With its population of only 27,000 inhabitants Paphos is the capital of Cyprus' western region. Most of the inhabitants work as employees in various branches of tourism, because there is not much industry.
Paphos consists of two areas: the coastal resort area (Kato Paphos) and the town itself (Pano Paphos) which is slightly inland.
Paphos is very popular with tourists, and especially with English, German and Scandinavian tourists. Among its attractions are its ancient mosaic floors, its beautiful old harbour, its modern hotels and restaurants, situated along the seaside promenade.Other sights include an archaeological museum, the Byzantine castle of Paphos, the Tombs of the Kings, St. Paul's Pillar and the Temple of Aphrodite (the goddess of love and beauty).
The climate of Cyprus makes the summer months a popular time for tourism in Paphos, when temperatures reach easilly into the mid 30 degrees celcius every day. However the cooler winter months make walking and cycling ideal activities, especially further away in the mountains.
The main shopping lane, which runs parallel to the beach promenade, is the ideal tourists' marketplace.
Paphos is one of the main tourist spots in Cyprus. The sun shines all day long in the radiant town. There are many hotels both big and small for tourists to stay in, with kindly staff who will be happy to help you with your every need.
Located in Paphos is the gorgeous Coral Bay, a beauteous beach with soft sand and deep blue water, a perfect place for water sports.
Polis - the new destination for quality tourism in Cyprus. Polis Chrysochous is becoming the new destination offering quality and special interest tourism in Cyprus.
Polis is located North West of the region of Pafos at a 30 minute distance from the town of Pafos, 45 minutes from Pafos airport and less than 2 hours away from Larnaca airport.
Polis is the ideal holiday location for the select few who appreciate authenticity and seek rest and tranquility in a pleasant and friendly environment, which blends mountains, sea and plain with a wonderful healthy climate, a mild winter, a particularly warm, clear sea and sandy beaches.
Polis is considered as the location par excellence for nature lovers and those keen on active holidays, such as hiking, cycling, horse riding and golf. The Tsada Golf Course is just 25 minutes away from Polis
As far as accommodation is concerned, the area of Polis provides all kinds of hotel accommodation in all categories from luxurious hotels, holiday villages, apartments, and hotels offering facilities for thematic activities and local character, villas with private swimming pools to simple family accommodation units. Similarly, it offers all the facilities required for a pleasant vacation: a tourist office, banks, a hospital, pharmacies, shops, restaurants, taverns, bars, cafes and a picturesque pedestrian's area in the traditional heart of Polis, a local meeting point throughout the year from early hours till late at night. Furthermore, the region boasts an excellent archaeological museum, Byzantine churches and traditional houses.
Polis is served by the picturesque fishing port of Latsi -a pole of attraction all the year round and reputed for its fish taverns, its sea-sport facilities and boat- ri des up to Akamas -a must for all Polis visitors. However, the great advantage of Polis is its close vicinity to the utmost beautiful Akamas peninsula, a nature reserve area destined to become a National Park. ? walk along its nature trails accompanied by the panoramic view of the bay of Polis is a unique experience. The Municipality of Polis will do its utmost to ensure that all guests visiting our area will have an enjoyable and unforgettable vacation. This is moreover a fact, given that we have the highest number of repeat guests in Cyprus.
Limassol (Lemessos) is situated in the south of the island and it is Cyprus main industrial and maritime area and also the second biggest town of the country. Its population is about 135.000 and rises during holiday times because of the tourism.
Most of the tourists only pass by on their way to the more historic sites like Akrotiri or the Troodos mountains, but there is actually a lot to see in Limassol besides a busy industrial centre. Places of interest include the Berengaria Castle, the place where Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria, Kolossi Castle, the ancient city of Curium and its still functionning theatre, amathunta and many other archeological spots scattered around the city. If it is night life you are looking for, check out Yermasogea, the tourist area of Limassol, where both locals and tourists meet in the vibrant clubs and bars.
The old city centre though is the place to go to. A walk will lead the visitor to a vibrant community full of shop owners crafts people, artists of all disciplines and businessmen. Because the city is relatively untouched by the streams of tourism, it has been able to maintain the traditions of Cypriote life: meze restaurants, wine and beer cellars, places to sit outside and just watch people passing by.
Nevertheless, traditional old boutiques and dark inns, where the Cypriots drink the famous Brandy sour drink are rapidly changing into modern shopping centres and restaurants. Limassol is know for its famous wine festivals held in August.
