10 great reasons for a holiday in Cyprus
Cyprus may be famous for its stunning climate, beaches and friendly locals, but there is much more to this sunny island than first meets the eye. Cyprus enjoys a relaxed atmosphere, fabulous food and a vast range of attractions from jeep safaris and wine tours to walking tours and snow skiing in winter. Cyprus is a place where you can discover hidden UNESCO churches and mountain villages or join in with Greek dancing at a family-run taverna. Here are 10 reasons to why to spend a holiday in Cyprus:
From gently-shelving white sand beaches in the east around Ayia Napa and Protaras to fun-filled bays with water-skiing and kite-surfing in the west, you will find everything from deserted coves to busy holiday resorts.
Dance the night away in one of Ayia Napa's trendy clubs or hang out on Bar Street in Paphos. Away from the neon, join in the Greek dancing at a local taverna or chill in a café on Larnaca's fashionable mile-long beachfront promenade.
Cypriots are happiest when eating so join them for a meze, a slow banquet of Cypriot delicacies such as grilled halloumi cheese, dolmades (vine leaves stuffed with rice and meat) and delicious kleftiko, lamb slowly baked till it drops off the bone. Freshly-caught fish and seafood are delicacies too.
Drive into the Troodos foothills to taste crisp white wines and hearty reds at family-run wineries. Follow a wine route or check out the island's long wine-making heritage at the Wine Museum just outside Limassol.
Watch local artisans at work in their workshops in Larnaca, producing beautifully-crafted ceramics, tiles and jewellery. Lefkara is the place to buy hand-crafted lace - see the ladies dressed in black ply their craft outside their shops.
Visit Europe's last divided capital, Lefkosia (Nicosia) for shopping and museums. Wander Laiki Geitonia's narrow streets, sweat in a restored Ottoman hammam and stroll along Venetian city walls for great views. You'll find Richard the Lionheart's Crusader castle in Limassol old town.
The stunning Troodos mountains with Mount Olympus at its peak offers a cool retreat in summer with its charming hilltop villages, vine-blessed slopes and hiking trails. For unspoilt nature, the rugged Akamas national park is stunning.
Venetian walls, Crusader castles, ancient tombs and Roman mosaics are testament to Cyprus's 10,000 year history. The Green Line in Nicosia separating the Greek south from Turkish north, now open to tourists, is a reminder of its recent political past.
From big city stores in Nicosia to designer boutiques and jewellers in Limassol, you'll find shops selling souvenirs to take home all over the island. The markets in Limassol and Paphos are worth checking out too.
Cypriots drive on the left and the roads are fast and well signposted so getting around by car is easy. A jeep safari is the best way to go off-road and explore remote Akamas or mountainous Troodos. Car rental in Cyprus is reasonably priced, and easy to arrange. If you are looking for 10 great reasons for a holiday in Cyprus and you would like to enjoy your stay in this fascinating country, book a guided city tour, island tour, adventure tour or historical tour before you travel to make the most of your stay.