Tag - Cyprus

A North Cypriot Sojourn I

Experiences and flavours of Turkish North Cyprus during a ten day trip.
Kyrenia castle, author collection

Kyrenia castle, author collection

Northern Cyprus is a great place for a holiday. In the area of Kyrenia, in a village called Lapta, hotels have sprung up for travellers looking for culture and sun. The back drop to this northern coastline is the Kyrenian Mountain Range, a mystical, beautiful panorama of crags, trees, scrub and often, mists that lend the whole vista a metaphysical flavour. Some of this range exceeds 900 metres in height and is majestic against a clear, blue, Mediterranean sky.

Cypriot Scents

Beautiful shrubs and flowers have been planted in hotel gardens and the air is perfumed with jasmine, honeysuckle in the evening balm. Hibiscus grows profusely, its different coloured bell-like flowers nodding in the Mediterranean warm breezes. It is a clean, friendly country with good food and plentiful fruit and vegetables in the markets. Tourists are offered typical Turkish breakfasts usually consisting of haloumi cheese, feta cheese, boiled eggs, olives, orange segments, tasty crusty bread and honey and, of course, the ubiquitous cornflakes.

The Friendly Locals

Young northern Cypriots of both sexes are beautiful. They are usually slim, olive-skinned beauties who are fashionable, smart and very presentable. They work hard and enjoy themselves amongst their friends. Those working within the tourist industry are very polite and obliging. The older local people weather somewhat after the age of 40. Women bring up families and work part-time to contribute to their families’ tables, often in the hospitality industry and in heat that can reach the mid 40s centigrade in the height of summer.

Away from Home

Many of the men in the holiday industry are from Turkey, as in northern Cyprus they can earn nearly double the wages offered in their home towns. This means many months away from their wives and families and the men work hard and conscientiously. They are very friendly and obliging to tourists taking time out of their own busy lives. The cost of westerners’ holidays is much more than originally calculated.Beyond the Green Line

Although many of the Turkish Cypriots could earn more beyond the “Green Line” in the Greek part of Cyprus, they are unable to cross the border legally. If someone is detained on the Greek Cypriot part of the Green Line, they are sent to Greece in custody, then to Turkey before being repatriated in northern Cyprus. Many of the younger men have experienced this. Tourist guides are often students, either from Turkish universities or from the American University situated in Lapta. They are intelligent, eloquent and extremely professional in their approach to their work. Northern Cyprus is a country of respect, pride and patriotism. Its warm climate and balmy sea breezes make it very agreeable to travellers from northern Europe.

Part 2 of A North Cypriot Sojourn to follow.

Popular Traditional Village in Cyprus

    Fikardou village

Fikardou village

by Sofia Mendez,

Given an opportunity to travel, would you consider staying in a traditional village in Cyprus rather than in a hotel or a vacation lounge? Some would probably answer “no” because sad to say, many of us are accustomed to focusing on conveniences rather than importance and value. Most individuals forget that most things in life are free and these are often the things that make us truly happy. Discover these simple pleasures in life through a week of experience in one of these traditional villages in Cyprus.

Fikardou

This traditional mountain settlement located in Nicosia displays ancient woodwork and folk architecture. It managed to preserve the 18th and 19th century architecture and physiognomy of the region providing its visitors an authentic village experience that is in harmony with the environment. It has been featured in the Cypriot TV series (Aigia Fuxia), which has hastened the interest of many travelers to visit the place. Only less than five people still live in this traditional village and they still continue the same lifestyle they inherited from their ancestors.

Note: Be sure to visit the cute restaurant of the only couple residing in this place for the best jams, cookies, and sugary treats.

Lania

You will find this restored village at the northern portion of Limassol in the southern region of the Troodos Mountains and right at the heart of rural Cyprus. This is classified as an artist haven because of the inspiring view the Troodos Mountain brings. Expect to find souvenir shops and tavernas offering traditional local cuisines for your fancy. Moreover, you will be entertained with the locals that act as storytellers sharing the traditional processes of beekeeping, pear harvesting, almond growing, wine making, and walnut cultivation.

