Visiting Cyprus was an adventure for me. I actually took a flight from Bangkok, reached Delhi, got out of immigration, went to departures and took another flight to Larnaca via Bahrain! It was a first, when Delhi became a transit point for me. As I took a long route to reach Cyprus, I did arrive totally tired.
Our first stop was Paphos and I totally loved the place. It was full of flowers in March, and it immediately lifted my spirits. I went around for a walk near my hotel and found this gem of a monument, St. Nicolas Church.
I visited Paphos, Nicosia, Kakopetria and Aiya Napa but Paphos remains my favorite. It has beautiful waters and much more. The Archaeological Park at Paphos contains mosaics from medieval times. I wish we had more time to explore it. I saw the light house from the park too! You can see once again that the landscape is dotted with flowers!
We walked from the park to see the Basilica of Panagia Limeniotissa in Paphos. It is an impressive place with a main church where prayers are still held.
The Paphos Amphitheater is a sight to behold. I enjoyed it for the view of the sea as well.
On our way to the Amphitheater, we stopped at the Aphrodite’s Rock, supposed to be the birthplace of Goddess Aphrodite. The mythology surrounding the place is fascinating. You can dig more here and here.
From Paphos we shifted our base to Nicosia the capital of Cyprus. We went on to explore the beautiful town of Kakopetria in the hills. The weather was cool, the sights beautiful and the pace leisurely. Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis Church at Kakopetria is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The interiors are covered in rich paintings from 11th to 17th century. Photography inside the church is prohibited though.
On the last day, our group of travel agents and media visited Khirokitia and Aiya Napa. By now fatigue was catching up with me. My right knee was giving me a lot of trouble and I was barely able to walk! Luckily it was the last day of the trip and later in the evening we were catching the flight back home!
I would have enjoyed the traditional activities of making the Easter Bread, Flouna, more if I was in a better frame of mind.
Because of my knee pain, I would stay in the vehicle while others would run to explore a nearby place. That is when I realized how much running around we do on a blogging trip!
Our last two minute photo stop was at the Ayia Thekla Chapel. We were headed to the airport after that! I would surely like to go to Cyprus on a holiday and explore it at a leisurely pace! You can see a bit more of Cyprus in another post of mine.
I loved the tour of Cyprus which was organized by the Cyprus Convention Bureau. I was lucky to be invited as a travel blogger for the trip!
I love to go to a place where I have never been before. So when I got the opportunity to visit Cyprus in March 2018, I was thrilled! It was a 4 night 5 days trip organized by the Cyprus Convention Bureau, where I was invited as a blogger. Here are my first impressions of Cyprus.
There are Flowers Everywhere in March
I am partial to flowers and there were flowers everywhere in Cyprus in March. I am told that the nation receives a lot of tourists in May.
Flowers are still there in May. I will take it in March with flowers and minus the crowd. But if you like to party May onward is the time to go!
You Will Spend in Euros
The currency in Cyprus is Euro. So there are no major surprises there. I bought a gelato for 1.5 Euro. I went to My Mall in Limassol and bought two branded sports tops for my daughter for less than 15 Euro.
There are Hardly any Traffic Jams in Cyprus
I never encountered a traffic jam in Cyprus even once, not even in the capital, Nicosia. I am not sure how it would be in the peak season but traffic doesn’t seem to be big in Cyprus.
You can See a Lot in Cyprus in One Vacation
The island is 225 km long at it’s largest point and 97 km wide at it’s widest point. In India we don’t even reach Chandigarh from Delhi in 225 kilometers! This coupled with very little traffic, makes exploring easy. They have historic ruins, beautiful beaches, night life and more.
The Locals are Caring
On the last day of the trip, my right knee gave up on me. I could barely walk with a terrible limp and I was in a lot of pain! I decide to go on the tour but not to walk much on the last day.
I was sitting in a beautiful cafe in the village of Khirokitia. My colleagues have gone out to check a closed mill. The cafe owner can see I am in trouble. He gives me a pack of ice to put on my knee. It brings some relief. I keep asking for ice at my subsequent stops at Lefkra and Ayi Napa. They always give me ice and never once anyone asked for money.
I managed to hobble through the last day and catch my flight home!
They Drive on the Left Side, Same as Us
Cyprus drives on the same side as us, on the left. Renting a car seems less daunting hence.
There are Indian Restaurants in Cyprus
I spotted Indian restaurants in the big cities like Paphos, Nicosia and Limassol.
Local vegetarian food is also not a problem. You will get a lot of vegetables, cheese, rice, humus and pita bread to keep you going.
Hotels are a Little Different
Some of the norms are a little different in hotels. Like even at Hilton Nicosia they do not give you a refill of water on the second day but they replenish the tea. At Aliathon Holiday Village in Paphos, they don’t replenish either.
Both were nice places, the norms are a little different than what we are used to.
No Direct Flights from India to Cyprus
As of now there are no direct flights from India to Cyprus. But easy connections are available from the Middle East. I went via Bahrain, and flew back via Doha.
Overall I will like to go back to Cyprus again, this time on a vacation. Because Blogging trips are not really vacation!
One of the very first things I did in Cyprus was to go for a spin in the Mediterranean Sea on the Ocean Flyer; a beautiful yacht operated by Paphos Sea Cruises. As I was invited to Cyprus on a blogging trip, ours was an all media/travel agent tour.
As soon as I stepped on board, I asked if I could go to the upper decks? The crew told me I could go anywhere I want! I immediately ran up to the upper deck to enjoy the view! It was a beautiful day to be out in the sun! When you throw in people on a FAM trip on a boat, photo sessions start almost immediately! And the dress I am wearing has been gifted to me by my sister Alka, almost all my stylish dresses come from her!
The above photo clearly shows how much fun we had on board! It has been clicked by super nice Christine Nayagam of the Indian Globetrotter. While I was enjoying my time on the upper deck, I was told that I could go down for drinks. I tried Keo, the local beer and I have to say it is good. I had a cocktail too. The staff at the bar is from Egypt and they are perfect!
Drinks quickly rolled into lunch. As it was an all Indian group, there was plenty of vegetarian food. It was a pleasant surprise. I checked out and even on their regular cruises they offer vegetarian food.
— Mridula Dwivedi (@mridulablog) April 6, 2018
We did not make any swimming stops but they are mentioned on the regular cruises. It sounds nice to me. The scenery on the route is pretty! Our two hours at the sea simply flew. It was time to dock again at the Paphos harbor way too soon!
I will remember the cruise for the outstanding hospitality of the crew, the magical weather and beautiful scenery. Some days you need those tranquil two hours in the sun to feel that everything is fine with the world!
PS. I was invited to Cyprus by the Cyprus Convention Bureau as a travel blogger