Cyprus is like the miniature of a continent. It’s bigger than Crete or Mallorca, yet small enough to drive from one end to the other in a couple of hours. Its unique geography offers a surprising variety of landscapes —from flat stretches of sandy beach to rugged cliffs plunging into the sea, and from rolling plains to hefty mountaintops covered with centenarian pine forests and winter snow. Dotting its hills and plains are small towns and villages, some bearing evocative Medieval names and each pinned in the middle by the bell tower of its church. Situated in between the Middle East and Greece, Cyprus has been inhabited for around 8000 years: recent discoveries unveiled water wells that were dug by humans 7500 years ago —the oldest in the world.
Here, enchanting history meets heartfelt hospitality, from the smallest village to the bustling centre of a seaside town. If you're arriving by yacht, head to the Limassol marina and explore the nearby Old Town with its many arts-and-crafts shops, and discover a mix of traditional and Bauhaus architecture that is unique in the world. About an hour to the north is the island's capital, Nicosia, with its many boutiques, art galleries and museums. Take a stroll along the city's Venetian walls and take a peek at the Zaha Hadid-designed Liberty Square that is under construction. Once inside the walls, discover a mix of Ottoman-era townhouses, Byzantine churches and modernist buildings, all now housing interesting restaurants, galleries and shops.
|Tendts, Cheap Poetry, 2015|
To the west of the island, visit Paphos, a small town that's currently living its renaissance as it's gearing up for acting as Europe's cultural capital for 2017. Boasting the best sunsets and beaches on the island, Paphos is also home to well-preserved Roman mosaics, a medieval port castle and Byzantine monasteries scattered all around its countryside. A mere half-hour drive to the north will bring you to the Akamas peninsula, a national wildlife reserve where you can get lost in the unspoiled Mediterranean wilderness and swim in crystal-clear turquoise waters. Don't be surprised if a herd of goats blocks your way while driving along: the whole Paphos region is full of traditional villages where agriculture is thriving. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste local wine, homemade cheeses and jams, different kinds of bread and other delicacies at the small tavernas and wineries found inside and around the villages.
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