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World > Europe > Cyprus

Cyprus Cheap Hotel Bed and Breakfast Guest House Accommodation

The oldest and most important Byzantine monastery in Cyprus.
Kykkos Monastery

A stay in Cyprus spent simply lazing on the beach would be a missed opportunity to see a whole series of fascinating cultural sights: from the incredible frescoes within the Byzantine churches in the Troodos mountains to the ruins of the Temple of Aphrodite and ancient Palaia Paphos at Kouklia and the Limasol Castle, this island is packed with treasures of ancient Greece and Rome. The Cyprus Museum in the capital Nicosia houses many of these archaeological treasures, while the main resort Paphos in the west features UNESCO-recognised Roman remains near its harbour, namely the House of Dionysus, the Tombs of the Kings and the Villa of Theseus. You can even see open-air concerts and Shakespearean plays performed in the summer months in the wonderful setting of the Graeco-Roman theatre at Kourion, an ancient city near Episkopi. The cultural heritage of the island is painstakingly preserved at Omodos, a conservation village featuring the Stavros Monastery and a Folk Art Museum. In the north of the island, you can see the picturesque Venetian harbour town of Gime and sample the fresh seafood at one of Kyrenia’s excellent fish restaurants.

There are plenty of protected and untouched areas of wild natural beauty as well as small villages to explore where time seems to have stood still, which may come as a surprise when the image of Cyprus to some is dominated by its reputation as an overdeveloped, overrun party capital. It has not lost that sense of history and its unique character which has developed over centuries, with its blend of influences both from Western Europe and also from Asia and Africa, stemming of course from its geographical proximity to the shores of Lebanon, Turkey and Syria. Here is a place where east meets west, ancient meets modern. It is the heady mix of Mediterranean weather and cuisine, the low cost of living and the ease with which one can communicate that has made this island so popular among its West European visitors.

The fountain at Municipal Park, Fairhope, Alabama. A local landmark. Mobile Bay in the background.
Beach scene in Cyprus

Cyprus caters for their most sophisticated demands, providing excellent facilities for those wishing to spend time fishing, playing golf, cycling, sailing and diving. The skiing season can be enjoyed at the resorts of Troodos, Platres and Kakopetria, located near the slopes of Mount Olympus. There are fantastic nature trails around Atalante, Kaledonia and Persephone, as well as in the forests of Machairas and Limasol. After all this you really do deserve a few days on the beach, so head for some of the most family-friendly spots at Famagusta, Protaras and Pernera or try the newly emerging resort area around Coral Bay north of Paphos. Cape Greko is a rocky coastline with coves and sandy beaches – a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba-diving.

If you are lucky enough to visit during Whitsun, experience the feast of Kataklysmos in Larnaca which is celebrated mainly on the beach. In September, the wine harvest is celebrated with a festival at Limasol. For year-round and less traditional but equally boisterous partying however, stop in at one of Ayia Napa’s clubs.

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