Cyprus holiday highlights

KOUKLIA

Back to an emphatically slower pace of life on the unspoilt peninsula of Akamas, drink from the legendary Fountain of Aphrodite in the hope of finding love, or take time out to explore by scuba diving, hiking or horseriding.

PISSOURI & MILIOU

Serene enough for the loggerhead turtles to come and lay their eggs, Pissouri will answer your holiday prayers with more than a dash of authentic Cypriot allure, a long stretch of beach, plus sailing, diving and windsurfing. Discover therapeutic sulphur springs and the fresh scent of citrus groves in the tiny village of Miliou.

POLIS & PAPHOS

Situated on the edge of the Akamas peninsula, the peaceful fisherman’s resort of Polis enjoys picturesque surrounds and easy access to the renowned baths of Aphrodite. By day, relax in the sunshine or enjoy a myriad of watersport nearby in the port of Latsi; and by night savour some delicious freshly caught seafood in a variety of traditional tavernas dotted along the waterfront.

Drench yourself in Paphos’ mythology and history by spending a day walking in the shadows of the Tombs of the Kings by the harbourfront, before continuing to the Hellenistic mosaics that talk of the island’s great legends through intricately painted tiles that have been superbly preserved. For a chance to experience the history of Cypriot religion, the monastery of Kykkos is the most visited of all of Cyprus’ monasteries, housing some of the country’s oldest icons. To protect and preserve this wonderful building, the monks produce their own organic products, such as wine and honey for visitors to purchase.

Spend long days of sunshine by the pool or on the sandy Municipal Beach or head into the nearby Troodos Mountains for a day of hiking, cycling and even horseriding amidst some of Cyprus’ finest vistas. Whilst in the Troodos Mountains, why not spend some time sampling a glass or two of Cyprus’ popular wines on a traditional wine tour. Produced in Cyprus for over 5000 years, the combination of high altitudes and mild winters offer the ideal environment to produce some of the Mediterranean’s finest wines such as Maratheftiko (red) or Xynisteri (white).

PROTARAS

The popular resort of Protaras is just a short drive from vibrant Ayia Napa and is home to one of the island’s best beaches in Fig Tree Bay. Situated on the eastern side of Cyprus, Protaras covers over three miles of golden sands on the Famagusta coastline and is a quieter alternative to the frenetic resort of Ayia Napa. An ideal location for exploration, discover the fascinating rock formations, hidden coves and arches that are hidden within verdant forestry and by the sea; or take a short boat trip to enchanting Cape Greko. Then follow the heady scents, sights and sounds towards Limassol’s ‘Little Miami,’ which boasts a lively port and wide beaches and is home to Limassol Castle where Richard the Lionheart married his princess. Head to Lady’s Mile Beach for family-friendly swimming and windsurfing.

Cyprus key facts

Capital

Nicosia

Currency

Euro

Flying time to destination

4½ hours

Language

Greek and Turkish

Passport & visas

Visa not required for UK passport holders

Cyprus good to know

Etiquette

Protaras

The town of Protaras, located at the south-eastern tip of the island, is first and foremost a family-friendly resort. The town is perfect for those looking for a lively spot where there’s plenty to do for family members of all ages – both day and night. The town’s real highlight is its enviable setting on one of Europe’s most popular beaches – the sandy Fig Tree Bay, which is lapped by beautifully clear waters. The resort town of Ayia Napa is not too far away for those who’d like to experience its famed nightlife.

Limassol

Limassol is ideal for exploration. You can discover the fascinating rock formations, secluded coves and natural arches that are hidden within verdant forestry or by the sea; take a short boat trip to enchanting Cape Greko; or experience the lively port and wide sandy beaches of the heart of town, which is often called ‘Little Miami’. A little further afield there’s the largely undeveloped Lady’s Mile Beach, a popular choice for family-friendly swimming and windsurfing.

For a history and culture fix, you can visit the medieval Limassol Castle, where Richard the Lionheart married Princess Berengaria of Navarre in the 12th Century. You can also see the nearby archaeological site of Amathus. Once a great city, it is thought to have been established as early as 1000 BC. To the west of Limassol is the

archaeological site of Kourion, which sits on a hillside overlooking Episkopi Bay. Here, you can see the ruins of the Roman Agora, Roman villas and the famed 2nd-Century theatre which seated 3500 spectators.

Paphos

Located on Cyprus’ south-west shore, the town of Paphos is undoubtedly the island’s most famous resort. The modern waterfront area of Kato Paphos offers restaurants and bars which are geared towards international visitors, while in the historic centre of Ktima, cobbled streets hide gems such as ancient catacombs and local markets. The majority of Paphos’ resorts, as well as our featured properties (p176-180) are located along the waterfront to the east of the centre of Kato Paphos, just a beachside walk or short taxi ride from the harbour.

