The year 2016 will mark the 46th year that Sunvil has promoted this enchanting island. In that time, we have built up a knowledge and feeling for the country which is second to none. We can truly say that we know Cyprus inside out. Who better, then, to introduce you to this, the third largest island in the Mediterranean, having many of the attractions of Greece, yet spiced with a dash of the Orient?
It is an easy place to visit: the 4½ hour flight is reasonably short. Eighty years of British rule has left its mark and you will find much to remind you of home. Driving on the left, for example, and English almost a second language, the police and judiciary trained on our lines. Cypriots are among the world’s most welcoming people: ‘Nobody comes to Cyprus once’ is an island saying, and when you return, even years after, you will be greeted warmly because you are an old friend.
Watch Sunvil Holidays video about holidays in Cyprus
Apart from its long, luxurious summer, Cyprus off season can be most attractive and peaceful. Skiing is available on Mount Olympus, the countryside becomes green and fresh again after the first rain and soon a profusion of flowers emerges. Among the first are the delicate white narcissae… in February come the anemones, according to legend the spilled blood of Adonis.... wild orchids, freesias and irises appear and finally fields of bright yellow chrysanthemums herald the new summer. And remember, that Greek Easter (29th April – 2nd May 2016) in Cyprus is something very special.
Along the south coast are fine sandy beaches, first class hotels and a lively nightlife. Inland you can discover an entirely different style – the age-old peasant culture led by the village priest and mukhtar (head man) where tales are told and little has changed through generations. If, however, you are seeking a wild, unspoiled place, go north-west to the Akamas Peninsula and the national park. There you can almost hear the flowers growing it is so quiet, or the lapping of small waves far below, and the sea is the colour of amethyst.
A unique blend drawn from sources all around the Eastern Mediterranean, there is a variety not quite found elsewhere. Cyprus salads and fruit are excellent, as are meat dishes such as delicious kleftico (tender lamb). There are many vegetarian dishes cooked with olive oil, tomato, local herbs and spices. Hundreds of years of practice makes perfect. At some stage seek out a village taverna and try a ‘meze’ – a feast of up to 30 small dishes of just about everything in the kitchen.
Cyprus has been exporting wine since the days of Homer, and you will find a wide selection comparable to the best from the Eastern Mediterranean, especially now that small wineries are in fashion. Keep sampling until you find your favourite. The local brandy is also very good, and brandy sour is a popular and refreshing drink. It is said that the grapes used to make the famous Pico Island fortified red wine 'of the Azores' Archipelago in the Atlantic ocean originally came from Cyprus.
Holiday tips from Representative Angela:
- Take a picnic basket full of locally produced goodies and spend some time on the Blue Lagoon beach near Aphrodite's Baths, Latchi
- Go with the local goat herder moving his goats back to his farm to milk. Though he does have a nap half way through which causes the goats to wonder slightly off track! This can be arranged in Latchi or Aghios Georgious
- Experience herbal cocktails and other home-made delights at the Herb Garden in Pano Akourdaelia or attend a learning/gastronomic day at the Herb Garden including organic meze with local wine
- Visit the local farmers' market in Pano Akourdaelia for homegrown produce such as seasonal fruits, vegetables, home-made preserves, breads, cheeses, olive oil and more
- Set off for a short two kilometre walk either taking you through orchards, carob trees or olive groves
- There is a series of village route books designed by the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI). The village routes describe a selection of recommended self drive tours:
- Village Route One - Limassol District
- Village Route Two - Larnaca (Orini) District
- Village Route Three - Famagusta District (Red Earth & Windmills)
- Village Route Four - Troodos Green Heart of Cyprus
- Village Route Five - Pitsilia
- Village Route Six - North Paphos & Akamas
Escape the tourist resorts and experience local tradition and crafts, in a village life setting.