Of all the European countries, Cyprus is perhaps the island that captures the imagination the most. Diminutive compared to its noisy and world-famous neighbors, Cyprus – sat in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea – is an island of contrasts that somehow embodies all of the best of Europe within its beach-covered shoreline.
This article expounds on the Cypriot way of life, encouraging you to look past the usual tourist centers in this part of the world – like Spain, Italy and Greece – to holiday with a little more adventure this summer. From beautiful beaches and glorious seas to delicious food, what’s not to love about this wonderful island?
It’s an Island of Duality
Cyprus is half-Greek and half-Turkish. While the political back-story of this rift would take many thousand words to explain, all you need to know as a vacationer is that you essentially get to visit two distinct cultures on the same small island. On the one hand, you have boisterous Greek lifestyles with the food and drink to match, while on the other you’ll enjoy the exotic charms of the Turkish half of the island – and all the cultural benefits that that involves. An island of contrasts fusing many Mediterranean modes of living, Cyprus is a destination for the curious and the culturally excited.
The Food is Incredible
Mentioned above but deserving, certainly, of its own sub-heading, one of the major draws of a destination like Cyprus is the cuisine you’ll enjoy while there. Feast your eyes on the following dishes:
- Fresh-made seafood salads with olive oil dressing
- Turkish kebabs with fresh herbs and flat breads
- Greek yoghurt and local fruit in the mornings
- Rich tomato stews oozing with flavors
- Souvlaki, tzatziki and hummus to eat with a glass of wine
Cypriot food is fresh and incredibly good for you. Cyprian people love to eat socially, so you can expect a lot of sharing foods that require people to be together. Expect exquisite meze style dishes that’ll cater to a whole group of people.
Typically, you will enjoy your food outside and in the open air. You may be lucky enough to witness live Cypriot music too, especially when eating out at a restaurant.
For breakfast, you will experience similar food to the rest of Europe – a continental breakfast which consists of bread, eggs, fruit, cold meats and cheeses. At local markets, however, you will be able to indulge in spanakopittes, which are flaky pastries with spinach inside. To make your mornings even better, coffee is extremely popular in Cyprus – you can have it black, served with milk, or if you have a sweet tooth, ask for “glyko,” meaning you want your coffee extra sweet. Alcohol-wise, you have many beers to choose from and, if you are intrigued as to whether to try something stronger, ouzo is a popular aperitif to taste test.
The wonderful thing about eating on Cyprus is that you’re there for the long-run: the hospitality, combined with the slow, leisurely pace of life, will mean that your meals span two to three hours of delightful conversation and blissful people-watching.
There’s World-Class Villas
When it comes to places to stay, Cyprus is incredibly wealthy, with a wide range of villas to suit groups of friends, families, or couples who’re on the lookout for something private, classy and blissful. Holidays in Cyprus are an excuse to relax as well as explore, and by searching online for the best-possible villas to suit your group’s needs, you’ll undoubtedly find a good deal on some of the most luxurious and gorgeous apartments on the island – the best place to base yourself for explorations.
It’s an Ancient Marvel
You can’t go to an island in the Mediterranean without pondering over the ancient civilizations that once called this place home. Very much the center of the world as it was 2000 years ago, Cyprus profited from its central location as a trading hub between some of the most exciting ancient cultures in the world. As such, discover a wide range of tourist sights on the island – that you can reach by hire car, bicycle or bus – to delve into the history of an island situated slap-bang in the middle of the cradle of civilization.
The top rated ancient locations include:
Ancient Kourion – A romantic location where the ancient site is located by the Mediterranean Sea. This site is incredibly vast, with lots of places for you explore.
Larnaca – While this may be known as a seaside resort, this laid-back location has a historical edge that’ll keep you engaged your whole stay. You can also explore a salt lake.
Cyprus is a wonderfully cultural island. From great food and drink to amazing hospitality, you’ll never want to leave.