#TatlerTips: The Globetrotter’s 10 in Cyprus
1/10 Dive Into Greek Mythology
For an interactive lesson in Greek mythology, swim at Aphrodite's Rock, said to be where the goddess was born out of white foam in the sea. Adonis’ Bath Waterfallsis a place frequented by the goddess’ mortal lover known for his legendary good looks, both of which are located in Paphos. Their natural beauty attracts tourists and locals alike, many of whom spend hours at these destinations.
There is a legend that a person who swims around Aphrodite’s Rock shall be blessed with eternal beauty. Aphrodite plays a central role in Pygmalion where she breathed life into the ivory statute that he created and later fell in love with. Pygmalion and Galatea (his statute) had a child named Paphos, the founder and namesake of the city in Cyprus, who built the first temple to Aphrodite in gratitude for what she did for the two lovers.
2/10 Watch a Greek Tragedy in an Ancient Amphitheatre
The award winning International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama present tragedies by the likes of Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus, to name a few, every July in amphitheatres around Cyprus, including the Paphos Ancient Odeon, Curium Ancient Theatre, and Skali Amphitheatre. This traditional experience takes the audience back to Ancient Greece, where the origins of contemporary Western theatre are rooted.
3/10 Walk Through Greek Ruins at Kourion
This UNESCO World Heritage Site sits atop a hill with a panoramic view of the glistening cyan blue Mediterranean waters. Amidst the pillars and the ruins are beautiful floor mosaics with intricate designs showcasing the stunning artistry of the ancient civilization. At Kourion are the remains of a Sanctuary of Apollo as well as an early Christian basilica.
4/10 Visit the Tomb of the Kings
The tombs were built during the Hellenistic and early Roman period, but were inspired by the crypts of Ancient Egypt. The Tomb of the Kingsare a stunning example of rock-cut architecture that is usually found in the desert but in this case are situated by a cliff overlooking the sea.
The tombs were never used as the burial site for any members of royalty, merely for high ranking officials of the area. The site got its name from its imposing and grand architecture that impressed the local people and early excavators.
5/10 Drink Like a Local
The perfect day here starts with a strong brew of aromatic Cypriot coffee at a cafe like the one at Sirena Bay, which has colorful chairs, comforting shade from trees, and a great location is right by the sea where you can even go for a quick dip. In total, this makes for a delightful breakfast experience and is very characteristic of the “coffee shop” culture. For lunch, bring out Mediterranean flavours by ordering a traditional mezzeplatter and a glass of a local Cypriot wine which comes from an industry that is over 6,000 years old -- the oldest in the Mediterranean region.
Cypriot coffee is one of the most flavourful and strongest coffees in the world and is served with a glass of water. It can be ordered plain (“sketo”), with a teaspoon of sugar (“metrio”) or two (“glyki”), but never, never ask for milk with it.
6/10 Visit Religious Sites of Multiple Faiths
Cyprus has a long history with the Abrahamic religions. Within the city of Larnaca alone, there is the Hala Sultan Tekke, the fourth holiest place of worship in Islam, and the Church of St. Lazarus, which has the crypt of St Lazarus of Bethany, who, as the Bible says, was resurrected by Jesus. Up in the Troodos Mountains are the beautifully decorated Byzantine churches, considered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
It is a tradition in the Greek Orthodox Church to bake a Fanouropita cake and leave it at a church when one has lost something or when something has been found – this is done as an offering dedicated to Ayio Fanourios (the Saint of Lost Things).
7/10 Spend the Afternoon at the Beach
Cyprus has the highest Blue Flag certified beaches density. This is an eco-label awarded for a beach’s environmental qualities. People take great care.in preserving their coastlines, maintaining their shores, and not throwing trash amidst nature.At Ayia Napaor Protaras, the main beach destination of the island, you can go cliff jumping into clear blue waters, jump on a jet ski, try parasailing, snorkeling, or scuba diving. There is no shortage of things to do on the beaches of Cyprus, although sometimes the best medicine is to simply kick back and do nothing at all.
8/10 Walk a Divided Capital
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Nicosia stands as the last divided capital in the world. This beautiful city is still healing from the Cypriot crisis of the late 50s and early 60s, scarred with bullet holes in now abandoned buildings. Nicosia has a busy history of political and cultural significance in both ancient and modern times, this makes walking through the Old City of Nicosiaa one of a kind experience.
The southern part of the city belongs to the Republic of Cyprus, while the other half is the de facto state called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (a state only recognised by Turkey.)
9/10 Watch the Sunset at a Salt Lake
Theand Limassol Salt Lakesperfectly reflect the sky for a picturesque sunset. Its natural beauty is idyllic and romantic. Here, it seems as if the sky and the earth touch.
If visiting close to the winter time, try and catch colorful, pink flamingos engaging in ritual mating dances reflected in the waters of the Larnaca Salt Lake, they use the area as a temporary home during the migratory season as do swans, ducks, and numerous other birds.
10/10 Have a Slice of Halloumi
A trip to Cyprus is not complete without having a slice of halloumi, preferably with some watermelon on an hot summer day. The local cuisine takes from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences. There are delicious souvlakisas well as kebabson any street corner which are definitely a must-have. Halloumi cheese is quintessentially Cypriot. It can easily be fried or grilled, eaten alone, or with meats, fruits or vegetables. No matter how it is eaten, it will always leave you wanting a little bit more!
Entry Requirements: For holders of a Philippine passport, a multi-entry Schengen visa is required to enter the Republic of Cyprus, which cannot be the port of entry; there is no visa required to enter the self proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
When to Go to Cyprus: The high season runs from July to August, although their summer lasts for relatively longer than the rest of the continent, so late spring and early autumn are ideal times to visit so as to avoid the crowds of British tourists but also soak in some sun.