At the end of August (which already seems so long ago) Hubby and I spent a week on the east Mediterranean island of Cyprus. We’d been before for our honeymoon 4 years ago so when we saw a last minute deal just in our budget to a hotel on the east coast of Cyprus, we booked straight up. We stayed just 5 minutes away from Protaras at the Kouzalis Beach Hotel and it was fantastic.
We’d booked to go all inclusive for the week and had I planned to be good with my food and do plenty of swimming and perhaps a bit of aquaerobics but unfortunately due to the most amazing choice of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner I ate and ate and ate! Breakfast was usually plain brown toast, a fried egg and a drizzle of brown sauce however I did pig out one morning and tried the pastries (croissants, cinnamon swirls and iced donuts!) which probably help explain the mahoosive weight gain! Lunch was fresh salad with either feta or halloumi cheese which in Cyprus is absolutely amazing. It tastes so much better out there and so I did indulge in this every lunchtime. Dinner was a buffet style and each night they changed the food to fit with a theme; Cypriot, Carvery, Oriental, Italian, Farmers etc. Looking back I enjoyed the lunchtime food more as in the evenings the salads were mixed with dressings and fish or egg so I didn’t really try those.
We spent the first 3 days doing absolutely nothing. Sunbathing, reading, sleeping, trying out the cocktail menu, swimming in the pool, more sleeping, honestly the heat seriously got to me and made me really sleepy. We ventured out on to the beach beyond the grass of our hotel but it was quite rocky so we didn’t spend too much time there.
We hired a car for a couple of days which was expensive but totally worth doing. The Cypriots drive on the same side as us Brits do so driving over there was great. We decided we wanted to drive up to the capital city, Nicosia. This is not an ordinary capital city, it’s divided with half of the city being in Cypriot hands and the other half Turkish occupation. We parked the car and walked into the old town where it’s full of paved areas with pavement cafes, shops and restaurants. Surprisingly, we stumbled across a Debenhams, McDonalds, Next and Starbucks coffee shop! We went up Ledra tower (13 floor office block) and at the top was a 360 degree viewpoint of the city. At the top, you could clearly see the border weaving it’s way through the city and in the distance, two massive turkish flags high up on the mountains reminding the Cypriots that their city is divided. The newer part of the city is quite odd. We walked down a street to get back to our car and we came across Louis Vuitton and Dolce and Gabbana stores right next to apartment blocks, car parks and little cafes. We also came across the Kipling store which I had to have a look in and persuaded hubby to buy me a handbag which had 40% off…bargain! We spent a few hours in the city then decided to drive back towards Ayia Napa and along the coast to take in the most amazing beaches I have ever seen.
We went to Konnos Bay which is gorgeous. Very sandy and the water is so clear you can see right down on to the seabed. I’m scared of fish (true!) so won’t go in the sea but hubby went for a good paddle which was just like getting into a bath. The water was so warm. We then drove to Fig Tree Bay where again the beaches are incredibly sandy, clean and perfect for relaxing on.
We also drove up to the border near to the town of Famagusta where there is a town called Varosha which in 1974 was invaded by the Turks and all the Cypriots had to leave. It remains as a ghost town these days as it’s occupied by the Turkish army and is a no go zone between the Cypriot side and Turkish occupied side of Cyprus. We drove to a view point where you can only take photographs from the designated area and the no go zone is also manned by the UN keeping the peace in the area. Very eerie.
On one of the evenings we took a bus into Protaras and enjoyed the night life there. There are loads of bars and restaurants so we decided to visit a couple of them and enjoyed cocktails in Friends Bar, Fools and Horses and The Love Boat Pub. We had a brilliant night and even got a bus back to our hotel for €1 at 1:30am. How good is that? The transport is excellent even at night.
Our final two days were spent soaking up the sunshine in the high 30’s degree heat, enjoying the facilities and relaxing.
We had a lovely holiday and really hope to do it again next year. If you’ve never been to Cyprus, I would highly recommend it. The people are incredibly friendly and can’t do enough for you, the food is amazing and the island is beautiful. I could certainly live there. It was a lovely week and even though I put weight on it was definitely worth it.