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Travel Guide: Cyprus Highlights

3rd Jun 2014 6:37am | By Editor

Take in stunning beaches and ancient ruins.

Cheap as chips

It’s a relief to discover your dosh goes a long way in Northern Cyprus. Bus journeys between the major towns cost the equivalent of about £1.50 and a delicious lamb kebab and a coke for lunch is £2.20, making Northern Cyprus a cheap and attractive destination compared to the more expensive cities of Western Europe.

It is a little bit more expensive in the south, where it is more commercialised, but nevertheless still light on your pocket compared to other Mediterranean destinations.

If your budget stretches to it, go all inclusive at one of the Louis Hotels on the beachfront in Paphos. The food and drinks are exceptional and you will want for nothing for staying in one of these fine hotels.

Golden sun

Cyprus enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year and in the summer months you probably won’t see a single cloud. Temperatures stay around 25C well into October and November. It’s a good thing then that the region has endless kilometres of pristine beaches, which are free from crowds. The aptly named Golden Beach on the Karpaz Peninsula is the jewel.

Hang in a hut

The Karpaz Peninsula is a quiet, hauntingly beautiful area studded with olive groves and roamed by wild donkeys. Stay at one of the dozen campsites offering cosy beach huts for £10 a night, and laze away the hours swimming, fishing or just doing nothing at all.

Root around ruins

Over the centuries Assyrians, Byzantines, Romans, Venetians, Ottomans and eventually the British have ruled Cyprus. The result is a place rich in history. Make sure you explore the three crusader castles in the mountains above the port of Kyrenia, and make time to see St Barnabas Monastery outside the university town of Famagusta.

Watersports for all

In Paphos, take the opportunity to try some waterports. With 300 days of sunshine and temperatures to match, the water is always nice. There are many operators offering watersports, but we think the best one is San Antonio Watersports which is at the back of the Ledra Beach Hotel in Paphos. Jet Bikes, parasailing and the obligatory banana boat ride are all on offer here - there is fun for everyone and kids of all ages. Prices start from 12 euros - contact San Antonio Watersports here.

The Rock of Aphrodite

Whether you are on your own or in a group this is a must-see. Some people have said it is just three rocks - but if you like your Greek mythology it's much more. Said to be the birthplace of the Greek God of Love, the rocks and caves are definitely worth visiting. Local bus services can take you there, or if you are in a group of eight or more, take a boat to the caves and explore them and do some snorkelling at the same time. Prices will vary and many operators offer this service. Contact San Antonio Watersports for more information.

Scuba diving

Cyprus is a haven for divers, thanks to its warm, clear waters, and a lack of strong currents makes it a perfect spot for beginners. The Zenobia wreck off the coast of Larnaka is a favourite with divers, who can poke about the Swedish ferry which sunk in 1980. Nearby dive sites include the British Army Air Corps helicopter wreck and a barge, which has created a reef known as Fraggle Rock.

Spot octopus and starfish between Agia Napa and Protaras, and eels and barracudas around Larnaka.