Ok, it's official! You don't only have to lay on the beach in Cyprus, there are so many thing to see and do! My path in Cyprus did not lie through...

Cyprus | Notes from a sunny island |

21.11.2017 Tim Kolar-Erat

Cyprus | Notes from a sunny island |

Ok, it's official! You don't only have to lay on the beach in Cyprus, there are so many thing to see and do!

My path in Cyprus did not lie through popular resorts and hotels, this article shows more rural areas and my lovely travel companions.

We often blindly trust someone else's opinion and assure ourselves of it. Before my trip to Cyprus, I clearly imagined this country full of blue water, white reach villas and that's it. In my history there was nothing else. But in reality this island has showed me another its side. 
For most tourists, Cyprus is associated primarily with beach holidays. But this is not so. My journey came to "off-season," the middle of October,  when the weather was +28 in the afternoon, the sea was refreshing, and organized groups of tourists were not observed. Chances to communicate with the locals and peacefully enjoy nature had doubled.

The island of Cyprus is a republic that consists of the officially recognized Greek part, which occupies 63% of the island and the unrecognized Turkish part. Most of the time I lived in a village near Paralimni on the border with Turkey, next to the village some Turkish military can be noticed, and through the sea I could see the ghost town - Famagusta. I was overcome by fear and desire to see more of this mystery city and its luxury beaches. The Cypriots told us their parents' stories of 1974, when they were expelled from their houses in Famagusta, as they had never seen their houses again. Someone owned an expensive hotel, someone just a cozy little house, but they lost everything in an equal share. After so many years, the Cypriots somehow easily were telling these stories; even shared with me some ridiculous proverbs about this territorial conflict.

Although the island is quite small, there are so many Orthodox shrines, for their visiting you will probably need about a month. The church plays a significant role in the society.
In Protaras I have visited the church of St. Elias, located in the heart of Protaras, in 6 kilometers from Paralimni. The church is on the top of a hill with a beautiful view of the city and the surrounding area. This is a modern church, which was built in 1984 on the site of an old destroyed one. Address: Akefalou St., Protaras, Paralimni.
In Larnaka, I have visited the church of St. Lazarus, a sample of Byzantine architecture in Cyprus. In this church the relics of Saint Lazarus were found. The church is placed in the heart of the city.

The Cypriots I met were very sincere and open-minded people. They shared their histories of life; we successfully tried hitchhiking on the island. But every third passer-by was Russian-speaking. This is a must to hear Russian language every day.
It was also noticed that the islanders' citizens attitude towards the British. The Cypriots uses expression - fucking British- very common, borrowed from them left-hand traffic and three-pin plugs.

There are many places must see places in Cyprus. My schedule allowed me to visit Larnaca, the neighborhood of Paralimni / Protaras, and Limmasol. Let's start with the outskirts of the city of Paralimni and Protaras, which is located a few kilometers from the coast in the southeast of Cyprus. My walking journeys were along sandy beaches not far from the large resort village of Protaras. All the beaches are clean and well equipped, with life safeguard. At the end of the coast you can find the most famous and beautiful beach Konnos, Cape Greco and the Blue Lagoon. You can reach these places by buses 101 or 102 from Ay-Napa or Protaras.

Cape Greco is a nature reserve that attracts me as a photographer first of all. There are rocky beaches, sea caves, small bays. Part of the cape is closed to all visits, as it is considered to be the territory of the British military base. We passed alongside this military base, saw the basketball field of the military and heard their voices. Near the cape you can swim in the Blue Lagoon or take a ship, have a look at all the sights from the sea. You will not find here sandy beaches, but will be able to use some acrobatic techniques to get into the water;)

If you catch bus number 101 or 102 you will reach the most popular resort - Ayia Napa (fishing village in the past), located 10 km to the south-west. Just start googling this place and from the first pictures you will get that Ayia-Napa is the most obvious option in choosing a vacation place for the youth. Here they have fun round the clock - in bars, at discos ect. This time I did not have enough time get to Ay-Napa.

Limassol is a hundred thousandth city on the island of Cyprus, the second largest city after Larnaca. Limassol seemed to me very convenient city for life, but not for tourism. Perhaps a 1.5 hour bus from Larnaca made us very tired (4 euros by bus Larnaca-Limassol-Larnaca).

The best wild beach in Limassol is Ladies Mille. In the centre near the Old Castle there are many different cafes and taverns and  souvenir shops.

Larnaca - is another significant resort in the southeast of Cyprus. The promenade area of Larnaca, Finikoudes, is full of small bars and cafes. All the beaches were spacious in October and I felt in love with this city. although I heard from Cypriot not very enthusiastic reviews about Larnaсa.  The most popular holiday destination in Larnaca is Mackenzie beach. On the way to this beach there is a ice cream shop offering 30 kinds of flavors. Check this place yourself!
The water is clean here, but the sandy beach is very shallow. You need to go 100 meters to swim properly it suited me very well, but a 2 meters tall guy from our company had to spend half a day to swim).
Other places is worth a visit in Larnaca:
- Church of St. Lazarus (see above)
 - the ruins of the ancient city of Kition
 - donkey farm with a visit to the local village.

We stayed at the Cactus hotel, https://www.booking.com/hotel/cy/cactus-larnaca.ru.html, the hotel is inexpensive and cozy. Although there are plenty of places with a beautiful interior in Cyprus.

Cyprus cuisine is very tasty, it is a reflection of the island's rich history. There are many dishes on the grill, sauces based on yoghurt (dzadziki). Despite such a close neighborhood with the East, the cuisine of Cyprus is not spicy
 The Cypriots prefer meze for evening - portions of seafood / meat, cheese, sauces, bread, French fries).

Thinking about the gifts that can be presented to family and friend I find carob syrup for immunity, rose water, Cypriot lucum, halloumi cheese and Kommandaria wine (similar to port wine) are the best choice. 


I definitely want to return to this island, immerse in its village and rural life, once again enjoy the sunny days. Have you ever visited Cyprus and what have you enjoyed there?

''No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.''

Link to the site: http://bysmo.photo/travel/cyprus-photographer-on-a-sunny-island-

Author: Natasha Smolnikova

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