An island of ancient wonder encompassing a kaleidoscope of cultures that stretches from the mystique of the Middle East through the vibrancy of Northern Africa and onto the history of Europe, a luxury vacation in Cyprus is anything but ordinary. Holed up in Aphrodite’s playground, find yourself cycling through lost hillsides one moment before dipping your toes into soothing Mediterranean waters the next.

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Cyprus Highlights

Home to ancient monuments and a fusion of cultures, Cyprus, or the island of Aphrodite as she is more affectionately known, has a special side waiting to be unearthed. Think deep blue skies, blissfully indulgent sea-side boltholes and a rugged coastline ripe for exploration.
Troodos Mountains, Cyprus

MORE ABOUT CYPRUS

Despite the violent division of this memorable Mediterranean island in 1974 - cleaved between the Greek South and Turkish North - life in Cyprus has, for the most part, continued as before. Across this small yet vibrant island, rolling green-brown hills, dotted with lemon trees and Roman ruins, fall toward crinkling, sharp-blue seas. Paphos, lapped by waves, is home to a spread of luxury hotels and apartments that gaze out toward the lovely Levant, while its interior bristles with tranquil villages and olive-shaded tavernas. If you’re conjuring images of charcoal-grilled halloumi, speckled with mint; yellow-gold white wine; and fatty souvla, then you’re on track.

Nicosia Cyprus

INDULGENCE ON THE ISLAND

Cyprus is said to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the ancient Goddess of Love. The eponymously named Aphrodite Baths - natural pools blessed by the Goddess herself, is a natural grotto shaded by fig trees and botanical gardens. Further on, is the 12th century Chrysorrogiatissa Monastery, a glorious Byzantine property dedicated to Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate, or the nearby winery of Panagia Village. As English writer Lawrence Durrell, who lived for many years on the island, put it: Cyprus is a place “where different destinies can meet and intersect in the full isolation of time.” A lot can happen between the Mezedes and the rolling mountains.

Luxury holidays in Cyprus

GETTING A TASTE FOR NICOSIA

The capital of Cyprus, Nicosia, is split in half by a tumble-down yet heavily policed wall. These days, traffic between the North and South is more frequent, and the animosites less pronounced. This is a thankful thing, as the city is a hidden delight and bed of quiet luxury. A flurry of recent regeneration has gifted the city new malls, a huge modern art gallery, and all of the diverse eateries that normally follow such things. Don’t forget to climb the modernist massif of Shacolas Tower for views across the Green Line that splits the city.

Holidays in Nicosia

LUXURY IN THE CYPRIOT WEST

The island’s Western coast - its rolling hills, lemon-thick and bright - give way, eventually, to a shining and brilliant coast. It’s here that the island really comes into its own. On the Akamas Marine Reserve, there are bountiful opportunities to dive, sail and windsurf in the azure Aegean, with private jeep tours lunging into the intrepid Cypriot countryside. Between the sultry villages and tantalizing tavernas are luxury spas and relaxing steam baths.

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Cyprus Highlights

Home to ancient monuments and a fusion of cultures, Cyprus, or the island of Aphrodite as she is more affectionately known, has a special side waiting to be unearthed. Think deep blue skies, blissfully indulgent sea-side boltholes and a rugged coastline ripe for exploration.

WHERE TO STAY

With a recent history of political instability and an ongoing UN Peacekeeping mission operating on the island, it should come as no surprise that the hotels and resorts of Cyprus don’t follow the ordinary rules. And yet, there are still many places to lap up the island’s luxury and its astonishing natural beauty.

LUXURY HOLIDAYS BY THE SEA

Areas of Eastern Cyprus have acquired a reputation for stag-do-bound clubbers going wild in Ayia Napa. That is certainly a part of the island, but also an experience easily avoided. Whether heading west to Paphos, and its family-friendly, sandy-beaches and hotels, or the - to us - more startling, and beautiful, boundary of the Cape Greco national park, where whitewashed villas - overlooking the abundant sea - keep the traffic and the crowds away, leaving you to while away the time beneath the Jacarandas.

PRIVATE TOURS AND LUXURY DETOURS

The rolling interior of Cyprus is a haven of bountiful minimalism, proving the point that - oftentimes - simplicity is the ultimate luxury. The jaw-dropping Troodos Mountains are laced across with unspoilt villages and picturesque Byzantine monasteries, where private tours will bring you to the spectacular scenery of breathtaking Stavros tis Psokas.

CHIC IN CYPRUS

The island’s finest delight - aside from the soft, rubbery smack of fresh halloumi - has to be the eager ease of Anassa. This luxury hotel - set across classically Cypriot low-rise buildings and intimate, lush gardens - tumbles down toward a glittering sea. Think of it like a Cypriot village, elevated to the standards of world-class luxe accommodations. Caramel sands, calm pools, and five-star dining set the scene for one of the world’s most resplendent rests. Back to Durrell: “I had become, with the approach of night, once more aware of loneliness and time - those two companions without whom no journey can yield us anything.”

  • Population Population 1,072,000
  • Capital Capital Nicosia
  • Language Language Greek, Turkish
  • Currency Currency Euro
  • Time Difference Time Difference GMT+2 | ET+7
  • Expert Tip Expert Tip

    "Escape the heat and head to the Akamas Peninsula with its rugged unspoiled landscapes of shady pine trees and sandy bays."

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