Back in September I visited Cyprus for a little getaway with my family. I needed the break- we had two store openings in 3 months plus a trip to Reunion Island (sounds fab but it was so much work) so I booked my leave for the moment we finished opening the V&A store. I popped into Moscow for a few days to see the extended family and marvel at its beauty yet again, and then my mom and I headed of for a vacation to Cyprus. Why Cyprus? Well actually that wasn’t my choice(I voted for Greece) but my mom said that Cyprus had some fab beaches and it wasn’t too expensive so of I went with 7 bikinis in my bag(one for every day of the week!;))
As usual, I love sharing my photo diary and my travel tips about each place I visit, so grab a cup of tea and read on about Cyprus!
First thing is first- don’t expect Cyprus to come cheaply, especially if you are spending rands! I was a little shook by the prices there- lets start with the accommodation. We stayed on the South of Cyprus, in a town called Limassol, which is quite a popular tourist hot spot. A 1-bedroom apartment on Booking.com or Air BnB will cost you anything from 150 euros a night, which is quite high in my experience. We stayed at a four star hotel in Barcelona and did not pay that much, so if you want a bigger place closer to the beach, be prepared to pay more. We eventually decided to pay more (about 200 euros a night) for a bigger place close to the beach. It was nice, but nothing amazing (and self-catered). Hotels with breakfast included start from about 150 euros per person so expect to pay around 1000 euros (R15000) for accommodation there for a week.
The food also was not too cheap- honestly, the euro killed me this time around. A casual lunch would cost anything from R300-600 for two people, a cocktail is around 10 euros(R150) and a dinner is R500-R700 a person. All pretty standard for Europe actually, so I guess you know what you are getting into. I paid R3500 for car rental for the week, which was not too bad, and be prepared to pay for your spot on the beach too! A lounger with an umbrella is usually around 2 euros per person, with fancy beach clubs going up to five. It is not a big cost, but it can add up quickly if you don’t budget for it.
What is there to see in Cyprus? Many beautiful natural sights!
Cyprus has some great beaches and the Mediterranean Sea provides for a smooth and calm holiday. We visited a different beach every day, and my favourite by far was this Governors Beach in the South of Cyprus with the beautiful white rocks on it. There are many more commercial beaches with bars and restaurants on them, which make for a fun time.
Hang out at Aphrodite’s Hot Spots
The Greek and Cyprian Mythology is a huge part of the culture, so of course we had to visit two places that related to it. I loved visiting the Baths of Aphrodite, a romantic site at which Aphrodite used to take her baths in the pools and seduce her lovers at. A fig tree with beautiful natural wildlife surrounds the cave and it is a beautiful sight all together. There are many myths surrounding the pools and one of them is that if one bathed in them, they are restored of their fertility. The other myth is that if you use the water from the baths, you will preserve your beauty and your age. I tried that, just in case 😉
The second place that we visited is called the Rock of Aphrodite (Petra tou Romiou), which is believed to be her birthplace. It is a looming stack of rocks standing proud off the southwest coast of Cyprus and it is a beautiful natural wonder. The story is that Aphrodite rose from the ocean at this spot, and legend has it that in certain weather conditions, the waves rising and breaking against the rock create a cloud of sea foam that appears in the shape of a human. Really worth a visit and one of my top memories from the trip.
Marvel at the sacred monasteries of Cyprus
This might not be for everyone, but I really enjoyed visiting the different monasteries in Cyprus. Because I am also Orthodox, I share the same religion as the Cyprians so stepping into those monasteries was something very sacred to me. We visited the gorgeous Monastery of St. George Alamonov as well as the Trooditissa Monastery. It is a beautiful experience and I really enjoyed this part of the trip.
Stroll around the old town of Limassol
Limassol was mostly very hot and very modern, like a typical beach resort town. However, there is a little gem hidden away in it, which is its Old Town. The old town Lemesos (Limassol) is the heart of the city with its narrow streets radiating out from the old fishing harbour. The medieval Lemesos castle was the site of a royal wedding in the Middle Ages between Richard the Lionheart, King of England, and Berengaria of Navarre, and now houses the Cyprus Medieval Museum. The gorgeous little town houses a market and a marina, and we took some time to stroll around this little place of the world.
Swim around in the Blue Lagoon
I mean do I even have to explain this? Located in Latchi on the East side of the island, this gorgeous Lagoon is just as amazing as it looks. Fresh, clear and unforgettable.
Other fun things to do in Cyprus are wine tasting, partying it up in Paphos and going underwater for the famous Zenobia shipwreck in Larnaca! Did I enjoy my time in Cyprus? Absolutely! Would I go back to it? No, I would not. Cyprus is not a big island and I am lucky that I got to see most of it and enjoy the cultural sights and the beautiful beaches it has to offer. However for me one visit is enough (especially because it was not cheap) and next for me on the list is Greece!
Have you visited Cyprus and if yes, would you go back to it?