Found in the far eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is an island full of history and unrivalled natural beauty. Tourists have been drawn to the island almost as long as people have been enjoying holidays. There are plenty of things to do and places to explore, and even if you’re looking for something a little more unusual to experience, Cyprus still has lots to offer.
In an attempt to narrow down your options a little, here are 5 things you can do if you want to do something other than the usual holiday pastimes.
Shipwreck Scuba Diving
If you’re planning to enjoy your holidays in Cyprus, a trip to see the famous Zenobia is a must. The waters around the island are so crystal clear that you can see the wreck snorkelling at the surface or from a glass-bottomed boat. The Zenobia capsized on its maiden voyage from Malmo to Syria. The circumstances under which it happened and the fact that no investigation was ever carried out are all part of the mystery. If you want to get a closer look it’s possible to book diving and snorkelling trips in Larnaca.
The Ghost Town of Famagusta
Famagusta is one of the most important cities of the northern Turkish Cypriot part of the island. It has become a symbol for the island’s division. It sits alongside Varosha, which at one time was a thriving holiday destination until 1974 when it was attacked by Turkish forces and subsequently abandoned. The Greek Cypriot population of the area fled in terror, taking nothing but the clothes they were wearing. The area is still closed off, but curious visitors can tour the ruins of the once popular city.
Akamas Peninsula National Park
Many people consider this to be one of the last remaining true wildernesses on the island. It’s home to many endemic species of flora and fauna. Ecotourism is booming in this area and visitors can experience the chiselled ridges of the Avakas Gorge, truly secluded beaches, thick fir forests, blooming fields of gladioli and crocus and the mythical Baths of Aphrodite.
Tombs of the Kings, Paphos
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is situated about a mile from Paphos harbour. It might be called the Tombs of the Kings, but there are actually no kings buried there. It was a burial ground for affluent senior government officials and aristocrats. The tombs in the area range from 4th century BC to 3rd century BC. They are carved out of solid rock and beautifully decorated.
The Limassol Carnival
Limassol carnival is held every year, 12 days prior to the Christian season of Lent. It’s not only the oldest and most popular folk festivity in Limassol but across the whole of Cyprus. To celebrate the Carnival, locals adorn themselves in vibrant masks and costumes. The festivities have been taking place since the times of ancient Greece and honour Dionysus, the god of wine and fun. Festivities start with the arrival of the King of the Carnival into the city, accompanied with serenades, music, dancing, and children.