Enchanting Cyprus – A Mediterranean Paradise

Enchanting Cyprus – A Mediterranean Paradise

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Cyprus is an intriguing blend of eastern and western influences. It has been called the “island of sin” and the “island of Aphrodite.” Either nickname evokes images of an exotic, sensual place filled with passion and luxury, and passionate and luxurious it is. Whether you’re dancing the night away in one of the major tourist cities or exploring the natural coastline, you’ll be amazed at the colorful atmosphere and richness of culture.

Unspoiled Beauty

The Conversation

The Conversation

Many visitors go to Cyprus to immerse themselves in the Mediterranean Sea and soak in the sun on the beach, but Cyprus is more than just golden sands and blue waters. The Karpas Peninsula in northern Cyprus is one of the last untouched places in the Mediterranean. Small villages dot the rural landscape, which is rich with crops such as olives and tobacco. The wildlife and vegetation are diverse; millions of birds stop there during their migrations in the spring, and sea turtles make their nests on the pristine beaches during the summer.

Algadi Turtle Beach is flanked by the Five Finger Mountains, which appear to rise up from the sea. There, you can stroll between the massive dunes or witness baby sea turtles heading toward the Mediterranean. You won’t find this beach hopping with tourists, either; it’s a place to enjoy nature in pure isolation.

Unusual History

Saint Hilarion Castle

Saint Hilarion Castle

The Karpas Peninsula is not only a natural wonderland, but it is also an area steeped in history. The ruins of the Agia Trias Basilica in Sipahi stand alone among the lush green grass, and the sandal mosaic preserved in the basilica floor is a sixth-century symbol of pilgrimage. The Apostolos Andreas Monastery is named after St. Andrew, whose footprints on the area are said to have produced healing springs. The monastery is also one of the pilgrimage sites of the Cypriot Orthodox Church, and the pilgrims’ accommodations flank the ancient monastery.

Imposing Gothic castles are also popular attractions in Cyprus. The Kantara Castle sits in the foothills of Kyrenia Mountains, and the views from the ruins are breathtaking. Legend has it that after sunset, a queen can be seen sitting atop the only intact remaining tower of the castle. Perhaps she is gazing out over her lost kingdom.

Buffavento Castle was built further up in the Kyrenia Mountains and rests high above sea level. Richard the Lionheart invaded the castle in 1191, and the castle was used as a prison for a period of time. It was abandoned during the Venetian period because of its inaccessibility, but its ruins are one of the major attractions in Cyprus today.

Untamed Exuberance

Agia Napa, once a small fishing village, is now a lively resort town. In Agia Napa, you’re overdressed if you’re wearing more than a bathing suit, and it’s not hard to find a cocktail to quench your thirst. Themed bars and nightclubs keep the action going throughout the night, and tourists recuperate their energy by lazing the days away in the sun.

In Pafos, tourists visit the archeological sites by day and frequent the neon lights and pounding beats of the nightclubs after dark. Pafos castle overlooks the harbor and houses a cultural festival that is held every September. The Rock of Aphrodite stands imposingly in the middle of the sea just outside of the city. The city is also known for its varied cuisine, rich in healthy Mediterranean flavor but bursting with international flair too.

An island named after the Greek goddess of love and beauty is bound to live up to its expectations. Visit a place where the striking mixture of cultures infuses your senses and the fresh aroma of citrus groves permeates the air. Languish in the sun or dance to an energetic beat; when you’re in Cyprus, you’ll be charmed by a little bit of everything.

As a small business consultant constantly on the move, Tom Blanchard researches new ways to market on the web, and highly recommends coupons for business marketing. He also writes for couponcroc.co.uk, a UK site that has introduced that region to this beneficial practice.