• Mckenzie Dow

CYPRUS | Part 1

Hi all! I'm back from vacation and ready to write all about it! It was so lovely. I'm excited to share my photos and talk a little bit about all the fun. I'll probably do 3-4 posts about Cyprus because we actually got up to a lot!

Cyprus is a pretty cool place. I didn't know anything about the island until we all started planning this vacation together. It's small and very easy to navigate. The island is located in the Mediterranean, but closer to Lebanon and Israel than Greece or Italy. The island is divided in half, and I'll talk a bit more about that in another post. The Republic of Cyprus (the south side) is where we spent most of our time. It is an EU country and the local language is Cypriot Greek, but most people spoke English too. Overall, the country is well known for its amazing weather, wine, and numerous UNESCO world heritage sites. It was also very romantic and there was a never ending list of things to see and do.

We flew into Paphos directly with Ryanair. The flight was about 5 hours, so not too bad. I still hate the colour scheme of inside Ryanair planes, but you get used to the alarming yellow after a while!

We landed very late at night, so we just crashed in some hotel apartment for the evening. The next morning we hopped in the rental car (that's a whole other story...) and made our way to Limassol, another seaside city on the island. This is where we spent most of our time and it was amazing!! Essentially since we (myself and Nick's immediate family) rented out this MASSIVE villa up on a hill, surrounded by other massive villas and a gorgeous view of the sea.

This house may be the largest house I've ever stepped foot in. It was HUGE. Not only was it giant, it also was very lush and fancy. There were wine decanters in the living room, three or four dining areas, an elephant statue up to my thighs, five bathrooms, endless balconies and a dope basement games room. Oh, and a private pool!

From the balconies you could see a little bit of the surrounding hills and a lot of the ocean. There are a lot of bendy palm trees and hardly any clouds! Also, the weather was awesomely HOT. It was at least 85 F everyday. It was slightly humid, but there was a constant wind which kept you cool.

As you can tell, this place was quite fancy. The biggest dining area had this lovely and massive painting on the wall.

Ornate mirrors, loads of art, all hardwood and tile floors. It was beautiful. Also, there was a property manager/housekeeper on the premises. At first we were all a bit unnerved at that, but she was very helpful and discreet.

I don't know which is whiter; the actual state of my legs, or the sun? P.S.. the hat is from Penneys (Primark) for around €6 and the high rise bikini set is from Dunnes, for around €20, where many supportive tops can be found.

I think the pool was my favourite part of the house. It was clean, not too hot or not too cold. The villa was also very private all around. We had a constant supply of fresh towels provided, plenty of sunshine.

Limassol in itself was also quite nice, and I wish I had taken more photos. Our villa was a about 15 minutes drive out from the city centre and old town area. We could walk about 15 minutes to get some decent food on the beach, or take a cab closer to town where things were more bumpin'.

On our first day, Nick and I took some time to have lunch and explore at the Marina area. We really liked it there. You could wine and dine while people watching around all of the yachts. It was definitely a ritzy area, but well worth exploring. It was also very kid friendly, and we couldn't help but laugh when we spotted a T.G.I.Fridays.

There are plenty of restaurants to try out at the Marina area, which is right next to the Old Town area. We went to Hobo Mediterraneo and the food there was absolutely perfect. The calamari was incredible, probably the best I've ever had. It was so good, we went twice! Nick got this moroccan chicken dish which he absolutely devoured.

The Old Town area is right next to the marina. There are more restaurants and bars around there as well. The streets have that old feel, reflecting the history of Limassol, aka Lemesos. There is a smaller castle in the old town as well.

The populated area by our villa was definitely more tacky than the old town or marina area. There are many hotels/resorts around there, along with rental apartments and several English pubs too. It wasn't as beautiful of an area as the old town or the marina. Though, one thing I noticed in this area was the number of bakeries that looked amazing.

Even though this area was a bit tackier, we did eat at this restaurant, Puesta Oyster Bar which was delectable and not as cheesy feeling. All of us seemed to enjoy our food there, and the seafood was definitely very fresh. The mussels were perfect, as was my Fruiti di Mare and Halibut. The oyster bar was right on the ocean and the way the moon reflected on the sea was beautiful and so calming in the evenings.

One of the nights, we even got lucky with fireworks! We could see them from our balcony and they really added to the laid back vacation atmosphere as we all sat around playing movie themes trivia.

Overall, Limassol was amazing. My pictures do not do the city or the villa any justice. I think my biggest takeaway from the week was how incredibly friendly and kind the locals were. Every waiter/waitress, taxi driver, barman/woman and tour guide was so welcoming, funny and charming. Cyprus has so much character, and I think the people are really a big part of that.

This is definitely a place I would recommend for vacation. There was something for everyone, the people were class and it was very easy to get around. They even use the euro and drive on the left hand side (handy if you're coming from Ireland or the UK). It wasn't too expensive and renting out a villa with a handful of people is definitely an option to explore. Also, a side note, something about the air here makes your hair look really nice when it dries naturally, which is a super rare occurrence for me.

Keep following along on our Cyprus travels as I write about our wine tour, exploring a divided city and adventuring in Paphos! Coming soon!

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