I’ve been super busy going through the hundreds of snaps from our holiday and I finally put together a post capturing all our favourite pictures. We visited the stunningly beautiful island of Cyprus for 2 weeks dedicated to relaxation, sightseeing and lots of delicious food. In this article my passion for travel, photography and food combines, so I really hope you enjoy reading and getting a taste for the Cyprus we love.
Cyprus is a family favourite holiday destination and before this last visit, we’d visited Cyprus twice before staying on different parts of the island. This year we stayed on the western side of the island in the Paphos district. As with all the holidays we go on we love to get away from the tourist trails and appreciate the hidden gems. Our villa was located in beautiful Argaka – a small village with stunning shorelines, beachside restaurants and local bakeries. The area where we were staying was within a short car journey from the lovely town of Polis, where we would drive most nights to get an ice cream to cool down in the evening heat – it’s actually a common thing for most Cypriots to head out for an evening ice cream or cake after dinner. I’ll pretty much take any excuse to eat ice cream or cake!
We had many picturesque views from our villa
Aphrodite’s Rock – also known as “Petra tou Romiou”. According to Greek mythology and local legends, this is the exact spot where Aphrodite – the Greek ggoddess of love and beauty rose from the waves and sea. The area is beautiful, with glistening water and stunning rocky views.
Views of the Arkamas from the beach shoreline in Argaka
Harbour views from Agio Georgios
I remembered from our last visit to Cyprus at Agio Georgios there were food and pottery stalls located just outside by the church. And as you can imagine, being a food blogger and loving collecting new bowls, plates and props it was great fun to look around and buy my favourite pieces from the stall. I love the hand painted pottery, it has a homely touch, looks very special and will make a beautiful addition to my kitchen.
Cypriots absolutely adore their fresh fruit. In the supermarkets there is so many different, healthy fresh fruits to chose from. Watermelon is a particular favourite of ours. The funny thing is as we were driving through some of the towns they have trucks crammed full of watermelons and it’s not uncommon to see the odd melon or two fall off and crack open when it hits the road!
A number of years ago when we visited Zakynthos we dined at an amazing family run restaurant, Gallini’s. It was a family run business and the owners and staff were extremely welcoming and we became good friends. I remember every meal ended with a large platter of watermelon to refresh our palate after an evening of authentic Greek food. I didn’t realise until this visit to Cyprus that a traditional Cypriot summer snack is watermelon and halloumi cheese – sounds like a great combo, with the mix of sweetness and the salty cheese. Halloumi is a Cypriot speciality food and the best way to serve it is fried and then drizzled with fresh lemon and tzatziki!
We enjoyed many local specialities everyday and I even had the chance to try some new foods like kattimeri (a Cypriot pancake/crepe) and tasted some old favourites like the local village bread – in Greece and Cyrpus they serve this style bread before a meal. As appealing as the local restaurants are serving delicious food, they tend to be very expensive, and every year we self cater and stay at our own villa so most nights we became quite creative with the food we cooked. I made quite a few savoury recipes from the W.J.B.N kitchen including this spaghetti with courgettes, Greek-style orzo pasta salad and this linguine gamberi with the fresh local seafood.
This dish is one of mum actually created. Sypros (the lovely villa owner) had many trees around the property with all homegrown and organic produce (avocado and mango trees) – I wish I could grow mangoes and avocados at home. He came round one day with homegrown tomatoes and apples, he had previously promised to bring round some avocados but I don’t think they were ripened enough. I’d already planned my mornings brekkie of avocado toast with chilli and lemon. However, both the apples and tomatoes were deliciously sweet and I love the fact they were homegrown too because organic produce always tastes better. The tomatoes were amazing stuffed with veggies and orzo for dinner – that is a very Greek dish!
Mandarins are grown all over the island – you see them everywhere! At first we thought these were limes!
Greek salad – the perfect summer lunch served with pita bread. We ate Greek salad every day and enjoy it all the time at home.
Above and below are pictures from our visit to Paphos archaeological park at Kato Pafos
Views whilst driving through the Troodos Mountains (Troodos Massif)
It’s amazing up in the Troodos Mountains. There is not a soul in sight, we drove up through the winding roads on our way to the Kykkos Monastery and on the way stopped off at the Mouffalon Enclosure. It’s free entry and if you’re lucky enough like we were you may get the chance to see the moufflon and their babies.
Beautiful flowers at Kykkos Monastery (Panagia tou Kykko)
Sunset from our villa (picture cred to my sis!) – we watched the sunset every single night before heading out for our evening ice cream in Polis or Paphos
It wouldn’t be a summer holiday without ice cream and fro-yo! We enjoyed or fair share whilst away in Cyprus!
A scoop of each cookies ‘n’ cream and stracchiatella – my favourite flavours! (my dad is great at photobombing – he did that in most my photos this year!)
The sorbets are amazing – my favourites were strawberry and lemon!
Mum modelling some gorgeous cherry frozen yogurt! Greek frozen yogurt is a must try!
If you’re looking to find out more about Cyprus or about the places we visited, then be sure to visit the official website – argaka.org and find out more about Cyprus here on the official tourism website visitcyrpus.com
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