Updated: Mar 19, 2020
Two month's ago I started the A to Z Country Blog and the first amazing destination was Australia followed by Belgium. This month I had another frightful decision on which destination to take you to. The world's most populated country - China, classical Cuba, great all-rounder of Canada, British Overseas Territory - the Cayman Islands, beautiful pacific Cook Islands, Dutch Caribbean island - Curacao or the diverse and lush Costa Rica. Some may or may not be classed as countries but all very worthy of travelling too! In the end, Cyprus spoke to me or perhaps it was the love of Aphrodite or, known to the Romans as Venus.
Paphos on a Summer's Day ©MDHarding
A to Z Country Blog - Cyprus
Many of you won't know that in my previous life I was a travel agent, selling one of the many package holidays, independent travel options and more. Today Cyprus is still a loved destination as a package holiday but also charter flight only. You can reach Cyprus in under 6 hours from the UK. There are lots to explore from the traditional food, culture and handicrafts, such as lace-making.
There is also a rich history dating back to Neolithic and Roman times. If you travel to Nicosia you’ll also discover the only divided capital in the world — it’s been split between Turkey and Greece since 1961. Narrow streets and Medieval buildings hide behind 16th-century walls in the old city centre.
Limassol Lace Market ©MDHarding
The Cypriot coastal city of Paphos is named after Pygmalion the son of Galatea the spiritual presence of Aphrodite, today you can take a taxi or tour to see Petra Tou Romiou - Aphrodite's Rock said to be the birthplace of the ancient Greek Goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite. Located along the main road between Paphos and Limassol. It is one of the most visited places for both its incredible beauty and mythical legends. Paphos is home to a population of over 32,000 people with almost double that in Larnaca. The largest populations residing in Limassol, and the capital Nicosia.
Petra Tou Romiou - Aphrodite's Rock ©MDHarding
The House of Aion
The intricate and colourful mosaics found in Archaeological Park date back to the 4th century. The site was found in 1983 and said to contain part of the most important Roman and Greek city. See the impressive mosaic panels said to tell the story of cosmic order from Zeus to Aion himself, the god of all eternity.
Colourful Mosaics ©MDHarding
Paphos Castle originally built as a Byzantine fort to protect Kato Paphos Harbour, rebuilt in the 13th century by the Louzinians and subsequently demolished by the Venetian in 1570. The Ottomans rebuilt it in the 16th century when they conquered the island. Today the castle is open to visitors and also used as a unique wedding ceremony venue.
Paphos Castle ©MDHarding
Tombs of The Kings
A world Heritage Site since 1980 - Tombs of The Kings is about 2km from Paphos. There is a local bus that picks up and drops off outside this historical site. The monumental underground tombs some dating to the 3 B.C. have been carved out of the solid stone. No kings have actually been buried here like the name suggests but more than 100 Ptolemaic aristocrats who died in Paphos between 3 B.C. and 3 A.D.
Tombs of the Kings ©MDHarding
We took a day trip to the Troodos Mountains to see Mount Olympus said to be the home to the 12 Greek Gods, the highest peak, throne of Zeus. The tour also included a visit to the Evretou Dam - the third-largest in Cyprus, wine vineyard, Kalidonia Waterfalls, Tzielefos Bridge and Kykkos Monastery.
It was a great trip! If visiting the area well worth joining.