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October 18 2021 5:28 PM ˚

5 reasons to visit Cyprus

Though small, the country is rich in history and has a lot to offer every tourist. Here are five reasons why you should visit Cyprus this summer. (Photo: Unsplash)
Though small, the country is rich in history and has a lot to offer every tourist. Here are five reasons why you should visit Cyprus this summer. (Photo: Unsplash)
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AMMAN — Cyprus, the island nation just northwest of the Levant, is a popular spot for Jordanians to visit. The island paradise is just a short flight away — making it convenient and affordable for visitors from the Kingdom. Additionally, Cyprus has opened its borders completely for visitors, vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, from Jordan — with no need to complete a PCR test or self-isolate after arrival. However, visitors should complete the “Cyprus Flight Pass” 48 hours prior to departure.اضافة اعلان

Though small, the country is rich in history and has a lot to offer every tourist. Here are five reasons why you should visit Cyprus this summer.

Ancient ruins
Cyprus is home to the relics of more than 10,000 years of history. Archaeological evidence has demonstrated that the island has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Neolithic people left behind the single-room huts where they lived, as well as stone tools and pottery. After receiving an influx of mainland Greeks, the island was also occupied by the Persian Empire and the Ottomans.


The Kourion Archaeological Site in Cyprus is picture in this undated photo. (Photo: Handout from the Cypriot Ministry of Tourism)

As a tourist, you can take a glimpse into this history by visiting the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia, the largest archaeological museum in the country. The museum features thousands of Bronze Age terracotta figures, ancient gold coins, and other relics of bygone eras. But there are also ruins spread throughout the city.

The Kourion Archaeological Site, for instance, features a theater, four Greco-Roman villas, and public baths. The Tomb of Kings in Paphos is a huge and well-preserved necropolis. Another favorite draw are the mosaics in Paphos, considered some of the best-preserved ancient mosaics in the eastern Mediterranean.

Whether you’re a history buff or just interested in some sight-seeing during the day, the ancient ruins in Cyprus are a great option to visit.

Beaches
Whereas in Jordan it might take a few hours to drive to the beach, in Cyprus the sparkling coastline is always at hand. There are both densely-populated beaches and more secluded spots. Several of the island’s beaches have also been awarded the EU Blue Flag, a certificate that testifies to the environmental quality and cleanliness of the water.


Cyprus’ Coral Bay its umbrella strewn beach is seen in this undated photo. (Photo: Handout from the Cypriot Ministry of Tourism)

Some popular beaches include Makronissos Beach, Coral Bay, Nissi Beach, and Fig Tree Bay. The golden sands of Makronissos Beach are especially popular among families; the beach is perfect for water skiing, paddle boarding, diving, and other exhilarating water sports. The Makronissos Necropolis, featuring 19 tombs from the Hellenistic and Roman eras, is also only a stone’s throw away from the beach. 

Hiking
Though it’s popular for its nightlife, Cyprus is also a great spot for any lover of the outdoors. Two main areas popular with hikers are Troodos Mountains and the Akamas Peninsula. The mountains cover most of the western side of the island, providing a paradise for hikers hoping to get lost — in a good way. The mountains are dotted with hiking trails, some more maintained than others. They’re also full of monasteries and painted medieval churches. Unique spots to put on your itinerary include Fikardou, a carefully preserved mountain village, and Geopark Visitor Center.



Akamas Peninsula, a popular hiking spot, is seen in this undated photo. (Photo: Handout from the Cypriot Ministry of Tourism)

Like most parts of the island, the Akamas peninsula also has a rich history. In the 20th century, the Akamas was used for military exercises. The peninsula itself was named after a son of Theseus, a hero from the Trojan War. The area, relatively protected and isolated from the rest of the island, is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including monk seals, foxes, fruit bats, and sea turtles. Even if you don’t love hiking, Akamas also features a loggerhead turtle sanctuary and Baths of Aphrodite.

Wherever you decide to go adventuring in Cyprus, there are plenty of trails and information available online. Make sure to bring water and sunscreen and have fun on your trip.

Food
Cyprus’s unique cultural history has produced a distinctive national cuisine introduced by Arab, Greek, and Turkish food traditions. Jordanians visiting the country can look forward to some familiar ingredients, such as halloumi cheese, hummus, and yogurt.


 (Photo: Handout from the Cypriot Ministry of Tourism)

With influences from nearby Italy, visitors to Cyprus can enjoy plates of pasta, too. Distinctive Cypriot pasta dishes include pastitsio (a baked dish with ground meat and bechamel sauce).

As an island, Cyprus also offers a range of delectable seafood dishes incorporating elements like calamari, octopus, cuttlefish, and sea bass. Salted cod is also a popular choice. Fish souffle, croquettes, and roe dip are other unique dishes that incorporate seafood.

Cypriot desserts include loukoumia, a group of sweets made with lemon, rose water, chopped dates, and assorted nuts.

Nightlife
After you’re done sight-seeing, hiking, and trying out Cypriot dishes, your day still won’t be over. Cyprus is known for its vibrant nightlife. All of the cities on the island have a range of bars, live music venues, and nightclubs where you can dance the night away on your vacation.


 (Photo: Handout from the Cypriot Ministry of Tourism)

Ayia Napa, on the eastern end of the southern coast, is known as the country’s main party locale. The resort has 27 beaches, an amusement park and a water park, and a medieval monastery, so it isn’t all nightlife either.

Other urban centers known for their nightlife include Limassol, Paphos, Larnaca, Protaras, and Nicosia.

As the world begins to open up after a year of COVID-19 lockdowns, it’s a great opportunity to travel and explore all that the Mediterranean region has to offer. Cyprus, with its wide range of activities and convenient location, is a fantastic choice to visit this summer.

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