When I boarded the flight from Lisbon to Cyprus I was dreading what was to come. I knew nothing about the latter, except that it was close to Syria, and that my mother thought I might die if I went there. Yet to travel is to try new things, so reluctantly I continued my journey from dearest Portugal to mysterious Cyprus.
What came next I never expected. Cyprus—with its crystal clear waters, world-class Halloumi cheese and lack of tourism—embraced me in a way I was not prepared for. Today, I can easily say that it is in my top three destinations, and I’ve been to over 30 countries.
New Yorkers, I need you to imagine a place like the Greek Islands. Now, remove all of the tourists; the lines for restaurants; the increasingly high prices; the overbooked hotels. Voila! you have Cyprus—an upgrade in many ways from the famous Ionians, yet a place that many Americans don’t consider a vacation destination (because they can’t identify it on a map).
Between its savory, tasty cuisine—much of which was introduced to me by Cyprus Taste Tours—and other worldly geography, I was incredibly reluctant to leave. I was even offered a lovely place to stay by a new friend, in case I got cold feet while boarding the plane away from the island.
But how could one walk away from aqua blue lagoons with sandy bottoms, morning swims in the Mediterranean Sea, and a red lake that is so hidden few locals even know it exists? Well, I suppose that is what exploring is all about—expanding the mind and changing perspectives.
Oh, sweet Cyprus, how I long for you! Yet, I suppose that missing you will get easier, for every day I am away from your sandy soil, I am also one day closer to my return.
- Cyprus Taste Tour – Local food tour with unique stops – cyprustastetours.com
- Dionysus Mansion – beautiful garden restaurant – facebook.com/dionysusmansion
- Muse – Panoramic view of Paphos – facebook.com/musecafekitchenbar
- Viklari Peyia – Cypriot BBQ with panoramic view – Tripadvisor.com
- Elli’s Jam’s & Chutney’s – Fantastic breakfast/ tea spot – Tripadvisor.com
- Milkbar – Great coffee – facebook.com/cymilkbar
- Sousami – Trendy bar with outdoor space & live music – Tripadvisor.com
- Cliff Bar at Grecian Park – Hookah & cocktail Bar with ocean view – Tripadvisor.com
- Aphrodite’s Rock Brewery – Local brew pub with craft beer – aphroditesrock.com.cy
- Yurts in Cyprus – Spend the night in a yurt in the mountains – yurtsincyprus.com
- Adonis Baths – Hidden waterfall and pond in the mountains – adonisbathswaterfalls.com
- Blue Lagoon at Latchi Port – Crystal clear blue waters and sandy bottoms – latchiboatcruises.com
- Ayia Napa Sea Caves – loveayianapa.com
- Red lake Mitsero – a natural red lake (Not many locals know about this!) – Google Maps location