hot tub, big enough for all 12 guests – the perfect way to kick back after exploring neighbouring Cavo Greco National Park.
The gin-clear water of Vrissiana Beach is only a few sandy steps from the Sunrise Pearl’s lobby. But the best way to experience it is via paraglider (see if you can spot the lonesome fig tree on the headland). Then, it’s only a short stagger back to Liquid Pearl bar to steady your nerves with a beer on a Balinese-style daybed. When you’ve had your fill, your room’s understated decor and blissfully comfortable bed is only a short glass elevator ride away.
The only problem this hotel poses is which pool you should swim in first (the answer, by the way, is the adults-only pool, hugging its sunrise side). It’s a winning combination of heritage and modernity; Limassol’s lace-making history can be spotted in the embroidered furnishings, while kids will be bamboozled by the two-story play castle complete with waterslides. For adults, it’s all about the Kalloni Spa. Ask for the energising caviar and algae wrap.
Despite being in the middle of Limassol, this design-led hotel has a distinctly Italian feel – no doubt because it was redesigned by Milan’s Letizia Caruzzo and Paolo Rancati. Furnishings are quirky – from the geometric chairs and blonde wood accents to cushions designed to look like oversized pea pods. Stick with the Italian theme at flagship restaurant Caprice (try the monkfish). Finish with a brandy sour and live DJ set at the in-house cocktail lounge.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.