If you’re stuck for a destination for your summer holidays this year, spare a thought for Cyprus. While it might not be the first location that springs to mind, it’s definitely got lots to offer.
Officially known as the Republic of Cyprus, it’s an island country located in the Eastern Mediterranean. Located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel, north of Egypt and southeast of Greece, it’s also the third largest and third most populated island in the Mediterranean. The island does have a chequered history, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a major tourist destination.
It offers visitors delicious cuisine, pristine beaches, glorious weather, historic sites, and the occasional wild party if that’s your thing. Here are ten excellent reasons why Cyprus should feature on your bucket list for this year.
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Pristine Beaches and Crystal-Clear Water
The beaches in Cyprus are nothing quite like you’ve seen before. Spend a few days of your Cyprus holidays on any one of them, and it’ll feel like you’re in paradise but without the price tag.
The most popular beaches are those in Ayia Napa, but it is possible to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand without having to share it with lots of other visitors. The beach in Paphos is the most famous, thanks to ‘Aphrodite’s Rock.’ Legend says that it’s the birthplace of the Greek goddess, or at least it’s where she rose from the sea.
The local population of the island is made up of Greeks and Turks, which has influenced the traditional cuisine. The favourite Cypriot starter dish is call mezedes and is made up of a variety of as many as 20 smaller meat, fish and vegetable dishes. Something else you should experience is the spicy Loukaniko sausages. Dips such as tahini, a sesame dip, and Skordalia, a garlic and potato dip, also shouldn’t be missed. The local soft cheese is called halloumi and traditionally served grilled. Puddings are another favourite of the locals. If you’ve got a particularly sweet tooth,you might like to try mahalepi, a corn pudding covered in rose syrup.
Cyprus has a very unique and interesting history. It does, in fact,have one of the oldest histories, dating back as far as 1100 BC. There are many monuments to visit, all of which have a story to tell. No trip would be complete without first visiting the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia as it’ll take you back in time and provide you with an unparalleled experience.
Near Perfect Mediterranean Climate
The weather in Cyprus is outstanding with very mild winters and warm to hot summers. It also has one of the warmest climates in the Mediterranean part of Europe. Summers are extraordinarily long, beginning in April and ending in November. There are very few rainy days which means you can anticipate good weather all year round.
Ayia Napa – the Unofficial Party Capital
Cyprus is a very popular holiday destination for young people. Possibly because the nightlife is amazing. Ayia Napa tends to be the destination of choice, with more than 12 nightclubs and countless bars. Drinks prices are very low and there are also ‘happy hours’ for the tourists. Some of the nightclubs are open all year round but the best time to visit is between June and August. Parties are often held in and around open-air stages and some very famous DJs have been known to make an appearance.
One of the Safest Countries in Europe
Cyprus is known for being one of the safest countries is Europe, thanks to its low crime rate. According to statistics it has one of the lowest number of recorded crimes, including robberies and violent crime.
The road network around the island is surprisingly good. Drive along the motorway and you can get from Nicosia to Limassol in just one hour. If you like to explore on your own,you just have to hire a car and all the bigger cities on the island are within 2 hours or less of each other.
Peaceful and Picturesque Countryside
Although there are areas of the island renowned for partying until sunrise, there is a certain peaceful atmosphere pervading the rest of the island. For the ultimate relaxing holiday you have to give Cyprus a try. Cypriots themselves are known for their laid back-and warm nature and all visitors are made to feel at home.
If you want a holiday that’s a complete contrast from the stress-filled life you live at home Cyprus is the place to visit. Holidays should be all about relaxing and enjoying life, even if it’s just for a couple of weeks, and Cyprus can provide it for you. Relax on a beach, watch the world go by sat outside a local bar, take a ride through the mountains or forests and enjoy being surrounded by flowers and plants.
A Variety of Festivals
Spend any length of time in North Cyprus, and you’re bound to experience a festival. Turkish-Cypriots love to have a good time and there’s no better reason than a special festival. There’s a walnut celebration, the Memetcik grape celebration, the Agri Cyprus fair and olive fetes, to name just a few.
One more reason that might be worth mentioning is that you can actually enjoy a real winter holiday in Cyprus. It’s a very budget friendly option and you won’t need to worry about queues. Skiing takes place on the slopes of Mount Olympus during winter. There are only fourpistes, each of which is for different types of skiers. Each piste has its own ski lift so you don’t need to wait in a queue for too long before heading down the slope again.
Whatever you want from a holiday, Cyprus can provide it in one form or another. Known as the playground of the gods in mythology, it’s definitely a land of plenty. The locals are warm and friendly, the sun shines almost every day of the year and the beautiful sandy beaches and clear waters make it an obvious destination for those wanting to relax and destress.