Cyprus

The island of Cyprus can be found on the Mediterranean Sea and is an intriguing mixture of cultural influences, combining both Eastern and Western traditions. Whilst the majority of its cultural heritage is owed to Western Europe, Cyprus’s location near to both Asia and Africa means that elements of the East can be found across the island.

Much of Cyprus’s reputation today is governed by the ubiquity of holiday resorts like Agia Napa, Limasol and Pafos, all of which cater to the mass tourist market and are very popular throughout the summer months of July to September. Great bargain holiday packages can be found for these destinations, especially online, and the combination of beaches, bars and clubs is particularly popular with the younger crowd. For those who want to party all night and sleep it off under the Mediterranean heat on one of Cyprus’s many beaches, Agia Napa is the perfect package holiday.

However, to limit Cyprus’s appeal to parasols and cheap lager is to ignore the allure of its picturesque villages, unpolluted beaches and fascinating historical sites. Outside of the main cities, the Karpas Peninsula boasts acres of unspoilt golden beaches, fields of flowers and wildlife, and is an irresistible lure for nature lovers and intrepid trekkers. Ancient Salamis is the site of one of the island’s ancient city kingdoms, and the walled city of Lefkosia/North Nicosia remains relatively free from the kind of tourism that typifies the holiday resorts. Cyprus even possesses a number of gothic castles, such as Buffavento and Kantara, which make a memorable day out and have some breathtaking views over the rest of the island. A trip to the Kykkos monastery is also worth contemplating, as it is a lavish monument to the religion and Cyprus’s most important religious site.

Overall, Cyprus is certainly worth more than a cursory glance for those who are looking for a Mediterranean getaway and want to break free from the well-trod paths of Spain, Portugal and Greece, with options to suit every budget and taste – and all in glorious sunshine.

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