Cyprus... One Island, a World of Options!
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 should not 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 towns or in the countryside, the distinctive culture of Cyprus is always close at hand.
The moment you begin to explore Paphos (or Pafos) from the furthest outskirts at Petra tou Romiou - where it is said that Aphrodite was born from the foam of the sea - you understand the reason for its existence on earth. Paphos is a place especially created for lovely memories. Throughout the Paphos area and Paphos town with all its colourful tradition, one is enchanted by the wonders of nature's special gifts. This part of the island possesses all the elements of a perfect location, small sandy beaches that rank high on the list of some of Europe's best, lush natural surroundings, entertainment to suit all tastes and infinite sporting activities for all ages.
Adding to this, a lovely subtropical climate, where the seasonal changes are miraculously distinct. Springtime signals colorful splashes of flowers, fruit and fauna. In the summertime, the wondrous Pafos beaches invite sun bathing and swimming in the clear Mediterranean waters. Autumn is the perfect time to experience the sheer, natural beauty of the Akamas Peninsula where the delicate balance of nature is kept intact. Winter is subtly cooler and, within half an hour of Paphos, the Troodos Mountains offer the opportunity for excellent skiing. Here in Paphos the purest traditions of Cyprus live on. But, it is also a land of striking contrasts. Everywhere you turn, the past mingles with the present. The Dionysos “wine” mosaics, the intriguing Tombs of the Kings, the 16th century Fortress in the picturesque fishing harbor, Byzantine painted churches, cathedrals and museums are just some of the splendid attractions that have been celebrated for centuries.
Delightfully, Paphos is not just sea and sun, tradition and antiquities, nature and beauty. Paphos embraces in such a unique way both the tradition and contemporary, that it makes you feel that this blend is just the way it should be. It offers enticing restaurants, cozy pubs and trendy outdoor cafes. And for those who like more of an active life, Paphos is again the right place. Whether it be golf or bird watching, water sports or bowling, car rallies or yachting to name but a few, Paphos has it all. Paphos has a charm and up to date quality of its own and guests from around the world are reassured by its distinctive warm and welcoming atmosphere.
The south coast town of Limassol is the island's largest seaside resort. Acting as a magnificent backdrop to the city that spreads for ten miles along the coast are the Troodos mountains, in whose fertile foothills most of the country's grapes are grown. Since the Middle Ages when the Crusaders held Cyprus under Richard the Lionheart, Limassol has been known to traders for its wine and sugar cane. Now, this second largest city of Cyprus, with a population of around 135,000 is the centre of its wine-making industry and an important commercial and tourist centre.
The town's carefree holiday atmosphere with wide seafront promenade and bustling little shopping streets, is matched by the gaiety and lively character of its people. With its fun-loving reputation and the best nightlife on the island it is fitting that only Limassol stages some of the Island’s best-known festivals: the annual Wine Festival in September, when the various wineries offer free samples of their products for ten days: the ten day pre-Lente Carnival with masquerade parties balls and grand parades, the Limassol Festival in summer and the ancient Drama Festival at Kourion.