LUXURY VILLAS IN CYPRUS
Cyprus has mountain heights and wilderness, long empty beaches, a rich history and delicious cuisine.
cyprus VILLA HOLIDAY GUIDE
With dazzling white-sand beaches, sapphire blue lagoons and 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it’s no wonder Aphrodite’s isle attracts many lovers. From bikers to hikers, families to nature lovers, sun-drenched villa holidays in Cyprus offer activities and landscapes for all tastes - from thrilling water parks and cycle trails to jeep safaris in the protected Akamas and the vine-blessed slopes of Troodos mountains. With 10,000 years of history, Cypriots are rightly proud of their traditions such as hand-sewn lace in Lefkara and boutique vineyards near Paphos.
Eating and drinking in Cyprus
Cypriots love to eat. A meze is a feast of Cypriot delicacies - fishy taramasalata, dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), charcoal grilled squid and baby octopus, ’squeaky’ halloumi cheese and kleftico, succulent lamb that drops off the bone. For fish fresh from the net, visit the seafront tavernas ofLatchi. Family-run tavernas vie with fine dining and chic cafés in Paphos and Limassol. Keep cool with a frothy frappé at the swish new Limassol Marina. Happy hour and fruity brandy sours keep the party in full swing in Ayia Napa.
Paphos is a treasure trove. Admire beautifully preserved Roman mosaics (200 AD) at the UNESCO Paphos Archaeological Park. Pop over to the Byzantine Medieval Castle for great views of the fishing harbour. Escape the heat and descend the cool 4th century burial chambers at Tomb of the Kings before driving to Aphrodite’s Baths in Akamas. Swim three times round Aphrodite’s Rock for eternal youth on your way to Kourion, a Greco-Roman amphitheatre. Discover more goddess haunts on the self-drive Aphrodite Trail and family-run vineyards on the clearly-marked Wine Routes.
Families and a young crowd head to the east coast’s dazzling beaches and turquoise seas of Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa, and Protaras. Beach lovers will find sand and seafood further west at Coral Bay, near Paphos, while thrill seekers can opt for one of the island's three water parks, kite surfing in Pissouri or a speed boat ride from Paphos harbour. Skipper your own boat and cruise gently along the rugged coastline from Latchi to the Blue Lagoon and enjoy a cool dip in clear sapphire waters.
Shopping in Cyprus is all about traditional products - hand painted ceramics, locally produced wine and olive oil and delicate hand-sewn lace. In hilltop Lefkara, watch ladies clad in black produce fine lacework on their doorsteps for sale in local outlets. See candlemakers and local artisans at work in studios in Larnaca Old Town. Watch Cyprus Delight - cubes of flavoured jelly - being crafted in Geroskipou, near Paphos. In Agros village, see soutjouko (almonds dipped in hot grape juice) being made at Niki's workshop and rosewater gifts produced at Tsolakis’ workshop.
History in Cyprus
With 10,000 years of history, and 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ancient temples and ruins beckon at every turn. Some of the oldest ruins can be seen at Kouklia (1200 BC), near Paphos, where the goddess of love was worshipped in the Temple of Aphrodite. The Amathous Archaeological site (1100 BC), Limassol, is another of her sanctuaries. Test the wonderful acoustics at the Greco-Roman amphitheatre Kourion (200 BC) and admire temples and mosaics. The UNESCO Archaeological Park in Paphos houses beautifully preserved 2nd century Roman mosaics.
Hold on tight! Experience rugged Akamas on a jeep safari, spotting rare eagles, falcons, flowers, turtle nesting sites and rare goats in the Avakas Gorge along the way. Cyclists and walkers can choose from 100 graded trails, including the E4 European path from east to west. Golfers can spot birdies of their own on four 18 hole championship golf courses near Paphos, including the Sir Nick Faldo designed Eléa. For something different in winter, go snow skiing in Troodos and water-skiing in Limassol on the same day.
Discover unspoilt nature, endemic flowers and rare birds in the Akamas national park, Paphos, Troodos Mountains and Cape Greco. At Lara Bay, you may be lucky enough to witness green and loggerhead turtles laying their eggs or help conservationists escort hatchlings to the sea. Avakas Gorge with its 30 metre limestone walls is home to wild flowers and skittish goats. Troodos offers cool relief from the summer heat plus towering waterfalls, charming hilltop villages and Byzantine churches and monasteries, richly decorated with murals. Kykkos monastery is the most famous.
Nightlife & Entertainment
Party town, Ayia Napa, buzzes with the young set but there's plenty of trendy boutique restaurants, bars, neon-lit clubs in all major resorts. Limassol hosts chic cafés and cocktail bars as well as traditional bouzouki clubs with Cypriot music and dancing into the early hours. Local wines and food flow liberally at the Limassol Wine Festival in late August. Opera racks up the culture offering in Paphos, the castle on the harbour front a magical backdrop for the Aphrodite Festival in September. Enjoy a concert at atmospheric Kourion.