While most sunny destinations have their share of historical background, with intricate old remains dotted here and elegant Cathedrals sprinkled there – few are as steeped in history as Cyprus.
Cyprus has one of the oldest cultures in the Mediterranean with civilization dating back some 9,000 years. With its history of Greek/Turkish occupation it offers a real culture clash experience with the island consisting of two-thirds Greek and one-third Turkish territory.
The capital city of Nicosia is the only divided city left in Europe and although the segregation wall is now down, this town still bears the long scar line of the physical divide. The roots of conflict are tangled and long-running, but having been all but laid to rest this past decade they pose no trouble to visitors – instead they seek to enrich the island with a sense of history, passion and adventure.
With Greeks outnumbering Turks in Cyprus, it seems natural that Greek mythology would surround many of the small towns and cities, such as Paphos – which claims to be the birthplace of the legendary Greek Goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. With its underground tombs dating back to 4th Century BC, as well as the delicate mosaics scattered throughout the city, you can easily get lost in Paphos’ romantic sense of love and mystery.
Cyprus also offers many carefree, charming little havens where you can clear your thoughts. Escape to the cool, crisp atmosphere of the Troodos Mountains, which will shade you from the summer sun as well as offering up snow-covered slopes in the winter. Or retire to the sleepy coastal village of Polis, which feels like taking a step back in time – basically because the tourists haven’t found it yet! Quite a feat considering the millions of people that flock to Cyprus each year!
Of course, you can no longer talk of Cyprus without at least a passing mention of Ayia Napa; the clubber’s paradise. On the one-hand this party-town seems to have over-shadowed people’s perception of Cyprus. However, it is actually an example of the different personas that this multi-faceted island has to offer. Cyprus is made up of many intriguing layers; serious and political, ancient and mythical, all the way down to the downright unabashed fun of Ayia Napa.
Cyprus has the ability to offer far more that just fun in the sun. If you have the inclination to delve deeper, holidays in Cyprus provide ample opportunity to explore, and coupled with plenty to discover there’s little to disappoint.