Holidays to Cyprus line up ancient sights, pine-clad mountains and some of the best sandy stretches in Europe.
Cyprus has the kind of setting that location scouts dream of. It’s anchored in the Mediterranean Sea and, like all good Med islands, it dishes up top-notch sandy beaches – a whopping 64 have Blue Flags. Plus, there are ancient sights, and loads of bars and restaurants.
On the east coast you’ve got Protaras, a family favourite with a long stretch of golden sand. Then there’s Ayia Napa. The town is packed with pubs, clubs and bars, and there’s a long stretch of sand to recover on during the day. It’s popular with families too, thanks to its shallow waters and child-friendly restaurants. You’ll also find the white sands of laid-back Nissi Beach two kilometres down the road.
Head for the west coast and the main town is Paphos. Along with its sand-and-pebble beaches, it’s got a stack of big-league sights including Aphrodite’s Rock – said to be the goddess’ birthplace – and the ancient catacombs, the Tombs of the Kings. In the island’s southwest corner is Limassol, where you’ll find a long stretch of sand, a quaint old town and a kid-friendly waterpark.
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Keep a tally using all of your fingers and toes, and you’ll still run out of digits to count up the Blue Flag beaches around here. There are more than 20 in total, with the bulk of them hitched alongside Protaras and Ayia Napa. Among them is Nissi Beach, where palm trees teeter above the sands and a watersports centre bobs in the bay.
Just like the name suggests, Paphos is the big cheese in the Paphos Region. It’s not got the party-centric CV of Ayia Napa, on the opposite coast, but pulls in the crowds with its Blue Flag beaches and love affair with Greek mythology. Limassol’s styled in a similar fashion, while the likes of Coral Bay and Chlorakas offer a trimmed-down alternative to suit the laidback package holiday crowd. The whole lot’s overlooked by the sky-high Troodos Mountains, so the panoramas are on point.
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