Citrus Holidays
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With 300 days of sunshine a year, Cyprus is a hot touristic destination, and the island’s history is equally hot. Cyprus got its name 3,500 years ago when valuable copper (kypros) was found within the island, attracting hordes of Greeks and invaders. Ten different cultures have ruled the island over 27 centuries, which is easy to see in Cyprus' multi-coloured traditions and in its blend of cultures. And it's not only Cyprus' fascinating history that enchants travelers. From golden beaches and entertaining water-sports, through citrus trees, pines and the unspoiled Troodos mountains, to delightful urban areas, Cyprus is an exciting adventure. See Cyprus' vibrant villages, discover the food and culture and participate in the pulsating nightlife.
Cyprus, Europe’s Eastern Mediterranean isle, lies at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa and, in addition to its privileged geographical position, it is a country strong in traditions and rich in culture. Bask in sunshine all year round and feel the warmth of welcoming people, splash about in the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea under the scorching sun of the Greek summer, marvel at the splendors of nature and its fields carpeted in wild flowers over spring, explore an abundance of ancient sites in perfect temperatures in the autumn and in the mild winter keep fit with a round or two of golf or an invigorating tennis match.


Take a trip to the mountains to discover an alternate view of the island. Rising to almost 2,000 metres above sea level, the Troodos peaks provide panoramic views of all corners of the island, a cool retreat from the heat of the coast and a popular destination for taking in the healthy mountain air and enjoying nature in all its majesty. Charming villages, some with cobbled streets and preserved folk architecture, nestle on terraced slopes among pines or amid vineyards and orchards. Wander through the village roads in the Solea Valley, known as the “apple valley” and Marathasa, known as “valley with cherry trees”. Those areas are renowned for their traditional architecture and their Byzantine churches and monasteries. Explore the traditional character of the villages of the picturesque Pitsilia, the interesting churches and the hospitality of their inhabitants and also the Wine Villages (Krasochoria), renowned for their vineyards and wine. A number of small wineries welcome visitors on wine tasting tours. Burbling mountain streams and nightingale’s songs are often the only sounds to fill in the air in a region that poets have waxed lyrical over. The Troodos mountains are where the painted churches of Cyprus can be found, superb examples of Byzantine art, ten of which have been listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage wonders. There’s much you can do, from mountain biking to playing tennis, angling in one of the dams, or even skiing in winter. A series of walking trails will take you through areas of exceptional beauty among scented pines, running streams and the occasional waterfall, stopping at a shady picnic site. Some of these form part of the European path E4, an international network of long-distance walking routes crossing the whole of Europe. The specific climatic conditions created by the high altitudes and the peculiar geological substratum may have contributed to the unique flora found in Troodos with nearly 800 different plant species, 12 of which found nowhere else in the world. Occasionally, if lucky, one may spot a Cyprus mouflon, a kind of wild sheep which roams free in the extensive forests. Birdwatchers may spot the rare and protected eagles or the colourful hoopoe with a pink body, a black and white crest and a call which can be heard from miles around.

Fine, white sand and clear blue water - bathing in Cyprus is a memorable experience. With a wealth of beaches to choose from, you’re bound to find one that suits your taste. From the untouched inlets of the western coast, to lively resorts in the east, the island has something for everyone. The eastern coast is famous for its fine, white, sandy beaches with shallow turquoise waters. The long southern coast with its grey sand lends itself to long winter walks or jogging, while the secluded coves of the western coast beckon to those who want to reflect and relax in the tranquillity of its seafront.
With emphasis on fresh local ingredients, a pungent mix of herbs and spices and a light spattering of olive oil, Cypriot food is essentially Mediterranean, characterized by a similarity to Greek food and enriched by a hint of the Middle East and Asia Minor's culinary traditions. Both poets and travelers have praised the flavours of the island. The grains and pulses, sun-ripened fresh fruit and vegetables, high-protein fish, lean meat and poultry, olive oil and wine are local temptations that have been extolled by health specialists for their virtues. A cornucopia of restaurants, taverns and cafes, many with outdoor seating and a stunning background, forms a culinary extravaganza with a taste of traditional and international cuisines.
Cafes can be found in the old part of towns, on the beach or even in villages. Relax and experience a unique atmosphere everywhere you go. The attention to details and the passion of the friendly Cypriots provide each customer with a positive experience. Sample their strong coffee that, though it is similar to the Turkish one, has its own touch and personality; try their frappe, a cold, foam-covered iced coffee or indulge on their Soujouko, a Cypriot sweet made of grape juice and meet the mellow side of Cyprus.
Cyprus nightlife is a frenetic mix of walking and talking, eating and drinking, dancing and laughing that doesn’t slow down until the sun comes up. Τhe bustling nightlife buzzes with clubs, bars, and discotheques, livening up Cyprus' hot summery nights in each of its cities. Aya Napa is certainly the heart of the island's nightlife, featuring hip bars and clubs lining up tidily along narrow alleys, creating a touristy destination that is beautifully captivating.
Go for handicrafts such as lace and ceramics if you want to shop in Cyprus. Naturally, you can buy from shops and markets in one of the big towns, but anyone who visits the villages, where much of Cyprus’ handicrafts are made, also has the chance to familiarize themselves with Cyprus’ original handicraft culture - and with villagers who are happy to show their work. In many villages and in the island’s cultural areas handiwork is also sold at better prices than in town. Other items which can be worth going for are spectacles, shoes, leather items, suitcases and gold, which are cheaper than in most European cities. Nicosia, Paphos, Larnaca and Limassol have all their quaint shopping areas, featuring international brands along with souvenir shops, pottery shops and open-air markets. In tourist resorts such as Ayia Napa the shops stay open all day during the week, but in towns such as Nicosia and Larnaca shops close earlier.
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