Cyprus - the undiscovered gem of the mediterranean

Travel to med cyprus

Cyprus is a little island tucked away in an eastern corner of the Mediterranean with spectacular beaches, a fascinating history and stories made famous by Greek mythology. Cyprus, as beautiful as it is, has had it’s fair share of recent turmoil with the northern part of the republic being occupied by the Turkish military. However, the Greek Cypriot side of the island is a mediterranean paradise with warm sunny weather, and loads of things to do. Accomodation is relatively cheap, but yes, you’ll be spending Euro’s, which may currently work to your disadvantage and of course, if you want to party, the budget starts bursting at the seams.

About Cyprus

Cyprus has had a tumultuous history, and most recently is faced with an uncompromising occupatin by Turkey in the north of the island. This fiasco has been ongoing since the seventies, and to this day the Greek Cypriots in the South are still trying to reach an amicable agreement on this scenario. The occupation of this part of Cyprus is only recognised by Turkey themselves and is refuted by the Greek Cypriots and the UN.

Accomodation and cities

There are hundreds of hotels, backpackers, villas and Bed & Breakfasts around the island of Cyprus. You can hire out a villa which sleeps 12 people for the equivalent of about R300 per person per night which is next to nothing when you see where you can stay for this price.Think beachfront villa with a large swimming pool, think saunas and balconies with sea-views, think short drives to bars and plenty of restaurants just around the corner. The main cities and towns of Cyprus include Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca, and Nicosia (on the Turkish border). Each town has their own charm and characteristics. Nicosia blends Greek Cypriot culture and Turkish influence, and is a good spot to visit for an understanding of the various cultures on the island.

What to do in Cyprus

Cyprus not only has beautiful beaches, but has a rugged, mountainous interior with wine-growing regions as well. On the western part of the island in Paphos, you will find archaeological ruins of palaces, tombs, and sites relating to the myth of Aphrodite. On the eastern side you will definitely want to visit Nissi Beach, Fig Tree Beach, and Cape Greco. Besides snorkelling, diving, visiting villages and ancient ruins, why not explore parts of the island on horseback, or hire a 4x4 for a few days and see where the trail takes you?

Scuba Diving & snorkelling

With exceptionally crystal clear waters and great visibility most of the time, Cyprus is an exciting diving and snorkelling destination. The island has some of the most famous ship wreck sites to dive on in the world, including the wreck of the Zenobia, Liberty wreck and Lady Thetis. Although the marine life is not as plentiful as in other parts of the world, there is still some real beauty to be seen here. With a rugged west coast there are also thousands of rocky bays, caves and gulleys to explore with a mask and snorkel.

Kato Paphos Archaeological park

The Kato Paphos Archaeological park is a Unesco World heritage site and aims to promote, protect and educate visitors on the ruins and sites which date back to the Roman era. At the park you will find the House of Theseus, house of Dionysus, Tombs of the Kings and more.

Beaches

The Cypriot coastline is rugged and rocky in parts, while other areas are made up of inviting sandy coves and bays. In summer, the water is warm reaching a high of 28˚C and is usually relatively calm, making it ideal for watersports. Some of the best beaches to visit include Aphrodites beach, Nissi Beach, Cape Greco and for snorkelling, a spot called Sea Caves.

If you’re looking for a holiday destination with a difference, Cyprus is definitely the way to go. Far off the beaten track and not very high on the list of popular Mediterranean destinations, Cyprus is often over-looked as an amazing holiday experience. However, the island has a few pleasant suprises up its sleeve.