I’m so excited to share with you my four day roadtrip though the Greek part of the island of Cyprus. This trip #KAYAKProCyprus has been an initiative from KAYAK.es, a travel search engine for flights, hotels, etc… that allows you to get all your travel hacks set! Before going through the full itinerary, some important things to know:
Renting a car is a good idea. So be prepared to drive on the left side of the road and if you want to drive through the Akamas peninsula, get a Jeep or 4WD.
It is very easy to get around because you will find everything in English and everyone speaks it too.
Food? You can find a meal for 10-18 euros per person even in touristy areas. One of the things I really liked is that vegetarian dishes were marked up everywhere in Cyprus, making it much easier to decipher the menu.
Oh, and if you don’t like the weather, wait for a few minutes—weather changes quickly in the island.
Is it touristic? Yes, but it does not feel overcrowded.
A little anecdote… the island itself is quite dusty (don’t say I didn’t warn you).
We arrived to Larnaca in the evening and picked up the car. Larnaca is a bit tacky in general, so don’t plan to stay there for long. We enjoyed the medieval castle and the church of St Lazarus, which shows Christian orthodox arquitecture elements and decoration. Although the beach walk is a little touristy, the ambient is very nice and the food quality and cost is superb. A good place to eat is To Arxontikion, a greek restaurant where we tried some fried courgettes, hummus, and greek salad.
Skydiving, yes! We went up 4km up into the sky and jumped out of a plane with Skydiving Cyprus, an association of mostly ex-British military. The cost to jump is 250 euros, and if you wanted to add a video it is 90 euros more. The views were amazing and if you’ve never done skydiving and it is within your budget, do it! We did get a little lost when getting there, so in case you are interested, see below for a map of the area. I got to jump with Anthony, he was fantastic and I felt very safe; and the video footage was done by Chris (video at the end of the post).
This is a natural park with beautiful rock formations. Be warned! There are no shades, so wear sunscreen and a cap. A car is useful so you can see different parts of the park in a short amount of time and without suffering from the heat. If you’d like to go for a swim, find elsewhere: there are many stones so it doesn’t look safe. The best way to visit and appreciate it, is probably by boat (noted for next time!)
Full of tourists but also very very clear and warm water. You can park the car for just 3 euros during the whole day and maybe jump off a rock from a little peninsula or island (depending on the tide).
Welcome to “the Disneyworld” of food and night life in Paphos. You will find a lot of restaurants that include entertainment while you dine: from singers to dancers , and a mix of both. Prices are very acceptable too.
Scuba diving in Latchi
From high up in the skies to the water below, we booked two dives with Latchi Watersports. Johnny, our instructor was very helpful and knowledgeable. Our first dive was in St George’s Island where the water was very warm (we wore a 3mm shortie). We saw lion fish, eels, an octopus, a ray, a remora, etc. The second dive was at Fontana Amorosa, super beautiful too! They were my first two dives after the Open Waters course and I enjoyed it very much! I would say it is a MUST as an activity to do in Cyprus because you get to enjoy the underwater wildlife. Plus, it is very relaxing. Below you will find a map with the main diving spots in Latchi, let me know if you go!
Shipwrek Edro III
As we drove through the island we saw a shipwrek and of course we had to go check it out. The ship was Edro III, boat that ran aground off on the 8th of December 2011 in heavy seas, during a voyage to Rhodes, from Limassol, Cyprus. It weighs about 2,345 tons and is over 80 meters in length. The ship is empty of all cargo and fuel oil and rests on the sea rocks at an 11-12 degree angle. It is worth stopping to take a picture!
Hike - Avakas Gorge
And of course a little bit of hiking! We chose the route of Avakas Gorge. It is a canyon created by nature and a small river runs through it. The amount of water varies depending on the time of year and weather. It is recommended to do this hike during dry weather because water levels rise quickly. Moreover, there are not many shades on the first part, so take lots of water, sunscreen, and a hat. To finish off the day, and if you can make it happen, I highly encourage you to go watch the sunset at Toxeftra beach. It is a beach very close to where the hike ends. Stunning!
Tombs of the Kings
Of course one can’t leave Cyprus without seeing a bit of archeological sites (there are so many, specially in Nicossia!). We visited the Tombs of the Kings which is a large necropolis lying about 2km north of Paphos. The entrance costs 2.5 euros per person. The tombs date back to the 4th century BC. They are carved out of solid rock, and are thought to have been the burial sites of aristocrats (no kings were in fact buried here). You will find doric columns and frescoed walls. There is still work being done to date the burial site, up to now it is considered to be part of the Hellenistic and early Roman periods.
The last site we visited was Petra tou Romiou, also known as Aphrodite's Rock. According to one legend, this rock is the site of the birth of the goddess Aphrodite, perhaps owing to the foaming waters around the rock fragments, and for this reason it is known as Aphrodite's Rock. This pebble beach is gorgeous and not very crowded. And… there is a safe access to it from the parking, so do NOT cross the road! Be safe ;)