The Limassol Carnival festival lasts for ten (10) days, with jolly and amusing masquerading. This custom is very old, going back to pagan rituals. With the passage of time it has acquired a different, purely entertaining character, with a large, popular following. The festival starts with the entrance parade of the King Carnival, followed by a fancy-dress competition for children. During the Carnival parade in the main streets, large crowds from all over the island gather to watch the floats with the serenade and other masqueraded groups. Many fancy-dress balls and parties take place at many hotels every night.
During the first quarter of September, the great Wine Festival of Cyprus takes place in the Municipal Garden of Lemesos (Limassol), every evening between 8.00 hrs - 23.00 hrs. During the festival the visitor has the chance to taste some of the best Cyprus wines, which are offered free of charge. On some evenings, various groups from Cyprus and abroad perform folk dancing and there are also choirs and others.
Ayia Napa, located southeast of the islands coast, is reputable for its tourist resort all over Europe. It is one of Cyprus's most popular beach resorts. Normally the little village has less than 1000 inhabitants, but during summer season it hosts more than 10.000 tourists per day. The beaches are awesome with thin and fine sand, hidden among a chain of rocky boulders that form many small and cosy bays. The main centre of the district is Paralimni, 3 miles north of Ayia Napa itself. East of the village is Protaras, known for its lively nightlife and partyful people.
Just in the centre of Ayia Napa you 'll find a spectacular monastery at the entrance of an old fig tree. In the court an octagonal fountain which has on its base the founder of the monastery a woman's portrait as well as her mother and father whom they have forbidden her to marry.
Ayia Napa has cleaned up it's alternative Ibiza reputation recently and is now much more family orientated.
The nightlife and entertainment is like no other in ayia napa, it has clubs that has music to suit everyones taste, being honest ayia napa is NOT for the faint hearted, or anybody wanting a quiet holiday. Ayia napa is always busy and packed with clubs and pubs streching a mile long.
Most people say its NOT a place for kids but it depends what kind of parents you are and it also depends on how old your kids are, babies(not suited)
One of the best pubs in ayia napa is called the bedrock inn and its based on the theme of the flintstones i suggest you give it a visit especially if you've got kids, the staff are dressed as cavemen, they serve food and they are the best karaoke bar in ayia napa. On the downside kids are asked to leave at 11pm
Also check out the castle club, its the biggest club in ayia napa with 3 rooms that play different music and have a relaxation room when you get tired what more could you want.....
The Troodos mountains are located in the center of the Greek part of the islands. They are covering most of the central mass of Cyprus and their green slopes, dotted with tiny villages, the forest paths, the cool weather and, last but not least, the ancient monasteries, attract many people to leave the beach areas of Cyprus and to discover this beuatyful and still wild landscape. The locals are very proud of their cultural heritage: some of the monasteries date back to the Byzantine period. People here are very hospitable and friendly. All in all is a very beautiful region, with great hiking and walking opportunities. The main highlight is the Kykkos monastery, that dates back to the 11-th century.
Troodos mountain range stretches across most of the western side of Cyprus, offering cool sanctuary and idyllic hours spent in long walks in its scented pine forests in summer and winter sports and skiing in winter. There are many famous mountain resorts, Byzantine monasteries and churches on mountain peaks, and nestling in its valleys and picturesque mountain villages clinging to terraced hill slopes. There are 9 churches in Troodos that are counted among Unesco 's World Heritage Sites and several monasteries, of which the Kykkos monastery is the most famous and rich. The nine Byzantine churches are:
Stavros tou Ayiasmati
Panayia tou Araka
Timiou Stavrou at Pelendri
Ayios Nikolaos tis Stegis
Ayios loannis Lampadistis
Panayia tou Moutoula, and
Archangel Michael at Pedhoulas
The area has been known since ancient times for its mines, and in the Byzantine period it became a great centre of Byzantine art, as churches and monasteries were built in the mountains, away from the threatened coastline.
Famagusta is a city on the east coast of Cyprus and capital of the Famagusta District . It lies on the east coast in a bay between Capes Greco and Eloea, east of Nicosia , and possesses the deepest harbour in the island.The town was known as Arsinoe, after Arsinoe II of Egypt in antiquity, and mentioned by that name by Strabo , also as Ammochostos (meaning "hidden in sand") which is how it is today referred to in Greek.
Famagusta is one of the most important, greatly fortified ports on the shores of the Mediterranean . To the north of Famagusta lie the fabulous ruins of Salamis . This one great city is believed to have been founded in the 11th century BC and after the influences of the many conquering nations -notably the Romans - the city was finally abandoned in 648 AD following the combined catastrophes of earthquake and raids by Arab pirates, when the population moved to Famagusta.
