Cyprus

Cyprus Travel Guide 2019

Last Updates Mar 29, 2019 | 10 mins read

Cyprus is the home of many cultures, customs and religions. All of them combined make the island a very unique place for sure. This is partly due to the story of the island and the fact that it has been influenced by all of the nations that have crossed it.

Nowadays, Cyprus is divided between Greece (South Cyprus) and Turkey (North Cyprus). Thus, the two official languages are Greek and Turkish. However, wherever you go in Cyprus you will be able to communicate freely in English and Russian as well. That’s why you should not be worried of any language barrier – you get plenty of options here.

Food in Cyprus

Food in Cyprus is simply delicious and the customer service everywhere on the island is excellent. The island offers typical Cypriot food and appetizers such as the Halloumi cheese. You can try it either fresh or grilled, I’ll pick the grilled one. Another typical dish or set of hot and cold appetizers is the Cypriot Meze. Have you heard of the kebabs? Most probably you did. I would definitely recommend to try them while in Cyprus (It’s a totally different type of kebab). However, my personal best is the Moussaka – layers of eggplant, potatoes, minced meat covered in sauce bechamel…They serve the Moussaka with a portion of vegetables and you can add a beer to cool off a bit in the heat.

Drinks in Cyprus

When it comes to drinks, you may try the ‘Zivania’ or ‘Zivana’. Basically, it is a pomace brandy produced from the distillation of a mixture of grape pomace and local dry wines made from Mavro grapes. Zivania is a colorless and highly alcoholic drink (up to 45%) with a light aroma of raisins. Back in time, Zivania was used as an aperitif by the man of the house after a long day in the fields.

Coffee in Cyprus is also a thing! Careful with it, the Cypriot coffee is a strong one. Also, it is prepared in a slightly different way – a coffee pot (“briki”). I personally like the Charalambous coffee, which I also brought back home to enjoy it even more.

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History of Cyprus

Cyprus is not all about food and drinks, it has lots of history and legends to accompany you during your journey. The island is inhabited since the Paleolithic era, when people were still living in caves and hunting for animals. Some of the most significant historical monuments in Cyprus are in the Kato Paphos Archeological Park. The park itself comprises of  Roman villas, Agora, Odeon, a Theater and a necropolis, known as the ‘Tombs of the Kings’.

Since 1980 the park is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. However, it is still being excavated and some of the monuments are not available to the public as the House of Orpheus (One of the Roman villas).

The Roman Villas

Middle (right side) are the Nereids Thetis, Doris and Galatea and bottom right Marsyas and Apollo. Middle left Cassiopeia and bottom left procession of Dionysus.
Middle (right side) are the Nereids Thetis, Doris and Galatea and bottom right Marsyas and Apollo. Middle left Cassiopeia and bottom left procession of Dionysus.

The House of Aion is a villa famous for its well-preserved mosaics. Furthermore, the mosaics are one of the oldest and most remarkable Roman mosaics ever found dating back to the 4th century AD. 

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The House of Theseus in the Kato Paphos Archeological Park

The House of Theseus is a villa where the Roman council was living and also doing his daily tasks. For this reason the villa was divided between rooms for private use and for official works. As a matter of fact, the name of the villa was picked  after an exquisite mosaic of Theseus and the Minotaur was found in it. Also, interestingly enough the villa dates back to the 2nd century AD and was occupied for 5 more centuries. 

The Necropolis

Tombs of the Kings is a large necropolis site and many of the tombs date back to the 4th century BC. In most of the cases, the tombs are carved out of solid rock. In some cases, they are cut into the native rock and imitate the houses of the living. Some of them include Doric columns and walls with frescoes. The burial sites are the tombs of Paphitic aristocrats and high officials.

Working hours and pricing

Kato Paphos Archeological Park

Best time to visit Cyprus

Cyprus is an island with year-round sunshine. Thus, I would suggest that the best time to visit Cyprus is from April till late of October. During the summer months of July and August, it can be unbearably hot. Summer in Cyprus is also overcrowded and prices are higher than in the earlier or later months of the season. So pick your dates wisely!

How to get to Cyprus?

Since Cyprus is an island there are only two ways to reach it – by plane or ship. 

Only two airports operate in Cyprus respectively situated in the south (Paphos Airport) and north (Larnaca Airport) part of the island. Good thing is that most of the low-cost airlines in Europe like EasyJet, Ryanair and WizzAir operate there.

If you plan to visit Cyprus by sea there is no issue with that either. Most of the Mediterranean cruise ships stop at Limassol Port in the south part of the island. However, a cruise ship tour can be a bit pricey compared to a single flight. 

Where to stay in Cyprus?

Staying in a hotel can sometimes be a quite expensive caprice of ours. However, if you do not mind spending a bit more for your perfect stay, go ahead and pick one near the beach. Cyprus offers lots of options when it comes to hotels, thus it will be easy for you. As a tourist destination it also offers great service too.

Other options that you may try if you are not a fan of hotels like me is to book via various booking websites. I always choose to go with Airbnb and now if you are a new member you can get 36 EUR of your first trip!(Click on Airbnb, register and book)

7 Comments

  • Mix-Movie.com

    CYPRUS: We were looking to escape the busy beaches of Paphos during our last visit to Cyprus and someone mentioned the village of Kathikas. It took us about 20 minutes to drive to this tiny village (with mountain views along the way). During our visit, the village itself was very quiet. However, we were looking for authenticity (away from the more touristy attractions in Paphos) and we found solace here. PS: this cat kept following us everywhere! Kathikas is a good idea for a day trip!

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