While my time in Cyprus was short, the 5 hour flight from London was so worth it for a quick tropical getaway. Cyprus is known to be a place in political turmoil. The conflict between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots have lead UN Peacekeepers to remain there since 1964 (:o!) But in visiting there, you could never tell. While we were in a smaller, more tourist oriented area, the locals were kind and accommodating, gave us recommendations on where to eat and sleep and tan, and we got to explore a good amount of the lovely town of Paphos.
Cyprus is known for its archeological sites, beautiful beaches, and delicious foods - and damn did it live up to my expectations.
ALERT FOR AMERICANS: There is the most amazing cheese in Greece / Cyprus / Europe that I can't seem to find in American stores. I'm sure if I looked in a specialty cheese shop I could find it, but for the time being, everyone needs to know this information. Halloumi cheese is the biggest name in the cheese game. Find this cheese. And consume it. You can have it alone, or grilled, or with balsamic, or on a roasted red pepper burger, or just in a block, or however. But eat it. The end.
Things to Know:
- Be careful with the taxis in Cyprus. We were told this before we arrived, and I'm glad we knew, because getting in a taxi at the airport other than at the main taxi rank can be unsafe and leave you more susceptible to being scammed by your driver.
- Bring sunscreen. It was so expensive to buy there and I ended up with weird tanlines and burns all over my legs. V uncute.
- Bring your student ID! Pretty much everything that we did was free because of student discounts, but we wouldn't have known that otherwise, so we were so thankful that we brought them.
- Eat the moussaka. All of it. Just put it in your mouth.
- There is lots of beautiful landscape from beaches to waterfalls, to mountains. You can waterski, skydive, hike, mountain climb, snowboard, and bungee jump - just to name a view.
- Be modest. Many parts of the country are largely Muslim and Greek Orthodox, so be careful with your way of dress, particularly depending on where you are. Look up information about your destination before you pack your short shorts and tank tops.
- They drive on the left! Keep this in mind before booking a road trip through the country. The roads are often very windy and well lit, so be careful even if you are confident in your driving.
- The economy is much, much better now than it was during the 2012 financial crisis - so don't let that be a factor in your decision to visit the country.
- Check out the sunsets. Because this tho -
Overall, Cyprus is decently cheap. It operates in the Eurozone, so don't expect to pay too much. Small hotels are everywhere that offer inexpensive accommodation, often with beach views or even a swimming pool. Here's our hotel pool (I swear we were the only tourists there). (RECOMMENDATION: Pandream Apartments provided us with a little home away from home for the weekend. It's located in Paphos just a short walk from the beach and town center).
Don't let the political turmoil of Cyprus defer you from paying this lovely country a visit. There's lots to see and do and eat, and I recommend a trip here for any traveler.