I started my journey from Newquay flying up to Gatwick with Flybe to meet my connecting flight with Norwegian Airlines to Larnaca. I was surprised how easy the connection was between flights and would definitely do it again for a long-haul flight from London.
Norwegian Airlines is relatively new on the scene; they have been rebranded and introduced a lot of new routes both short and long haul. The aircraft was modern, spacious and even had the bonus of WIFI on board which was free of charge!
After arriving in Larnaca we had a 40-minute scenic transfer to our first hotel which was the 5* Amathus Beach Hotel in Limassol. This hotel is a family favourite and you can see why – its beach fronted, splash pool for children, open plan dining looking out to the sea and spacious rooms.
The new marina area of Limassol is around a 15-minute drive from the hotel, which features upmarket shops, restaurants and luxury yachts but still only a 5-minute stroll from old town Limassol with the traditional tavernas and shops.
Whilst in Limassol we had the chance to look at the Four Seasons hotel which is the neighbouring property to the Amathus Beach. This hotel screams luxury, it underwent a full renovation in 2016 and combines impeccable facilities with world class service.
On the next morning, we left Limassol for our transfer to Paphos to stay at the Asimina Suites. We had a detour just off the main road to take in the beautiful view of Aphrodite’s Rock, which is one of Cyprus’ most sacred landmarks as the birth place of Aphrodite the goddess of love and fertility. I would recommend this as a short excursion – the views are unforgettable. There is a small beach and café near to the rocks to make more of a stop out of it. We continued our journey to Kato Paphos for our stay and hotel visits in the area. This is perfect if you are looking for a quieter base but close enough to get into the town if you wanted. I used the local bus to get into the harbour in the afternoon which was a fixed charge of 3 euros return.
The harbour has the usual selection of bars, restaurants and souvenir shops with cultural delights like the Paphos Mosaics, Paphos Castle and Archaeological Park.
The following day we had a day visiting the most amazing hotels in Cyprus – The Elysium and The Anassa. The Elysium is 10 minutes outside of Paphos harbour right next to the Tombs of the Kings. This hotel is designed with the culture of Cyprus in mind. It is filled with local marble and stone and has uninterrupted views out to the Mediterranean. The tag line for this hotel is that you don’t have to die to experience heaven – and I can see what they mean!
From Paphos we had around an hour transfer up into the hillside for our visit to Anassa which is situated on one of the best beaches on the island and built in the style of a Cypriot village. It is a luxury hotel for both families and couples and if you enjoy spa treatments this is the place to go with an award winning Roman style Thalassa Spa. The view over the Mediterranean especially at sunset is one of the best in Europe and together with the understated luxury and elegance makes this an ideal hotel for a beach break.
Our last full day in Cyprus was spent travelling back to the other end of the Island to Ayia Napa. On the way, we had a stop just outside of Limassol at the 15th Century Kolossi Castle which has spectacular views of the countryside from the top of the tower if you are brave enough to negotiate the Castle stairs!
From here we travelled to the archaeological site of Kourion which was one of the island’s most important city-kingdoms in antiquity. The magnificent Greco-Roman theatre – the site’s centrepiece - has been restored, and is now used for open-air musical and theatrical performances - mainly during the summer months - making it one of the most popular settings for high-calibre cultural events. Alongside theatre are the remains of the ‘House of Eustolios’, which was originally a private villa that was turned into a public recreation centre during the Early Christian period. Its remains consist of four panels of beautiful, 5th century mosaic floors in the central room, and a bathing complex that is located on a higher level. A roof structure allows visitors to enjoy the site all year round, and explore its remnants.
Our last stop on our journey was to one of the most beautiful villages in Cyprus it nestles in the southern foothills of the Troodos Mountains; Omodos is in the centre of the famous wine making region of the country and is only a 30-minute drive from Limassol town. Omodos is a village rich in cultural history and its famous Monastery houses a piece from the Holy Rope with which Christ was tied upon the Cross and was left in Omodos by St Helen. The village is filled with souvenir shops selling the famous and beautiful hand-made lace and jewellery, coffee shops, and restaurants including taverns and a few modern bars and cafes all housed in traditional buildings.
We finished our day with a stay just outside of Ayia Napa in Fig Tree Bay. The beaches at this end of the Island are second to none and perfect for a family break. If you are looking for a beach based holiday with a busier atmosphere the areas on Protaras and Ayia Napa are for you.
I had to travel from London for my trip but you can fly from most regional airports to Cyprus for most of the year. If you need any help in choosing a holiday to Cyprus please don’t hesitate in contacting me.
Errors and omissions excepted.
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