It was spring in Cyprus and after a wet winter, Cyprus was unusually green and blossoms were everywhere. It was already very warm, if somewhat chilly at night. Our first destination was Latchi almost an hour away from Paphos airport in the north on the Akamas Peninsula. Latchi was a small fishing village now full of yachts so consequently prices are quite high in this part of Cyprus. It is still very pretty with a good ambience and many fish restaurants.
As we were invited by Thanos hotels, we stayed at the Anassa which is absolutely stunning and overlooksthe Akamas Peninsula. It is quite remote so would be good for a honeymoon . The food is outstanding and so beautifully presented
My next visit was to Paphos, a place I love but haven’t visited for 11 years so I was a little apprehensive of how much it would have changed. I needn’t have worried as the main road hasn’t changed much, I remembered many of the restaurants there and the promenade along the front and harbour area is an improvement to the rocks and rubble that were there before. As well as some new builds, many of the older hotels have been thoughtfully renovated giving Paphos a smart, new feel. We had lunch on the beach at the Annabelle which has recently been fully refurbished. they had Greek dancers to entertain us as well, then on to the Almyra to look at the rooms and sample some lovely chocolate desserts. Almyra is really good for families as it has creche facilities.
This year we took up another invitation from Stademos hotels which I mentioned in an earlier post. We stayed at the Elysium which is absolutely stunning, not too far from the harbour, about a half an hour stroll along the beach and walkway or a short bus ride away
Pissouri was to be our next destination. Pissouri is almost exactly halfway between Paphos and Limassol, but with the new motorway it is only half an hour drive from Paphos. The more attractive old road is still there and if you have a car, it is very easy to drive as all roads are very well signposted and if you do get lost it won’t be too long before you discover a sign that says Lemesos or Pafos, so you know which way to go. Pissouri is a very small resort with only a handful of tourist shops and restaurants. The beach is pebble and not very attractive, however very peaceful with a real Greek feel to it and the sky at night gives a fabulous vista of stars. Pissouri has a range of accommodation from very simple apartments to beautiful villas and hotels. We had a lovely room in the Columbia Beach hotel overlooking Pissouri Bay. The original village of Pissouri is a few kms up in the hills. It has a few tavernas and lower prices than those by the sea. It is recommended that you drive or get a cab rather than attempt to climb the very steep hill. We also stayed at Aphrodite Hills for a couple of days. Aphrodite Hills has its own village with variuous shops and restaurants and golf course but to get off the complex you do need a car. Even the short taxi ride to Pissouri village just a short drive away costs 30 euros
This year we visited an old monastery, a winery and Curium just outside Limassol. This is a famous Roman amphitheatre, well preserved and surrounded by beautiful mosaics
Our last stop was Limassol which is the second largest city and the main port, halfway between Paphos and Larnaca. The main strip of hotels is on the outskirts with everything from very basic apartments to some of the best hotels in Europe. Old Limassol has many archaeological remains in and around it. A lot of work has been done recently to improve the harbour and a new promenade stretches for miles. We stayed at L’Onda. We also had buffet lunch at Le Meridien wich excellent. Le Meridien suits both couples and families. There is a whole Penguin Village for children of all ages and they even have their own Mickey Mouse restaurant and pool. The grounds are spread o ver a huge area so you really don’t notice the kids. We also visited Four Seasons, a 5* hotel right on the beach and not too far from the city of Limassol. This is not part of the Four Seasons chain. It is independent and has beautigul gardens and greenery, huge koi carp ponds and a really good kids club and a spa which is one of the best in Cyprus. This year we had lunch at Mediterranean Beach a recently refurbished 4 star plus hotel right on the beach. This has a spa and excellent cuisine to suit all palates
We also used an invitation from Constantinou Brothers and stayed in the Athena Beach the 4* property. We took the opportunity to visit Royal Athena the 5* adult only property and Pioneer Beach the value 4*, a little further from town, and Asimina Suites. We found the bar prices quite reasonable, the rooms very spacious with a nice balcony and beautiful sunsets. We also ate dinner in the main buffet restaurants which had a huge variety and was of a very high standard
The new motorway between Paphos, Limassol and Lefkosia halves the journey between the cities making Limassol much more accessible from both Paphos and Larnaca airports, or if you have time the old road is much more picturesque. Car hire is highly recommended as roads are well signposted, car hire is very cheap and they drive on the left.
Prices have increased considerably in recent years but many hotels have free half board offers in low season and this is well worth considering. The food in hotels and restaurants isn’t all dolmades and olives. All diets and tastes are catered for with excellent and imaginative vegetarian options and international theme nights to provide a fine variety of international cuisine and of course Cyprus has some excellent and inexpensive wines too.
There are so many reasons to visit Cyprus, the climate is good year round, hotels are of a very high standard, and most have been recently upgraded. English is very widely spoken. There are many remnants of Greek and Roman history all over the island, many pretty villages and ornate Greek Orthodox churches, the Troodos Mountains, or if you want be even more adventurous, you could do a 3-day cruise to Egypt and Israel or even Lebanon or cross the green line and visit Turkish Cyprus. Cypriots are very friendly and bend over backwards to please us and our clients so if you have never been to Cyprus and or haven’t visited recently, it is time to take advantage of the many flights available from all UK airports to Paphos or Larnaca.
Top tip – for those of you who wear glasses, they are much cheaper in Cyprus. Mine were ready in two days and cost about £100 less than in the UK. I got mine from Eyemust but there are many other opticians in the back streets off the harbour in Paphos