This article was originally published (in print) in the September edition of Emersons Green Voice and sister publications.
We stepped off the airplane in Paphos and were instantly hit by the sweltering 36 degree (Celsius) heat. We had arrived in Cyprus and were itching to see what this tiny little island had to behold.
Our first stop was to hire the car that would be our closest companion over the next seven days; it was a small Ford Focus that was calling our names.
During our week in Cyprus, we tried to strike a good balance between relaxing on the island’s many beaches and visiting all of the sites that told the stories of the Greek Gods and Goddesses, particularly those related to Aphrodite, Goddess of Love.
We searched for the beaches of Paphos itself, and found tiny stretches of beach where all the tourists were eating their seaside lunches. We tried jet skis in Coral Bay, we snorkeled in the water by Aphrodite’s Beach near Latsi, and we watched the beautiful sunset over at Faros Beach.
Other than all of these coastal retreats, we also learned all about how Aphrodite and Adonis met each other at the Baths of Aphrodite, we saw the legendary place where it’s believed Aphrodite was born (on the coast of Petra tou Romiou), we walked in the paths of kings in the ancient part of Paphos and we marvelled at intricate mosaics depicting yet more stories of the Gods.
But aside from all of these wonders, there are a couple of other memories I want to share with you that really made this trip special.
The first was venturing as far north as Ayia Napa in order to snorkel in the sea caves there. Not only were the views from the cliffs stunning, but the water was crystal clear and full of marine life. If you too are set on snorkeling or swimming here, then you should know that there is a bit of a steep climb down to the water. Some choose to jump from the cliffs, while others wear sensible shoes and follow the grooves in the rocks in order to make it down. But once you do, you’ll feel so blessed to have made the effort!
The other incredible memory from the trip was of our final day. Our flight wasn’t until the late afternoon and we were searching for a relaxing way to spend our final morning. That was when we discovered the beauties of Eleouthkia Botanical Park, which was actually just 5 minutes from the airport by car. Eleouthkia is free to enter and has over 55,000 different types of flowers, trees and plants to admire, as well as cute little bridges and quaint wooden huts.
We walked, we talked, we laughed, and felt like this was Cyprus’s charming way of saying “Goodbye, please come again!” to us. Don’t worry Cyprus, I’m sure we will be back, and we hope some of our friends and readers will also visit in the future too. Kalo taksidi (Bon voyage)!