For our Diwali holidays this year, we took a week long break to the island country of Cyprus in the Mediterranean. Being surrounded by war-struck countries like Syria, Lebanon, Egypt & Israel, Cyprus is often given a miss by travellers. However, the country is deemed extremely safe and has varied cultural influences right from the Ottoman rule, leading up to the British empire and then the Turkish invasion. Cyprus is culturally diverse and has tons to offer.
We planned our stay in the southern tip of the island and travelled across some lovely villages from there. Our flight took us from Ahmedabad to Larnaca and drove an hour to Ayia Napa. Protaras, about 20 minutes from Ayia Napa, houses a lovely villa called Bay View, which was our home for the week. With the contemporary amenities, the villa had a lovely backyard farm patch where I picked up this pomegranate and other luscious fruits.
After travelling for over a day, checking in, we just had an early night in. Next morning, I woke up to gunshots firing around the villa. I was shocked and stealthily made my way upto the edge of our space and saw several men in camouflaged clothing with dogs. Later, I found out, hunting is legal in Cyprus as long in the designated time frames twice a week. These men were hunting partridges. Phew.
To kickstart our first day we had a scrumptious traditional breakfast with delicacies made out of figs, honey, tomatoes, feta and the local special, Halloumi Cheese. If you’ve been to Greece, you’ll find the vibe of the place and the cuisine quite similar because of the country’s close proximity.
Post our morning lounging, we made our way to Cape Greco, a headland between the tourist towns of Ayia Napa & Protaras. We headed to Nissi Beach for lunch, the island’s highest photographed beach, which we found extremely commercial and overhyped. The lesser known beaches like Makronissos, Green Bay & Fig Tree Bay are far prettier, cleaner and calmer.
On our second day, we went to the most beautiful city called Limassol. It has the most fresh seafood, picturesque alleys and tiny taverns that make exploring the village a delight. You may never know what you might find. The village also has the most beautiful courtyards lined with green walls, graffiti and little tiny animals strutting about.
To end our trip, we went to capital city of Nicosia. I was particularly excited about the old town of the city which houses courtyards, ruins, historic streets and museums. However, on our last day it started raining cats and dogs and we were forced to take refuge at a local casino.
My island holiday was filled with everything an island holiday should have. Salivating seafood, blue beaches, azure sand, rock formations, wind in my hair and a full heart.
Aphrodite Rock Beach
It is said that amidst these blue waters and fine pebbles, Goddess Aphrodite emerged from the water. This beach is renowned for its crystal clear waters. Legend has it, if you swim three times around the cliff, you’ll receive the blessings of the goddess along with the grace of youth, beauty, fertility, good fortune & true love.
Bar hopping in Limassol
Because of its coastal front, Limassol is home to some of the island’s most modern and designer beach Barrs. Among the best are, Guaba Beach Bar, Marina Beach Bar & La Isla.
Food you must eat
Enjoy the finest gin and tonic cocktails at Gin Garden. At the Dionysus Mansion, you can enjoy the most refined and modified Cypriot and Greek recipes. Don’t forget to try the chicken stuffed with Halloumi cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms.