Many British people have experienced Cyprus over the years and a great number return to revive the friendship of the people and the Meze’s. However some have grown tired, often, I suspect when we see the amount of building and developments along the south coast.
I recently had the pleasure of leading a small group of travel agents, who had not visited the islands before, to see the ‘real’ Cyprus. Fortunately for the British, they drive on the left like us and the signs are in English. You just have to remember the speed limits are kph not mph! Speed cameras do exist – just like home!
Whether you arrive at Larnaca or Paphos airports it is of no matter. Take the main dual carriageway and head to the Troodos Mountains. Step in the village of Kakopetria and take a room at the Linos Inn. A complex of old houses in the medieval settlement has been lovingly restored to create a unique 22 bedroom character inn on two floors. The restaurant operates as a taverna serving mainly Cypriot dishes. The food is excellent so walking is a must to keep your trim figure in shape. Kakopetria is well known for its fish, with there being a trout farm nearby. Local crafts are on sale in the shops. Why not stop off at the local pottery and watch a pot being thrown and possibly buy some items to remember your visit.
If you drag yourself away after a few days more there are other villages in the mountains or if you are looking for a change how about the North West of the island. Lysos is a 20 minute drive from Polis and at the Paradisis Hills Hotel you will get a friendly welcome. The views from your room overlook the north coast. This attractive stone-built traditionally designed hotel opened in 2005 and is located on the edge of a large agricultural village. The food is traditional meals served against a magnificent mountain panorama. You are very close to the Akamas National Park where the views are also stunning.
To complete your holiday why not stop off in the the pretty village of Tochni with a population of just four hundred. The tavern is on the upper slopes and the village has retained its character. Village activities include olive picking, grape and orange harvesting, halloumi (cheese) making and fishing – these are available in season and can be booked and paid for locally. Cooking and pastry lessons can also be booked locally. For the more energetic – bike hire and horse riding activities are also on offer. So why not go to Cyprus and experience the real island. The Cypriots are waiting to welcome you.
By John Grew, Kent
Agency Sales Rep