Cyprus, an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean, boasts everything from vibrant resorts and spectacular beaches to magnificent mountains with exquisite Byzantine churches. Its vibrant capital, Nicosia, which preserves a delightful old town and sturdy Venetian walls, sits in the heart of the island, while, along the southern coast you’ll find popular resorts such as Ayia Napa, Protaras and Larnaca. Unmissable sights include the Akamas Peninsula, with breathtaking scenery, and the beautiful Troodos Mountains, home to enchanting villages and remarkable medieval painted churches which are now collectively a World Heritage Site.
Food & drink:
Cypriot cuisine is rich and varied, reflecting its abundance of fresh produce. Most meals are kicked off with a mezé, a mixture of different appetizers such as olives, hummus or tzatziki, with green salads, and perhaps some octopus or squid, or pickled vegetables. This might be followed by some local cheese, halloumi, which is served grilled or fried, meatballs (‘keftedes’), or slices of marinated, smoked pork (‘lountza’). Main courses might include beautifully fresh fish, such as sea bream or red mullet, or perhaps grilled or roasted lamb, pork or chicken. Fruit is served as dessert along with delicacies such as ‘lokum’ (Turkish delight), ‘soutzoukos’ (sweets made from grape juice), and candied fruit and nuts.
Off the beaten track:
It’s easy to escape the crowds in Cyprus. Head inland to explore exquisite mountain villages and enjoy the stunning views from the top of Mount Olympus in the Troodos Mountains. Or follow one of the island wine routes, visiting boutique wineries. Or you could visit the beautiful, unspoilt Akamas Peninsula, a nature reserve covered in forest.