June 18, 2024

Destination Guide – Cyprus

An island of fascinating and dramatic history, dating back as far as 9,000 years, Cyprus has been invaded and colonised by an amazing mixture or races and civilisations…. Even as recently 1974. Tourism on the Island, certainly package tourism from Ireland, is concentrated in the government controlled south of the island.

Getting There

Cyprus’ main airport is Larnica. The current terminal was opened as recently as 2009 and is well equipped to handle the annual influx of tourism. Even so, further expansions are planned and by 2013 the terminal will be able to handle 9 million passengers per year. The airport itself is located just outside Larnica itself, but there are good transfer options to both Larnica itself and the tourist mecha that is Ayia Napa.

Getting Around

With no railway on the island, buses and taxis are the sole forms of public transport on the island. Both however had been recently revamped with 4 different types of bus service offering everything from airport transfers to rural buses that link the local villages. Taxis are reasonable also, it’s a relatively small island. Many tourists chose to hire scooters and quads and these are as common on the roads of Ayia Napa as cars themselves. Similar to Ibiza driving standards on this island are generally poor with many roads devoid of markings and lighting of any kind. There is allot to see in Cyprus if you venture outside of the main tourist resorts so some sort of transport is recommended for the days you aren’t nursing a hangover at least…

Sleeping

Hospitality in Cyprus is fantastic with many family run hotels taking a keen interest in ensuring your impression of the Island is as positive as it can be. You’re guaranteed a warm welcome here, even on a cheap last-minute package holiday. There are countless hotel chains in Cyprus including the well-known Western chains like the Hilton, Four Seasons and Holiday Inn. There are also hotels aimed at package holiday goers which offer more affordable surroundings.

Alternative accommodation is offered in restored historical houses all over the island in partnership with a Government Agro tourism Initiative. Worth Googling if you’re interested in a package alternative

Eating

As with most Mediterranean diets, Cyprian dine on high volumes of fresh fish and olive oil giving them a long life expectancy and fantastic standard of health. This is certainly true of the Greek influenced south. Traditional food also includes meats such as lamb, pork, chicken and vegetables such as potatoes and beans etc. As a tourist you won’t be left hungry if local cuisine isn’t your thing. Many steak houses are to be found in the tourist resorts, eating in these resorts can be extremely good value with multiple restaurants in the one area all fighting for business. Even fast food franchises such as Burger King and Pizza Hut have sprang up in places like Ayia Napa to cater to the throngs of hungry tourists.

Drinking

The main nightlife centre in the southern part of the island for the Irish tourist has to be Ayia Napa and nightlife is really where Ayia Napa shines. So much so that it’s hard to believe that this place was a quiet fishing village only 35 years ago. That’s not to say it’s an exclusive Irish centre with British, Irish and Russian bars all operating together trouble-free. Truth be told the Irish are probably outnumbered by the other two in presence but that doesn’t mean we’re unnoticeable.

The main nightlife focus is in the central square which dozens of bars and nightclubs face onto. Competition is fierce with each bar looking to entice the throngs of party goers. Off the main square are the “Super clubs” that open until the small hours of the mornings and regularly attract world class DJs. For those who just aren’t satisfied there are a handful of after hours bars that open just as the super clubs are closing.