I adore the Greek Islands. They’re packed with history and culture and surrounded by crystal clear waters and sunshine. I mean, what’s not to love?! I spent the majority of my trip in Cyprus travelling around the South of the Island, taking road trips and eating my weight in Cypriot cheese. Bliss.
I’ve already written about the Turkish part of my trip, if you want to read about it here.
So where did I go?
Aphrodite’s Rock / Petra Tou
‘Sometimes, chaos and love seem like the same thing’
Aphrodite, the ancient greek Goddess of love. Apparently if you swim around Aphrodite’s rock you gain eternal youth… I missed out on that one, but then I’m not really one to believe in myths.
This was such a photogenic place, but let’s be real, most of the Island is. The rock is grand (much bigger than I thought it would be) surrounded by a pebbled beach and those beautiful turquoise waters that in my opinion, really define the Greek Islands.
Given that it was relatively easy to find I’d definitely say this place is a must stop off point in the region. I think it’s generally one of those places to tick off the travel list and take lots of photos.
Adonis baths are definitely a hidden gem. i.e. so hidden they feel impossible to find. To get there we trekked for what felt like hours, totally off the beaten path (there wasn’t really a path as such) and despite the signs, the road (if you can call it that!) is definitely not suitable for all cars. Although we had quite a fun road trip and finding it was part of the challenge…. driving on rocky paths, up and down the mountains and totally along the edge of the cliff!
Given the effort I think we were expecting to reach something much more impressive, so my opinion is probably clouded by that view. I have to say I felt underwhelmed. Fresh waters and an elegant surroundings maybe, but I’ve visited better waterfalls. Am I glad I visited? Yes, I think it was a pretty charming place, but would I visit again? Probably (unfortunately) not.
Would I recommend? I’m not sure. I think I would take a pragmatic view and weigh up interest against the amount of time and effort required to get there.
Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
A lovely heritage site full of ancient ruins and close by to Aphrodite’s Rock/Paphos. Great to see and explore, full of history.
Konnos beach, Fig Tree, Sunrise beach, Ayia Napa
I preface this with being totally bias in the fact that I am such a beach/sun/heat worshipper, but the beaches in Cyprus really are one of the selling points. I love exploring coastlines, swimming in the sea and just generally walking on the beach. My inner zen. Plus I’m as much partial to reading a book and sunbathing for a few hours like the next person.
The beaches were stunning. I think you’d be pushed to find a bad beach in Cyprus!
Grabbing drinks in Ayia Napa – yep, had to be done! Also, can we just talk about the food?! OH MY GOD the food in Cyprus was amazing… I definitely ate my weight in Halloumi and drank enough red wine to sink a small ship. I mean, that’s what holidays are for, right? The mezzes though….. dips, olives, cheeses, fresh fish, warm pitas… enough said.
Latchi and Polis
Situated on the most western tip of the Island you’ll find Latchi and Polis. It was pretty quiet whilst we were visiting for the day which made finding the nightlife a bit tricky! Having said that both towns were quaint and picturesque and the food was great. We ate fish mezzes which came with about 10 different types of seafood. I think I could live on fresh fish and mezze.
In terms of area, I feel as though both are a bit up and coming and might gain popularity in years to come. I think it’s the type of place I’d love to re-visit in a decade or so to see how the area changes over time. At the moment though I’d say it’s definitely a place to visit for those wanting a more relaxed and chilled holiday.
On reflection I think what sold me was the amazing food and beaches! What do you like about Cyprus?
Photo Diary Part I: Turkish Cyprus
I visited a friend in Cyprus during the height of summer: July
Given that I could have gone anytime I’m not quite sure what went through my mind when I booked during the school holidays! Having said that I’m lucky to have a friend that lives there and knows the Island pretty well, so for the most part we avoided the over touristy places.
Aside from the Turkish and Greek divide (North and South respectively), before I visited, my knowledge of Cyprus was pretty sketchy. I learned a lot about the history and culture from just the 10 days of my trip. The Island really is bursting with culture and history, the food is amazing and the coastlines are simply stunning. The North and South offered two sides to the Island that had obvious parallels, yet felt distinct in their respective culture, food and people. Naturally I wanted to visit as much of both North/South to see the contrast. We took a few road trips and over the 10 days managed to go from the most Eastern point of the Island, Dipkarpaz, to the most Western tip, Latchi and Polis, stopping at places such as Pan Handle, Famagusta, Aphrodite’s rock and Larnaca, as well as smaller towns and beaches.
Dipkarpaz and Pan Handle
(1-5) The coastline on the drive up was stunning and completely untouched
(6-10) A little region called Taslica. This place had the most beautiful beaches and the most crystal clear waters
(11-14) Naturally we whipped out the underwater camera!
(15-21) Pan Handle is the most western tip of the Island, and in my opinion, probably one of the most beautiful parts of Cyprus. If I was to recommend one place to see it would be a drive along this coastline – totally untouched, secluded and charming.
(22-25) More Pan Handle
Famagusta: Varosha region and Ghost Town
(1/2/3) Famagusta City Walls and little bazaars and Tavernas lining the street. This place had a Middle Eastern and Turkish charm with those bold, bright and brash colours!
Wish I got to explore more of this part of the Island!