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Travel guides and destination descriptions for Holiday Hypermarket

Cyprus Holidays 2016/17

 

Surrounded by beautifully clear waters, fringed with world class beaches and drenched in year-round sunshine, it’s no wonder Cyprus is fast becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

 

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## A quick look at Cyprus

 

  • An inviting climate and stunning scenery
  • A rich heritage, packed with history, intrigue and a generous helping of ruins
  • Some of the finest beaches in Europe, attested to by Blue Flag status
  • Friendly locals creating an incredibly welcoming atmosphere
  • A pace of life to suit all tastes

 

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Emerging from a tumultuous past, Cyprus has firmly established itself as a nation of intriguing and enthralling contrasts. The political strife which engulfed the country over the past century has finally subsided, revealing a land of rich natural beauty and friendly people eager to welcome visitors to its shores. While the archetypal image of a Cyprus holiday might be an alcohol-soaked getaway for many people, that’s far from the whole story. Ayia Napa certainly caters to such tastes for those who harbour them, but scratching the surface a little deeper reveals a whole other nation, filled with sleepy hamlets and historic ruins, breath-taking landscapes and charming curios.

 

For a holiday with a difference, why not head to Cyprus this year? Below are just some of the reasons why you should.

 

Beaches galore and beautiful coastlines

 

With no fewer than 59 Blue Flag-certified beaches, you can rest assured that you’ll encounter some mighty fine stretches of sand on this idyllic island getaway. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly and amenity-stocked beach like the one at Coral Bay or prefer topping up your tan in privacy at a secluded cove such as Governor’s Beach, there’ll be something for you.

 

Amorous adventurers might want to swim around Aphrodite’s Rock at Paphos, said to be the birthplace of the Greek deity. Circle the outcrop three times and legend has it you’ll be head over heels in no time (and not because of the current!). Alternatively, you could conduct your own sea monster search at Cape Greco, where a six-headed, 12-limbed female Leviathan is said to lurk.

 

Investigate archaeological treasures from antiquity

 

Over the ages, the island has passed through the hands of various conquering empires: Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Ottomans and even the British have all laid claim to this beautiful and strategic location. The result of all this conquest is an eclectic mix of enchanting ruins, with each civilisation leaving its own unique mark on the nation (before you ask, Marks and Spencers and red pillar post boxes appear to be our crucial contributions).

 

From the impressive Tomb of Kings near Finikoudes to the chunky but well-maintained castle in Limassol, archaeological aficionados will be in their element. The crumbling amphitheatre at Kourion and the stunning mosaics in Paphos are other stand-out attractions for history buffs.

 

Stretch your legs and fill your lungs in the country’s interior

 

No visit to Cyprus would be complete without a trip to the scenic Troodos Mountains on its western flank. As the largest mountain range in the country, the peaks are incredibly popular with skiers and snowboarders during winter months – the tallest among them is Mount Olympus, soaring to almost 2,000m and hosting four slopes.

 

For those more excited by architecture and history than sheer adrenaline, the range’s past as a centre of Byzantine activity should set pulses racing. With numerous monasteries and chapels nestled in among the peaks and troughs of the sierra, it’s home to a cluster of picturesque villages and countless impressive works of period art.

 

All kinds of urban life

 

It’s not often that you get the chance to walk from one culture to another, all contained within the same capital city. Nicosia was split down the middle by the Greeks and the Turks in 1961 and still retains the distinction today, making it unique in the world. While its sprawling exterior can be a little overwhelming, the old district is full of charming courtyards and winding passageways.

 

Outside Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca compete for attention as the island’s principal port destination, while laid-back Paphos in the extreme southwest is now a firm favourite with British expats and holidaymakers. Inland, you’ll find enough sleepy villages to send you off into a blissful slumber Rip van Winkle would be jealous of.

 

Party like it’s 1999

 

It’s not for nothing that Cyprus enjoys a reputation as a Mecca for all-night ravers and boozy holidays. Ayia Napa, situated on the island’s south east coast, has been magnet for clubbers for decades, and those looking for a good time will surely find it here.

 

However, that’s not to say that all nightlife in Cyprus is as overbearing as a Ministry of Sound promotional video. Elsewhere in the country, more relaxed locales offer up alternative evenings full of traditional entertainment, chilled cocktails and a laid-back vibe. Whether you want to party like it’s 99 or like you’re 99, you’ll find a spot for you in this versatile destination.

 

 

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Jonny Sweet

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