Cyprus: Beautiful Mediterranean Island
Cyprus is an island of almost infinite variety; with superb mountain scenery, forests, fascinating coastlines and beaches as well as places of great historical and archaeological importance. It is certainly well worth spending some time exploring. A trip into the mountains will provide a refreshing change from the heat of the beaches, with delightfully fresh air, cool nights scented with the aroma of pine trees and wild herbs. The mountains are dotted with picturesque little villages where true Cypriot hospitality abounds and where the nectarian village wine, untouched by chemical or mechanical methods, can be sampled.
Activities such as tennis, walking, horse riding and skiing in winter are among the activities to be enjoyed. Just outside Limassol to the west and south are two of the most beautiful beaches: Kourion and Evdhimou. In the Troodos mountains region there are vast areas of vines and magnificent forest beyond. The scenery is superb and a drive through this area is an unforgettable experience. On the north coast lie the small town of Polis and a few miles west, the little fishing harbour of Latchi . At the harbour restaurants you can sample some of the island’s excellent fish. Further west is the place where Aphrodite used to take her bath, Fontana Amorosa, a perennial bubbling spring. In the south east corner is the area of Ayia Napa with its historic monastery and fascinating little fishing harbour. Eastward, the bulk of Cape Greco dominates the scene, but rounding it, there are numerous enchanting bays and beaches. Apart from sightseeing, there is also the sea and the beaches. All kinds of water sports are available: skiing, skin diving, sailing, cruising, wind-surfing etc. The island’s coast is indented with numerous secluded coves where you can have a beach to yourself. Horse racing takes place weekly, at the Nicosia Race Club.
In the evenings In the evenings one can go about sampling the delights of Cypriot restaurants. There are so many exciting dishes to try: Meze, the magnificent and glorified Cypriot hors d’oeuvre’s, more than a meal in itself; Koupepia, Afelia, Kebabs, Moussaka and many more. There are also delicious wines to accompany them. After dining, there is plenty to do. There are discos galore restaurants, Tavernas, pubs and night clubs.
Places of Interest
Nicosia (Capital of Cyprus since the 10th century AD):
The Cyprus Museum, containing works of art found in Cyprus from the Neolithic (5,800 BC) to the Roman period (300 AD).
St. John’s Cathedral, the Seat of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus.
The Archbishopric; Folk Art Museum.
The Venetian Walls.
The Famagusta Gate Cultural Centre.
Laiki Yitonia, a neighbourhood of shops and Taverns renovated in the old style.
The Cyprus handicraft Centre.
The Leventis Municipal Museum.
Limassol and Lemesos District
Limassol is the second largest town in Cyprus and is main sea port of the Island. It is the centre of the wine trade with a large industrial area.
Places of interest in Limassol:
Limassol Castle, wedding place of Richard of England and Berengaria of Navarre.
The Municipal Gardens & District Museum.
The 15th Century Castle of Kolossi built by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem.
The ancient Roman Theatre of Kourion.
Temple of Apollo.
Phassouri Citrus Groves and vineyards.
The ruins of Khirokitia Neolithic settlement.
Larnaka and District
Larnaca, Once the principal port of Cyprus, until overshadowed by Famagusta Port. Now regaining importance with its newly built protected harbour, the Yacht Marina and the International Airport.
Places of interest in Larnaka:
Church of St. Lazarus.
The Pierides Foundation Museum with medieval art collections.
The Salt Lake, winter abode of migrant flamingos.
Panayia Angeloktisti Church with the most famous Byzantine mosaic.
Lefkara village, home of Cyprus lace.
Kornos a village thriving on its pottery industry.
Stavrovouni Monastery founded in AD 327 by St. Helena who donated part of the Cross of Christ.
Liopetri river with a beautiful little inlet where fishermen moore their boats.
The South Gate Corner The area includes some of the loveliest silvery, sandy beaches on the island.
Places of Interesting Famagusta:
The village of Ayia Napa with its 16th century Venetian Monastery overlooks the fishing harbour and its numerous Taverns. Around Cape Greco , the coast is indented with rocky coves and small sandy beaches, the most popular being Fig Tree Bay , Flamingo Bay , Protaras and Pernera. Numerous excellent hotels and hotel apartments of all categories have been developed in this area which includes the town of Paralimni with its restaurants discos and cafes.
Paphos and District Paphos, Capital of Cyprus in Roman times was also the port for pilgrims visiting the Shrine of Aphrodite. Paphos is now rapidly gaining importance as a tourist centre since the opening of the Paphos International Airport.
Places of interest in Paphos:
The Harbour, first built during the time of Alexander the Great.
The Castle, rebuilt in 1592 AD.
St. Paul’s Pillar, to which St. Paul was tied and scourged.
The Tombs of the Kings with the mosaics of the third century AD, the finest in the Mediterranean.
The stone of Romios, where Aphrodite emerged from the waves.
Kouklia (old Paphos) and the Temple of Aphrodite.
The forest, home of the moufflon, emblem of Cyprus Airways.
The Hill Resorts:
Platres, at a height of 3,700 feet, is the principal mountain resort in the Troodos mountains.
Places of Interest in the Hill Resorts:
The Monastery of Mesapotamos.
Kykko Monastery, with its icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary painted by St. Luke.
Throni tis Panayias, the tomb of the late Archbishop Makarios.
Prodromos at 4,600 ft. the highest village in Cyprus.
Pedhoulas at 3,600 ft. the principal village of the Marathasa valley; main cherry growing area. The ancient church of Archangel Michael is also located here.
Moutoullas at 2,500 ft. , has spring with the best water in Cyprus which is available in bottled form and is exported. The impressive chapel of the Virgin Mary, built in 1279, is located here.
Kalapanayiotis at 2,500ft. best known for its sulphur springs and their beneficial effects on digestive disorders, skin and rheumatic conditions.
Kakopetria at 2,200ft. a picturesque village on the north east slopes of the Troodos mountains at the head of the fertile Solea valley where much fruit is produced.
Agros at 1,010 meters, centre of the Pitsilia region. Famous for its rosewater and quality fruit.