The perfect long weekend break in… Cyprus
Discover an island rich in history and culture, and full of wonderful experiences just waiting to be enjoyed. If you are heading to Cyprus, there is everything you need for a perfect trip. From superb sites, to cultural attractions, culinary adventures, aspirational resorts, and historical landmarks guests can enjoy something interesting, unique and exciting whatever the season!
We take a detailed look at what Cyprus has to offer the discerning visitor this year.
Take a wine tour
Cyprus is home to the world’s oldest named wine still in production – ‘Commandaria’ – and has seven wine routes across the island. One of the most popular wine routes from Laona to Akamas takes you along the beautiful beaches, rugged coastlines and picturesque villages of the north-western shores of Cyprus. The wines produced here, which come from the rare Maratheftiko grape, are among the best on the island. TIP: Visit the stunning Akamas Peninsula and the region’s traditional tavernas during a wine tour.
Enjoy a spa day in the majestic mountains
The Myrianthousa Spa in Kalopanayiotis (myrianthousa.com; +357 2202 4355) is set in the dramatic northern slopes of the Troodos range. In this tranquil mountain setting, guests can enjoy services that capture the health benefits of the region’s botanical treasures, including a hydrotherapy spa pool, herbal steam room with variety of scents, sauna and snow cabin. Guests looking for some extra indulgence can pamper themselves with a glass of sparkling wine and fresh seasonal fruit while enjoying a ‘Spa Suite Ritual for Two’ in a private treatment suite with outdoor whirlpool (€280 for two hours).
Stay in a five star Cypriot luxury resort
Columbia Beach Resort is a five-star, all-suite Resort on the delightful, Blue Flag beach of Pissouri Bay. Its intimate, quaint, authentic and personal atmosphere sees the resort offer guests a serene space and so it is no surprise that the worldwide-revered Small Luxury Hotels of the World welcomed Columbia Beach Resort into its boutique collection. Unrivalled for space along the Bay – being the only option of its kind there – the resort has come to embody the ethereal and awe-inspiring nature of Pissouri.
Newly re-opened after a landmark transformation, the resort reveals an extension of its suite only accommodation with guests now able to choose from 169 multi-purpose suites that offer complete comfort, with warm neutral tones and soft blues, rustic wooden furniture and large bathrooms; as well as a host of other luxury amenities, including a Nespresso machine and Molton Brown toiletries.
For foodies, Columbia Beach Resort is a gourmet’s haven. The Executive Chef, Ioannis Giakoumidis, works tirelessly to ensure that his culinary creations are always fresh, and that your appetites are always satisfied. A focal point for dinner is the Apollo Tavern, which fuses local flavours with international nuances. Rustic and inviting, Apollo Tavern is blessed with both an abundant menu to suit all tastes, and a key location overlooking Columbia Beach Resort’s lush, green lawns, and the rolling hills of Cape Aspro descending into the azure sea. However, guests can also opt for gourmet Italian fayre at Bacchus, or dine al fresco at Cape Aspro, which has been transformed into a Cypriot fusion outlet. Guests also have the option to buffet dine at the revamped Atrium, which serves breakfast and à la carte dinners.
Quality time together and family fun is priceless and the resort’s activities reflect that with something for all interests. Whether it’s improving the kids’ water skills with Learn2Swim lessons, cycling the surrounding area with BikeCyprus (under the direction of two-time former Swiss cycling champion, Thomas Wegmüller), exploring the coast by boat, taking home an authentic Cypriot recipe from the cooking lessons with the resort’s Michelin-star trained Executive Chef or relaxing in the onsite spa – Hébe which is uniquely positioned to restore your vitality; Columbia Beach Resort has it all.
Visit museums perfect for foodies
If you take a keen interest in the food you’re eating, then take a trip to one of Cyprus’ agro-rural museums. Oleastro Olive Park and Ermini Wine Museum showcase how the islands traditional is produced and even let you buy some to take home. Oleastro Olive Park and Museum, in Anoyira village, was the first olive oil museum in Cyprus. The museum showcases a love and dedication to the 60,000-year story of the olive tree, whilst producing its own oil brand in an environmentally friendly way, using the latest green technology. Visitors will see a combination of ancient and modern techniques, including the ecological olive mill which uses cold pressing with millstones – a first in Cyprus. If you visit the park during the winter (between mid-October and February), you’ll even be able to watch the olive oil extraction live. Visit the Erimi Wine Muesum (The Cyprus Wine Museum) to be taken on a journey through 5,500 years of Cypriot Wine Making History. It took six years to restore the building that the museum now stands in and it was pure coincidence that the village of Erimi happened to be the starting point of wine production in Europe!
Explore history around Paphos
Cyprus is the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty. The waters surrounding ‘Aphrodite’s Rock’ on the Paphos coast are crystal clear and swimming around the rock at midnight is said to make the swimmer younger by a year for every lap. Paphos is also home to the ‘Tombs of the Kings’ an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1980. Stroll around the impressive underground tombs and decorated Doric pillars from the Hellenistic and Roman periods. TIP: You may catch the archaeologists at work as there are still excavations taking place.
Blue flag beaches
Cyprus not only boasts the cleanest bathing waters in Europe but also now has 64 stunning Blue Flag beaches and 47 beaches that are now accessible to people with special access needs (26 of those are fully accessible and 21 partly accessible). In fact, in TripAdvisor’s round up of the best beaches in the world for 2018 Fig Tree Bay, Cyprus was named as number 13. Visit the beautiful Lara Bay beach, which is a safe haven for loggerhead and green turtles. To help prevent these species from becoming extinct, a conservation station has been set up where ecologists are working to boost population numbers. TIP: Visit between May and August for a chance to see the turtles arriving on the beach to lay eggs.
Enjoy one of the island’s traditional festivals
The Limassol Wine Festival takes place in the Lemesos (Limassol) Municipal Gardens in August/September each year. Each evening, about 15,000 visitors come to join the Dionysiac celebrations and sample the local wine and delicious Cypriot dishes as well as enjoying singing, dancing, poetry and drama. The beautiful village of Agros hosts the annual Rose Festival in May, at the peak of the rose bloom. Festival goers can partake in rose picking workshops, learn about the distilling process and enjoy musical performances across two weekends. To support the local economy, there’ll be rose water, rose oil, liqueur, brandy and other rose water related products to purchase.
Snorkel in the Blue Lagoon
The sheltered Blue Lagoon, on the north coast of the Akamas peninsula is a snorkeler’s paradise with its crystal clear turquoise water and colourful aquatic life. Latchi Boat Cruises offer daily trips on their 67ft glass bottom boat, where passengers can watch the beautiful fish moving around on the sea floor from the deck. Take a half-day mini cruise with Latchi Boat Trips and you see the famous Baths of Aphrodite, sea caves at Manolis bay and swim in The Blue Lagoon while the skipper prepares a traditional Cypriot barbeque.
Visit Cyprus this Summer
Sovereign is offering seven nights at the Columbia Beach Resort from just £1,394 per person. This price is based on two adults sharing a Junior Suite Garden View and return flights from London Gatwick with British Airways, departing on 30 June 2018. To book now visit sovereign.com or call 01293 832251.
For more information on Cyprus, go to visitcyprus.com.
Image at the very top of the article credit: Marcus Bassler