Cyprus is home to some truly beautiful beaches, but it also is a place for culture, history, food and some terrific scenery. It has a long history and a rich culture that spans 10,000 years, making it one of the oldest civilizations in the Mediterranean. We decided to go in early spring and our flight cost us 19.99 per person, so we jumped at the chance to visit a new destination. As we stepped off the plane in Larnaca, the sun was shining and I immediately felt peace and excitement as our journey was about to begin. Warm sun has a way of making me feel a sense of calmness. We didn’t have a rental car, shuttle or taxi to the hotel. We wanted to take a bus and experience something different. We were surprised at how little this cost us.
The small island of Cyprus is one of the most guaranteed sunny destinations in Europe and a wonderful island to visit. According to Wikipedia, Cyprus is rated the 40th most popular destination in the world with almost 3 million tourist arrivals per year.
Our first day there, we decided to go into town and walk around the promenade. The streets are lined with thousands of shops and restaurants.
I do recommend getting a rental car unless you plan on laying at the beach all day and hanging out at a club at night. The next day we rented a car because we wanted to explore the island.
I usually do some research for the destination we are visiting, so I can see as much as possible. High on my list was to head to Ayia Napa. I wanted to see the Sea Caves, the Blue Lagoon and Cape Greco. Cape Greco is a beautiful nature reserve with cliffs and crystal blue water. The roads are okay with a normal car, but a 4×4 dune buggy will definitely be a better choice. You can’t swim here, big waves break into the cliffs and splashes are high in the air. However, the worldwide famous Nissi Beach is beautiful to swim in. There are wonderful views to see along the coastline, but one of our favorites is the Blue Lagoon with crystal clear water turquoise water. Next time we will rent a boat so we can jump off the boat and go for a swim and see the sea caves from below.
Because of the countless beaches, most people visit Cyprus in the summer. The high season is from mid-May to October. During this time, it’s quite busy and lively and prices are higher than in the spring. The temperature was 20 degrees Celsius when we were there. Too cold for swimming, but warm enough to be comfortable.
Although I am a water lover, there are so many other places to fall in love with, so we are off to discover them. We head west on the A5 to the A1 and then the A6 towards Limmasol, Paphos to visit the “Tomb of Kings” and Aphrodite’s Rock. Then traveled north towards Aphrodite’s Bath.
According to the legend Aphrodite, the goddess of love, fertility and beauty was born from the waves of the sea in Cyprus. I could totally picture her coming out of the waves. There’s a lot of rumors around Aphrodite, one being that if you bath in the bath of Aphrodite, you will have good luck, stay young and in love forever. It was quite too chilly for us to do this, and I don’t necessarily believe in those things, however, I should have done it just to be sure. They say if you do this at midnight during a full moon, Aphrodite will make you ten years younger. I guess I need to go back there and check it out. They also stay that bathing here increases your fertility, and this is certainly something I don’t need having raised five children.
It was quite late when we returned back to our hotel, however we wanted to continue exploring this magical island. We headed north to Nicosia, the city is split in two by the Buffer Zone. Cyprus has been divided since 1974. As every story has its own side, it is not my place to judge this conflict. I can only state the military presence on the Northern (Turkey) side and the British Military on the Greek (Europe) side makes it look like a war zone. There are signs everywhere stating no photographs. As a traveler, I’m more interested in the history, and sights. As we crossed the border on foot, you feel like you stepped in another world. The differences were night and day. If you like history as much as I do, you will find this a fascinating country.
On the Farmagusta side, we crossed the border with our rental car. Keep in mind that locals and the car rental places state it’s forbidden to cross the border by car, however, we did not experience any problems. Farmagusta is an amazing place. We had traditional Turkish Cypriot food at a great restaurant. We explored the city and headed over to Ghost Town (the forbidden zone), this place has been abandoned for 40 years.
As we end our journey in Cyprus, I feel the spell of Aphrodite drawing me back to visit this amazing country. There is so much more to explore and do. I want to snorkeling in the waters, see the huge size turtles, donkeys, the flamingos and salt lake
Cyprus has a very low crime rate, you can pay in Euros and is reasonably priced. When most people think of traveling to Cyprus, they envision sitting by the pool, bathing on the beach or partying in the nightclubs. Ayia Napa is often called the new Ibiza. But I found that this Mediterranean gem has so much more to offer. It has sun, beautiful beaches, authentic places, history, culture, mountains, great nightlife, fabulous hotels and good restaurants.
When you truly experience the island as we did, you clearly see the reasons I fell in love with Cyprus.