#Sunshine all year round
This is undoubtedly the number one argument, the one that brings in these hundreds of thousands of Russians and Britons. Cyprus is truly a destination where the blue sky and sunshine are at hand, whatever the season, 330 days a year. Autumn, spring and even winter are very pleasant. From May to November, the seawater temperature is idyllic. The rest of the year, it is high enough that those who are used to swimming in the Atlantic find it warm.
A great diversity of landscapes :
While some people come back disappointed by the small number of long sandy beaches (except in the north of the island), the coastline offers a great diversity: sandy, rocky, white (between Limassol and Paphos), grey (Pomos), pebble or sand beaches, crowded (almost everywhere) or deserted (Akamas, the North), concrete or wild. You can also explore fertile plains covered with citrus fruits and olive trees, hills and valleys where vineyards grow and where picturesque villages cling to each other, or mountains (dominated by Mount Olympus) with rich and varied forests suitable for hiking and even skiing in winter.
A melting pot of history and culture
Cyprus has an ancient and tormented history. The remains of great historical periods are concentrated here. Local architecture has been influenced by many factors due to perpetual invasions and occupations. We will visit ancient amphitheatres, Gothic cathedrals transformed into mosques, Byzantine monasteries, medieval castles, Venetian palaces, Ottoman caravanserais or British colonial buildings. And if many things remind us that the country is divided today, many others show us that it was long united: small villages where the church and mosque surround the central square, cities in the South where Turkish districts have kept their character. Here, it is very easy not to tan silly and to escape for a few hours in a maze of old stones.
The euro is easier for tourists
Since 1 January 2008, Cyprus has switched to the euro. In this country where the average standard of living was already rather high, this caused, as elsewhere, upward price slippages. But it still simplifies life when you come to do tourism. Moreover, in the part under Turkish occupation, although the Turkish lira remains the official currency, euros are always welcome and prices are most often displayed in European currency.
Various and good quality reception facilities
The offer is impressive in this area: pensions, guest houses, simple or incredibly luxurious hotels, traditional renovated houses or ultramodern buildings, fully equipped apartments. However, it is regrettable that the country does not have more campsites (only five in the southern part).
A wide choice of leisure, sports and activities
Water sports and diving can be practiced all along the coast. You can also enjoy horseback riding, ornithology, cycling, etc. In recent years, the Cyprus Tourist Office has placed particular emphasis on hiking (well-marked paths, thematic routes, etc.) and golf with the recent construction of huge plots around Paphos and Limassol.
Pleasures of the table
Sharing a meal with family or friends is here the number one hobby. We choose a village to visit or a beach where we can swim depending on the quality of the taverns we will find there. The meal lasts a long time, from lunch to dinner. You quickly learn to appreciate the local gastronomy which, in its form, invites conviviality. We pick from the many plates of mezzés, we meet in the taverns in the evening, both to eat and to dance and sing together.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette