Deities like Dionysos, the god of wine, and Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, still draw inquisitive visitors to Cyprus. Steeped in mythology, this Mediterranean jewel brings together stories of the apostles spreading Christianity, ruins of Graeco-Roman temples and Byzantine churches now tagged as Word Heritage Sites. Trekking in the Troodos Mountains, amid the vines that deck the foothills, cycling or riding by the sea, the past makes way for the present day: citrus orchards that blossom under the sun, migrating birds delighting twitchers, and miles of white-sand beaches inviting you to slip into neutral. You’ll love the sunsets as much as the laid back pace, quickened by the rhythm of the occasional sirtaki dance.
This once sleepy fishing village is now a hotspot for clubbers & DJs from around the world. For those venturing out in daylight there is also plenty to offer including glorious sandy beaches, Venetian architecture and a pretty harbour dotted with colourful fishing boats.
Soft white sands curl round between two headlands, providing sheltered waters that lie like a millpond. Jet-skis and banana boats send ripples over the water, while evenings remain a relatively quiet affair. Turtles and sunken wrecks make this part of the coast especially popular with divers.
This part of Páfos is known for its many ancient treasures. These include curious rock-cut tombs and a number of Roman villas displaying remarkable mosaics. Guarding the entrance to the harbour is the 13th-century fort looking over at stylish, modern hotels.
A few miles inland lies the upper city of Páfos. Markets selling all manner of fruit and vegetables compete for your bartering skills with the shops that line the shaded alleyways. Visit the Byzantine Museum or sample a local brandy sour.
Wrapped in legend, trails named after Greek deities lead you through remote pine-clad hills that overlook the many coves and crags that crowd the neighbouring peninsula. Try a local mezze or head out to the Baths of Aphrodite, forever linked with mythology.
Once the wedding venue for Crusader Richard the Lionheart and his bride Berengaria, the medieval fort that bears her name dates back to the 14th century. Lovers of antiquity will flock to the Archaeological Museum, partygoers to the Yermasogea district to sample local wines. Nearby, don’t miss the breathtaking amphitheatre at Kourion, still in use.
Away from the better-known resorts of the south-west, Polis still pleases the independent traveller. Market stalls, museums and 15th-century churches give you a measure of this sleepy Cypriot town, while the real draw is the scenic beauty of the Akamas Peninsula.