Note: Rent a car in Limassol to immediately transport the family to this traditional village. It is just an hour away from Larnaca and Paphos Airport for a convenient journey to the world of simplicity offered by Lania.

Lofou

Those who wish to look back in time will appreciate the beauty of Lofou village. Historians believe that this village may have been founded long before the Franks occupied the region. It was originally referred to as Lofos, but due to everyday speech and association with the female gender, it was transformed to Lofou. Nevertheless, the major attraction of the region remains the same.

Note: You will have a chance to live in this traditional village, thanks to the holiday villas offered by various owners in the region. However, you have to make early reservations because these accommodations are easily booked due to the popularity of the place.

You will find other traditional villages scattered in Cyprus. In any case, planning your itinerary and finding the perfect Cyprus car rental will make your journey to these traditional villages most convenient and memorable.

About the Author: Sofia Mendez is an anthropology student. She is currently engaged in understanding the culture of Cyprus and enjoys the affordable services offered by Cyprus car hire for her transportation needs.

Copyright © STI

A Northern Cypriot Sojourn: the Kyrenian Mountain Range

the Kyrenian Mountain Range, Cr: flicker-arkku

the Kyrenian Mountain Range, Cr: flicker-arkku

by Doreen Taylor,

A drive through the Kyrenian Mountain Range is a balm to a troubled soul. Here, one feels that one is high above the human race.

The journey to the Kyrenian Mountain Range begins east of Kyrenia, through countryside undulating with small hills covered in scrub and low-lying vegetation. The area is sparsely populated, on the coast, and promised a good journey out. Unexpectedly, dotted around this coastal area are developments of villas and luxury apartments, which actually spoil a perfect panorama. Many of these new-builds are abandoned, unfinished due to the economic down-turn. They are ugly, grey skeletal structures whose dark walls and empty, forlorn windows must have saddened the the occasional occupants of a few of the completed villas who had moved in before the credit crunch stung. Yet, in between these development complexes, the views of the sea and the mountains ahead and the general terrain of this undulating countryside are breathtakingly beautiful.

The Ascent

Antiphonitis Church - Doreen Taylor

Antiphonitis Church – Doreen Taylor

As the road becomes steeper, the developments fade and are replaced by pine forest, ground shrubs and bushes, lending an exotic vista to a backdrop of blue sky and, further up the mountains, a tantalizing mist descending down over the craggy tops. Climbing into the enigmatic rock structures and luscious vegetation, the herbaceous smells of the pine forest (lovage is a particular scent to be appreciated here) and the promise of the experience at the top of the mountains are awesome. The entire perception inspires images of Gothic stories, biblical stories and dreams of atonement with the cosmos.

A Different World

As the mist thickens, a traveler might feel that they are cocooned in a parallel paradise far above the commercialism and hedonism of the tourist trade on the coast below. The world that the traveled sojourns through in these mountains, high above the rest of a sweltering, sunburnt humanity, is a bubble of peace and tranquility.

A Byzantine Discovery

As the road climbs further and further, one eventually finds a Byzantine church – the Antiphonitis Church, originally a monastery from a bygone era – closed, empty and sleeping in the misty sunshine of the mountain range. Built of the pale pink sandstone of the mountains and complete with its typical dome, it can only belong to the Byzantine heritage. In the distance, goats can be heard bleating, their collar bells can be heard tinkling above the silence that is 920m above sea level. Not one goat can be seen.

Antiphonitis Church used to be the center of an influential monastery. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the church was built in the 7th century. It lies 8km south of Esentepe village, a mountain village completely devoid of tourism, its inhabitants sitting in the doorways of their homes enjoying the sun in an afternoon in May. Children were playing, grandmothers were dozing and the village was dusty in the early summer heat. Truly a day out to remember.

A Northern Cypriot Sojourn IV to follow.

Sources

cyprustouristguide.com

A dream Holiday in Cyprus

Cyprus, cr -travel.aol.co.uk

Cyprus, credit -travel.aol.co.uk

Cyprus provides an ideal holiday for families, couples, young and old generations, as it offers something for everyone! Whether you enjoy picturesque clear beaches, impressive sightseeing, delicious Mediterranean food, busy nightlife, amazing hotels, or mountainous views, Cyprus is definitely the holiday for you!  With the sun shinning all year round, Cyprus is the perfect holiday anytime of the year.

