Cyprus is an interesting destination as it manages to blend a number of cultures so effortlessly. It’s location in the European Mediterranean, but its close proximity to Syria, Turkey, Greece and Lebanon, gives a unique mix of Eastern and Western influences.
You may know Cyprus for the wild nightlife in Ayia Napa or the stretches of golden sands, but the ‘island of Aphrodite’ offers a whole lot more to visitors that dare step away from the main centres of tourism.
If you’re staying in hotels or villas in Cyprus, but want to escape from the resort to learn a bit more about this fabulous island, here are five ‘unmissable’ sights to visit.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Ok, so it may be cheating to pack these three incredible places into the one point, but they really are ‘must-sees’. The first is the entire city of Paphos, which is home to the remains of tombs, mosaics, palaces and fortresses. Next up is the Byzantine Painted Churches in the Troodos region, the walls of which are decorated with spectacular murals. Last, but not least is the Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia, which is a prehistoric excavation site that has provided great insight into life on earth as far back as 7000 B.C.
This Turkish bath in the Nicosia Old Town has been lovingly restored and reopened for public use. Relax in an ancient tradition, you’ll enjoy plenty of treatments, including exfoliating and pummelling. Come out feeling revitalised and ready to see the rest of the island.
If you are interested in the history of this divided country, there’s no better place to visit than the Cyprus Museum. It is home to an incredible archaeological collection, with artefacts from the Bronze Age, Stone Age and Byzantine era.
This ancient amphitheatre is nothing more than an excavation site these days, but it’s still pretty spectacular, especially if you’re interested in Roman history. The area offers incredible views over the Mediterranean.
Visiting Zenobia isn’t as simple as jumping on a bus and heading into town; you’ll need to don scuba diving gear and get in the water, as it’s one of the biggest shipwrecks in the Mediterranean. Zenobia failed in the Larnaca harbour on her maiden voyage and was subsequently towed out to sea. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you can explore parts of this wreck and the nearby reefs.