Famagusta has a very rich history, maybe the richest in all of Cyprus. It began as a small fishermen's harbour, but during the de Lusignan period it became the island's main port-of-call, with hundreds of ships anchoring there on their way to Europe or to the Holy Land.
Sites of interest
It seems to have had its heyday in the 13th century when Christians fleeing from Syria and Palestine settled there and developed it into a wealthy city under the Frankish Lusignan dynasty, which ruled from 1192 . It declined after a riot in the 14th century and by 1489 , when the Venetians took over, it had seen better times. They redeveloped it, building a massive wall round the old town, still mostly remaining. The Martinengo bastion is an excellent example of expert fortification , as it provides protection for the walls on either side of it. The Ottoman forces took over in 1571 , converting churches into mosques or using them for secular purposes. The Cathedral of St Nicholas became the Lala Mustapha Pasa Mosque.
The spectacular ruins give a fascinating insight into long-lost civilizations and include a magnificent amphitheatre, Roman baths, a gymnasium and royal tombs. The mosaics are particularly beautiful. Just inland from Famagusta are the church and monastery dedicated to St. Barnabas , the founder of the apostolic Church of Cyprus in 45 AD. Barnabas a Cypriot from Salamis, visited the island accompanied by St. Paul and St. Mark and was later martyred in Salamis in 52 AD. The church of St. Barnabas is preserved exactly as it was since abandoned in 1976. There is a wonderful collection of 18th century icons and the monastery cloisters now houses an archaeological museum.
The impression made by the formidable walls of this edifice is over- powering to even the most casual visitor. It was built by the Lusignans and further enlarged by the Venetians. The impression which is made by Famagusta harbour is reinforced by great citadel, otherwise known as Othello's Tower, that thrills the visitors by its association with one of William Shakespeare 's best known plays. It contains a splendid l4th century Gothic Hall.
Also the Venetian Palace, which was used, after its destruction in 1571, during the Ottoman Empire as a prison, and among the prisoners was Namik Kemal , the National poet of the Ottoman Empire , who was held there between 1873 and 1876, after having been exiled to Cyprus by the Sultan .
Outside of the town you can visit the two Cypriot ancient towns, Enkomi and Salamis .
Enkomi was one of the first settlements in the east of Cyprus. Important for the production and export of copper during the Bronze Age. Finally destroyed at 1200 BC. Most of the population probably settled down on the coast where the first Greek settlers established the Kingdom of Salamis.
Salamis is believed that the ancient city of Salamis was founded by Teucer on his return from the Trojan War . During the Roman rule , Salamis was the greatest commercial centre of the Emporium in the East. In the 4th Century AD it was destroyed by earthquake, but was rebuilt and renamed Costantia by the Emperor Costantin. In 648 it was destroyed by Arab invaders and since then it has not been rebuilt. Salamis, the ancient city which lies beside the longest and one of the most beautiful of Cyprus's sandy beaches, is found in an area which is partly forested. The Roman amphitheatre, the largest in Cyprus, can be visited with its Gymnasium, Baths and Market place.
The advantages of Larnaca as a tourist resort are numerous. The town is large enough to give everything one may need but still is not overcrowded especially at its beautiful beaches which extend for 25 km (16 mi). The archaeological sites and its six museums are in the center of the city within walking distance. Summer sports, sea activities and cruises are readily available. The shops are well stocked, medical care is excellent, its cinemas are screening films simultaneously with the cinemas of Europe and the USA . The variety of restaurants, tavernas, cafeterias and bars is very great. The Cyprus "meze" is the food specialty of the town. Night life is interesting and security in the streets unsurpassed. Cultural life is rich and many events are organized by the town's Municipality almost daily.
Because of the mild climate in the winter and the genuine hospitality of the local people, Larnaca enjoys tourism at very high occupancy rates all the year round. Larnaca with its wider area has 9,500 hotel beds, about 10% of the total all island tourist capacity. Along the Larnaca bay there are luxurious beach hotels as also hotel apartments or holiday apartments of very high standards a prices generally lower from the rest of the island. Larnaca being in the center of the country is the ideal base for exploring the rest of Cyprus. Its international airport lies a few kilometers from the center of the town and still the town is completely outside the cone of landing and departing aircraft.
The most important site of Larnaca are the ruins of Ancient Kitium. The earliest architectural remains date back to the 13th century B.C . the area was rebuilt by Achaean Greeks. The remains of the Cyclopean Walls, made of giant blocks and the complex of the five temples, are particularly interesting.
Another place of interest is the Marable Bust of Zeno, which stands at the crossroads near the American Academy. Zeno was born in Kition (ancient Larnaka) in 326 B.C. . After studying philosophy in Athens he founded the famous Stoic school or philosophy.
