Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and divided into two cultures, the Greek Cypriots occupy the South, and Turkish Cypriots the North East.
But what things did we do in Cyprus for it to leave such a lasting impression? Let us tell you how this picturesque country captivated us.
Ayia Napa – more than just a party place!
Ayia Napa is 49km east of Larnaca which has one of the Country’s main airports. ‘Napa was historically known as a party place, but it’s so much more than that! OK, yes, if you want to go clubbing and hang out at the late-night bars, the nightlife here is stomping, but if this isn’t your scene and you aren’t around “the square” around 10pm (which is nightlife centre), you may not realise it had this reputation.
A great way of getting around is on a quad bike, and across the road from where we were staying at the centrally located Faros Hotel was a hire company! At a cost of 50 euros for 24 hours, we couldn’t refuse. The roads are easy and straight with good signage. Driving is on the left side of the road as Cyprus is an ex-British colony, in fact many ex-pats still live here so English is widely spoken.
Our intended destination was Konnos Beach considered to be the best beach in the area. Parking in the busy public car park, we walked down the hill to the hot, sandy beach, found two sunbeds with a parasol, and paid the man 7 euros. It was a busy beach but because it isn’t big, it wasn’t noisy.
It is well worth visiting the little cafe/restaurant situated in a shady area for a snack and refreshing drink – mainly because of the fantastic views of the bay.
We wanted a good place for a sunset and the lady from the quad bike centre recommended a tranquil fishing village named Potamos. Even though it was in the opposite direction to Ayia Napa, the journey only took about 30 minutes on the quad bike.
One of the Mediterranean’s (and arguably the world’s) premier wreck dives is the Zenobia in Larnaca. The 178 meter long cargo ship sunk in the 1980s and is still largely intact, with carpets, lorries and vending machines rotting on her decks.
We booked a two-dive package with Q-Divers based on the excellent Trip Advisor reviews. This super-relaxed but mega-efficient company definitely lived up to the hype! We were lucky to dive not only the stunning Zenobia which really is spectacular to look at, but also the smaller Alexandria which sank in an upright position in 2006. If you are a diver, this is highly “wreck-amended”!!
If you want to see more of the island, hiring a car is the best option and we did this for two days from Paphos. We were staying at the Iberostar Ledra Beach Hotel, it was this hotel that opened our eyes to the Iberostar chain and we have since stayed in many of their complexes around the globe!
The sunset from the road, however, was magnificent, absolutely spectacular, words cannot describe so just look at this photo and judge for yourself!
If you follow us, you know Sy is now a Scuba Diving Instructor, however he hasn’t always wanted to dive, quite the opposite in fact. Sy used to be scared of the sea and didn’t like it at all! I convinced him to come with me for an Undersea Walkers adventure – advertised as “shallow water helmet diving”. Basically, a helmet is placed on your head pumping a constant supply of fresh air, which enables you to breath without the need of a snorkel or regulator. We walked down a ladder to the bottom of a 10ft seabed and took a stroll – it was fantastic watching the fishes swim around our heads.
Sy enjoyed the experience so much, it was after this that his Scuba diving journey began.....
Cyprus is famous for it's beautiful beaches, and it certainly has its fair share! We wanted to explore more of them, so armed with a newly purchased mask & snorkel set following our Undersea Walkers adventure, we drove West from Paphos. We passed a number of beautiful beaches, unfortunately we don’t know their names as we were on a mission to get to the more famous Coral Bay and Lara Bay, but here are a couple that we passed by.
If you haven’t visited Egypt but always wanted to see the pyramids of Giza, it is possible to take a daytrip from Paphos, albeit a very looooong daytrip!
We booked a tour with our hotel rep and were picked up at 5am (!!). The one hour flight on a private plane flew us from Paphos directly to Cairo. During our day trip, the itinerary was packed with everything we wanted to see in Egypt … and more!
We visited the Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza, the Cairo Museum to view Tutankamun’s burial mask and artefacts, a papyrus factory and gold shop. Dinner was served on a River Nile boat cruise for sunset, which was followed by traditional belly dancing.
This trip is definitely recommended if you want to see these ancient monuments but don’t wish to travel to Egypt!
So, if you have ever wondered whether Cyprus is a place for you, hopefully now that you have read how much there is to do here and the variety of activities (plus the amazing sunshine for the majority of the year), hopefully you will add this to your list of future destinations … and I haven’t even touched on the amazing food and wonderfully friendly people here …
We absolutely loved Cyprus and definitely wish to return here again someday. It would be wonderful to return to the place which was the start of Sy's scuba diving career, only this time, it will be as a Scuba Diving Instructor!
Have you been to Cyprus? Where did you visit and what was a highlight? If you haven't been, is it on your list now? Tell us in the comment section below!
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