Cyprus captivates all its visitors right from the get-go with a kaleidoscopic mixture of cultures, history and beauty of all the surrounding countries it lies within. So as the unique past of the island itself is intertwined with Greek mythology, the tourist industry is right up top of the island’s economy and most vendors will more than likely cater to your photo-opt needs. So I’d say it’s time to catch up on some Greek mythology from the history channel and check out what’s there to do in ‘The island of Aphrodite’.
Getting There: Plane or Ferry – There are two international airports in Cyprus; Paphos and Larnaca as well as a variety of ferry ports that are located throughout the island. Cyprus has a little bit of everything and depending on what you are interested in doing during your stay that determines what airport you should fly to, even if you have found that it is easier to find cheap flights to Paphos than to Larnaca (I’m sure you don’t want to drive all around the island once you get there). From some countries like Turkey, Greece, Israel, etc. you also have the option of taking a ferry to different parts of the island and can find plenty of deals that way as well.
Where to Stay: Overview of Cities- If you’re planning on partying it up and toga parties are the only lessons you’ve learned from the Greeks then Ayia Napa (close to Larnaca) is the place to be. Here you will be able to find a variety of vibrant nightclubs, bars and awesome beaches. Paphos is best for the history buffs out there and here you’ll find Roman mosaics and ancient remains to fill your mind with wonder. A more modern outlook of Cyprus includes the cities Lefkosia and Lemesos and here there is plenty of hustle and bustle to keep you on your toes. For the mountain climber adventurists out there, the Troodos town of Platres offers cool mountain hide-aways but stay quite barren besides during the month of August. There are countless villages located in the hillsides that have stayed trapped in time despite the growing tourist population. If you are looking for the pre-novelty filled Cyprus, Northwest towns like Polis and Latchiare your paradise.
Main Attractions: For Everyone In Your Group- Coral Bay beach is one of the most loved tourist beaches on the island and for good reason. For all you divers out there, this is the place to be! This is the classic ‘holiday in the sun’ type of family beach resort that offers plenty of family-oriented watersports and activities as well as plenty of places to eat and drink at the beach. Petra tou Romiou (The Rock of the Greek) is a must-see no matter the reason of your vacation. According to Greek legends this is where Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, rose from the waves and thus represents the ‘birth of Aphrodite’. Besides the historical lesson you will find at this site, the location itself is gorgeous and I bet 99% of tourist guides will have a picture of this attraction in their brochures. St Hilarion Castle is a great place to revisit all the magical romance history has to offer. The castle is situated on the top of the Kyrenia mountain range and has been very well preserved by the locals. Being a Disney-fanatic myself I found it interesting to know this was believed to be the inspiration behind Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. Ayia Napa (as I mentioned briefly earlier) is great for party-goers and has become Cyprus’s modern clubbing scene since the late 70s. Here you can find plenty of restaurants, bars and fun things to do after your historical tours have bored you for too long.
There are hundreds of other places to see and things to do in this historical yet diverse island of Cyprus. If you’re looking to travel and experience ancient ruins and unwind on a resort style beach the same day, get your fanny pack geared up for this awesome island. When you get back, make sure to tell me how it goes!