Cyprus - One Island, a World of Options
- Category: The StyleTours Blog
Your experience of Cyprus can be as varied and rewarding as the geography of the island itself. Starting with the sea: There are beaches in Cyprus to suit just about everybody, from families with small children to seekers of solitude. The mountainous interior, the Troodos, offers an alluring contrast to the coast that shouldn't be overlooked.
Bracing pine-scented air, hiking trails and Byzantine churches are just some of the treasures to be found here. It is also possible to experience firsthand the village life of the hill towns. By the beach or further afield, in the t owns or storied countryside, the distinctive culture of Cyprus is always close at hand.
Nicosia (or Lefkosia), the capital of Cyprus, and also the last divided capital of Europe, is home to lavishly decorated churches and the island’s foremost museums. Among them are the Cyprus Archaeological Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Byzantine Museum.
The old city of Lefkosia, encircled with the 16th century Venetian fortress walls and scattered with historical buildings and monuments as well as shops, cafes and tavernas is a unique place. Its pedestrian section, "Laiki Geitonia", has been carefully renovated to evoke the atmoshphere of past days.
In the countryside you’ll find ruins of the ancient city kingdoms of Idalion and Tamasos near the villages of Dali and Politiko respectively. One may also visit the Fikardou village which has been declared as a monument and was awarded the Europa Nostra award in 1987.
Lemesos, and the area immediately around it, is home to enough cultural treasures to keep you occupied for a few days.
In the heart of the city itself you’ll find the Cyprus Mediaeval Museum, housed in the imposing mediaeval fort where, in 1191, Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre and crowned her Queen of England. Some 19 kilometres west of Lemesos, is Kourion, one of the most impressive archaeological sites not just in Cyprus but in the entire Mediterranean. To the east (11km east of the town centre) is another important ancient city-Kingdom, Amathous.
Do not miss a visit to the impressive mediaeval castle of Kollossi and its panoramic view from the top as well as a drive through the vineyards and the orchards in the area of Lemesos.
Larnaca, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, is the modern gateway to Cyprus, known for such sights as the beautiful Agios Lazaros Church and the leisurely Palm Tree Promenade.
As the home of the island's main international airport, Larnaka offers many visitors their first tatste of Cyprus. One of the first sights is the beautiful salt lake, home in the cooler months to colonies of graceful flamingos and other migratory birds. Beside the lake, in a tranquil setting crowned by lush palms, is the Hala Sultan Tekesi, built to the memory of Prophet Mohammed's aunt. Further west at Kiti village is Panagia Angeloktisti Church with tis famous mosaics.
The central location of this little harbor town allows visitors to have an easy access to all central and eastern areas of the island.
Paphos Mosaic Paphos Fort Aphrodite's Rock Aphrodite emerged from the gentle waves near Pafos, on the island’s western coast, and made her home in this region.
This "treasure house" of Cyprus was once the sacred capital of the island and remains a leading cultural centre of the Mediterranean. Surrounding the picturesque harbor of Pafos are countless historical sights: the fascinating mosaics to see at the Houses of Aion and Dionysos, St. Paul’s Pillar, the Tombs of the Kings and more. The whole town is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Various natural treasures are also covering the Pafian landscape. This is the right choice for any visitor wishing to take a "breath" of culture, history and natural beauty within every step.
The little town northwest of Paphos, overlooking the beautiful Chrysochou Bay. This is the newest and still the most authentic tourist area. Neiboughring "Polis" is the charming fishing refuge of "Latsi", where the seaside taverns serve delicious fresh fish dishes.
Polis is the closest gateway to the "Akamas" peninsula. Akamas is a Natural Park with wild, unspoiled landscapes, fascinating grottoes and untouched beaches. Lara is the breading ground for the endangered green, loggerhead turtles. Mediterranean monk seals also visit the area.
On the northern coast of the peninsula lays the legendary bathing place of Aphrodite, a grotto amongst dense wildlife with a pool fed by a perennial spring. Legend has it that the ice cold water of the pool has rejuvenating powers.
The Troodos massif that stretches accross the centre of Cyprus and reaches up to 1,952 metres at Mount Olympos, is truly spectacular, a rugged but easily accessible region brimming with nature trails, 12th to 15th century frescoed churches, winemaking villages and pine forests.
Monasteries dating from the Byzantine period but the most well-known is that of Kykkos, built in the 12th century and magnificently restored. It has a beautiful museum of religious icons.
The main resorts of the Troodos, are Platres and Kakopetria, cosmopolitan villages with attractive bakeries, shops and refreshing alpine atmosphere.
Ayia Napa - Protaras (Ammochostos Region)
Ammochostos (Famagusta) is a region of fertile red soil, old windmills, and fabulous beaches.
The best-known is Agia Napa, the Mediterranean's new centre of clubbing. Agia Napa's nightlife is already legendary. But it also has a beautiful 16th century monastery and the breathtaking Cape Gkreko.
North of that are the villages of Liopetri, known for its basket-making traditions, Sotira, with its small 15th and 16th century churches and Dherynia with its Folk Art Museum and the Cultural Centre of the occupied town of Famagusta.
The whitewashed inland town of Paralimni contrasts with its modern beach resort of Protaras, known also for its windmills spread in the fields among the hotels.
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