From traditional village halloumi making to snorkelling in crystal blue waters, Cyprus is the perfect holiday destination
With Eid Al Adha fast approaching and a five-day weekend looking increasingly likely, Cyprus, the idyllic Mediterranean island suggests the top 10 things to do to make the most of a long weekend getaway. At just a four-hour flight from the GCC, the European hotspot is the perfect destination for travellers looking for a quick, relaxing getaway with friends or family.
- Salt of the Earth
Just five-minutes’ drive from Larnaca airport, your first point of call should be the stunning Larnaca Salt Lake. With an Instagram-worthy backdrop of rolling hills and picturesque mountains, the lake is home to an array of different species of bird, including the beautiful pink flamingos during the winter months. In the same visit you can also visit the Hala Sultan Mosque, Cyprus’ largest and historically important mosque.
- And relax…
Popular with travellers the world over, Ayia Napa’s Nissi Beach awaits those looking to relax and soak up the sun, enjoy water sports or dance the afternoon away at live music beach parties every day throughout the summer. An array of bars and restaurants line the beach front making it the perfect spot to savour a full day of fun with your friends.
- Not just for history buffs…
Cyprus is steeped in history and culture, which can be enjoyed and explored on your long weekend. Educate yourself at numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Tomb of the Kings in Paphos, the resting place of Aristocrats who lived and died before 3 A.D. The size and grandeur the underground tombs carry coupled with the impressive decoration of many of the tombs, earns the site a spot on the must-visit places, when travelling to Cyprus.
- Halloumi addicts anonymous
Halloumi is not only a huge part of Arabic traditional food, it is also a huge staple on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Eaten throughout the Middle East, Cyprus has its own twist that is popular the world over. Learn the secrets of the Halloumi cheese by enrolling in a Halloumi making class in the picturesque village of Pera Orinis, close to Nicosia.
- Feel like dancing?
If you’re planning on visiting Cyprus with friends, heading for an evening in Ayia Napa is an absolute must. Dance the night away in the Ayia Napa Square with music pumping until the early hours. With an array of international acclaimed DJ’s and performers scheduled to take to the decks there is always an event going on to keep you entertained and dancing, regardless of your music taste.
- I’ll take one true love, and eternal youth please
Whether you’re travelling with your loved one and looking to enjoy a romantic day out, or you’re simply hoping to pick up some of Aphrodite’s charm, Petra tou Romiou is a must visit, in the beautiful coastal town Pafos. Legend has it that the Greek goddess of Love, Aphrodite, was born from the waves with many claiming that swimming round the rock three times will bring blessings including beauty, eternal youth and true love.
- Cape Greco
Discover the Cypriot underwater world by snorkeling amongst the various sea creatures, through the clear and tranquil waters in Cape Greco. Become one with the aquatic animals as you swim through their home whilst cooling down from the sunny coastal weather. A day at Cape Greco can also be spent relaxing at the picturesque beach or exploring the awe-inspiring sea caves.
- All aboard the Blue Lagoon
Live your best life aboard a boat from Latchi, sailing around the magnificent Blue Lagoon in the Akamas Peninsula. The turquoise waters are so clear, the sea bed below is easily visible from atop and with the backdrop of mountains, a daytrip here will leave you with an array of Instagram-worthy photos. Take the glass bottom boat for the ultimate experience and not miss the chance to swim, that will be a lifetime experience.
- Take to the mountains
A trip to Cyprus is incomplete without a visit to the astounding Troodos Mountains. The villages that line the footfalls of the mountain offer different specialties such as sweets, fruits such as figs, apples, watermelons, lace and other handicrafts as well as halloumi and bread depending on the culture and history behind the village. Hiring a car is highly recommended to experience as many villages as possible, especially with the welcoming Cypriot hospitality and charm of the residents
10. Chasing waterfalls
Surrounded by striking forest stretching 3km, the most scenic way to reach Caledonia waterfall is by the charming nature trail which takes around two hours and is suitable for all fitness levels. However, if walking through the stunning forest isn’t your thing, there is also a 20-minute shortcut. One of the highest waterfalls in Cyprus, the 12-foot plunge will take your breath away.