A first visit to Cyprus
What should you expect from a visit to Cyprus? A travel writer looks back on his first visit to the island and offers an insight into what you can expect.
As a frequent traveller, I find that there are certain habits that I have adopted as part of my travelling routine. One of which is to pull out a map of the area and find out exactly where I'm going, before I depart!
Taking a look at my map of Europe, I was suprised by exactly where Cyprus is to be found. The third largest island in the Mediterranean lies at the eastern end of this great sea.
The island is not far off the coast of Turkey, with the likes of Syria, Lebanon and Israel being close by. Although I'd considered this to be a European island, it also clearly has much in common with the Middle East.
I'd chosen to stay in the resort of Paphos, located on the western side of the island. Paphos has a reputation for being less lively than other resorts, notably including Ayia Napa, which boasts the best nightlife on the island.
Paphos offers a better location for family holidays and those looking for a more tranquil stay. My hotel was located on the outskirts of the town, requiring a bus trip into the town centre.
The town is centred around a fine harbour. It's sometimes easy to forget that such places existed long before the tourist trade arrived.
Indeed, it's clear that there is much more to Cyprus than modern hotels, bars and swimming pools. This is an island with a rich history.
I take a trip into the mountains to discover more about the real Cyprus. The astonishing thing about such inland areas is that they have barely been touched by the development that seems to have taken over many coastal locations.
There is a slower pace of life, with the locals sitting outside little bars and tavernas. It seems to me that this is, in many ways, a nicer side to the island.
There's more to Cyprus than initially meets the eye.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
You can find out about travelling to Cyprus by reading the Cyprus airports guide, which has further contributions from Keith Barrett. This article may be used by any website publisher, though this resource box must always be included in full.