Where to go in Cyprus
A bit about Cyprus
Cyprus is a real gem in the Mediterranean, home to a wide array of attractions and a popular spot for holidays all year round. The island itself is separated into two distinct parts - that owned by the Greek-speaking Cypriots and that run by the Turks. Many of the favoured tourism hotspots are in the Greek half of the island.
What makes a holiday in Cyprus so special is the diversity it can offer - there are lively cities like Limassol and Paphos, beautiful beaches, fascinating historical sites and unspoilt areas of countryside that are a delight to explore. On top of all this, Cyprus also has strong associations with Greek mythology, particularly the goddess Aphrodite, after all this was her birthplace, and learning more about these mythological ties is yet another interesting aspect of a getaway on the island.
There are many excellent hotels in Cyprus, some of which are tucked away from the hustle and bustle of main cities and others that are right in the heart of the action, so you can tailor your break and choose accordingly to suit your preferences.
Limassol - ideal for a lively break
Limassol is Cyprus's second largest city and also one of its most established holiday destinations. One of its best features is the gorgeous sandy beach that runs along the bay, although another highlight of staying in Limassol is being able to visit the vineyards that are located in the surrounding countryside.
Limassol itself is a cosmopolitan city with a lot to offer, from historical sites, excellent restaurants and bustling bars to its picturesque beach with kilometres of soft, powdery sands. To get to grips with the city's heritage, you need to visit the Old Town, with its traditional fishing harbour and maze of narrow streets lined by cafes, restaurants and bars. Another must-see is the medieval castle, which is now home to a museum.
There are also some excellent shops in Limassol, with everything from boutique stores to high-end jewellers found here, while the variety of bars means you can look forward to some memorable evenings out, whether you just want to enjoy a few quiet drinks in a cosy taverna or hit the clubs for some late-night partying.
Stay in Paphos for historic attractions
Paphos was once the capital of Cyprus and is home to a range of historical and cultural sites. Its biggest attractions for holidaymakers, however, are the stunning sandy beaches located next to, or within easy reach of, the city.
There are four main beach resorts in Paphos - Latchi, Kato Paphos, Aphrodite Hills and Coral Bay, with the latter being particularly well-suited to families due to its soft sand and shallow waters that make it ideal for little ones. Paphos is much more than just a beach destination, though, with the city also being a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its various ruins and the association with Aphrodite.
A real must while you're staying in a hotel in Paphos is visiting Aphrodite's Rock, a formation at one end of a beautiful bay to the south of the city. According to legend, this is the birthplace of the deity. Within Paphos itself, you need to make time to explore historical sites such as the Tombs of the Kings in Kato Paphos, the medieval Paphos Castle and the Temple of Aphrodite, to name just a few.
Although Paphos is not as lively as Limassol after the sun goes down, there are still plenty of bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a few drinks and sample some of the tasty local cuisine after a day spent exploring the city or lounging on the beach.
Choose Pissouri for laidback luxury
If it's a relaxing holiday in Cyprus that you're looking for, you should make Pissouri your base. This small village is located on a hill overlooking Limassol, although the destination is actually separated into two parts - Pissouri Village and Pissouri Beach.
The latter is where you'll find several luxury retreats that offer the ultimate escape, with glorious sands just outside the hotel and plenty of outstanding facilities - including spas and pools - within the resort to ensure you're thoroughly pampered.
It's worth venturing into the village itself during your holiday to experience the laidback atmosphere and to see Cypriot life at its most authentic. Stroll around the quiet streets and enjoy browsing the small local stores or stopping for a break at one of the traditional cafes or tavernas.
While Pissouri may be a peaceful spot, it is within easy reach of both Limassol and Paphos, in case you fancy having a taste of city life before you leave Cyprus.
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