The birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, has been fought over throughout its history and even today it is partitioned into a northern Turkish part, calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognised solely by Turkey, and the rest of Cyprus, which is primarily Greek speaking. Ongoing efforts seek to reunite the two halves, but for now you will just have to cross the line of demarcation if you want to go to the north. Luckily this is easy and hassle free.
With its mix of Greek, Turkish and Middle-eastern influences the Cypriot cuisine is delicious and will get your taste-buds asking for more.
Ancient Cyprus has plenty to offer, from Roman and Greek ruins, to medieval castles, to Byzantine churches and Turkish mosques. Combined with miles and miles of pretty beaches, mountains and valleys covered with Cyprus trees, traditional villages and vineyards, and deep blue see surrounding it all, it truly is a home fit for a goddess.
So indulge yourself in this islands meze tradition, feel the love on its romantic beaches, hike the inlands, or dive the coasts, visit Nicosia and cross the green line into northern Cyprus and see a completely different and un-touristic version of the country, and in winter there is even a chance of skiing!
Discover this gem in the south-eastern Mediterranean.
Highlights from Cyprus
- Visit Paphos (aka Pafos, Πάφος, and Baf), with its famed archaeological site, its beautiful old town and its vibrant nightlife
- Stroll through Nicosia (aka Lefkosia, Λευκωσία, and Lefkoşa), taking in the Cyprus Museum and crossing over the green line into northern Cyprus with its Turkish influences and take a (steam) bath in historic Omeriye Hamam
- Tour the wine-region surrounding Omodos (aka 'Ομοδος)
- Hike the Troödos Mountains (aka Τρόοδος, and Trodos Dağları) from one pretty little painted Byzantine church to the other
- Walk around sea-side Kyrenia (aka Κερύνεια, and Girne) with its Byzantine castle and cobbled streets
- Dive outside Larnaca (aka Λάρνακα, and Larnaca)
- Lie on the beach, or dance till you drop around Agia Napa (aka Ayia Napa, Αγία Νάπα, and Aya Napa)
- Learn about the ancient Greeks in Kourion (aka Κούριον)
- Cyprus best archaeological site is at Salamis (aka Σαλαμίς)
- Take the scenic route to Aphrodite’s Rock and Beach (aka Petra tou Romiou) for a swim or a sunset view
Hints and Tips for Cyprus
- Turkish Cyprus is a lot cheaper and more unspoilt than the rest of Cyprus and it is easy to cross the line these days.
- In winter it is possible to lie on the beach in the morning and ski in the mountains in the afternoon.
- As a former British colony you shouldn’t have any problem speaking English.