Why you need to visit Cyprus
Georgina Willcox | 01 June 2023
A holiday in Cyprus offers the perfect blend of interesting history, culture, great beaches and relaxation. From romantic harbours offering stunning coastal views to stretches of golden sandy beaches, the island is a sun-soaked haven in the Mediterranean. Beyond the beautiful beaches and quaint harbours, you’ll discover an island full of intriguing culture and steeped in myth and ancient traditions. Sought after by a variety of conquerors, Cyprus has a tumultuous past which has left its mark on the island with periods spent under Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and British rule. Today the island is divided into two main parts, the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Either is great to visit all year round as the island is situated in one of the warmest zones in the Mediterranean, so it experiences long dry summers and short mild winters with an average of 320 sunny days per year. Let's discover why you need to visit Cyprus and Northern Cyprus.
Where to go in Cyprus
Limassol is the second largest town in Cyprus and the most southern town in Europe. It will also be our base for our Cyprus tours for this part of the island. The old city of Limassol boasts many attractions including a traditional medieval fort built in the 14th century. It was here that according to tradition, Richard Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre. Limassol is also the main vineyard area of the south and the centre of Cyprus’ main wine industry.
Paphos is one of the most important archaeological regions on the island of Cyprus, in fact the entire town of Paphos is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is said that Aphrodite, the Goddess of beauty and love rose from the seas of Paphos , maybe that is why it is surrounded by such beautiful coastlines today. A visit to "Petra tou Romiou" is included on our Cyprus tours, where according to Greek mythology, the Godess "Aphrodite" was born.
Tombs of the Kings
A UNESCO World Heritage site of underground tombs dating back to the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Despite its name, the tombs were not actually reserved for kings, but rather for high-ranking officials and aristocrats.
Kourion Archaeological Site
Kourian is an impressive ancient Greek city perched on the hillside overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, where you visit the amphitheatre and House of Eustolios, a Roman villa with remarkably preserved mosaics.
For those looking to escape from the coast and into the cool mountains, a visit to Omodos is a must. One of the most stunning and traditional villages of the island with its cobblestone streets, old wine press houses, 12th century monastery and a central square filled with taverns and local shops selling traditional Cypriot crafts.
Nicosia - The last divided capital in the world
Nicosia is the only divided capital city in the world and a melting pot of history and culture. The southern part is inhabited by Greeks and the northern part is home to Turkish Cypriots. When visiting the capital it will seem like you have explored two countries instead of one.
Where to go in Northern Cyprus
On our Northern Cyprus holidays, we'll be perfectly based in Kyrenia to see the top sights on this side of the island. The old town of Kyrenia is full of charming alleyways and narrow winding streets, but is most notable for its British-built harbour and quay. This is where you’ll find Kyrenia Castle as well a great selection of cafés and restaurants along the quays.
Salamis is the ancient capital city of Cyprus, dating back as far as 1100BC. The many Byzantine and Roman ruins include a gymnasium pool and baths, marble columns, a restored Roman amphitheatre and intricate tile mosaics.
Relax on the best Cyprus beaches
Cyprus is perhaps best known for its array of stunning sandy beaches with their dramatic landscapes and crystal clear blue waters. The majority of beaches in Cyprus have also been awarded the Blue Flag accolade. Northern Cyprus also offers some wonderful beaches with warm aquamarine waters, as well as panoramic views of its spectacular coastline from the Kyrenia Mountains.
Experience Cypriot Cuisine
Cypriot cuisine is largely similar to that of the Greeks, and you'll find familiar dishes such as moussaka, calamari, kebabs and stuffed vine leaves, as well as dips like hummus, tzatziki and tahini in most restaurants. The island's most famous export is Haloumi, a soft cheese made from goat or sheep milk, usually grilled.
Both Cyprus and Northern Cyprus are a treasure trove of ancient riches just waiting to be discovered, whichever part of the island you decide to visit you're guaranteed to receive a warm welcome as Cypriots are renowned around the world for their hospitality. Uncover this wonderful part of the Mediterranean on our guided holidays to Cyprus.