Did you know that Cyprus is one of oldest wine-producing countries in the world? The amber-coloured local wine Commandaria has been produced for over 3,000 years. With the sun baking over the easternmost island of the Mediterranean, nothing sums up Cyprus more than sipping a cold glass of refreshing wine under the shade of a tree while enjoying the magnificent views of historic surroundings, rolling landscapes and the light blue sea.
Cyprus is considered to be the birthplace of the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. With the idyllic hills, white beaches and charming little villages, this beautiful island is truly a fitting place of origin for the goddess. Along with soaking up the sun and taking a dip in the Mediterranean, visits to the island’s three UNESCO World Heritage Sites are not to be missed: the village of Paphos, with its beautifully preserved remains of villas, palaces and stunning mosaics, the Painted Churches in the Troodos region, and the prehistoric site of Choirokoitia are of brilliant beauty. Visit these monuments in the morning to avoid the baking midday sun and spend hours basking in ancient history.
If you want to cool down after a day of exploring, take a dip in the sea at stunning Fig Tree Beach in Protaras or visit the waterpark Fasouri Watermania in Limassol. For the more adventurous travellers, explore water sports in Pissouri, situated conveniently between Limassol and Paphos, or rent a bike to experience the surrounding area and villages. Alternatively, visit in the winter to try skiing and snowboarding on slopes named after Greek gods in the mountains of Troodos, the southernmost ski resort in Europe.
After a day of exploring the island and lush beaches, the evening should be spent in good company with lots of great Cypriot food. Seek out the tavernas and the 0.restaurants where the locals go, and order some of the main dishes such as moussaka, souvlaki and koupepia (stuffed vineleaves). Or, for a very artsy meal, dine at the 1900 Art Café in Larnaca, where you’ll be surrounded by floor-to-ceiling paintings. If you want to sample lots of little local dishes, then order the Cypriot version of the tapas, known as meze. Grilled halloumi cheese, feta and olives along with good bread should also be on the menu. For dessert, try the small doughnut-shaped pastries known as loukoumades. And, of course, make sure you complement every meal with a glass of good local wine.
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