Rising from the warm waters of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is a magnificent land of sunshine, spectacular beaches and charming villages. It’s also a tantalizing stew of European, Middle Eastern and its own unique and intriguing culture. East of Greece, south of Turkey and north of Egypt, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and is a member of the European Union. Its strategic location has led to a fascinating history that dates back to 10,000 B.C.E. as a much sought-after prize of such incredible world players as Hittites, Assyrians, Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, Turks, and many more of the region’s most significant peoples from then until today.
Known as the island of Aphrodite, meaning the island of love, your honeymoon in Cyprus lays at your feet a gorgeous mélange of aromatic citrus groves, spectacular medieval castles, breathtaking island views, vibrantly colored fields of wildflowers and golden beaches perfect for swimming or sunbathing. What’s more, this little island has a sparkling personality that’s just waiting to show you its many delights from exotic culinary treats such as stuffed vine leaves, slow baked lamb and the café culture of capital city Nicosia to world-class shopping, hiking and exploring a near endless supply of ancient and modern treasures.
Celebrating your marriage and new life together begs for a stunning, original and a wonderfully memorable destination. Cyprus meets and exceeds any expectation for the very best getaway in a sun soaked island of romantic drama and excitement.
- HUNT FOR THAT PERFECT MEMENTO. Nothing is as satisfying as picking up a locally produced, hand-made gift to remember your honeymoon. You’ll find the Cyprus Handicraft Centre is an ideal spot to procure excellent quality pottery, lacework, woven baskets and much more. Locations are all over the island in Nicosia, Larnaka, Limassol and Pafos, and the center is sanctioned by the Ministry of Commerce in an effort to preserve traditional Cypriot craftsmanship.
- DIVE TO ZENOBIA, Larnaka coast. Considered the finest dive site in the Mediterranean, Zenobia wreck off the coast of Larnaka is a phenomal experience you’ll always remember. Zenobia was a Swedish ferry that sank in 1980 with a cargo of over 100 trucks. It has remained exceptionally well preserved and affords you the chance to swim with conger eels, barracudas and groupers whom now call the wreck their home.
- SAMPLE THE CAFE CULTURE, Pafos. Cypriots love their coffee and show it daily in the dozens upon dozens of cafés all around the island. Nicosia is bursting at the seams with great places to enjoy the drink, but if you’re in the Pafos area be sure to check out Casa. It’s a fun spot set within a restored mansion with a contemporary twist to the décor.
- TREAT YOURSELF RIGHT, Nicosia. Hamam Omerye is housed in a 14th Century building that has been fully restored to operate again as a hammam. Pamper yourself at the most luxurious Turkish bath on the island, with seven steam rooms and a variety of wonderfully reviving treatments.
- WRAP UP THE SUMMER WITH A SWIM, Agia Napa. September is among the best times to enjoy the warm turquoise waters of the late summer Mediterranean. Agia Napa, and nearby Protaras, have wonderful beaches as well as fewer crowds at this time of year.
- TRAVEL WAY BACK IN TIME. Cyprus is home to numerous fascinating ancient ruin sites, but three stand out from the rest: Ancient Kourin showcases a 2nd century BCE Greco-Roman amphitheater built into the top of a cliff; Pafos Mosaics as some of the world’s best examples of Roman floor mosaics; and Ancient Salamis is a huge site of city walls, gymnasium, theater, Roman baths and villa, forum and agora, and the spectacular Basilica of St. Epiphanius and the temple of Zeus Salaminios.
Tips and Advice
- AREA CODES: 357
- CURRENCY: The Cypriot pound. Many shops, restaurants and other locations accept British Pounds and US Dollars as well.
- LANGUAGE: In southern Cyprus, the predominant language is Greek. English and Turkish are also spoken throughout. In the north section of the island, Turkish is the main language.
- GETTING AROUND: Cyprus is not a large island, so getting around by car or bike is fairly easy. Public transportation such as buses and taxis are available to some degree. Renting a car makes the most sense as your main conveyance. One word of caution— hitchhiking is very common on Cyprus and while the risks in this safe and friendly country is generally low it is not recommended.
- DRIVING: If you get behind the wheel of a car in Cyprus, be sure to drive on the left as they do in the United Kingdom.
- WHEN TO GO: Cyprus is a country that is truly wonderful to visit at any time of the year. On average, there are only 17 days of cold rainy weather generally in December and January. High up in the mountains there is snow and skiing, yet at lower altitudes, and for most of the year, the weather is warm, balmy and absolutely perfect.
- ELECTRICITY: Like all of Europe, Cyprus uses the 220-volt system electricity.
- TIME ZONE: Cyprus is on Eastern European Time, which is two hours past Greenwich Mean Time.