Onboard Aegean Air, in my wide and soft leather seat with lots of legroom, I was off to Cyprus! My mission? To boldly go in search of the perfect holiday at the perfect hotels and resort for my Hallmark Travel customers!

It was dark when I arrived, but my transfer was just half an hour to the Golden Bay, a 5 star hotel in Larnaca

I had a junior suite which had a huge marble bathroom, huge king-size bed and a huge balcony with a table and chairs, and two sun loungers. At the end of my balcony, all the other balconies interconnected and there was a Jacuzzi we could all share!

The food in Cyprus is delicious! The most popular being mezzo which starts with a salad and vinaigrette dressing, some added feta cheese and olives, an aubergine spread, cooked halloumi cheese, sausages, lamb, beef, chicken – about 10 dishes to pick and choose from!

The Golden Bay is a lovely base in Cyprus, and in true 5 star fashion it has everything you’d expect – an indoor pool, a Jacuzzi and a sauna. There’s a children’s playground area and gardens to stroll in, themed nights and a daily animation programme, so lots to do! You won’t be thirsty or hungry either – they have an outdoor stone floored taverna, and three other restaurants; but what impressed me most was the outdoor pool and the beautiful wide sandy beach with its shady palm trees.

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From Larnaca, I went to Limassol. Limassol is very busy and bustling, with lots of shops, restaurants and bars as well as museums, churches and other historical monuments.

There is also a promenade in Limassol, and it’s popular to jog or stroll along this especially after dinner to walk off that beautiful buffet of local fish and meats!

Not far from Limassol is Kourion – an important archaeological site. The city was destroyed by a cataclysmic earthquake in 365 AD. Its most famous site is the Roman Amphitheatre – restored in the 1960s, it’s used for plays and concerts. Apart from that there are tombs, treasures, and excavations to explore and discover.

Travelling to the other end of Cyprus, I stopped for a brief visit to Paphos – a very pretty fishing harbour town.

And then on to the Troodos Mountains, the temperature becoming slightly cooler as I went up into the mountains. As I climbed, the views of the mountains, land, and sea became more breathtaking. I passed some beautiful villas and houses with local people sitting outside, a seemingly local pastime! I bought some delicious sweet nuts and cheesy snacks. They were the most gorgeous sweet and sticky, savoury nuts I’ve ever tasted anywhere!

The drive took me up higher to towns with churches and cobbled streets, pretty hilly villages with little squares and street cafes. Perfect places to stop and have a coffee and enjoy the ambience, which some of us did!

Tearing myself away from the mountains, I visited Pissouri which is located between Limassol and Paphos. Pissouri is also very pretty and has a shingle and sandy beach within walking distance of the local villages for lunch or dinner. There is also a large British community here who have invested in apartments and flats for their annual escape from our English Winters!

Too soon my trip was over but it was very interesting to visit different parts of Cyprus. The hotels I stayed at were excellent and I am delighted to list them in no particular order of excellence!
– Golden Bay Larnaca: great dining, luxurious hotel, indoor and outdoor pools.
– Grand Resort Hotel Limassol: Vines, water features, and an outdoor taverna overlooking the sea and beach. Spa & Turkish baths – romantic spots for Weddings!
– Le Meridien Hotel: Winner of the World’s leading spa resort award – thalasso-therapy, sauna, hammam.
– Four Seasons: Elegant and luxurious, sport, kids clubs, wedding chapel.
– Mediterranean Beach Hotel: Contemporary, six restaurants (even sushi), family suites – great atmosphere!
– Columbia Beach Resort: Like a Spanish parador, with buggy transportation, as the resort is hilly.

If you’d like to hear my recommendations of Cypriot hotels, towns and sightseeing, I’d love to hear from you! Please email me charmaine@hallmarktravel.com 

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