5 unmissable things you absolutely must do in Cyprus
Situated south of Turkey, Cyprus is a truly wonderful holiday destination for a villa holiday. The third largest Mediterranean island boasts picture-postcard villages, ancient monuments, jaw-dropping vistas and 400 miles of glorious coastline. Here are just 5 star attractions you mustn’t miss during a trip to this part of the world:
Discover the enchanting Akamas National Park
Located on the island’s western tip, Akamas National Park is a breathtaking 230 square kilometres of rugged natural beauty and ecological importance. Its stunning beaches, gorges, valleys and cliffs are home to over 530 indigenous plants, as well as a host of birds, reptiles, butterflies and mammals. The best time to visit is the springtime when wildflowers set the park ablaze with colour. Hire cars are banned, so explore the park on foot via the three official nature trails or set off on an adventurous 4×4 jeep safari.
Explore the famous Petra tou Romiou
One of the most famous sights in Cyprus is Petra tou Romiou in the southwestern region. The mythical birthplace of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, thousands of visitors flock here each year to marvel at these giant rock formations off the beautiful coastline of Paphos. The scenic views and beautiful sunsets make for fantastic photo opportunities, and the crystal-clear waters are popular with bathers. Legend has it that if you swim around the biggest rock three times, you’ll enjoy eternal youth and find true love!
Step back in time at Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Archaeological Park of Kato Paphos is a delight for history buffs. It contains ruins dating from the 4th century BC to the Middle Ages, including much of the ancient Greek and Roman city. The park is still being excavated, but the biggest finds so far are four impressive Roman villas, all with exceptionally well-preserved mosaic floors. You can also discover other significant sites and monuments, like the Odeon theatre, Saranta Kolones (Forty Columns) Castle and the Tombs of the Kings.
Learn about lace at Pano Lefkara
At the foot of the Troodos Mountains, in the island’s southeast, lies the traditional village of Pano Lefkara. This picturesque settlement is renowned the world over for its lace embroidery that’s been handmade in the village for centuries. As well as watching local ladies working on their needlecraft in the pretty cobbled streets, you can visit the Folklore Museum, handicraft centre, Turkish Delight factory, and 18 ancient churches and chapels dating back to the 11th century. Or just sit back with a coffee and watch the world go by from one of the taverns or cafes.
Get wet and wild at Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark
The biggest aqua centre in the Paphos region, Aphrodite Waterpark is a splash-tastic paradise for the whole family. Adrenalin junkies will love plummeting down the many high-speed slides, like the hair-raising 50ft “Free Fall” or fast-and-furious “Kamikaze”. Those who prefer a little less excitement will enjoy floating on a raft down the mile-long Lazy River. And little ones will have a whale of a time at the kiddies’ pool complete with pirate ship, tipping buckets and water jets!
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