The Island Of Cyprus – A Few Highlights
Perfect for: History buffs
Local tradition states that Kourion was created by the Argive civilisation in the 12th century BC, although the earliest remains found on the site date from the 6th century BC.
As the centuries passed by, Kourion became an important city-kingdom on the coast of Cyprus, boasting significant influence across the Mediterranean. During the Roman conquest of the island of Cyprus in 58BC, the city fell and was taken under Roman command, but it continued to grow in influence, and is even mentioned by classical authors like Ptolemy and Pliny the Elder. However, it was hit by a series of earthquakes in the late 4th Century, and although it was reconstructed in the 5th Century, a series of Arab raids led to its eventual abandonment in 649.
Most of the remains that you can see today are Roman – roman mosaics, a bath complex, and even a huge 3,500 Roman amphitheatre. Entry to the historical park is only €4.50, and you could easily spend an entire day there – bring walking sandals or closed shoes, because there will be a lot of walking, but it’s definitely worth it. Getting there is easy – it’s a short drive out of Limmasol, which has been ranked as Tripadvisor’s 3rd most up-and-coming destination in the world – so it’s a great town in which to set up base!
Perfect for: Beach bums; Water-sport enthusiasts
As well as being home to an impressive set of classical ruins, Kourion is also home to one of the most impressive beaches on the island of Cyprus. So if some of the group aren’t particularly keen on exploring the ancient city, they can enjoy the beach instead. And for those who do want to explore, there’s plenty of space for you to relax after a long, hard day of sight-seeing.
The beach is also located on a stretch of open sea, so it’s also very popular with Windsurfers and Kite-surfers (as it’s very windy). It’s best to go in the morning, as that’s when the wind is the strongest, but you will be able to find plenty of water-sport enthusiasts for most of the day during the weekend.
Fasouri Watermania Water Park
Perfect for: Families; Young adults.
This is a great water park, and you simply have to give it a go if you’re in Cyprus. It’s been voted in the top 1% of all water-parks in the world on Trip Advisor, as well as winning a certificate of excellence in 2017, and it’s easy to see why. As well as being very, very big (set over a space of 25 acres), it has 30 different slides, 3 restaurants and 6 snack bars, all paid for on a handy, pre-loaded cash-card.
Our favourite slides include the ‘Free Fall Kamikaze’, and the ‘Extreme Black Hole’ – a crazy twist on the standard black-hole slide. Apart from all that, it has a great selection of ‘mini-parks’ where younger children can play in the water under adult supervision. Perfect for all the family!
Perfect for: Newly Weds; Young Couples.
Not a lot of people know this, but the Island of Cyprus produces a lot of award winning wine. In fact, per capita, it produces more wine that South Africa and the USA combined! And of course, that means that there are plenty of top-quality wineries dotted all around, so really you’re spoilt for choice if you’re looking to sample some of the island’s best produce.
Our personal favourite is Valssides – founded in 1998, it has been making amazing wine for nearly twenty years now. The owner Sophocles Vlassides studied Oneology (wine-making) at the university of California, and he really knows his stuff. He is absolutely dedicated to great wine, and it shows too – they recently won Gold in the 2015 Cyprus Wine Competition for its 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon.
But the only thing better than its wine is its location. Set in 50 acres of lush vineyards that fluctuate between an elevation of 700m and 1100m, it is one of the best spots to watch the sun go down in Cyprus. They’re usually open 9am to 6pm, but they’re also more than happy to make appointments for later in the evening and can be very accommodating for newly weds – a perfect spot for some ‘just-married’ sundowners. In fact, it’s places like this that demonstrate just how romantic this island can be.
The Archimedes Museum
Perfect for: Adult-Sized Kids; Families; Science lovers.
This is one of our favourite museums on the Island of Cyprus, and it’s great for a more active day out. Styled as an ‘educational playground,’ it was set up to ‘entertain, educate, and fuel a passion for science and technology’ amongst people aged ‘5 to 105.’ So that means whether you’re an engineer or you’re just interested in how things are made, you’ll be perfectly at home here.
They have 21 state-of-the-art games to keep you entertained for hours – our favourites include flying in a hot air balloon, tackling a laser maze, and solving 3D puzzles, but there are plenty more exhibits and challenges to work your way through if those don’t sound like they’re for you. Of course, the museum is mainly aimed at families with children, but that doesn’t stop people of all ages from going and having fun!
The museum is closed on Mondays, but it’s open until 9pm on the weekends, so go on a Saturday or Sunday to really make the most of your €7 entrance fee.
Any other ideas?
Whether you’re a family, a group of students, or a newly-married couple, there’s going to be something for you in Cyprus. Other notable sites include the Blue Lagoon (a stunning bay with bright azure waters), Omodos Village (a picturesque medieval village a short drive from the Villa Mosaica and Limassol) and the Cyprus Museum (which gives an overview of the island’s culture and history).
The Island of Cyprus is an exciting and beautiful location, and one that you will likely never forget – so why not join us here soon, to explore everything it has to offer!