Curiosities in Cyprus

Holidays in Cyprus take you to the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Sand, sun and sea are guaranteed here all year round. If you wish to follow in the footsteps of TV legend Jane McDonald, head to Cyprus and soak up the culture. Cyprus is home to pretty cobbled streets, ancient ruins and a number of interesting sights. Which curiosity would you like to explore? 

Flocks of Wild Flamingos

You heard us right! During the months from November to March, huge flocks of greater flamingos stop off in Cyprus during their winter migration. If you time your holiday well, you can find these leggy pink birds feasting on brine shrimp and warming their feet at a salt lake just southwest of Limassol, or an hour’s drive away at the salt lake in Larnaca. There are plenty of viewpoints and benches where you can quietly observe them at leisure, and we recommend you visit just before sunset for the best photos. In addition to the usual, pink-feathered leggy birds, a rare black flamingo has been spotted in the recent past. 
Placeholder image

The World’s Oldest Named Wine

Take a sip of commandaria, a very special Cypriot dessert wine made in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains. Produced from sun-dried grapes and aged for at least two years in oak barrels, this delicious fortified sweet wine was first documented over 5,000 years ago. Allegedly, King Richard the Lionheart of England declared it was the ‘wine of kings and the king of wines’ at his wedding. Celebrate it at the annual Limassol Wine Festival, which takes place at the end of August. You can drink, watch grapes being tread, and enjoy traditional folk music and dancing. 

A Turtle Beach

Near to Paphos you’ll find Lara Beach, also known locally as turtle beach, as it’s a popular nesting ground for green and loggerhead turtles. While on this quiet beach, if you’re lucky and time it right you'll get to see new sea turtles being born and then make their way into the sea. Visitors are asked to observe the rules that are in place in order to protect this natural wildlife sanctuary. 

Placeholder image

An Abandoned Airport

A remnant of Nicosia’s conflict fifty years ago is the former Nicosia International Airport, which was completely abandoned after the country's military coup. Today, it’s got a spooky air to it, but is a photographer’s treat. 

A Cat Monastery

Located southwest of Akrotiri Salt Lake, the country’s largest lake, lies one of the oldest monasteries, which has an unusual claim to fame as it’s dedicated to cats. There are many legends as to why you’ll find so many cats here. Some believe it was because there was a plague of snakes brought on by drought in the 4th century, which almost prevented the monastery from being built, so cats were brought in to help exterminate them. Today the cats are taken care of by local nuns and volunteers. 
Placeholder image

A Capital City Between Two Nations  

Nicosia, the capital city of Cyprus, is the only one of its kind in the world that is divided between two nations, so that it’s part Middle Eastern and part European. A UN-patrolled buffer zone, which is physically seen with a Green Line border wall, was created in the 1960s when fighting took place between the country's two ethnic majorities, the Turkish-Cypriots and the Greek-Cypriots. Today, it’s a sleepy, oft-forgotten patchwork city that invites exploration, with outdoor tavernas and wine bars, monasteries, and mosques. 

A Town Teeming with Antiquity 

Did you know that all of Paphos - not just the archaeological areas - is a UNESCO World Heritage site? That’s because it has a fascinating amount of antiquity at every turn. Paphos has been inhabited since the Neolithic period, with finds through the Roman and medieval areas. You can see ancient tombs, villas, palaces, fortresses, and temples, including the 12th century BC Temple of Aphrodite, a short drive from the town’s harbour. You’ll also find some of the world’s finest mosaics here, which wonderfully record daily life in bygone days.
Placeholder image

A Wishing Tree

If you head to St Solomon’s Catacombs in Paphos, you’ll see a large terebinth tree covered in ribbons, while its roots emerge from stone. Previously underground, this catacomb belonged to a Jewish lady who became a saint. Legend says she refused to give up her belief in God - even when her sons were tortured and killed at the hands of the King of Syria. Nowadays, if you tie a scarf or handkerchief to the tree, the belief is that she will grant you your wish. 

An Underwater Forest

From Jason deCaires Taylor, the award-winning British underwater sculptor, comes a unique underwater forest just off the coast of Ayia Napa. MUSAN holds 93 imaginative artworks installed right on the seafloor of the Mediterranean Sea. These resemble trees, with forest children playing among them. The materials used create an attractive environment for marine flora and fauna, which you can observe when snorkelling and diving.
Placeholder image

A Hotel with Village Traditions

We adore Casale Panayiotis in the Troodos Mountains, as it’s so incredibly integrated into village life and is helping preserve traditions. One minute the villagers might be teaching you how to make halloumi or weave Cypriot baskets, the next you're learning how to make spoon-sized sweet preserves from a variety of local fruits, or how to keep the bees that make the famed local honey of Marathasa valley. There’s just so much to do here! 

For more information, call our Personal Travel Planners on:

Feefo review image

What our guests think

We've been finding people their own slice of paradise for 50 years, and like to think we're pretty good at it. 
Don't just take our word for it, though - see what our customers have said about their Sovereign experience..

Read guests reviews...
Request a Brochure
Request Your Quote