The following is a guest post by Emma, a 24 year old traveller originally from Nantwich, Chesire. Emma enjoys cycling at weekends and adventuring abroad on a budget. Emma lives with her partner in London.
Cyprus is an enchanting island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Turkey and Syria. Ancient Greece and Great Britain both hold strong cultural influences over the island, making it a great place to absorb the local culture while enjoying some home comforts. I travelled to Cyprus in July 2010 to discover the local culture and traverse the fantastic landscape.
The island is split into two parts, with the Republic of Cyprus and Northern Cyprus under separate control. Northern Cyprus relies upon Turkey economically and politically following the independence of the island, with the Republic of Cyprus proving more popular with tourists. Cyprus is a very popular destination in the summer months, as I shared my trip with throngs of other visitors – all eager to enjoy the scorching temperatures.
I began my holiday in the Southern City of Larnaca which has its own airport. The airport is much more convenient for travelling to the city (its just 5km away) compared to the more popular Paphos which is over 100km! However, I did manage to find flights to Cyprus much cheaper when I selected Paphos as my destination city and so this is something to consider.
Larnaca has some fantastic cultural reference points including the ruins of anchient city: Kitium. The city is said to be the birthplace of the philosopher Zeno although unfortunately the remains of his household have since disappeared. The city also houses the remains of the Biblical figure St. Lazarus in the beautiful Byzantine Church.
From Larnaca I travelled inland, up to the Troodos Mountains to experience the panoramic vistas of the island. Although the mountain rage in popular in the winter months with skiers, the area still had plenty to offer summer travellers like myself and I embarked upon a trail along the Caledonia Falls. The walk included views of a fantastic waterfall and culminated in a trip up to the Kykkos monastery which, we were told, is the richest in Cyprus.
After the excitement of the mountains, I came back down to sea level to visit the coastal city of Paphos. Situated on the west coast, the city enjoys a cooling sea breeze making the temperatures much more mild – somewhat crucial given the peak summer months of my trip! Primarily famous as the supposed birthplace of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, her temple and other shrines can be found there, as well as Paphos Castle and the imaginatively named “Tomb of the Kings”.
The penultimate stop on my holiday was the capital Lefkosia (or Nicosia) which is shared by both halves of Cyprus. Surrounded by an impressive 5km Venetian wall, the historic part of the city is separate from the modern areas, offering two distinctly different experiences. The city is filled with fascinating artifacts from its decorated past, with the Leventis Municipal Museum proving a treasure trove of interesting information.
As my time in Cyprus drew to a close, there was only one place to visit to ensure my trip ended on a high… Travelling back to the Eastern side of the island, to catch my flight back home, I stopped over for a night in Aiya Napa the glamorous hub for nightlife on the island. Aiya Napa stands in stark contrast to all of the culture available across the rest of the island, a shining beacon for a stereotypical Mediterranean beach resort – bright lights, loud sounds and all night dancing!
Cyprus has something to offer everyone whether that’s nightlife, culture, history or fantastic scenery. I found Cheapflights to be a great resource for flights to the area and with deals from as low as £79pp the island is suitable for any budget.