Cyprus is the most easterly island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is the 3rd largest island with a total area of 9,250km2. It has had a very turbulent history, which gives rise to some fascinating archaeology and culture. The culture is very diverse, drawing customs and traditions from the many different empires that left their mark on the Island throughout its history. The Cypriots hold their traditions very dear and most months there are festivals or feasts celebrating the various aspects of their way of life. The summers in Cyprus are wonderfully long. July and August can be very hot but there is always a shady spot somewhere to doze away the hottest part of the day. The tourist season starts in April, then May, June, September and October are absolutely perfect. November and December can be mild and changeable. In the winter months of January and February temperatures can dip as low as 8 degrees but winters are short and very soon the colourful spring flowers such as cyclamen and anemones are littering the meadows and verges.
The Cyprus terrain is stunning, ranging from beautiful sandy beaches and majestic cliffs to stunning mountain vistas, not forgetting of course the famous Aphrodite’s Rock on the south coast. The Island has less than 1 million inhabitants, mostly concentrated in the coastal regions and cities, leaving large parts of the inland areas picturesque and unspoiled.
There is a lot to see and do in Cyprus. For the adventurous there are exciting mountain cycle trails in the summer, as well as scuba diving, kite surfing and hang gliding. In winter, the snow covered peaks of the Troodos mountain range ring to the sound of the skiers and tobogganers making the most of the deep covering that can last for two or three months. In the coastal areas of the Island there are ample beaches for the sun worshippers and sea farers alike. Recently a stunning new marina has been constructed in the old port area of Limassol with bars, restaurants and shops to attract the yachting fraternity. Limassol is the Island’s 2nd largest city after the beautiful city of Nicosia, the capitol. Shopping all over the Island has become much more International with many well known brands now being available, with a shopping Mall in Nicosia, Limassol and more recently in Paphos. For gifts to take home the main things to look for are lace, leather and local wines which are very reasonably priced and of good quality.
In the last ten years Cyprus has put itself on the map for keen golfers. There are four superb courses in the Paphos area, the most well known and visually spectacular of these being Aphrodite Hills which was designed by Cabell Robinson and opened in 2002. Aphrodite Hills has had many awards and was crowned as the Best Golf Course in Cyprus in the first Annual World Golf Awards in 2014.