Nicosia

Nicosia is the Capital City Centre of Cyprus and combines the old with the new to present this amazing Business centre. Old buildings create great character in Nicosia and a visit to the Cyprus Museum is recommended to sample the vast collection of archaeological Greek artifacts. Nicosia also contains a modern element of busy cafes, restaurants, bars and shopping outlets to gather the locals and tourists together in this vibrant City Centre.

Paphos

Paphos, in the western area of Cyprus, is a popular holiday resort for tourists due to its impressive beaches, picturesque harbour and vast selection of hotels and apartments. Coral Bay is a popular and ideal beach to visit when staying in Paphos. The Baths of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, are also a highly recommended place to visit as they are surrounded by stunning greenery and full of historical culture, as this is where Aphrodite used to bathe. Also the rock of Aphrodite, known as ‘Petra tou Romiou’ in Greek are an impressive array of large rocks in the ocean, situated where Aphrodite rose from the sea. These provide amazing photo opportunities when visiting so have your cameras at the ready!

Limassol

Limassol is also an ideal place to stay whilst holidaying in Cyprus. It is filled with ancient attractions including the Kourion, Amathus Archaeological site and Kolossi Castle. The Kourion is an impressive Amphitheatre which dates back to the Roman period, and contains stunning views of the Mediterranean sea. Amathus Archaeological site features the ruins of the temple of Aphrodite and the tombs. For those travelling with children, Limassol zoo and Fasouri watermania waterpark are ideal. Limassol also offers a vast amount of hotels, restaurants, bars and nightlife and so will cater for all generations. Popular beaches include Ladies’ Mile and Governor’s Beach and are perfect for soaking up the Cyprus sunshine and sampling some delicious Greek food. The wine festival is a popular event in September and also the carnival parades for those visiting in February.

Larnaca

Larnaca is also a popular tourist resort and consists of the main airport in Cyprus. A famous and popular spot in Larnaca is the long promenade ‘Phinikoudes’. This is a vibrant promenade, lined with small palm trees and a vast variety of cafes, restaurants and bars. The harbour is also a great place to sit and watch the amazing yachts and boats sail by while you sample some delicious fresh fish in the many local tavernas. Stavrovouni Monastery is another place of interest as it is situated on the peak of a mountain, providing stunning views and photo opportunities. Larnaca is filled with high class hotels for tourists to choose from and is an ideal base to explore Cyprus.

Protaras and Ayia Napa

Protaras and Ayia Napa are situated in the East of Cyprus and are extremely popular resorts for couples, students and  party lovers, due to its impressive beaches and nightlife. Protaras is the quieter resort of the two and boasts some amazing beaches of white sand and crystal clear turquoise waters. Fig Tree Bay is a stunning example of this and is well worth a visit. Ayia Napa also features some of the most stunning beaches on the island including Makronissos and Nissi beach, which was recently voted best beach in Europe by trip advisor readers. It will simply take your breath away! Cape Greco is a must see spot when in Ayia Napa. Its stunning cliff tops looking out to sea are just the most beautiful scenery you could ever wish to see. Waterworld in Ayia Napa is also a popular water park and a great day out for anyone in Cyprus.

Troodos Mountains

Troodos Mountains are a magnificent and must see sight when visitng Cyprus. Visitors can take excursions, drive or take nature walks in these amazing mountains, which feature many churches, restaurants and breathtaking scenery. Skiing is also a popular event during the winter months. Kakopetria is a must see village when in Troodos. This village still captures the traditional architecture and amazing Greek atmosphere that is true to Cyprus. The most famous monastery in Cyprus ‘Kykko’ is also an impressive place of interest.

Cyprus is an all year round stunning holiday destination. Cyprus is known for its high quality hotels, hospitality, great food, beaches and historical sightseeing. Tourists and holiday makers return year after year as it caters for all types of holidays and all ages. Cyprus is a stunning paradise island in the heart of the Mediterranean.