Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean sea. It is at the eastern part and the path to three continents: Africa, Europe and Asia.
Hence It has over 10.000 years old history, with many countries passing by and leaving their cultural influence.
This is why I personally love this island. Along its beaches and sunshine, the diverse cultures have shaped an interesting culture for its people.
However if you are a tourism there is a list of activities you may want to have in mind when you are visiting for the first time.
One of the must do in a beautiful island is of course swimming. Moreover the island weather is totally allow it all year around.
Having summer weather for over 6 month is no wonder that swimming is so popular here.
In addition forty nine beaches of the island are awarded with the Blue Flag: the eco-label that guarantees the safe bath waters in rural but also urban areas.
However it is not only the bathing water quality that is appealing, rather the diversity in the landscape. Meaning the island has rocky steep to sandy beaches, as well as, deep to very shallow in depth beaches.
On the other hand you may want not only to swim but try also other activities like diving and water sports.
If you are visiting from December to February you may have the chance to ski. On the highest point of the island there is a ski resort usually open in winter.
Snow is not so common in Cyprus but it does usually happens at the peak of the mountains. The reason is that the highest point of the island is almost 2 km.
On the other hand if you choose to ski, you can also swim the same day. Driving distance from the mountains is usually one hour and therefor it is easily possible to travel to the beach.
Moreover the weather during the winter is mild and sunny days at the coastline is very common.
Since the island is located between three continents, many bird migration routes pass over it.
In addition the mild climate in the cold months is ideal for migrating birds from tropical climates.
One of the most impressive bird that the island host is flamingo. They arrive usually in December and they stay until late spring. If you want to see them you can go to the two salt lakes of the island. These wetlands contain food for the flamingos and also the water is shallow enough for them to stay. Be aware though to see them from distance and do not step into the wetlands.
Furthermore there are a lot more birds to observe since you are in Cyprus. For more information you can visit the environmental centres that provide birdwatching services accompanied with experts.
Cyprus island is full of beautiful landscapes and you can watch them closely with hiking. Officially there are 52 nature trails that are going through the mountain areas as well as along the coastline.
In addition, if hiking is the only activity you want to do, E4 path is always an option. This trail is a European that starts from Spain and finish in Cyprus. However the Cyprus route is 640 km long and the most impressive sections are those at the mountains area during summer season and along the coastline in the winter.
Due to diverse environments in short distance, hiking can be a adventurous experience. To mention by a few: waterfalls, sea caves, pine forests and many more comprise the Cyprus landscape.
On the other hand there are many camping and picnic sites that can enhance your adventurous walk in the wild.
Depending on your interest you may want to add sightseeing to your travelling plans. Again the choices are endless depending what your are keen on.
Commonly tourists are into religious sites so they travel to known monasteries, churches and even mosques.
Additionally eco-tourism has gained increasing popularity nowadays. Therefore environmental centres and small natural history museums worth a visit.
However archaeology is usually the most interesting to discover in Cyprus. Museum, ancient cities and temples have a lost of visitors all year round. If this is what you are interested in , be sure to include the sites on Bronze Era of Cyprus. The island was a major producer of copper for international trade back then and that is why the kingdom was blooming back then.
In addition there are many museums and centres on the recent history of the island, including the Turkish invention in 1974 and the years before its independence in 1960.
Going out and about in Cyprus
Local culture is one of those where families lives around a table. Hence ‘going out’ is usually translated in ‘go out to eat’.
Cypriot cuisine is really tasteful and very close to the Greek one. However there are many dishes and flavours that are local.
More known is the cheese ‘halloumi’ that is by now familiar all around the world.