Why You Need to Visit Cyprus
Cyprus is one of, if not the best place, I have visited on my various travels around Europe.
To sum up what makes this island so unique: its tranquility, yet vibrancy in certain areas; its paradisal scenery; it's strong sense of culture and most of all the warmth of its people.
When I speak of Cyprus, I am referring to the southern part of the island which is Greek, rather than the Turkish occupied North. I say this because historical unrest between the two sides mean they are quite seperate entities. My visit to the south showed no sign of this history although if you want to travel from one side of the island to the other you will be required to go through border control.
Like many of Greece's islands, Cyprus is simply beautiful, washed with yellow sun and sand and brilliant turquoise waters. The heat of late summer compared to mid summer is bearable and in fact medicinal. If you're like me you won't necessarily know just how much you need a holiday in Cyprus until you are there.
Paphos and Larnaca are great towns for a relaxing break away. Rightly so, the beach is the focal point for each of these towns, so I would suggest doing as the Cypriot cats do there and lounge, venturing away from the baked sands for watering and feeding, at one of the many local restaurants. McKenzie beach in Larnaca is popular without being too populated, at least during the late summer/ autumnal months. The nearby church, museums and traditional markets mean it is easy to take in the richness of some of Cyprus' history and culture, within a few feet.
For those about the city life, Nicosia and Limasool are a must. Limasool has the charm of a rustic town with at least one beautiful church in the town centre and a castle turned museum. Neighbouring, is a promenade of restaurants with authentic Greek food.
Even a lunch of halloumi and fig salad with a carrot juice, bursts full with fresh produce and a tantalising combination of mediterranean flavours. Though the town has a lot to offer tourists, it does not seem to have lost its unique charm.
Nicosia is more of a shopping district with international and Greek shops. Like a hidden gateway, through the street market you can find border control to enter the North of the island (as long as you have your passport to hand). The feeling of walking accross a border is surreal, but quickly normalised by the fact the market just continues on.
My top tips for staying in Cyprus:
1. Stay on the beach. Rent a house, or stay in an apartment or hotel to wake up to beautiful views and of course enjoy the sea
2. Travel. Island life is wonderful, because it's quick to travel from one town to another
3. Remember Cyprus uses Euros, so you can take left over change from previous holidays where you have used the currency