Near Larnaka International Airport there is the Larnaca Salt Lake . It fills with water during the winter and is visited by flocks of flamingoes who stay here from November till the end of March. It dries up in the summer. It used to yield a good quality of salt which was is scraped from its dried up surface.The salt from this lake is now considered unfit for human consumption.
About half - way between the monument of Zeno and Salt Lake on the right, there is the underground chapel of Ayia Phaneromeni. It is a rock cavern with two chambers. The structure suggests that it once was a pagan tomb, possibly dating back to Phoenician times. The place is credited with various magical properties: thus those who suffer from headaches or other diseases walk three times round it and leave a piece of clothing or a tuft of their hair on the grill in front of the south window. It is also much frequented by girls, whose lovers are overseas, who come here to pray for their safety.
The Church of Lazarus is another magnificent Orthodox Church in Larnaca which was built in the town over the tomb of St. Lazarus , the brother of Mary and Martha . He died here and was buried in the church named after him. In 890 A.D. his tomb was found bearing the inscription "Lazarus the friend of Christ". The marble sarcophagus can be seen inside the church under the Holy of Holies.
The Hala Sultan Tekke is about 5 km (3 mi) west of Larnaka, on the banks of the Salt Lake. It is equivalent to the Christian "monastery". Within the precincts of this Tekke is the tomb of Umm Haram, said to be the foster mother of Mohammed . According to Moslem tradition Umm Haram died on this spot in 647 A.D. while accompanying the Arab invaders. She was buried here and later the Ottomans built the present mosque in her honour.
Another site of interest is the Fort of Larnaca which was erected by the Turks in 1625 . This fort is now a museum and its inner courtyard is used as an open air garden - theatre during the summer months, by kind permission of the director of antiquities.
The Old Aqueduct known as "The Kamares", stands outside the town on the way to Limassol. It was built in Roman style in 1745 to carry water from a source about 6 miles south of Larnaka into the town. The aqueduct is illuminated at night.
Nicosia lies roughly at the center of the island, with a rich history that can be traced back to the Bronze Age. It only became Capital of the island in the 11th century AD. The Lousignians turned it into a magnificent city with a Royal Palace and over fifty churches.
Today it blends its historic past brilliantly with the bustle of a modern city. The heart of the city, enclosed by 16th century Venetian walls, is dotted with museums, ancient churches and medieval buildings preserving the nostalgic atmosphere of years past. Yet this old heart is split in two, leaving Nicosia the only capital city in the world to remain divided by force. The new Nicosia developed outside the walls became a contemporary, business and cultural center. Just a few miles away areenchanting places of interest such as Byzantine churches and monasteries, archaeological sites and charming villages. Without a doubt, Nicosia the 1000-year-old capital of Cyprus should be on every visitor's agenda. It lies roughly in the center of the island; within easy reach of the other towns and a day in Nicosia will be a day well spent.
The old walled city of Nicosia is unique and definitely the place to head for first. Encircled by strong fortress walls built by the Venetians in the 16th century, the enchanting old city is scattered with buildings and monuments of historical interest as well as little shops, cafés and tavernas. The Nicosia Jewels Museum and the Municipal Arts Center are both well worth a visit. The 'Levention' Municipal Museum, with an imaginative presentation of the capital's history, was awarded the title "1991 European Museum of the Year". To walk through the old city is to step backwards in time. Narrow streets and old houses with ornate balconies jut from weather beaten sandstone walls, smell of jasmine flowers in those long summer evenings, and craftsmen in small workshops practice trades unchanged for centuries. 'Laiki Yitonia' - Folk Neighborhood - is a pedestrian section, which has been carefully renovated to evoke the atmosphere of past days. The two main streets of old Nicosia, Ledra and Onasagorou, are lined with shops of every type, and both streets are pedestrian - only. Not to be missed is the unique Cyprus Museum, housing island's most important collection of Cypriot antiquities and treasures from the Neolithic Age to the Roman Period. In contrast to these ancient finds is the State Collection of Contemporary Art, and on the other side of town, just off the main Limassol road, is the Cyprus Handicraft Center. Another award winner is the city's renovated 'Pyli Ammochostou' - Famagusta Gate - one of the original entrances to the old city, which won the Europa Nostra award for its restoration. Many old churches are to be found in this part of town, and other places of interest are the Folk Art and Byzantine Museums, the Archbish's palace, the Cathedral of Ayios Ioannis with its beautiful frescoes, the National Struggle Museum and the intriguing house of Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios - a fine example of l8th century architecture - which houses the Ethnological Museum.