Summer vacations are around the corner and you’re searching for a destination that will keep the whole family entertained. Look no further. Cyprus, the island nation in the Mediterranean, is fast becoming a hotspot for families from the GCC. Conveniently close with only a four hour flight from the GCC, the island offers mountains, beaches, archaeological ruins, fabulous food and nightlife, Cyprus will satisfy everyone’s dream holiday wish list. Read on for a scintillating Cyprus travel itinerary with something for everyone…
Larnaka: The coastal city of Larnaka is a visitor’s first port of call for any Cypriot adventure. Built on the ruins of the ancient town of Kition, which dates back to 13th century BC, it’s the birthplace of the philosopher Zeno. Larnaka boasts many five-star properties and will not disappoint the luxury traveller. It offers several attractions such as a seafront lined with palm trees and historical structures such as the Church of Saint Lazarus, Kamares Aqueduct and Larnaka Castle. The 18th century mosque of Umm Haram, built to honour the prophet’s foster mother and perched on the banks of the Larnaka Salt Lake, is a treasure.
Paphos: Located at a 1.5-hour drive from Larnaka, Paphos is said to be the birthplace of the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. Paphos has a formidable reputation – it’s on the UNESCO heritage list and was selected as a European Capital of Culture in 2017.
Pay homage to Aphrodite at the Petra Tou Romiou, also known as Aphrodite’s Rock, sitting atop a hill that grants scenic views of the blue waters and the setting sun. For swimming, head to Coral Bay, a sandy beach well provisioned with umbrellas and loungers along with restaurants, cafes and water sports, to keep the entire family busy for the afternoon.
Next stop: Paphos Archaelogical Park. Four large Roman villas have been excavated here with well-preserved mosaic floors, and the ancient underground burial chambers known as the Tomb of the Kings, carved out of solid rock, feature Doric columns and frescoed walls.
Platres: For a change of landscape, drive to Platres, one of the highest villages on Troodos mountains. En route, you’ll pass charming villages full of red-roofed houses, perched on hillsides. The locals are warm and friendly and stopping for Cypriot cuisine at the village of Omodos is a good way to meet them. With plenty of Greek, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences, expect familiar dishes such as halloumi, stuffed vine leaves and kibbeh.
Platres, with its verdant surroundings, is also ideal for trekking and burning off the calories accumulated at lunch. The popular Kalidonia trail takes you to Cyprus’ tallest waterfall, for the perfect memento photo.
Limassol: Finally, head back down to the coast, this time to the city of Limassol, the second largest city of Cyprus. Limassol contains some of the island’s best beaches, and this vibrant town has a thriving night life, as well as many historic structures for sightseeing. The ancient city of Kourion, located just outside Limassol, is also worth seeing, particularly to marvel at its mosaics.
Source: MCS Action