Prepare your senses and fasten your curiosity; we are embarking on a journey to Cyprus, the Eastern Mediterranean jewel that melds millennia of history with captivating landscapes and vibrant cultures. This enchanting island nation marries east and west, past and present, tranquil villages and pulsating city life, all while serving an enticing buffet of culinary delights.
With its strategic location, Cyprus has attracted a colourful array of civilizations since time immemorial. From the Mycenaeans and Phoenicians to Romans and Ottomans, all have left indelible footprints on the island. Wander through the cobbled streets of Paphos, and you’ll be walking on the same stones trodden by ancient Romans. Explore the archaeological site of Kourion, where the magnificent Greco-Roman theatre overlooking the shimmering sea, promises an ethereal journey back in time.
Another location that holds timeless tales is Salamis, the ancient city-kingdom famous for its majestic ruins and a striking testament to Cyprus’s historical saga. Be sure not to miss the surreal spectacle of Famagusta’s ghost town, an eerie yet fascinating testament to the island’s turbulent recent past.
Next, we venture towards Nicosia, Europe’s last divided capital. Here, the juxtaposition of past and present takes on a poignant edge. Traverse from the bustling Turkish Cypriot North, where the call to prayer echoes over the labyrinthine market, to the Greek Cypriot South, where the scent of coffee mingles with the aroma of freshly baked flounes. Here, history is more than stories etched in stone—it’s alive, resonating in the words of poets, the strokes of painters, and the voices of the everyday Cypriot.
A mere hour’s drive away is the sparkling jewel of Ayia Napa, famous for its pristine beaches and pulsating nightlife. During the day, enjoy the shimmering turquoise waters of Nissi Beach or the tranquil beauty of the Cape Greco National Park. At night, Ayia Napa transforms into a vibrant party town, with clubs and bars pulsating with energy under the star-studded Mediterranean sky.
Travelling across Cyprus is also a gastronomic adventure. Cypriot cuisine is a delicious blend of Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern influences. Savour the heavenly halloumi cheese, delight in the layered flavours of moussaka, or experience the tender succulence of souvla. And then there’s the meze—a parade of small dishes designed for sharing that offers a true taste of Cyprus in each bite.
Don’t forget to indulge in local wines nurtured by the island’s rich, sun-kissed soil. Commandaria, a sweet dessert wine said to be the world’s oldest named wine, is a must-try. Wine lovers will also enjoy the scenic wine routes that weave through the beautiful Troodos Mountains, passing quaint villages, Byzantine monasteries, and vineyard-laden valleys.
Cyprus is an island of contrasts. It’s a sensory voyage through layers of history, a kaleidoscope of cultures, and a playground of natural beauty. It’s the whispers of ancient ruins, the buzz of lively markets, the serenity of secluded beaches, and the rhythm of vibrant nightlife. It’s the tapestry of flavours in traditional dishes, the warmth of sunsets against ancient stones, and the echoes of stories told and untold.
In Cyprus, you don’t just travel. You time-travel. You experience. You feel. And when you leave, you carry a piece of this mystical island in your heart, promising to return for more.