Blue lagoons and clean beaches
Sun, sand and sea could be the moto of Cyprus. More than 60 beaches in Cyprus are awarded with the “Blue Flag”.
Most beaches are active with various summer sports and facilities. Blue Lagoon in Akamas and Nissi Beach in Agia Napa are the most famous beaches in Cyprus, receiving thousand of visitors every year.
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, sprinkled with remnants of ancient civilisations such as indigenous Roman root vegetables or old Phoenician delicacies. 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. Add to this the favourable climate – that gives the fresh produce its intense flavour – and a celebration around every corner, complete with special treats, and you will find a big gastronomic adventure awaits on this tiny island!
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.
The heart of tradition and the spirit of the island can only be discovered in the small, traditional villages. Krasochoria in Limassol, Lefkara and Kalopanagiotis are only some examples. Almost every village has its own museums, local products and points of interest. The locals are always very friendly and welcoming.
Byzantine churches and wealth of history
A genuine Byzantine treasure trove is nestled in the mountain range of Troodos, and reveals the island’s religious heritage through Holy buildings that have remained largely unchanged for centuries. With the island situated at crucial crossroads of the Eastern Mediterranean, the land is characterised by one of the greatest concentrations of churches and grandiose monasteries of the former Byzantine Empire.
10 of these beautifully painted churches are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List:
1. Stavros tou Agiasmati
2. Metamorfosis tou Sotiros
3. Timios Stavros
4. Panagia tou Araka
5. Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis
6. Panagia Podithou
7. Panagia Asinou
8. Agios Ioannis Lambadistis
9. Panagia tou Moutoulla
10. Archangelos Michael
Cyprus is also well known of its wealth of history and attractions and archaeological sites that can be found all across the island. Choirokoitia, Ancient Kourion, Kouklia and Tamasos Archaeological Site are some of the most important.
The Goddess of Love, Aphrodite
It is well known that Cyprus is the place of the birth of the goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite. So, how can you not fell in love with it? It is no surprise that many couples from all around the world choose to unite their lives forever and have their weddings in Cyprus. You should definitely visit the baths of Aphrodite in Akamas, the birthplace of Aprhrodite (Petra tou Romiou) and the Sanctuary of Aphrodite in Palaipafos.
Have a loving trip!
Courtesy of the CTO, Praxia Aresti