How To Do Cyprus
Cyprus is perched between Europe, Asia and Africa like a political tiddlywink. It’s been invaded, stolen from and traded about, and it’s still split in the north with Turkey.
This mix of influences means there’s a shedload of history and culture (not to mention peng beaches) all smushed up together. But navigating it all can be quite overwhelming.
Here’s our guide on How To Do Cyprus.
Here's our Cyprus history highlights...
‘Yo mama so old, her birthplace was Ancient Kourion.’ The guide’s bantz may need some work, but Kourion is impressive enough to stand on its own. Protected from development by the earthquake that pancaked it (hello irony), Kourion has ancient baths, mosaic floors and an amphitheatre from the 2nd century BC that still opens for business in the summer.
There’s a splattering of 10 painted churches in The Troodos mountain bit of Cyprus, all full of colourful murals like a religious kaleidoscope. Find them with this guide.
Built in 1900, the 1900 Art Cafe (geddit) serves up dinner with a side of bohemian artsy madness. Go through the blue door to a restaurant and bar covered in murals, posters and 80s memorabilia - as well as a hundred kinds of whisky.
Hala Sultan Tekke is killing it. As well as being one of the holiest Islamic sites in the world, it’s got a salt lake full of flamingos. YASS PLZ.
There’s also been a lorra development in Cyprus, bringing fresh new flavours to this little island. Here’s the best new bits...
For some befuddling reason, seafood is usually frozen in Cyprus. Feck that - do it right with fish fresher than the Prince of Belair at Pyxida Fish Tavern. It’s at the pricier end for Cyprus, but what price can you put on straight-from-the-waves oysters?
The Rialto Theatre was refurbed in 2000, and is now Limassol’s cultural heart. Book yer tickets for contemporary dance, cutting-edge theatre and indie film fests.
Beach bar in Cyprus can mean a Tequila Sunrise fishbowl, but locals’ favourite Sirena Bay is actually dreamy. Head in the day for dappled light and sea swims, but stick around for candlelit G&Ts.
What with all the invasions and wars, Cyprus is borrowing cultures from everywhichway. Here’s where to focus your gaze...
Ledra Street used to be the Checkpoint Charlie of Cyprus, barricading Turkish north Cyprus and the Greek south. But in 2008 they opened it up to become the main street in Nicosia, blending Cypriot cultures like a mezze platter of peace-keeping lurrrrve. Make sure you have your passport to cross the border.
Timothy’s Art Bar has Spanish tapas, Indian sitars and American jazz, all wrapped up in a Turkish-Cypriot house in Paphos. Go with it.
Cyprus full to its little brim with Blue Flag beaches (shorthand for clean). Here’s our pick of the beautiful blues...
First on your list has got to be Cyprus’ sea caves. Whittled out of the rock by sea, sun and melty sandstone. Find your way there by following the path from Coral Bay - entrance to the caves is only by swimming or boat.
If you’re looking for blue turned up to 11, the Blue Lagoon in Akamas has everything and more. As well as nuclear spill worthy blues, there’s shoals of fish and other sea critters, plus the sheltered cove keeps the water as warm as 30 °C.
Goddess Aphrodite was born from the overspilled spunk that frothed out of old god Uranus’ severed dong. Aphrodite’s Rock is meant to be the place she first came (ahem) into existence and, for the godly equivalent of a crusty jizz sock, it’s surprisingly beaut. Have a little swim around the bay and feel closer to the gods.
Cyprus is a beautiful hodge-podge of cultures, history and salty goddess worthy beaches. How to do Cyprus? Just stay away from the Ayia Napa strip and you can’t really go wrong...