The Lovely Little Paradise called Cyprus….

Cyprus!!!…Sigh!!…..A place really close to my heart. I landed in Cyprus a  few days after my wedding in Feb 2006 and stayed there for a little less than 2 years,only…sigh!!..Really only!! You cant have enough of this beautifully romantic place. No wonder I always associate bliss, beauty, peace of mind, romance, a beautiful sea, exotic Mediterranean cuisine,warm & welcoming people…..n so much more to this place.

Like other Europe, the best time to be in Cyprus is from April to Oct. Not that Europe is bad in winters, of course its great,specially if your idea of chilling is having hot freshly brewed coffee while its snowing outside. Personally, I feel Cyprus is at its best with sin(oops) Sun & Sand in summers while it bustles with tourists.

If travelling from India, http://www.emirates.com/, or http://www.gulfair.com/English/Pages/default.aspx are good options. Emirates would be a little higher on pricing, although its totally worth it. With Emirates, you would get a break at Dubai, and with Gulf Air at Bahrain. Both certainly have great airports, and don’t you be disheartened when you enter the airport at Cyprus. It isn’t the most dazzling or trendy of the airports, but that small little country( probably even smaller than an Indian state) that awaits you outside of the airport has a lot to offer & will surely make your vacation a treasured one.

You would enter Cyprus at either Larnaca or Paphos airports. When you see sexy Merc and Limos as cabs…Man you know you in Cyprus! You may also rent a car easily. There are many portals available on the internet and you can make a pre booking online. The highways are great and the directions quite clear.

This isn’t a big country and a 10 day tour would be enough to cover it all. But for most certain, once you feel the magic this place spells, you are bound to come back again,  if not extending your vacationSmile

Cyprus is divided in two parts, occupied by Turk Cypriots to the north and the Greek Cypriots in the south. You need separate Visas, as well. The culture in these two areas is way different too. You may like to refer to the culture, etiquette, and language tips here, http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/cyprus-country-profile.html

There are a number of castles, archaeological sites, tombs of past kings, monasteries, harbors, bars, pubs, discs, museums, shopping places and lovely beaches, all through Cyprus, in every city. A vacation in Cyprus, I believe is not much about sight seeing, Its majorly about exploring how beautiful this place is while biking /driving, the serene nature trails, the amazing waves of the Mediterranean & great cuisine variety & of course, the motto – the beer must flowSmile

Yet, the following info would help you plan your trip city by city. A 2 day stay at each city is sufficient. Must Visit Places in Cyprus are: Ayia Napa & Paphos.

Places to see in Southern(Greek) Cyprus:

Larnaca: This is a charming town. The Main promenade is lined up with beautiful palm trees, full of cafes and bars.CTO Tours give a good Larnaca city tour.

To name a few sights:

Pierides Archaeological Foundation Museum

Church of Agios Lazaros

Byzantine Museum

Larnaca Fort

Tourist Submarine Dive site

Tudor Inn – British restaurant. There are a few good Indian/Pakistani restaurants too

The beach right next to the Larnaca international airport is a must see. Its fascinating to see the plane land so close to you.

Limassol: or lemesos, as it is called sometimes is the second biggest city in the country and with a night life only second to that of Ayia Napa.An hour drive from Larnaca would bring you to this city offering lovely seaside cityscape,  stylish cafes, shops, restaurants, taverns, lapped by the Mediterranean stretch to the south.

Courion Beach – The monstrous waves make this beach a special place. Its just beautiful to just sit by the side of this beach and feel how deep the sea isSmile. Pine Tree is an Indian restaurant nearby.

Fassouri Water Park – Great to enjoy a family time.

Good Places to Eat include: Syrian Arab Friendship Club, Raj Tandoor, Alaska, Cleopatra and many more….

Lemesos Medieval castle, Archaeological Museum, Bear Factory, the Time Elevator, Folk Art Museum are some other good sights to see here

Troodos: These mountains are another 50 minutes or so, drive from Limassol. They are great & snow covered in winters offering a great ski experience. You will love the roasted sweet corn here. There are a few camping sites here.

The village of Pissouri: offers you a breath taking view of 20 mile stretch of the sea. Its also famous for its delicious sultana grapes.

Nicosia(or Lefkosia): Perhaps the only divided capital city in the world, this place has a lot to offer to you in terms of the ancient culture of Cyprus. No Beaches, but great to shop for souvenirs and see the cultural heritage.

Places to see: Green Line walk, Famagusta gate, ArchBishop’s Palace, Venetian Walls, Faneromeni Church, Paphos Gate, Ostrich wonderland park, Cyprus Handicrafts Center : are only a few of the things to you may like to consider while you are at Southern Nicosia

Ayia Napa: Man this town rocks!!You can spend as many days of your vacation here and still would crave for more. It boasts of the best night life and the best beaches in Cyprus. There are numerous discs/pubs/bars lined up here.

Must visit places are:

Nissi Beach – This happening beach is bustling with tourists in summers and With all kinds of water sports, transparent golden sand beach, why wouldn’t it?. Napa Bungee is a must try!!

Protaras- Another beautiful  and happening place, 45 mins from Ayia Napa.

Sea caves

Scuba Base

Party Cruises

Paphos: 90 minutes of drive from Limassol and you reach Paphos. This city is considered to be the birth place of Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

Baths of aphrodite is a must visit when in Paphos.

KatoPafos is the amongst the best beaches here.

Adonis Falls are other tourist attraction in Paphos , though the ride is a little difficult.

One may also try to biking on Akamas mountain trails.

Coral Bay boasts of white sands with a calm sea.

Latchi Village – A little drive from paphos would take you to this beautiful resort.

KohiNoor – is a great option for Indian cuisine

Aphrodite waterpark and Paphos aquarium are other places to see.

Polis Beach is another 1 or 2 hours drive from Paphos. It’s a great camping site, as well.

Places to see in North(Turk) Cyprus:

North cyprus has a lot of Casinos, bars, Night clubs and Dics too. I believe it’s the long sea side drive that drives you crazy in North CyprusSmile.You can just go n on n on driving here watching some beautiful landscapes on the way. Yet two must visit cities are:

Kyrenia

Kyrenia harbor – is a beautiful place and a major tourist attraction in Kyrenia.

The St. Hilarion Castle – A rough climb to the top of this castle gives you a spectacular view of the whole city and the coastline.

ShipWreck Museum

Kyrenia Castle

Famagusta

The Sea Gate

Geek St George Church

The City of Salamis

I thinks that’s all the info I have about this “romanchak” country. Would love to see additions from my friends who are still living in this paradise.

Daxi!!

Kalimera My Friends!!!

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