Journey to Cyprus, a jewel in the Mediterranean
Cyprus is situated in the eastern Mediterranean and needs to be discovered by any traveller that values history, appreciates ancient ruins and has a goal to dive some of the best dive sites in the world. While you are there, get to know the wine regions where wine has been perfected since the Middle Ages. This third largest island in the Mediterranean has beautiful beaches to laze about on and castles spread throughout the land for you to conquer.
10 things to do in Cyprus
- Kato Paphos Archaeological Park: Use your imagination as you travel back in time and get to see some magnificent ancient monuments as well as ruins from the Roman period. The Park was declared a World Heritage Site in 1980 and visitors can expect an array of attractions to keep busy. There are several important historic monuments within the park. Marvel at fantastic mosaic from four Roman villas in the park. These mosaic are finest mosaic in the Mediterranean based on Greek mythology. The Odeon is a 2nd century building made of pure limestone and nowadays is still used to host music concerts and events such as the Paphos Choir Festival and Rhythm of Lights Festival. The Agora is an old square court which dates back to the 2nd It was used as a marketplace and visitors will notice old columns of the square’s remains. Visitors will also see The Asklepieion, a sanctuary dedicated to the medicine god Asklepios. The building has many rooms and was used as a nursing home. The park is easily accessible from either end of Pathos. Wear a good pair of walking shoes on your outing. Allocate at least 3 hours to take in this fascinating must-see site.
- Tombs of the Kings: Located in the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, these awesome underground tombs will enthral the avid traveller. The tombs date back to the 3rd century have been declared a World Heritage Site. These ancient burial tombs were actually for high ranking officials and not kings. The name came about from their grand design. Carved from solid rock, some of the tombs look like house and are also decorated with pillars. There are 8 tombs for visitors to explore. It will almost be like being in an Indiana Jones movie when you visit here. After visiting the tombs head to the ruins of the Limeniotissa, a basilica that dates back to the Early Christian period.
- Paphos Castle: This is a World Heritage Site and is located on the edge of Paphos Harbour. Paphos Castle originally served as a fortress which protected the harbour, used as a prison and even salt was stored here during British colonial rule. The castle has small windows and there is a bridge that connects the castle to the harbour. The annual Aphrodite Festival is also held in the castle square. A must-visit attraction any time of the year. Next to the harbour is the Paphos Mosaics, a historic site in Cyprus. You don’t want to miss a visit to check out these marble stone mosaics which depict Greek mythology. It’s hard to believe that the mosaics are well kept even though they date back to the 2nd
- Church of Saint Lazarus: Built in the 9th century, the church is one of the oldest churches in Cyprus and also where the tombs of Lazarus, the man raised by Jesus Christ, can be found. You can also visit his tomb which is empty today because his remains were moved to Constantinople in the late 9th The Church of Saint Lazarus has three domes and inside the church you will find beautiful baroque wood carvings. Don’t miss the opportunity to take photographs here at night.
- Baths of Aphrodite: Legend has it that this is where the goddess of love Aphrodite met her lover Adonis. The pond is surrounded by beautiful landscape. However, bathing in the pond is not allowed. You will get magnificent views of the Bay of Polis from here. There is a nature trail nearby for you to take a walk.
- Saint Hilarion Castle: The castle used to be a monastery dedicated to a 4th century hermit and was later converted to a castle for its strategic location on the Kyrenia Mountain pass. The Venetians took over the castle in 1489 and since then it has deteriorated into the ruins it is today. A great visit for you to see what it was like in the Middle Ages. Walking up to the castle takes about an hour, but you can also stop on the way and admire the breath-taking views. When you get to the castle you will find a large chapel and a gallery. Climb towers or explore some of the rooms. It’s also said that Saint Hilarion Castle served as inspiration for Walt Disney’s Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. This attraction must be on your itinerary. One of the best things to do in Cyprus.
- Kykkos Monastery: Situated in the Troodos Mountains, this monastery is the wealthiest and most elegant of the monasteries in Cyrus. Established in the 11th century, the monastery burnt down several times over the years and nothing remains of the original building. The current monastery has a museum which houses artefacts, religious relics, wood carvings and books. Outside, make your way through veranda walkways and see walls covered with paintings. The monastery church is grand in its design with holy relics. Remember to cover up when you enter the monastery. The first president of Cyprus is also buried approximately 3 kilometres from the monastery and his tomb is a popular tourist attraction. This place is well worth a visit.
- Nissi Beach: A picturesque beach that will get you into the holiday spirit in no time. Hop on a jetski and have fun on the water or take a boat cruise with friends and family on the Mediterranean Sea. If you are feeling adventurous, try water skiing or if you want to relax, hop on a pedal boat and take in the beautiful surroundings. There are beach bars for you to frequent and clear blue waters for you to enjoy a swim at this popular Cyprus gem.
- Fasouri Watermania: With plenty rides to keep the whole family busy, Fasouri Watermania is the perfect spot to laze on a sunbed and relax. Pop into the various eateries to get something to eat. Feast on anything from pizza, grilled Greek specialities to your favourite hamburger. Add the awesome setting of the park’s location and you have a winner item on your to-do list.
- Scuba dive the MS Zenobia wreck: There is nothing quite like scuba diving in Cyprus and there is a world of wonders under the sea for you to explore. The region is also home to the MS Zenobia, one of the best wreck dives in the world. The Ro-Ro vessel carrying trucks sank outside Larnaca Harbour in June 1980 on her maiden voyage. Divers of any experience can enjoy this underwater treasure. The top of the wreck sits at 18 metres and there are trucks at various depths from 25 metres to the seabed at 42 metres. You can even sit in the cabs of the trucks! There are daily trips available to visit this famous dive site.