Situated at the north-eastern end of the Mediterranean basin, Cyprus is the third largest island in the region, with an area of 9,251 square kilometres.
Few feelings can compare to that of sinking your toes into warm sand… of the sun kissing your skin, and your senses taking in the fresh, salty breeze and the endless views of glittering blue waters.
This idyllic scene is one that can be enjoyed for the most part of the year on the island of Cyprus, and one that offers a myriad of experiences, from the total relaxation of sunbathing with drink in hand, to the thrill and challenge of trying a new water sport..
From secluded bays, to lively resorts and sandy beaches to rocky coves, the island’s expansive coastline is home to a variety of different-style beaches; each unique in its appearance and the facilities it offers.
And aside from lazing on hot sands, the crystal depths of the Mediterranean Sea can be appreciated both on and in the water, after all, even the Goddess of Love – Aphrodite herself – was born of the sea foam in Paphos!
Take a stroll to a backdrop of sea and bobbing boats at one of the quaint piers, marinas and harbours…. try your hand at reeling in the ‘catch of the day’ on a fishing trip, or discover the coves and caves of the different coastal areas on a boat trip.
For the more daring visitor, the island’s ideal wind and water conditions open up endless possibilities for exhilarating sports such as windsurfing, sailing and kitesurfing, whilst beneath the foam, a whole new underwater world invites you into to discover a diver’s paradise of world-ranking wrecks and diverse marine life.
So, whether you prefer to be lounging on hot sands, riding the waves, or taking in the views from a porthole, Cyprus is the perfect destination for all the very best of sun and sea.
The ritual of sharing good, fresh local cuisine is an important part of the island’s culture, and is intrinsically linked with every social event, from family gatherings and special occasions to religious festivals… each marked with its own distinct delicacies and recipes. From hearty meat dishes and specialty cheeses to unique desserts of carob and grape, the Cypriot cuisine is an exotic blend of Greek and Middle Eastern cultures. And it is no secret that the ‘Mediterranean diet’ is considered to be of the healthiest, thanks to its abundance of heart-healthy olive oil, pulses, lean meat, local herbs and freshly grown fruits and vegetables.
Synonymous with Cypriot cuisine is the ‘meze’ – a variety of small dishes that combine to create a feast, and a good starting point to become acquainted with the local dishes, such as moreish dips, braised, stewed and clay-cooked meats; local, freshly caught fish; pulses and legumes in various sauces; specialty cheeses and delicatessen cuts, and more unusual bites, all authentically prepared.
Cyprus is a small island with a long history and a rich culture that spans 10.000 years, making it one of the oldest civilisations in the Mediterranean – as evidenced by the many fascinating cultural sights, museums, monuments and galleries. Situated at the crossroads of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa – the island’s unique geographic position has played an important part in its turbulent past since antiquity.
As such, the island is an open-air museum of prehistoric settlements, classical Greek temples, Roman theatres and villas, Early Christian basilicas, Byzantine churches and monasteries, Crusader castles, Gothic cathedrals, Venetian fortifications, Moslem mosques, and British colonial-style buildings. The old ways of life, customs and traditions are still beautifully preserved in the rural villages, and interesting elements of the island are captured in the many museums and galleries. When visiting Cyprus, you will never have to look far to find a piece of its history and culture, whether you want to discover more about the traditions of the island, or immerse yourself in its captivating past.
We advise that you seek advice on recommended vaccinations and precautions from a health professional – either a GP, a practice nurse, a pharmacist or a travel health clinic – ideally at least eight weeks before departure. Visit NHS Fit for Travel for Cyprus specific guidance.
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