The Persians, Egyptians, and Romans knew a good thing when they saw it; and see it they did in the island country of Cyprus. They didn't want to leave, and neither will you once you've seen the rugged and sandy coastline, and tasted its fresh seafood dishes.
Most of Cyprus speaks Greek, but German, French, Turkish, and English are spoken1 throughout most of the island, especially in the tourist areas like Ayia Napa.
This is where you'll find some of the best nightlife; and some of the best seafood around. Try dishes made with prawns and seabass, they won't disappoint. Go ahead, try everything on the menu--Cyprus' food standards are totally safe.
Not all of Cyprus is the beach-going scene. Skiing is done up in the Troodos Mountains; and where you can see some wonderful old churches, hike through the forest, and see Mount Olympus (the highest point in the country).
The thought of Mount Olympus brings on images of Greek Gods, so only fitting that the Baths of Aphrodite are here, which is a freshwater grotto pool pretty as Aphrodite herself. You'll find a Temple dedicated to her in the town of Kouklia, so beloved she is here on Cyprus.
Long after the days of Greek Gods and Goddesses, the Middle Ages came to Cyprus. The Kykkas Monastery was built during that time (1100AD), which you can learn more at its Museums, after you've seen all its icons.
Although not in as good a shape as Kykkas, the Bellapais Abbey is a 13th century ruin located in the northern part of the country.
No one should ever leave Cyprus with seeing the Pafos Medieval Fort; or the St. John Cathedral in Nicosia, the capital city. This isn't the only church in town, the city is full of Byzantine Churches scattered everywhere.
Shopping is just as important as anything else in Cyprus, so make sure you leave room in your luggage to bring home lace, silk, pottery, and jewelry. After all your souvenirs are taken care of, go see the flamingos that stop at the hala Sultan Tekke Mosque.
Ah, the hidden gems you'll find if you take the time to explore Cyprus' 9200 square kilometers.
It's easy to get around Cyprus, as signs are in both Greek and English. Bus service is available, taxi and motorcycles are an easy option--but a car-hire is the best bet to see and do it all.
The island is full of stunning coastline and forests, so it's easy to lose yourself if you so desire. So take your car rental, and find your own little piece of deserted beach or forest to relax.
No wonder the Ancients didn't want to leave. Imagine how much more they've wanted to stay if there were all the super-fun bars and cafes like there is now--where local wine and strong coffee flows. Salute!
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