I’ve just recently got back after spending a fortnight holidaying in the Mediterranean on the island of Cyprus. This wasn’t my first visit to this beautiful country, I’ve previously shared a blog post with pictures from our last visit two summers ago and before that I’d already visited Cyprus on two other occasions before starting this blog. Here I’ve put together a collection of my favourite snapshots from my time away. It was yet another fun and memorable trip to a destination that’s very close to my heart.
Panorama viewpoint looking down on Paphos
Our journey to Cyprus started early (wakeup call was 1:45am), I only managed a few hours sleep before we headed to the airport and I think this was due to excitement! Once we boarded our flight, four and half hours later we landed in Cyprus to be welcomed with predicted sunny and warm weather. After collecting our suitcases and sorting out our car hire we departed the airport and drove to our villa.
We stayed in Argaka, a small village located near the town of Polis. This is my third visit to Argaka, the village is barely touched by tourism and that’s what appeals most to me. It’s a great place to get an experience of Cypriot life.
Before arriving at our villa we stopped off at Limni Pier where we ate lunch and took in some breathtaking views and the deep blue sea. Upon arrival at the villa we were totally blown away, we had our own private beach just outside the villa (the perks of not saying in a complex), a pool and even a tennis court – my sister and I both made good use of these to work off the ice cream we ate and the scrumptious galaktoboureko (Greek semolina custard pie with syrup) the villa owner, Savvas, brought round for us on the first night. The sweet pie was very delicious and successfully devoured in less than 24 hours!
For a food lover like myself having a bakery right next door to us was fantastic, but as you can guess there was always temptation from all the delicious Cypriot and Greek treats like cakes, loukoumades (fried pastry balls soaked with honey), sweet and savoury pies such as tiropittes (flaky pastry cheese pies) and spanakopittes (cheese and spinach pies) – imagine a mini bitesize version of spanakopita.
On this trip we travelled around a bit more and visited some of the attractions we didn’t get to see previously. Below I’ve added some snapshots of what we got up to and saw this time around!
Harbour at Agios Georgios
Agios Georgios is a village situated in the Paphos (Pafos) district of Cyprus. The church and stunning views are just a few reasons why this is one of the best places to stop off. There’s also a pottery stall which sells lovely hand-painted bowls and plates among many other things.
Stone built church of Agios Georgios in the village of Pegeia
You might already know this, but Cyprus is known as the island of love. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and Cyprus was her place of birth. Aphrodite’s Rock is also known as Petra tou Romiou (“Rock of the Roman”). Located between Paphos and Limassol, it’s well worth a visit and popular with tourists visiting Cyprus. A swim around the rock is definitely something you might like to tick off your bucket list, but a warning, the water is very cold!
Views at the Kourion Archaeological Site
Kourion (Curium) is an archaeological site located on the west coast of Limassol in the town of Episkopi. Here you can see an expansive collection of mosaics and monuments that date back to the Roman period and the remains of the ancient city of Kourion. Just make sure you plan a visit here before the midday heat and sun arrive and come prepared for the walk around with a hat, lots of water and sun cream!
The Troodos mountains are the largest mountain range in Cyprus. As you drive through you can see lots of different wildlife like snakes slithering across the road and you can even visit a mouffalon enclosure. Mouffalon are wild sheep native to Cyprus and other Middle-Eastern countries. The first time we went we weren’t lucky and didn’t manage to spot any mouffalon, however this time luck was on our side and I captured this picture above!
Next I’m moving onto one of the best parts of travelling to a different country, the food. Cypriot and Greek are two of my favourite cuisines. Both cuisines are similar, but they do have some differences. Cyprus is famous for halloumi, a cheese that’s made from either goat’s or ewe’s milk. It’s eaten raw or cooked in Cyprus, but I prefer it either grilled or fried and garnished with oregano and fresh lemon juice.
Cyprus is also home to several yummy treats, kattimeri is a sweet crêpe-style pancake that’s traditionally filled with sugar or honey and cinnamon. We bought these almost daily when we visited the supermarket to stock up on groceries. The pancake is quite big so we’d cut it into quarters and topped with Greek yoghurt and fresh sliced peach – I don’t think that’s how Cypriots serve the pancake, but the flavours worked well together and we turned it into a great dessert. I love these pancakes so much that I even packed one to eat on the plane journey home!
Kattimeri is a traditional Cypriot pancake
As we were self-catering we visited the supermarket to get ingredients every couple of days. We ate Greek salad every single day and it’s one of our favourite salads to eat all year round. Authentic Greek salad is simply made with refreshing cucumber, tangy red onion, juicy tomatoes, chopped bell pepper and olives can sometimes be included along with extra virgin Greek olive oil, salty feta cheese, oregano and finally, salt and pepper to season. Lunch most days consisted of a small mezze, a portion of Greek salad, pita bread or Lebanese flatbread and dips like hummus and tzatziki. We bought some tzatziki and unfortunately we were disappointed by the flavour, so I ended up making my own recipe instead.
The country also has a great street food scene. At the roadside you can grab some buttery corn the cob, souvlaki (beef, chicken or pork kebabs marinated in olive oil and oregano) and also sheftalia, which is a Cypriot lamb and pork sausage.
I already knew how well the Cypriots do sweet treats after my last visit and this time we enjoyed several delicious ice creams. There was an endless choice of ice cream flavours available at the shop where we ordered ice cream each time we were visiting Paphos, the picture below shows a scoop of chocolate stracciatella and a scoop of cookies and cream.
Ice cream definitely helped cool us down when Cyprus was experiencing a heatwave on the last few days of our holiday when temperatures soared beyond 40°C!
Ice cream in Paphos
Cyprus is also home to a sweet treat, loukoumi and this is more commonly known to the rest of the world as Turkish delight. We got some lemon flavoured loukoumi, which was made in Geroskipou.
Geroskipou meaning “sacred garden” was the mythical sanctuary of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The factory in Geroskipou is actually close to Aphrodite’s birthplace, Petra tou Romiou. I’ve personally never been a fan of Turkish delight, but I decided to be adventurous and give it a try. I don’t usually like anything that’s been flavoured with rosewater, so this lemon version was much more pleasant for me.
Nighttime scene along Paphos seafront
Sunset in Argaka
Argaka on the western side of the island is the perfect place to take pictures of the sun setting. I live in the East of England so never get to see sunsets, so experiencing the sunset on holiday was special to me.
I really hope you’ve enjoyed looking through my photographs from this years holiday. Sharing travel blog posts is something I’m really passionate about and I love doing just as much as sharing recipes. If you want more travel reads, take a look at this article I wrote about Ibiza!
Thanks for reading!
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