Floating on the waters of the European Mediterranean, but pointing longingly towards the shores of Syria, Turkey and Lebanon, Cyprus is an odd mixture. It is a kaleidoscopic blend: its cultural influences are dominated by Western Europe, but its geographic proximity to Asia and Africa gives it more than just a hint of the East. Long coveted by mainland Greece and Turkey, this small island has its own definite and beguiling character.
Whether you know it as the ‘island of sin’ (or ‘fun’) thanks to wild stories from Agia Napa; the country that entered the EU only as a half; or, as the tourist brochures love to point out, ‘the island of Aphrodite’, Cyprus both confirms and confounds the stereotype. Parts of Cyprus have been overrun by keen developers who (depending on who you’re talking to) have either ‘sold the country’s soul’ or ‘are bringing great wealth to the island’.
Whatever the truth, in the tourist centres of places like Pafos, Agia Napa or Limasol, you might feel as if you’ve entered a sunny, scorching Essex suburb with lobster-red Brits letting it all hang loose with a lukewarm can of Foster’s in tow. But if curiosity draws you out of the cities, you’ll discover the small villages of the Akamas Peninsula and the heavenly golden beaches of the Karpas (Kırpaşa) Peninsula. Walk the gorgeous Troödos and Kyrenia (Girne) & the Northcoast and inhale the scent of the citrus groves of Morfou (Güzelyurt), or climb to the medieval castles with their shimmering island views. Wander through the sea of wildflowers covering the island in spring, and Cyprus will take your breath away. With good walking shoes, a swimsuit and some sunscreen in your bag, you can have a trip you’ll remember for years.
In addition to the wealth of outdoor sites, tour the priceless collection of artefacts displayed in the various Archaeological Museum where you can see objects spanning the island’s history, including pottery, coins, jewellery, tombstones and statues.
Cypriot hospitality is legendary, and you’ll be given the warmest of welcomes in Cyprus. From the basket of fresh fruit and bottle of wine you may receive on arrival, to the attentiveness of staff and friendly service, everything is geared to make you feel at home.
You will find reasonable rates and every type of accommodation to suit a wide variety of preferences and pockets in Cyprus, offering you great value for money.
Whether you prefer to lounge around in the lap of luxury at a five-star hotel right on the beach with every amenity, including health centre and spa, or if you choose a hotel apartment or villa with pool for independent flexibility, or even a quiet hideaway in the hills in a simple family-run establishment for a back-to-nature experience, you will find what you want on the island. Whether mountains or beach, city or countryside, the island can accommodate you. For more information, go to www.medestino.com.