The Eurasian island country of Cyprus is a wonderful holiday destination, thanks to its 300 days of sunshine and the clear blue Mediterranean Sea lapping at its sandy shores from all sides, as well as the friendly and welcoming culture of the locals. Its alluring beaches bring in tourists from all around the world, and its long-standing, intriguing history will leave you wanting to find out more. Book holiday villas in Cyprus and travel from one historical site to another to learn all about it, or if history isn't for you, you can just as easily lounge on the beach for a week – the choice is yours! The currency in Cyprus has been the Euro since 2008, and the main languages spoken are Greek and Turkish, depending on whether you are staying in the north or south of the island respectively, as it is split into two and separated by a UN Buffer Zone known as the Green Line. The country's capital is Nicosia, which is located on this line and thus also divided into two separate parts. The weather in Cyprus is one of the reasons which make it such a great place to visit – its subtropical Mediterranean climate means that there is usually only rain in the winter and the summers are dry and warm, with the holiday season lasting for around 8 months, as temperatures begin to increase to above 20°C as early as April, stretching all the way into November.
Ayia Napa – Perfect for Clubbing Holidays
Ayia Napa is a famous resort for its wild nightlife and lively town centre, full of different shops, restaurants and clubs, most of which are aimed at foreign tourists, who come from all throughout Europe as well as the Middle East to stay in Cyprus holiday rentals to experience what this sunny spot has to offer. There are lots of lovely beaches with fine sand and clear blue water in Ayia Napa, all of which have been awarded the Green Flag award due to their cleanliness. One of the most popular is Nissi Beach, which has great watersports available such as water-skiing, windsurfing and speed boating, amongst others. It also plays music during the day and sometimes holds foam parties and has guest DJs in the evenings, but if you want to find all of the clubs that this area is so famous for, head to the town centre where you will find nightclubs such as the Castle Club, a huge venue with 14 bars, 3 dance arenas offering different music styles to suit your taste and a large outdoor terrace for when you need to cool down! Another favourite is River Reggae which has a lit swimming pool and holds parties and events from April through to October. For fun during the day, take a trip to Ayia Napa's Ancient Greek themed water park, WaterWorld, one of the best in the world, with rivers, pools, slides and rides to keep everyone busy all day long.
Sunny Paphos – the Birthplace of Aphrodite!
Paphos, the city in the south west of Cyprus which experiences the warmest weather, is a popular tourist resort and also the birthplace of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. This island is full of interesting history, such as the Roman governor's palace filled with its impressive mosaics, the Tombs of the Kings, Paphos Castle and more. As well as this, there are ruins and wrecks under the sea, so if you want to discover the underwater world then don't hesitate to go diving here. If you're interested in Greek mythology, a trip to Athens, or Delphi would also be right up your street. Once you've spent your day discovering the island's past, head back to your Cyprus holiday rentals to get ready for a night out on the town! Paphos has a lot to offer in terms of nightlife, and although it's strip is quieter and smaller than that of Ayia Napa, it still has bars and clubs such as Flairs, Bubbles and Amnesia. Other things to do during your stay in a self catering villa or apartment or in Paphos are vising the Aphrodite Water Park, travel to Latchi and bathe in the Baths of Aphrodite, Paphos Zoo and of course a trip to the lovely beach of Coral Bay, where there are plenty of watersports available as well as boat trips to view the coral formations, turtles, dolphins, whales or even whale sharks! Other places which are great for viewing animals are Marmaris in Turkey where you can take a trip and swim with turtles, or if you don't want to go so far, how about Cantabria for whale watching in the Bay of Biscay?
Stay in Larnaca or Limassol and Enjoy the Sun
Larnaca is a picturesque city in the South of Cyprus, close to the Turkish side of the country. It is Cyprus' oldest city, which provides beautiful beaches and nature to it's visitors. The Larnaca Salt Lake to the west of the city is an important area for birdlife, especially the bright flocks of flamingoes, which migrate and breed here during the winter when the 4 interconnected lakes are full of water (they dry up over the summer leaving a salt crust behind). Larnaca is also home to some lovely beaches, such as Mackenzie (or Makenzy) Beach which is around a 15 minute drive from Pervolia, where you can try your hand at some watersports, or go diving to see the Zenobia shipwreck, one of the world's top ten diving sites. The fine sand on this beach is flat and the waters are nice and shallow, making this perfect for a Larnaca family holiday with smaller children, as the beach also has Blue Flag status and the sand is ideal for building sandcastles! Stay in a self catering Cyprus holiday villa near the beach and you'll be able to enjoy the sun, sea and sand every day.
Limassol is the second biggest and most cosmopolitan city in all of Cyprus, and therefore home to many interesting attractions, from historical and archaeological sites to nightclubs and the Limassol Zoological Garden. Near the old town of Limassol, you'll find the beautiful marina with some great shopping opportunities. This is a nice place to sit and relax with a drink from one of the many cafés, lounges and restaurants while enjoying the views of the impressive luxury yachts which are moored there. If you book one of the self catering Cyprus holiday rentals and are travelling with children, attractions include the Fasouri Watermania water park, which is filled with exciting rides for all the family to enjoy, the Zoo and the newly built My Mall, the biggest mall in Cyprus which houses many shops as well as attractions like an ice rink and childrens' playground. Obviously, something which all children and adults love is going to the beach. Governor's Beach is situated between Larnaca and Limassol, with nice nature trails in the hills to follow if you want a break from lying on the beach. Pissouri Bay is surrounded by cliffs which offer stunning views for you to admire while relaxing on the golden sand, and there are plenty of others such as Lady's Mile, Agios Georgios Alamanou and Button Beach, just travel along the coast and you're bound to find a stretch of sand that suits your tastes. If you are here on a group holiday and fancy spending a night out on the town, then you're heading for the right place! There are numerous clubs, pubs and beach and cocktail bars offering all sorts of evening entertainment, from a quiet, traditional tavern for a couple of drinks with the locals to a wild night of dancing and partying in one of the many venues like 7 Seas and Guaba Beach Bar.
Things to do with the Family in Cyprus
All around the isle of Cyprus, there are plenty of activities which are suitable for children, making your Cyprus family holidays unforgettable for all the family. From exciting, not to mention tiring, activities such as laser tag and paintballing with Battlefield Live Cyprus in Larnaca, to educational attractions like museums and outdoor sports such as horse riding and snorkelling, your holidays will be filled with fun things to do. Visit the caves in Ayia Napa where you can snorkel and jump of the tops of the cliffs into the sparkling sea, walk along the coast and discover beaches which haven't yet been found by the rest of the tourists for your own luxury private beach holiday! Take the children to beautiful old buildings steeped in history, such as the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park in Paphos, Ayia Napa and Ayios Neophytos Monasteries, St. Hilarion Castle in Kyrenia and the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia and let their imaginations run wild as they recreate the history of this magical place.