Limassol (also called Lemesos) is the second largest city in Cyprus. It is the island’s main port, a main tourist centre and the centre of the wine industry of the island. Limassol has two of the most spectacular archaeological sites in Cyprus; built on cliff tops the ancient cities of Amathous and Kourion are situated East and West respectively in the city with spectacular views overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Unearthed at Amathous the largest stone vase ever discovered (resting in the Louvre Museam in Paris) is just one of the finds that have made their way abroad to international museums from these ancient sites.
The southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains provide a picturesque backdrop to the city. It is on these southern slopes where the vineyards for Cyprus’ wine making industry are. Charming little villages spread throughout the southern slopes are known collectively as the ‘Krassochoria’ (which translate in to wine villages) where the traditional ways of wine-making are still kept. Come and have a sample of the island’s best wines. The most famous wine of all is Commandaria, one of the oldest named wines (eight centuries old) in the world. It was originally produced and exported by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, from their headquarters at Kolossi Castle which still stands, situated on the outskirts of the city.
On these southern slopes you’ll discover a different Cyprus from the traditionally known popular tourist resorts it is famous for. The foothills here offer a break from the hustle and bustle, a true retreat and a place of tranquillity. Here you can take in the beautiful countryside and enjoy the traditional rural villages that live solely at their own pace.
The coastal town of Paphos with its medieval fort and quaint harbor is harmonious combination of historical sites, tourist resort and wonderful countryside. It is a region where it combines mountainous areas and the sea. It harmoniously joins culture, contemporary life and historic archaeological sites.
The Maa-Paleokastro site near Coral Bay holds an admirable view. It is where the Mycenaean Greeks first landed in Cyprus during the Bronze Age. Travel further inland and go on a wine village tour, make sure to visit the Chrysorrogiatissa Monastery and admire its beautiful icons, and, taste the wine there- the Monastery produces wine from its own winery.
Enjoy any of the numerous activities on offer in the Paphos district, from sea sports, golf, diving, swimming, snorkelling, visit traditional villages.
The Akamas peninsula is a nationally protected area of untamed wilderness with awe-inspiring coastlines and sandy bays.
Walk on one of the numerous nature trails and explore the rare endemic plants and spot different migratory birds. A thoroughly memorable experience would be a boat trip along the awesome coastline which includes the famous Aphrodite’s Rock.
Larnaca town was built over the ancient city kingdom of Kition. Larnaca has a beautiful sea port and historically was a major centre of copper trade and later a Phoenician stronghold. Remains of it can still be seen today in its cyclopean walls constructed with giant blocks of stone and a compound of Greek Mycenaean temples dating back to 12th Century B.C.
Take a stroll along ‘Phinikoudes’ the sea front promenade lined with palm trees and take a seat in one of the many cafes lined along the promenade. The marina here is a gathering ground for a community of friendly yachtsmen from all around the world.
Charming villages are spread throughout the mountainous area of Larnaca and many traditional houses there are available for rent. Perhaps the most well-known is the village of Lefkara. The most scenic, having narrow streets, red-tiled roofs, courtyards, chapels, and a general feeling of being back in time whilst you’re there.
The village of Lefkara has a rich history in producing exquisite handicrafts such as the world renowned ‘Lefkaritika’ which are items created by a traditional lace, and filigree silverware. It is said that the famous Leonardo da Vinci came here and purchased an altar cloth, which he subsequently donated to the cathedral in Milan.
The Holy Stavropaegic Monastery of Stavrovouni, one of the oldest in Cyprus, stands alone on top of a mountain with a panoramic 360 degree view of the surrounding hills and plains.
The village of Choirokoitia is a UNESCO World Heritage site, being one of the best preserved sites of a prehistoric settlement in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Agia Napa is renowned for its vibrant life, especially at night, and is a popular destination for tourists around the world as is also Protaras in the coastal area of Paralimni. Dine at many of the restaurants and check out the buzzing nightclubs.
During the day enjoy the white sandy beaches with their crystal waters and have fun with the numerous activities available including boat trips along the coast. Check up close the multitude of windmills in the area.
Cape Greko, the national park forest is a unique and amazing place lying on the Eastern peninsular of the island. A great diving and snorkeling experience can be had here. With its rocky protrusions, secluded coves, sea caves and amazing views from the cliff peaks, it is just the place for adventures.
In Agia Napa, you and your family would do well to visit the Marine Life Museum or the recently built Sea Museum which contains a brilliant replica of a 4th century trading ship which sunk off the coast of Kyrenia. Visit the little estuary locally known as ‘Potamos’ and see the fishing boats bring in their catch of the day.
Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus; the only remaining divided capital in the world. The Nicosia district combines its cultural heritage with the contemporary way of life. The capital is steeped in history with large Venetian walls encompassing a beautiful old city.
There is also a museum containing many amazing artifacts dating back to a time long ago. Its artifacts include a 1st Century A.D. statuette of Aphrodite of Soli and the original mosaic of Leda and the swan as well as another museum (Leventis Museum) containing artifacts depicting Nicosia’s history.
The new city expands in to a modern European-influenced centre of buildings, offices, pavement cafes and shops. Nicosia is an ideal place for shopping especially Stassicratous Street.
In the countryside you’ll encounter olive groves and various orchards leading up in to the renowned pine forest of the Machairas Mountains on top of which lies a centuries old monastery. From the monastery which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is one of the jewels of Cyprus, you can look down on to the picturesque valley with a brilliant view in all directions.