Wow! How important did I feel – on a mission for Hallmark Travel to Cyprus with Amathus Holidays, to check out Paphos and Limassol for our clients. I flew from Heathrow with Agean Airlines into Larnaca (about a 4 hour journey) and I arrived relaxed, after a lovely lunch, and excited to see the island. Despite it being evening, it was warm and the air-conditioning in the mini-bus was greatly appreciated! Our first stop was Paphos, about an hour and a half away. We passed Aphrodites Rock, nestled on a stunning stretch of beach, where the Greek goddess of love and beauty appeared from the water. Legend has it that anyone who swims 3 times around it under a full moon will achieve eternal youth! I looked up into the sky… was there a full moon?
Paphos is very relaxed, and has a typical Cypriot feel. However it has modern shopping centres, and so there could be an alternative escape from the beaming midday sun to treat yourself in the cool air-conditioned shops!
Paphos also has a beautiful stone harbour, full of sailing and fishing boats, which is overlooked by the old castle, part of which is ruins – a scene which could have come straight from a page in a holiday brochure! A large site of mosaics is next to the harbour, and fascinating to browse and wile away an idle afternoon. Afterwards, a chilled drink at one of the many bars or cafes completes a lovely afternoon, before you wander back to the hotel, along the picturesque coastline. Many of the hotels are situated here on the beach and it is a lovely evening stroll.
By contrast, Limassol is more lively and buzzing than the quieter Paphos. Only a 40 minute drive from Paphos to Limassol, the beaches are more sandy than the rockier harbour at Paphos, which makes the warm sea even more inviting. With a nice blend of beach and greenery it is easy to relax and soak up the sun. Offshore there are lots of people enjoying slow paced boat trips, but also lots of water sports like paragliding and adrenaline fuelled inflatable rides. Hmm… I took to a comfy sun lounger for now.
If you are looking at Cyprus brochures, pick up an Amathus one – their expertise and experience of Cyprus showed through at all the stages of my trip – from the representation, vehicles, guides and standard of their hotels – all excellent!
I’ve learned that there can be quite a difference in where you choose to stay, even though its all in “Cyprus”