Culture Trip: Cyprus

I was in need a of nice break away, so off I flew to Cyprus. I flew from Newcastle Airport with Tui to Paphos and spent 4 days exploring that part of Cyprus.

First on my sightseeing list was Paphos Castle. Located by the Harbour, though it is a smaller castle it is worth walking up to the top of it to see the view.

Paphos has an archaeological world heritage site, that highlights the importance of Ancient Greek and Roman History. I was really looking forward to looking at the mosaic work and the geometric patterns.

Boy did I get that and more, most of the mosaics were covered over to keep them intact and to protect them from the weather, I really liked how detailed they were and how they told stories from Greek history. It was amazing to see what has been uncovered from a long time ago. I felt like Indiana Jones.

The next day I visited Kolossi Medieval Castle, very much like a tardis. It looked small from the outside but when you walk in, you realise how big it is inside. Kollossi castle was used by the Knights who produced and exported sweet wine which became known as the vin de Commanderie- which is one of the oldest and traditional wines in the world.

*What I will say about all the tourist attractions that I visited in Cyprus, the tickets were really affordable but the amount of information was reduced, I’d be looking at things but not really knowing what it was that I was looking at.*

Now this next point of interest, I almost don’t want to share as I think it is a bit of a hidden gem. But it is an instagrammable moment and if you are visiting, you will want to have this on your grid.

They call them the White Stones, near Limassol- it is picturesque place that has been created by nature. They are these funny carved shapes of rock of all shades of white, the way they seem to ebb and flow with the sea- they look rather harsh and dangerous but when you are there and you climb and walk along the stones, I felt very calm and at peace. When you stood still- you could hear the sound of the water crash against the pebbles and the stones, the sound was really relaxing.

We did take some sweet snacks with us, from this amazing bakery called Lydiana- they are this award winning bakery and I highly recommend purchasing some sweet treats and taking them with you to climb the white stones.

I had planned on walking up Troodos Mountain but due to snow yes SNOW, the part of the trip was cancelled so instead I went back down to the lower level and to dry off on dry land or should I say a pebble beach. I then headed too Omodos Village, which is this cute little village that is full of independent shops, restaurants and cafes. I found this bakery called Fotini Bakery House, they do these huge and I mean huge platters of both sweet and savoury. I had both a healthy platter and a chocolate platter and I felt soo full afterwards, I needed to walk a mountain after eating all that.

Now you can’t not learn about the history of the gladiators when you are in Cyprus, so I visited Kourion Archaeological Site. The site is quite a large size, you need a good 1hour30mins to explore it, if you don’t have an interest in history- it is worth it just for the views.

It was fascinating to see how much history, from such a long period of time I was still all there. I was walking over stones and lands from around 300AD and years before me, I could not quite believe my eyes. I liked the Greco-Roman theatre, that was built in the 2nd century BC and extended in the 2nd century AD. The theatre has been restored and I wondered if it used for live performances.

I also enjoyed exploring the baths, you had a bath for heated the medium room (tepidarium), and the hot room (caldarium) and a cold bath (frigidarium) all I kept thinking was, how many bath bombs they must have used.

I had a later return flight from Paphos with Jet2 to Newcastle, so I wanted to make the most of my last day.

I went to an Olive Park to learn all about how they grow olives and make olive oil, they were really fresh and tasty- nothing like how you have them at home.

I then took a smallish walk along of Pissouri’s walking trail – I think it was Genesis Aphrodite’s Trail. What a lovely part of the world, the colours and views were breath taking- like something of a postcard. I could have stayed there all day, it was so peaceful and hardly anyone was around.

From Aphrodite’s walk to Aphrodite’s Rock, which is considered to be her birthplace. It is a pretty beach near Paphos, where everyone can enjoy swimming in the water and appreciate the size of the rock and wonder about the story.

As you can see, I managed to fit a lot in during my short stay there and typical Gemma’s Journey it was cultural and educational. This trip has inspired me and motivated me to start travelling for, to appreciate the world we live in. I wonder where I will visit next?

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