Discovering the world: Cyprus

Before children the husband and I travelled to Cyprus and fell in love.
Not with each other – we’d already done that years earlier! No, what we fell in love with was the beauty and romance of the country which has a charm and a warmth that stays with you. Not to mention the stunning coastline, the craggy mountains, the lush hillsides and the rich history.

Nicosia

This is me in the capital Nicosia. What you can’t see are the bullet holes littering the walls of the buildings behind me; a reminder of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.
And from this town you can catch a glimpse of the famed Famagusta – a town completely evacuated by its Greek Cypriot population who fled before the invading army arrived.
The town was sealed off and no one allowed to re-enter. Washing is still hanging from lines and tables are still set for a meal. Today it is known as a ‘ghost town’ and you can see it’s eerily still coastline, frozen in time.
Nicosia is the world’s only remaining divided capital. How’s that for rich history?!

I love to visit countries with interesting tales to tell. That is the whole reason for travelling for me. To soak up a little of that region’s heritage. That’s what savvy travellers do.
When it comes to heritage Cyprus has it in spades.
As you drive along the coastline of Southern Cyprus you come upon Aphrodite’s Beach. The intense blue waters of the Mediterranean sea lap against the white rocks and giant rocks sit in the water like they were thrown there by some giant visitor passing through.
And if you are prepared to go off the beaten path, you will find some of the most stunning (and unpopulated) beaches.

We visited Paphos in the south-east of the country and discovered beautiful beaches, friendly restaurants hidden away like lost gems and endless things to do.
From our base we set off on a boat-trip adventure to Egypt to see the Sphinx and the pyramids, we went belly dancing, spent a day in the Aphrodite water park – we even dared to go on a night out at the famed ‘party’ town of Ayia Napa.
It is one of my ambitions to take my children to see this wonderful country and all it has to share – I suggest you seriously consider a trip to Cyprus too!

When to visit
Cyprus enjoys a long, hot Mediterranean summer so it’s best to visit between May and the end of September. However it is a holiday destination you can enjoy all year round as the winters are lovely and cool too.

Food to try
The Halloumi cheese is a must. Made from sheep or goats milk, it’s usually fried or grilled and is absolutely delicious.
Keftedes are spicy meatballs – a really simple but tasty meal.
Kleftica is an amazing slow-cooked lamb dish. You will return home and want it ALL THE TIME!

This post is brought to you by Monarch Airlines.

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