Cyprus travel | Europe – Lonely Planet

Strike out past the solar-soaked stretches of sand to find an island of compelling tradition and landscapes, steeped in fable and riddled with historical riches.

Crossing the Line

Crossing the road between the South and the North permits you not solely to achieve some understanding of the island’s advanced and painful fashionable-day historical past, but additionally expertise the 2 Cypriot communities. Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot societies are intrinsically totally different but extremely comparable, linked by the nonetheless-sturdy position of conventional household life and a wealthy historical past the place meals cultures and folks customs have intermingled, however divided by perception. One factor’s for certain wherever you’re on the island: the naturally heat Cypriot hospitality is far in proof on each side of the Green Line.

The Great Outdoors

The panorama and Mediterranean local weather imply that exterior is the place it’s at – and the place you ought to be. Sun-soaked stretches of sand are Cyprus’ calling card and there is a seaside for everybody right here, from wild and windswept to household-pleasant and packed. Every conceivable water sport is on supply, from scuba diving to skimming the floor on a kite- or windsurf board. And when you tire of all that blue, strike out into the inside, the place wildflower-studded meadows and valleys of densely planted vineyards sweep as much as a pine-clad mountain backbone providing mountain climbing, biking and, sure, even winter snowboarding.

A Sense of the Past

Steeped in fable, coveted by each conqueror with a watch for a prize, Cyprus’ tumultuous and multilayered previous has left historical riches strewn throughout this island. Neolithic dwellings, Bronze Age and Phoenician tombs, remnants of as soon as-mighty metropolis-kingdoms, Roman mosaics, mountaintop castles and Byzantine church buildings – dwelling to a glut of famend frescos – lay scattered via the countryside. While strolling the cities you’ll be able to spot the preserved architectural legacy of the Lusignan, Venetian and Ottoman intervals. Cyprus could welcome you to flop out on the seaside, however dig into the previous right here and you will unearth your entire historical past of the Mediterranean.

A Culinary Feast

Meze is a scrumptious option to acquaint your self with the native delicacies, tantalising the style buds with a feast of small dishes, from creamy hummus to kebabs or afelia (pork cooked in crimson wine) and the whole lot in between. Heavily influenced by Turkish, Greek and Middle Eastern meals cultures, Cypriot cooking has a few of its personal culinary stars, together with haloumi (hellim in Turkish) and kebab favorite sheftalia (şeftali kebap in Turkish; grilled sausages wrapped in caul fats). And do not forget the desserts. Flavoured with almonds, rose water and pistachios, candy treats vary from comforting rice puddings to gloriously sticky baklava.

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