Cyprus is the land for romantics, cosmopolitan, excellent weather, amazing food, unique beaches, rugged coastlines, the bluest seas, cooling forests with cedar and pine trees, an island bejewelled with castles, archaeological sites, excellent mosaic exhibits, old churches, Monasteries, museums and galleries. The birthplace of the Ancient Goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite. A destination offering a variety of options for tourists.
The island steeped in myth and legends lies in the Eastern Mediterranean being a crossroad between three continents Europe, Asia and Africa. Due to its geographical position, many ancient civilizations conquered the island leaving behind remnants of their civilization which are scattered all over the districts.
Distances are relatively small, so you can have a base and explore the island on day trips.
Let’s start with Nicosia. The capital of Cyprus, located in the centre of the island, the cultural and trade centre with many museums and galleries. The old city is surrounded by Venetian walls with remnants of Frankish, Ottoman and British colonial architecture regimes that ruled Cyprus since the 12th century. Walk through the old city and have the opportunity to see and buy a souvenir from various workshops and shops with craftsmen. Have a break and enjoy a traditional meal in Laiki Yitonia with its many tavernas and coffee shops. Nearby is the Leventis Museum home to a huge collection of exhibits of Cypriot works which include archaeological art crafts, costumes, photographs, maps, jewels and furniture. Walking through the city you will realize that during summer time is very hot. So be prepared. Always carry a bottle of water with you!
A suggestion. As you are in Nicosia and have time, a drive of about forty minutes south will take you to the village of Lefkara where locals make and sell exceptional traditional Cypriot lace and silverware.
The second largest city of the island its main port, with a flourishing wine industry. Limassol is at the south part of the island and about fifty minutes’ drive from Nicosia. Is the capital of Limassol district between two archaeological sites, the ancient city kingdom of Amathus to the east and the ancient city kingdom to the west.
A modern cosmopolitan city with vibrant nightlife, a luxurious marina, beautiful beaches, a lovely promenade along the sea, modern buildings, luscious hotels and when the time is right the celebrations for the wine festival and traditional carnival parades take place.
Eleven kilometres from Limassol you can visit the Kolossi Venetian Castle built by the Knights of St. John. Kourion another spectacular and important kingdom in antiquity is about 19klms from Limassol towards Paphos, with an impressive Greek-Roman Theatre, exquisite mosaics, the Agora and stadium.
The Limassol district is famous for a sweet wine Commandaria being the world’s oldest named wine dated back in the 12th century still in production. Richard the Lionheart on his wedding which took place in Limassol defined Commandaria as the “wine of kings and the king of wines”.
Paphos is a coastal city at the south-west part of the island, the capital of the homonymous district. The coastline driving to Paphos is unique and fascinating. The ancient capital of Cyprus for six centuries and one of the most important centres of ancient civilization. Despite its fame as a sea-side resort, it has many historical attractions to see, a nice change when you want to do something different from sitting on the beach enjoying the sun. Some of the sites you should visit:
On the coastline towards Paphos is a rock in the sea which according to a myth the birth of Aphrodite Goddess of love and beauty in ancient Greek mythology took place. The landmark of Cyprus and Paphos where mythology and natural beauty come together to one place.
Paphos Fort-Kato Paphos
The original fort was destroyed and rebuilt many times and with the “Mermaid like” statue dedicated to Aphrodite are the emblem of Paphos.
Tombs of the Kings
They are located just outside Paphos, build underground, carved out of solid rock, some decorated with Doric pillars. Chronologically they are placed from the 4th century. Although the name suggests that kings were buried here, only high officials and aristocrats were found. A World Heritage site by Unesco very well preserved.
Further away from Paphos on the west side is Akamas a protected area with excellent fauna and flora. One of the island’s best spot for hiking. The baths of Aphrodite are a magnificent site to visit in the area and the trail of Aphrodite and Adonis. Make sure you put on your walking shoes. A lot of walking needed!
The House of Dionysus, Aion, Theseus
Top attractions with excellently preserved mosaics with scenes from Greek mythology.
Agora and Odeon
Roman period remnants. The Odeon is a mall theatre which is used today for summer festivals. The Agora is a large court used as a Roman marketplace.
Chrysospiliotissa and st.Paul’s Pillar
A Byzantine largest basilica in Paphos with remnants of scattered columns and mosaics. At the western site is St.Paul’s Pillar.
Paphos Archeological Museum
Display of Cypriot antiquities from the Neolithic age to Ottoman times.
The sanctuary of Aphrodite
An ancient religious ritual centre for Aphrodite which dates to 12th century. It was probably the house of priests. The house of Leda amongst other Roman houses with a mosaic depicting Leda and the Swan is probably the most famous in Cyprus.
A city in the southeast part of Cyprus where the island’s main airport is located. Larnaca replaced the old city kingdom of Kition one of the most important kingdoms of Cyprus.
East meets west in the old district. Many civilizations left their mark in architecture and culture. Christianity with Saint Lazarus church who lived in Larnaca after the resurrection and the Mosque of Halal Sultan aunt of prophet Mohamed are important religious sites. Other popular sites are the Medieval castle, the palm tree-lined promenade and the Salt Lake with the pink flamingos during winter time. Enjoy the cultural sites, the perfect sandy beaches, clear waters and perfect hospitality and traditional food the district of Larnaca offers.
The main range of mountains in Cyprus. A visit to the mountains is pleasant and enjoyable all seasons. Summertime is cool, springtime is picturesque, autumn is very pleasant and winter with the snow and blue skies, and the clear atmosphere is perfect.
The mountains geology is unique due to a volcano eruption which took place 90 million years ago and thus the island was formed. Troodos area is one of the five most copper areas in the world.
Being in the mountains don’t miss to visit the charming villages with folk architecture, hospitality, where you can enjoy traditional cuisine.
Troodos is a perfect place for hiking and leisure walks across rivers, unspoiled breathtaking views, a lifetime experience. Churches with historical and artistic importance in the area of Troodos dating from 11th to 17th centuries are included in UNESCO’s World Heritage sites.
Biking can be enjoyed in the area all the year round with excellent direction signs, road markings and a complete bike guide. You can also enjoy a picnic in one of the many organized picnic sites with all comforts.
A blessed area with waterfalls, unique flora and fauna with more than 750 species of plants and birds of specific interests.