Food in Cyprus is a big deal. With the country being at the crossroads between three continents as well as its long history, the influence on the local gastronomy has cultivated it into the perfectly balanced cuisine it has today.
Being located close to the Middle East, Cyprus has adopted many flavors and dishes similar of that region. However, the main influence that the island has is the Greek cuisine. A typical eating style in Cypriot tavernas is the mezedes. This is a large selection of dishes, which are offered to the table in a progressive order. The mezedes begins with famous dips such as humous and tzatziki, accompanied with salads and fresh bread. The meal continues with halloumi – a famous Cypriot cheese, as well as starter meats such as smoked sausages or spiced sausages. Mezedes then follows by rice or bulgur wheat and potatoes. The main courses consist of a selection of various meats. This can include; slow cooked lamb, charcoal grilled pork souvla and roast chicken. This perfectly balanced meal ends with fresh fruit or traditional sugar-preserved fruits and nuts.
Cyprus not only excels in local food, but also prides itself in being an all-round international food hub. With many existing influences in its gastronomy, Cyprus strives to showcase its diverse kitchens.
Local cuisine as well as international dining options create unique dining experiences all through the island. Restaurants have utilized the wealth of seafood available to the island to fully offer Mediterranean living. The island also offers a range of Indian restaurants many creating romantic scenes with the perfect balance of spices creating warmth to the taste-buds, complemented with the ocean breeze and palm trees. Sushi bars, traditional “British” pubs, Chinese and Thai restaurants as well as well-known franchises also sprawl resort areas.
To fulfil your ultimate retail dreams, Cyprus provides you with the full shopping experience. Whether you desire markets filled with people, malls which offer all your food, entertainment and fashion needs or even exclusive boutiques showcasing local talent, you can find it all within the unique towns of Cyprus.
Within these different towns you can find local markets which offer traditional items such as lace, silk, ceramics, silver and gold. Gold and silver jewellery is an art on the island, with designs created from the Mycenaean period. Silver spoons are often sold at these markets as a Cypriot symbol of hospitality. They also tend to sell Cyprus’s local wines and brandies, with some markets selling Commandaria -representing an ancient wine style documented in Cyprus back to 800 BC. It has the distinction of being the world’s oldest wine in production to date.
Cyprus has also become a hub for all European brands ranging from high street to high-end fashion. The island is home to local cutting-edge designers showcasing their designs in many runway shows, as well as famous designer brands. Many boutiques can be found in town areas such as Finikoudes in Larnaca or Ledras Street in Nicosia, being complemented by well-known brands including Zara and Mango. The city of Limassol boasts exclusive high-end fashion and luxury items found along the marina, as well as premium outlets. Large malls can also be found all around Cyprus. The malls in Cyprus behold strategic choices of fashion, beauty and leisure stores. They also offer a complete gastronomic experience from international restaurant chains to local restaurants. As an entertainment factor, they host ice skating rinks, cinemas, as well as arcades, offering something to all visitors of Cyprus.
Sport and Leisure
A range of water sports available in Cyprus start from gentle activities in shallower waters, to pursuits that offer an exhilarating thrill for even the most daring of athletes. challenging sea activities include banana boats, tube rides, pedalos, water skiing, wakeboarding, bodyboarding, SUP, parasailing, jet skiing, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking.
Whilst still an emerging destination for climbing sports, Cyprus has all the elements required for climbing, hiking and orienteering, thanks to its favourable weather conditions, stunning rugged backdrops, complex rock types, and the quality, variety and diversity of its climbing routes (both traditional and sport).
A variety of races and regattas take place throughout the year for the sport of sailing, whilst leisure yachters can find community and facilities at two marinas, five ports and numerous bays.
The major destination for international golfers is the Eléa Estate Golf Club, which is located in Paphos, offers world-class golf in a stunning setting. The challenging Par 71 course, designed by the legendary Sir Nick Faldo, incorporates numerous natural features and boasts stunning views of the Mediterranean.
Cyprus is a beautiful island all year round giving the opportunity for visitors and residents of all ages to continuously uncover the islands secrets.
With the island full of culture and history, visiting the ten UNESCO churches around the island will allow you to discover the wealth of the heritage of the country. The villages around Cyprus are filled with various architecture and village craftspeople with crafts passed down from generations.
If nature is something warrants takes your attention, visiting the Akamas peninsula will provide you with rich wildlife and the Cyprus landscape. Cyprus also holds the second-best scuba diving site in Europe – The Zenobia, the wreck of a huge ferry. Cyprus is an island of paradoxes, whilst this is a popular summer destination, the island also offers the chance to ski. Mount Olympus is the highest peak in the Troodos mountains which are deep in snow from the beginning of January – creating a true winter wonderland.
Cyprus Museum of Natural History
Located within the grounds of the Carlsberg Brewery, the museum is the largest natural history exhibition of its kind on the island and was founded by ‘The Photos Photiades Charity, Scientific and Cultural Foundation’. Amongst its 2.500 or so exhibits are: embalmed mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects, along with rocks, minerals, semi precious stones, shells and fossils.
Cyprus Postal Museum
Located within the walled city of Lefkosia (Nicosia), the Cyprus Postal Museum is housed on the ground floor of an old two-storey mansion. It was founded in 1981 to exhibit the rich and diverse material of the island’s postal history, which started from the 15th century, when postal communications to-and-from Cyprus were organised for the first time during the Venetian period.
The halls of the museum exhibit postage stamps and rich philatelic material in chronological order, including material from the period of British Rule. In particular, the oldest series of Cypriot stamps with the portrait of Queen Victoria of England, which are overprinted with the word ‘Cyprus’, as well as the first dedicated Cypriot series of 1928 that depicts historic sites and figures related to the island’s long history.
Cyprus, the island of sun, beaches, and nature, is known as a major tourist destination in Europe, its popularity has shown growth year on year, exceeding 3.5 million arrivals in 2017, and is a major contributor to the Cyprus economy.
The tourism sector has managed to differentiate itself, attracting new specialised destination tourism, from weddings, Cyprus by yacht, sports, to medical tourism. The choice of accommodation on the island ranges from budget apartments to five-star hotels, catering for every requirement, all year round.