A small island sits just west of Syria and south of Turkey: a rocky outcrop framed by perfect sands, often heralded as the birthplace of Greek Goddesses, no less.
Here, you’ll find fragrant cuisine, a coastal Mediterranean backdrop, and enough history to satisfy even the most insatiable of minds.
Travel to Cyprus has long been popular and with good reason. Here are a few top stops to hit along the way, if you’re heading to Aphrodite’s Isle this year…
Images used in Cyprus Isle of the Gods article by Glen Bowman, used under Creative Comms license
There is a saying that Cypriots like to spout when asked about Ayia Napa, “Before 1974, this was a tiny fishing village, with two houses, a monastery and some fishermen. Look at it now!” Indeed this small seaside town has made quite the transformation. Today it is known as one of the dance party capitals of the world, and understandably so. With clubs that stay open till 4 a.m. and warm, blue water to nurse away the pain of last night, this resort town has become the new Ibiza.
However, if partying in a bikini isn’t your idea of fun, there are family activities available. The largest waterpark in Europe, Water World is housed here. If you want a taste of what Ayia Napa was like before it became a party destination, a visit to the Ayia Napa Monastery is sure to bring you back to a simpler time.
The capital of western Cyprus, Paphos is known to any fan of Greek mythology. It was here that the goddess of love, Aphrodite, was allegedly born, on the sightseer’s favourite spot, Aphrodite’s Rock. But even beyond these legends, Paphos is steeped in history. Nestled in Kato Paphos (where most of the main archaeological sites are) the “Tomb of the Kings” is Paphos’ main attraction. The site contains a set of well-preserved underground tombs and chambers used by residents of Nea Paphos from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD.
Despite its name, these tombs did not actually house any royalty, Instead it got it’s name due to a grand appearance and high pillars. Another destination for Roman history buffs is the Paphos archaeological park. Here you’ll find the House of Dionysos and the House of Theseus, both large Roman villas that are famous for the mosaics inside.
The Golden Beach
If you need a holiday during your holiday, Nangomi Bay is the place to have it at. Located at the Northeastern tip of Cyprus, this beachfront is a testament to the simple life. With no big development around, there are fewer tourists here than most other Cypriot towns. Known as one of the top beaches in the Mediterranean, it got its nickname from the golden sand that characterises the coast. There are few hotels and the nightlife is almost nonexistent, however, one thing is in abundance here: peace and quiet.