A sublime territory of mountains, where churches perch precariously on peaks and sleepy hamlets cling to terraced slopes, the impressive Troodos Range stretches across most of western Cyprus. The region has been known for its mines since ancient times while, in the Byzantine period, it became a great centre of Byzantine art, boasting churches and monasteries constructed away from the threatened coastline. Nine of the churches are included in the official UNESCO list of the world’s cultural treasures. During the summer months, the scented pine forests offer a cool sanctuary from the Mediterranean sunshine while, in the winter, the Troodos is a popular winter sports destination.
Discover a selection of UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia, the Byzantine churches and monasteries in the Troodos and, a stone’s throw from Paphos’ main boardwalk, the ancient city ruins of Nea Paphos. Look out for the exquisite, mosaic-tiled floors of the Roman villas, depicting scenes from Greek mythology and considered among the finest examples around. West of Limassol, the ancient ruins of Kourion are a prime ancient kingdom, built on a series of hills, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and fertile river valley of Kourion. The ruins include a Greco-Roman amphitheatre, which today hosts impressive musical and theatrical events.
Food & Drink
Cypriot food is a delicious mix of Greek and Turkish cuisine. Sample a traditional ‘meze’ platter of different little dishes, including delights like salty halloumi cheese, tangy dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), chunks of kleftiko (seasoned, slow-baked lamb) and delicious seasonal fruit – Cypriot strawberries, melons and grapes are simply divine. As for drinks, the Cypriots often socialise over strong, thick coffee, served in traditional coffeehouses called 'kafenios' – Nicosia’s café culture is well worth sampling. Alternatively, sample local grapes on a guided tour of Limassol’s wineries, famed for making ‘Commandaria’, an amber-coloured dessert wine.
Don’t miss a trip to Aphrodite’s Rock, a legendary sea stack outside Paphos that’s thought to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and fertility. From here, you can follow the ‘Aphrodite Cultural Route’ to the Baths of Aphrodite where, according to legend, the ‘Lady of Cyprus’ met her lover Adonis. Located on the Akamas Peninsula, close to the village of Latchi, this famous mythological site is also where Aphrodite bathed, shaded by an old fig tree. Inspired by the goddess of love, you may even decide to tie the knot in Cyprus – where better place to say, ‘I do’?
Nestled on the slopes of the Troodos Mountains is the Platres chocolate workshop, at which you can enjoy a two or three-hour tutorial into the origins of chocolate and the art of handcrafting luxury treats. The owners have entered the Guinness Book of World Records for making the world’s most expensive Easter egg.
Between 1pm and 4pm in summer (May-September).
Discover an array of wildlife, including the many migrating birds that descend on Cyprus as a staging post when flying between Europe and the Nile Delta.
British Airways and Easyjet from London Gatwick to Paphos. Cyprus Airways from London Heathrow to Larnaca and Paphos.
From London Gatwick to Paphos: 4 hours 30 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.