For travelers interested in more than sand and sun, you’re in for a treat. This island of Cyprus has a wonderful history and the Island is so compact that you can conveniently locate yourself in one town and go out for a day trip from there. Cyprus has archeological sites, fine Byzantine temples, monasteries and galleries. Hiking is also a beautiful activity with amazing abundance of unique flora and fauna.
Wandering down Salamis ‘dirt tracks between collections of ruins from a muddle of various ages is a lesson in Cyprus’ extensive past. This extensive archeological site is home to a wealth of marble ruins and ranks up with Ancient Kourion as the Island ‘s highest historic site.
Great Hellenistic artwork-featured by Christians resides in the ruins of the Gymnasium. Also, two significant Byzantine church ruins stand between wild fennel and weed fields with a big reservoir area which reveals the technical capacity and management of what was once a great ancient city.
Ancient Salamis is in North Cyprus, but it’s an easy day trip from Nicosia.
Romantically set across a coastal cliff with tumbling countryside and Mediterranean views, ancient Kourion is a wonderful place.
The whole site is vast, but the most notable places to visit are the Eustolios Theater and Home, which houses a clutch of fine, well-preserved mosaics. The large Byzantine basilica area is beautifully picturesque, with its tumbled columns and mosaic floor scraps.
Nissi Beach is the most popular stretch of sand in Cyprus and rolls over Agia Napa’s turquoise bay. It gets busy in the summer, but even with rows of sunbeds, there’s no questioning Nissi ‘s charm.
The water is very shallow at the shoreline and very calm within the bay as a whole, making it a great spot for families with young children, and in the summer high season, bags of facilities are on offer, meaning you can make an entire day at the beach.
At the shoreline, the water is very shallow and very quiet inside the bay as a whole, making it a perfect location for families of young children. There are lots of facilities so you can make a whole day at the beach.
Cape Greco is an extremely stunning national coastal park with a number of walking trails that start just east of Agia Napa resort.
Here there is a wonderful variety of local flora, particularly many of the exotic wild orchids of Cyprus that bloom in early spring, but the real highlight is the utterly stunning coastal scenery with azure blue sea beyond. The trails stretch all the way to Cape Greco point, which is the island’s most southerly tip.
ST. HILARION CASTLE
St. Hilarion, one of the Mediterranean’s most stunning castle ruins, is an ancient Crusader bastion and is home to numerous myths and legends. Local legend says a fairy queen founded the castle itself, who charmed local shepherds on the slopes here.
The extensive ramparts and chambers of the castle snake up the mountain and become the paradise of explorers. A path passes through the lower castle buildings with barracks and stables, to the ruins with walls, royal residences, and chapels.
The views across the hills and down to the coastal plain are phenomenal for those who ascend right to the brink. North Cyprus has three large ruins of a castle, but by far the best preserved is St. Hilarion, even if you only have time to see only one castle in Cyprus, this one is worth visiting.
Easygoing, on the south-eastern side of the island, is a seaside resort, Larnaca which has retained its local soul. Larnaca is by far the most laid-back base for holidaymakers here. Here you get to enjoy both sun and sand in this old crumbling Turkish Quarter (called Skala) and ornate Agios Lazaros (St. Lazarus Church) which gives the town a fascinating historical touch.
Better still, the salt lake is packed in spring with many hill towns and cultural sites in the nearby hinterland full of pink flamingos.