Bear in mind that since the island was divided between the Greek South and the Turkish North in 1974, if you’re holidaying in Turkey and feel like hopping across to Cyprus for a day trip you’ll probably not be allowed back in to Turkey if you also took in the Greek part of the island. Despite outwardly cordial and stable relations, the Turks frown on visits to Greek Cyprus from the mainland so if you want to go there it’s better to do it on a separate holiday….
Paphos is a Mecca for anyone interested in archaeology or ancient cultures in general. This town was the birthplace of the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, and the Myceneans built a tower here in her honour in the 12th century BC. As well as a fabulous coastline and sweeping landscapes there are loads of historic sites. Explore tombs of ancient kings, beautifully preserved mosaics, a medieval fort and three super museums: the Byzantine Museum, Paphos District Archaeological Museum and the Ethnographical Museum. These are nice places to get in out of the blazing sun and explore the fabulous history of Cyprus and its palimpsest of cultural influences. You can easily get to Paphos on the coast road going east by car from Limassol, or southwest past Kedares and Platres from Troodos.
In terms of natural beauty and historic interest, Cyprus is hard to beat. The well-honed tourist destinations are in the south of the island, but get to see the northern part as well if you can as the landscapes here are generally more rugged and undeveloped and have their own peculiar charm.
-David Elliott is a freelance writer who loves to travel, especially in Europe and Turkey. He’s spent most of his adult life in a state of restless excitement but recently decided to settle in North London. He gets away whenever he can to immerse himself in foreign cultures and lap up the history of great cities.