Often overlooked as a holiday destination, as people choose neighbouring countries on the Mediterranean, Cyprus is a hidden gem and it’s not hard to see why.
The island of Cyprus sees cultures fuse together with stunning landscapes, spectacular beaches and hidden coves, crystal clear turquoise waters and food that will keep your taste buds tantalised for the duration of your trip, and begging you to take up Cypriot cooking on your return home!
Cyprus is well known for its party atmosphere, sun-soaked stretches of sand and fantastic nightlife, however it has so much more to offer. Beyond the sandy shores, GoSingles holidays serve up a healthy measure of cultural delights, with medieval castles, churches and monasteries to explore, further inland you’ll find dense forests to hike through, scenic waterfalls, picturesque towns and quaint fishing villages, there’s a little bit of something for everybody.
Cyprus enjoy a typical Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. October and the autumn months are some of the best times to visit Cyprus, when the weather is milder than the summer months, yet still sunny and pleasant.
As you step foot on the Mediterranean island a warm welcome will greet you, as a solo traveller you’ll feel completely at ease from the moment you arrive, before being enveloped in its charm and relaxing atmosphere.
Cyprus’ weather lures in the crowds all year round, owing to it experiencing one of the warmest climates and warmest winters in the Mediterranean. From April through to November you can expect to find a window of hot and sunny weather, with an almost seamless transition between summer and winter.
The hottest time to visit Cyprus is during the summer months of July and August, when inland temperatures soar to well over 35°C, and coastal temperatures remain around 25°C owing to the cooling sea breeze.
Winters are short, mild and rainy, with temperatures rarely dipping below 15°C, most of the rainfall Cyprus experiences is within the winter months, December to February, however rain is still very infrequent so don’t let this put you off visiting at this time of year, as sunny blue skies outweigh the rain, making it the perfect time of year to explore the country and historical sites away from the summer crowds. Just be sure to pack a cardigan or coat for the evenings, when temperatures on average drop to around 10°C.
Cyprus, an island steeped in captivating culture and landscapes, immersed in myth has many wonderful sites waiting for you to explore. There’s so much to offer, below GoSingles share just a handful of our favourite things to see and do.
Pafos Archaeological Site
A UNESCO World heritage site since the 1980’s, the Archaeological Park Pafos is one of the most important archaeological sites of Cyprus.
As you wander around this truly majestic park, you’ll see sites and monuments that date back to the 4th century BC to the Middle Ages and Roman period. Discover blankets of intricate mosaic floors depicting scenes from various Greek Mythology.
The park also includes other important monuments, such as the the Tombs of the Kings, the Odeon, the Asklepieion, the Agora, the Saranta Kolones and the Limeniotissa ruins of an Early Christian Basilica.
It would be a shame to visit Cyprus and not see Karpaz Peninsula, a 70km stretch of land home to pristine beaches. Known as the Cyprus of old, it’s unspoilt landscape remains untouched from modern development and tourism, and is famous for its wild donkeys and marine turtles, which can be spotted laying their eggs at certain times of the year.
Thrill seekers rejoice, hike the famous Mount Olympus, located in the Troodos Mountains, standing at 1,952m, it is Cyprus’ highest peak. With vistas that look over vast landscapes and the turquoise hues of the Mediterranean Sea be sure to take your camera.
An underwater world awaits you in Cyprus, with the island renown for many memorable dive sites including, the Chapel, Amphorae Caves and the Zenobia. Cyprus’ crystal clear, warm waters, with visibility often over 30 metres make it a top diving destination and one of the best dive sites in the Mediterranean.
Cypriot cuisine makes up the backbone of family life and tradition, it is the norm that large families eat together on the weekends, enjoying large feasts of small plates.
The cuisine is an exotic infusion of Greek and Middle Eastern cultures, from delicious Souvlaki meat dishes, to Halloumi Cheese a famous traditional white cheese of Cyprus, which has been produced on the island for centuries, through to sticky deserts such as Baklava.
Cypriot’s are renown for being a very friendly nation taking great pride in their hospitality and friendliness. Expect to be greeted with a warm smile, whether you enter a bar, a shop or hotel you will instantly be made to feel at home, regardless of whether you’ve just met or have known each other a while.
Cypriot society revolves around family life, and it is still common for families to eat together, with gatherings of up to 20 members of the family coming together, either at home or in a restaurant, especially on Sundays, as food remains at the centre of many customs and traditions.
It is quite common for Cypriots to invite people they have just met into their homes for a drink and something to eat, so don’t be alarmed should you be asked, it is quite normal.
On meeting someone for the first time, a simple handshake is often the norm, along with a warm smile and eye contact when greeting people.
When dining out, a small glass of Ouzo - a traditional spirit - is commonly offered. As a sign of gratitude to your host be sure to accept and take a sip!
Tipping: Tipping isn’t compulsory in Cyprus, though it is worth noting that those working in the service industry are often insufficiently paid and therefore look to tourists to help contribute to their livelihood. If the service is good a 5% tip or above is very common. Keep in mind, however, that a good deal of hotels and restaurants include a service charge, so be sure to check the bill.
GREETINGS & LANGUAGE
If you’re looking to strike up a conversation whilst away here are a few handy phrases that will have you mixing with the locals.