Old, exotic, charming and with one of the richest cultures you’ll find, Cyprus is an adventurer’s dream. This is the land of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and you really will fall in love with it. It may be a small island country but there’s so much packed in. Walking along trails cut into rocky outcrops and meandering through lush forests, it’s easy to get lost in wonder. You feel the same awe when you spend the day lazing at one of the many beaches with the Mediterranean Sea sparkling like a large blue sapphire.
Heaven is right here on earth, waiting for you
If this seems like the ideal way to unplug and recharge yourself, backpacking across the country and taking in as many sights and sounds as possible is the perfect way to do it.
1) The Goddess of Love Calls to You
It’s only fitting that the birthplace of Aphrodite should be your first stop. After all, where would we be without here? Huge rock formations and the sea form the core of her tale. She was born in the foamy waves, rose from it and was brought to Petra tou Romiou beach (in Paphos) on her shell.
Walking towards the rocks with the sound of the sea roaring in your ears, it doesn’t seem a stretch of the imagination that Aphrodite was created here. You can see her rising majestic with an aura of love surrounding her and yearn to be bathed in her light.
There – can you see them lost in each other?
2) There’s Nothing Like Green to Calm the Senses
Just a couple of hours from Paphos, capital Nicosia beckons and invites you to relax in Athalassa National Forest Park. 20 kms of trails are there for you to explore. Cycling through the park, you’ll get the urge to dismount every so often and just sit down to breathe in the fresh air. Your fingers will itch to capture as many shots as possible of many-colored trees and green lakes. These temptations are hard to resist, which is why you want to take your time here, perhaps spend a few hours so that you don’t leave wishing you hadn’t rushed.
Escape into the lap of nature
3) History Remains Unchanged and You Need to Witness It
Remnants of Byzantium rule and the spread of Christianity are evident in Cyprus but perhaps nowhere more than in Solea, Pitsilia and Marathasa. If you’re a history buff eager to learn more about this gem of an island, you have to explore the Byzantine route. And the Troodos Mountains are where you need to head to.
Religious buildings that echo the Middle Ages still stand largely unchanged and you can easily picture holy men of the past going about their daily lives. What must it have been like back then? A time when life was simpler and distractions were fewer? As you explore each of the 10 churches, marveling at religions icons and frescos depicting Biblical stories, you feel a sense of peace and a part of you doesn’t want to leave.
Testaments to Cyprus’ Byzantine past dot the Troodos
4) A Glass of Red and Passages Through Paradise
Few things are as satisfying as relaxing with a glass of wine and when in Cyprus, you have to do it every chance you get. You can’t stop there, however; its wine routes are like something out of a storybook. Just head along the Diarizos River where vineyards and green landscapes are almost wherever you look. Wineries dot the route and you won’t just pass them by but have a chance to visit them. Seeing how wine is made is an eye-opener and you appreciate just how much effort and love goes into it.
Exposure to the best test that makes you lay everything aside
Each village is as picturesque as the last and the idyllic surroundings make you yearn to leave your old life and settle here. Whether it’s the Diarizos route, the Pitsilia wine route with its cluster of villages or the Laona–Akamas route with its rugged coastlines, a journey along these passages is one you’ll remember for life.
The charm of Cyprus’ wine routes will remain with you forever
5) A Beautifully Layered Landscape You’ll Want to Uncover
The beauty of the Mediterranean really comes to life at Cape Greco National Forest Park. The views are spectacular and in places, you’ll feel like you’re in Greece. 385 hectares of heaven on earth offer everything from stunning views of the sea to cycling and nature trails that take you past towering trees. If you want nothing more than to just sit down and take everything in, pick a bench and relax. In Cape Greco National Forest Park, nature promises to soothe the mind, body and soul no matter what you choose to do.
You won’t leave without exploring each facet of Cape Greco National Forest Park
6) Living It Up in a City That Has It All
Cyprus’ natural beauty and long history are obvious draws for every traveler, including yourself, we imagine. But the capital of Nicosia also has numerous places you can go to let down your hair and just party. Brewfellas Beer Bar has that rustic-ness that makes you feel instantly welcome. You’ll find yourself wanting to chat with those around you, maybe buy them a drink. The unpretentiousness of the place relaxes you and you’re surprised by just how easy it is to chill and drop your guard.
Just a short way off is Lost + Found Drinkery and you can make your way there once you’ve had your fill of Brewfellas. Here, the retro décor will take you back in time. Order a cocktail, maybe a Spiced Mai Tai before moving on to savoring delicious hot dogs.
Lose your inhibitions and make new connections at Nicosia’s bars
7) Everyone Needs a Little TLC
As you near the end of your backpacking adventure, you need to wrap up your holiday in style – and a little luxury. What better way to do that than with a spa treatment? An ultra relaxing massage, may be followed with a facial will get your senses tingling. The Library Hotel & Wellness Resort will embrace you with its warmth and charm and treat you to an unforgettable spa experience. You’ll feel your stress wash away at Capo Bay Hotel as you unwind under a Vichy shower or a hammam. Let yourself go and let the experts spoil you.
Ishere another better than this?
Cyprus. A kaleidoscope of places, cultures and adventures. A trip here means being exposing yourself to a sensory overload and discovering just how much of a thirst for adventure you have. You’ll never feel the same again and will be left with a yearning to return again and again, to experience the same magic and add to your growing memories.