Exploring Cyprus

There are myriad islands in the Mediterranean, but only one does Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love, call home, and that’s Cyprus.

Whatever your pace or special interest, Cyprus is uniquely poised to welcome you. Our beaches are not only beautiful; they are certified as among the cleanest in Europe. And, just a short drive from the crystal clear waters of our coast are the pine-clad Troodos Mountains, where wild moufflons roam and cedars grow, and gem-like churches and monasteries are replete with unmatched Byzantine frescoes and icons. Ten of the finest examples are designated by UNESCO as World Heritage sites

Cyprus is a haven for archaeology lovers. From Neolithic settlements more than 10,000 years old, to spectacular Greco-Roman ruins, such as the ancient seaside amphitheater of Kourion, to Crusader fortresses such as Kolossi, the list of treasures is boundless. By no means will you want to miss Pafos, a wellspring of antiquities in the west, including the mysterious Tombs of the Kings…and Roman mosaics that are so colourful, extensive and well-preserved, they are recognized by UNESCO.

Although Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, it is surprisingly compact and easy to explore. In between rugged mountain peaks and the shimmering coast you’ll traverse untrammelled landscapes and rolling hills with vineyards that still produce the world’s oldest named dessert wine, sweet Commandaria. Linger in idyllic villages such as Omodos and Lefkara where the rhythm slows down and there’s always time for another coffee. All across Cyprus, you’ll have the opportunity to experience a distinctive cuisine composed of meze, small plates of everything from flame-grilled, delicately spiced meats to fresh vegetables and amazing cheeses, such as the famous halloumi (the savory sheep’s cheese that grills).

With its rich past as anchor, Cyprus is also a thriving modern nation with a service economy second to none in the whole region, and the Cypriot people, worldly and warm, are only too happy to share it with you. Which means among other things, an attractive range of accommodations, luxurious hotels with both local flavour and the highest international standards, quality tourist villas, agrotourism options and more.

Cyprus’ location, coveted by empires since ancient times, is still ideal today for visiting nearby countries, such as Greece, Israel and Egypt. But with so much history to see and culture to enjoy and cuisine to savor – and with Aphrodite as your guide – you will have more reasons to stay and explore Cyprus than you might think.

Cyprus Tourism Organization

Exploring Paphos

An air of romance and history carries through the naturally abundant and culturally rich region of Pafos (Paphos).

Comprised of its old and new towns, rural villages and picturesque resorts, the region is home to some of the most stunning areas of natural beauty on the island, whilst its many archaeological sites are historically invaluable, with Katos Pafos declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a whole.

Centered around the quaint harbour and impressive Medieval Castle, Pafos’ environs then stretch to incorporate the tourist resort of Polis Chrysochous. The pretty and tranquil area – known simply as ‘Polis’ – has expanded to become a sub-district in its own right, and encompasses the beautiful Akamas National Park, Lara beach – which is a breeding site for turtles, and the traditional fishing shelter of Latchi.

Whilst visiting the area, pass by the Baths of Aphrodite, which is located near Polis. Greek mythology tells that the Goddess of Love and Beauty bathed here, and it is one of the enticing sites in the region that trace her story. Her connection with Cyprus begins at the landmark rock formation of Petra tou Romiou (Aphrodite’s Rock/birthplace), where  she rose from the waves. From there, make a pilgrimage to her sanctuary at Kouklia.

Further out, the monastery of Agios Neofytos is located in a secluded valley, and was founded by the Cypriot ascetic Saint Neofytos around 1200. The monastery of Panagia Chrysorogiatissa, next to Panagia village, is also significant for its well-preserved buildings dating back to 18th century.

Nestled within Pafos Forest is the breathtaking mountain locality of Cedar Valley. The area is crossed by a country road that unfolds into Stavros tis Psokas, an additional mountain locality that is home to the rare and shy Mouflon (Ovis gmelini ophion).

A myriad of outdoor pursuits can also be enjoyed, further enhanced by religious monuments, wineries and museums, making the Pafos region a haven of nature and culture.

 

Exploring Droushia  

Located in the Pafos (Paphos) region, the pretty little village of Droushia sits at an altitude of 630 metres in the mountainous area of Laona, and is thus named for the cool breeze that carries from the Akamas Peninsula, coming from the Greek word for ‘cool’ (‘drosera’).

Just 30 km away from Pafos and 10 km away from Polis, the village can be reached following either the B7 route and then the E711, or taking the E709, and then the F708.

The traditional character of the village is maintained through its stone houses with carved doors and windows, and in its narrow, winding streets that offer stunning views of hillside and coast. The tranquil and traditional environment makes Drouseia perfect for agrotourism, and accommodation is available in many small hotels, as well as the stone houses themselves.

The taverns of the village are also known locally for their excellent Cypriot cuisine, and the warm family welcome they give.

Aside from its pretty views, the village is home to the religiously significant ancient monastery of Agios Georgios Nikoxilitis, which was built in the 15th century, and was rebuilt in 1923 after it was destroyed by a fire.

For more information:

www.visitcyprus.com

http://www.visitpafos.org.cy