Cyprus is an island-country located at the east end of the Mediterranean Sea. Its historic and ancient past combined with its bustling present is the perfect experience for any would-be world traveller seeking adventure in this part of the world. 48 hours in Cyprus is certainly not enough to enjoy everything that it has to offer. However, it is enough to see some of the most dazzling and significant locations this side of the Mediterranean.
The easiest way to get into Cyprus is by way of Nicosia International Airport in the country’s capital city of Nicosia. This city alone is home to many historic landmarks. Apart from the city hall and the archbishop’s residence, both of which are great examples of traditional Mediterranean architecture, you can also check out remaining sections of Nicosia’s ancient Venetian Walls. Located in various sections throughout the city, these renaissance-era walls were constructed in the late 1500s to defend the then Venetian city from invaders. Today, many parts of the huge circular wall remain intact, including structural changes that happened through war and occupation. A single day is enough to appreciate Nicosia’s unique infrastructure and roam around the city.
Interested in more of Cyprus’ ancient history? Head south to Khirokitia (or Choirokoitia). This UNESCO World Heritage Site is widely recognised as one of the most significant and well-preserved prehistoric sites on the planet. While it was discovered only in 1934, it is estimated that the site dates back to 7000 BC. Its importance lies mostly in the fact that it’s one of the oldest areas of early human organisation. Since its discovery, the settlement of Khirokitia has provided (and continues to provide) important data on the movement and activity of early humans who settled and traversed the Mediterranean Sea. Some of the ancient circular mud houses have been reconstructed through techniques discovered within the settlement – a unique peek into the ancient world. A couple of hours should be enough to appreciate this ancient and archaeologically significant location in the southern part of Cyprus.
As an island country situated in one of the most beautiful seas in world, Cyprus is also home to plenty of gorgeous beaches. Keep heading south to Akti Olympion for over two kilometres of silky sand and pristine waters conveniently located within reach of full city services. While many other beaches and resorts dot the coast of Cyprus, what makes Akti Olympion truly unique is that it’s proof of how city beaches can remain pristine – all while surrounded by bustling urban life.
Alternatively you can go straight to Ayia Napa from the capital city of Nicosia. Ayia Napa is a beach town that’s located in the south-eastern most tip of Cyprus. There are lots of things you may not know about Cyprus, one of which is the true meaning of the name Ayia Napa. Ayia means holy while the archaic Napa means wooded valley. The actual town, instead of being a holy valley, is renowned for its late night partying. If you’re looking to experience contemporary nightlife in Cyprus, head straight to Ayia Napa from Nicosia Airport.
Cyprus is a must-see destination for anyone who loves history and pristine, tropical beaches. While 48 hours is not enough to appreciate everything the country has to offer, it’s enough to get a real taste of the Mediterranean.
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This is a contributed guest post written exclusively for Ananyah