Known as the legendary birthplace of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, and having been inhabited since Neolithic times, it should come as no surprise that there is plenty for culture lovers to see in the region. Immerse yourself in Paphos’ mythology and history by spending a day walking in the shadows of the Tombs of the Kings by the harbour front, before continuing on to see the superbly-preserved Hellenistic mosaics that tell stories of the island’s great legends.

For a chance to discover the history of Cypriot religion, Kykkos is the most visited of all Cyprus’ monasteries, housing some of the country’s oldest icons. To fund the preservation of this wonderful building, the monks produce their own organic products, such as wine and honey, to sell to visitors.

One of the real highlights of the region, if not the entire island, is the Paphos Archaeological Park, part of the wider Paphos UNESCO World Heritage site. The ruins here date from Prehistoric Ages through to the Middle Ages, although the majority of structures are Roman in origin. In the four Roman villas, you can see incredibly intricate mosaic floors, while throughout the site there are numerous monuments including the limestone Odeon and the Asklipios, dedicated to Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine.

Continue your discovery of Greek mythology with a visit to Aphrodite’s Rock – also known as the ‘Rock of the Greek’ – the sea stack where Aphrodite is believed to have been born. Located approximately 16 miles to the south-east of central Kato Paphos, it is well worth combining a visit with a trip to the archaeological park.

Pissouri

Pissouri Bay sits within the small town of Pissouri, located between Limassol and Paphos. Serene enough

for the loggerhead turtles to come and lay their eggs, Pissouri features authentic Cypriot architecture and a long Blue Flag beach, where you can enjoy watersports such as sailing, diving and windsurfing.

Approximately halfway between Paphos and Pissouri is the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, one of the most sacred ancient Greek pilgrimage sites. Formerly the Kingdom of Cyprus, this once great city – dedicated to the Greek goddess of love, desire and beauty – was at its pinnacle during the 3rd and 4th Centuries. Although there are only a few ruins left here, it is well worth the visit if you are interested in Cypriot history and Greek mythology.

Polis

On the north-west coast of Cyprus is the small, charming town of Polis. Here you can experience the traditional side of Cypriot life as well as some of the most luxurious resorts on the island. It’s also one of the best spots on the island for nature lovers, with two national parks within relatively easy reach of the town.

The Troodos National Forest Park covers a vast area of rugged mountain landscapes including the 1952-metre high Mount Olympus. Whether you want to hike in the mountains or visit traditional villages, we highly recommend at least a day to explore the park. Whilst in the Troodos Mountains, you can spend some time sampling a glass or two of the country’s most popular wines on the Pitsilia Wine Route. Wine has been produced in Cyprus for over 5000 years, with the combination of high altitudes and mild winters creating the perfect conditions for the production of some of the Mediterranean’s finest wines, such as Maratheftiko (red) or Xynisteri (white).

To the west of Polis is the Akamas Peninsula National Park where you’ll find incredible biodiversity, diverse landscapes and the Baths of Aphrodite, the mythical meeting place of the goddess and the Greek god Adonis.

Families

With fine facilities such as an outdoor playground and a covered swimming pool, and family-focused accommodation, the Elysium (p178) is perfect for families. Another of our family-friendly favourites is Almyra (p180) where you’ll find a specially-designed children’s pool, supervised kids’ and teens’ clubs and both indoor and outdoor play areas. There are also babysitting services as well as a ‘Baby Go Lightly’ pre-order service that provides equipment such as high chairs, buggies, bottle warmers and sterilisers. You’ll also find plenty of interconnecting rooms and children’s menus in all of the restaurants.

Our newly-featured resort Parklane, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa (p171) is set to become a firm favourite with families due to its fantastic complex The Princess and the Pirates Kids’ Park where you’ll find a children’s pool complete with pirate ship and waterslide as well as a brilliantly themed castle!

All Inclusive

When it comes to all-inclusive offerings, the three Constantinou Bros hotels – the Asimina Suites (p176-177), Athena Royal Beach (p179) and Athena Beach Hotel (p179) – all offer amazing packages with plenty of inclusions. The Asimina Suites is an adults-only hotel, so it’s ideal for honeymooners or those looking for a tranquil hotel with a luxurious and laid-back atmosphere.

Spa

Many of our featured hotels have a spa where you can relax and unwind, indulging in a selection of rejuvenating treatments. Paphos’ Almyra (p180) features a stunning spa with indoor swimming pool and a range of treatments including a variety of massages, while its sister hotel, Anassa (p181) has a beautiful Thalassa Spa that’s a luxury Roman-style health retreat. There are also some wonderful holistic treatments and a range of healthy lunch options.

Car Hire

We recommend hiring a car in Cyprus as the roads and driving regulations are the same as the UK, making the island easy to explore.