Sea and Sports
There is no better motivator than practicing and preparing for the sport you love on an island where the pleasant climate combines with beautiful Mediterranean surroundings. This idyllic fact is one that can be enjoyed for the most part of the year on the island of Cyprus, and one that offers a myriad of experiences, making Cyprus a perfect destination for all the very best of sun and sea. Embraced by the sapphire waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is surrounded by coast, and whichever part of the sun-drenched island you may be visiting, there is always a beach nearby waiting to be discovered. Cyprus consistently receives awards, accolades and top rankings for its water quality and safety, its eco-initiatives and the general cleanliness of its beaches. Cyprus is the proud recipient of 57 Blue Flag beaches - an eco-label awarded to beaches and marinas across the globe that meet its standards - and is also crowned ‘Cleanest Bathing Waters in Europe,’ with a consistent 100% score, year after year. Worth to mention is that, there are 26 fully accessible beaches for people with special access needs, including and 21 partially accessible beaches.
You can also satisfy your adventurous and sporty nature, by get pleasure from a myriad of ideal diving experiences, many adrenaline-filled sea sports like windsurfing and kite-surfing and many other water sports sea activities.
Nature and Adventure
The natural allure of Cyprus is both magnificent and inspiring. Cyprus’ scenery unfolds across glittering coasts, rolling mountains, fragrant forests and rugged headlands. From the warm shores of the mainland to the unspoiled and cool oasis of the Troodos mountain range, nature lovers and explorers will delight in discovering rare plants that peep out amidst waterfalls, coves, woodland, winding trails and secluded sands.
Thanks to its unique location on the migratory route from Europe, Asia and Africa, Cyprus is a birdwatchers dream. Deep in the forests, the national animal - the Mouflon - roams freely, with catching a glimpse of this timid, wild sheep a real treat for locals and visitors alike. And exotic and rare forms of wildlife also give Cyprus a special touch. Green and Loggerhead turtles breed on the island's sandy beaches in summer, while the Mediterranean Seal and dolphins have also been seen swimming in the warm, calm, crystal clear seas of the island. Botanists and herbalists will equally appreciate the island’s green side, with a large number of local herbs and endemic plants, including the Cyprus orchid, tulip and crocus waiting to be stumbled upon along winding nature trails and paths less travelled.
You can also satisfy your adventurous and athletic nature, by enjoying a myriad of designated and challenging cycling and climbing routes. With perfect weather conditions, varied and challenging terrain and beautiful scenery, it is no wonder that Cyprus is a firm favourite for leisurely and competitive cycling, with plenty to discover along the way. But because the best way to really know a place is to walk it, Cyprus offers a myriad of opportunities to take a journey through nature, history and culture, thanks to the 52 designated walking trails have been created to highlight the beautiful landscapes and strong Mediterranean character of the island.
Culture and history
Cyprus is a small island with a long history and a rich culture that spans 10,000 years, making it one of the oldest civilisations in the Mediterranean - as evidenced by the many fascinating cultural sights, museums and monuments - the island’s unique geographic position, at the crossroads of three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa), has played an important part in its turbulent past since antiquity. Mycenaean Greeks, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Romans, Franks, Venetians, Ottomans and British, all left behind visible remnants of their passage, and have thus created a mosaic of different cultures and periods. As such, the island is an open-air museum of prehistoric settlements, classical Greek temples, Roman theatres and villas, Early Christian basilicas, Byzantine churches and monasteries, Crusader castles, Gothic cathedrals, Venetian fortifications, Moslem mosques, and British colonial-style buildings. The old ways of life, customs and traditions are still beautifully preserved in the rural villages, and interesting elements of the island are captured in the many museums and galleries. It is not surprising then that UNESCO includes a number of the island’s sights on its list of World Heritage Sites.
Halloumi cheese originated in Cyprus and was initially made during the Medieval Byzantine period. Halloumi (Hellim) is commonly served sliced, either fresh or grilled, as an appetiser. Other traditional delicacies of are meat marinated in dried coriander seeds and wine, and eventually dried and smoked, such as lountza (smoked pork loin), charcoal-grilled lamb, souvlaki (pork and chicken cooked over charcoal), and sheftalia (minced meat wrapped in mesentery). Pourgouri (bulgur, cracked wheat) is the traditional source of carbohydrate other than bread, and is used to make the delicacy koubes. Cyprus is also well known for its desserts, including lokum (also known as Turkish Delight) and Soutzoukos. This island has protected geographical indication (PGI) for its lokum produced in the village of Geroskipou
Festivals and Events
Do you enjoy going to traditional festivals and events? Join the local people and drink plenty of wine in the "Wine Festival" in early September in Limassol, dress up and dance in the streets to the Carnival in Limassol, get entertained and sing in the "Festival of the Flood" (Holy Spirit) in Larnaka and enjoy various festivals and events in Nicosia, Paphos, Ayia Napa and Paralimni. And to fill your heart with wonderful fragrances, do not miss the "Festival of the Roses" in the village of Agros.