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yprus basks under bright blue skies up to 340 days a year, but sunshine is only the beginning. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and is a strong blend of European and Middle Eastern influences, and a legacy of centuries at the crossroads of East and West.
Book a break to Cyprus with British Airways Holidays and you can dip your toes in the warm Mediterranean waters, wander through pine-covered hills, and feast on sumptuous fare of hummus, halloumi and cheese. From Kleftiko (roast lamb with Cypriot herbs) and unearth more history than you can shake an archaeologist’s shovel at.
This is the Mediterranean I always imagined, down to the soft sugar sands and the scent of wild thyme in the breeze. To make the most of your trip, here are the best places to explore.
Travel back in time to historical Paphos
Six must-see attractions in Cyprus
Paphos, full of family fun, is spiced in history. A short walk from Paphos Harbour, you can view the mosaic-filled Greco-Roman palaces in Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, climb the walls of the Ottoman castle, walk among the ornate tombs of ancient kings and visit the ruined basilica that marks the place where the Apostle is. Paul converted Roman Cyprus to Christianity.
Find space and silence on the Akamas Peninsula
For a break from the hustle and bustle of the beach resort, follow the back roads from Latchi or Peyia to the quiet and serene Akamas Peninsula. On this empty isthmus, walking trails and rugged dirt roads lead to rocky valleys, crystal blue coves, and secret beaches where green and loggerhead turtles nest from June to September. For the ultimate in tranquility, follow the rugged path from the Baths of Aphrodite – the natural spring where Adonis fell in love with the goddess of love – to the remote and beautiful Blue Lagoon.
Enjoy the views from the ancient city of Kourion
After millennia at the center of Mediterranean empire building, Cyprus is overflowing with ancient ruins, but few locations can rival Kourion in sheer drama. Crowning the remains of this sprawling Greco-Roman city is a rocky outcrop to the west of Limassol, complete with ancient Christian mosaics, Roman baths and a reconstructed amphitheater that peers out over a long sand and pebble beach. Nearby, you can visit Petra tou Romiou, the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, and the windsurfing center at Pissouri Beach.
Find a different Cyprus in the Troodos Mountains
The beaches grab the headlines, but the soul of Cyprus resides in the scented hills around 1,952-meter-high Mount Olympus. Walking trails lead through the Troodos mountain range to rustic taverns, Byzantine churches full of frescoes, and pine-covered outcrops that provide a home to owls, Bonelli’s eagles and Cyprus’ last wild animal. Approach the mountains from Limassol to visit the ancient wine-making villages around Omodos – this region has been producing full-bodied reds since at least 4000 BC.
Enjoy eating Cypriot food in Limassol
The second largest city in Cyprus lies along a sandy bay between Larnaca and Paphos, on the doorstep of some of the island’s most historic sites. Downtown, it’s the bars and restaurants in the lanes around the squat Ottoman castle that command attention. In addition to sumptuous mezze, look out for oriental-influenced Cypriot dishes such as stifado (Beef cooked with cinnamon and onions) and Avila (braised pork with red wine and coriander).
Take off in Ayia Napa and Protaras
Relaxing on the blond sandy coves in the far southeast of the island, the twin resorts of Ayia Napa and Protaras are where sun-seekers come to relax on the gorgeous beaches, savor delicious cuisine at the many restaurants and admire the museums. Those looking for something different can try water skiing, paragliding, and snorkeling in the warm turquoise waters – wrecks and eroding sea caves of Cape Greco National Park.
All holidays with British Airways Holidays are ATOL protected and come with a 24 hour holiday helpline. Secure your Cyprus vacation for 2023 now with a low deposit at ba.com/cyprus