With winter on the horizon (I live in London remember), my bff and I decided we needed a holiday that promised warm hospitality, healthy food and stunning weather to equip us for the looming battle with the infamous British winter. Looking at our European map we decided to venture south, to a little island called Cyprus. The only thing we knew of Cyprus was Peter Andre, so with a few tips from friends we began our three-day mini break in search of fun, sun and the mysterious girl singer.
Return flights to Paphos from London currently start from around £159 and our four-hour flight from Gatwick was made bearable with unlimited G+Ts and Bloody Marys – thanks British Airways.
An insider tip, on arrival into Pathos international airport have a taxi pre-booked or get ready to barter; for no taxi journey is without much haggling over prices with backgammon obsessed drivers who would rather slurp on weak Nescafe coffee and continue their game than drive you to your destination. Luckily our friendly host was able to negotiate on our behalf with many loud Greek exchanges – something we soon got used to in Cyprus.
Arriving into Paradisos Hills resort, our home for the next three days, was literally paradise – think sweeping views of pine-covered hills meeting the sea. Paradisos Hills is a 15-bedroom family run boutique hotel, located above Limni bay in the Akamas Peninsula of Western Cyprus.
A day spent lounging by the hotel’s swimming pool was not wasted on our tired bones.
The day was topped off by experiencing Paradisos’ gorgeous Sunday buffet lunch (which attracted people from all over the island) and walking through Lysos watching locals make hay while the sun shone.
Such a short trip meant we didn’t have time to get involved with Paradisos Hills’ cookery lessons, which provide a real glimpse into using local ingredients to create hearty and healthy Cypriot meals, but this only gives us another reason to go back.
Our second day in Cyprus was spent at the Akamas health spa where guests are invited to indulge in luxurious treatments including infared saunas, hydro baths and therapeutic massages to recuperate and unwind. Akamas uses French spa product THAL’ION which originates from France. The core of the product is algae, boasting revitalising sensations. Combined with Akamas’ professional therapists, you are guaranteed to leave feeling like a whole new person.
The centre overlooks a picturesque valley and after a day of pampering, we were able to indulge in a delicious healthy dinner whilst watching the orange Cypriot sun set in the distance. Pure bliss.
After our detox (ok so we may have sneaked in a glass or two of Cypriot wine) it was time to get active, so a trip to Latchi Marina to sample the island’s best water sports was called for.
Latchi Marina is a seaside gem boasting a harbour full of boats and amazing sporting facilities. We linked up with British ex-pat Tom who runs a team of devoted water sport enthusiasts. We were not disappointed as we were whisked up the coast on a speedboat to discover beautiful coves including the much lauded Blue Lagoon. The opaque aqua water was 24 degrees and lush for swimming and spotting fish.
After paddling round the coves the fun really began as we picked up the water skis and kneeboards from Anassa beach, the centre’s second prime location. After a few false starts, and a fantastic coaching session from a former Olympic water skier we were soon up and skiing.
Back ashore and trying to regain control of our sea legs we were ready to feast on seafood and were soon directed to Porto Latchi, a local restaurant serving the finest grilled prawns, lobster and fresh fish. It was the perfect ending to our Cyprus adventure, and as we hopped into our car to watch the crimson sky darken, we reluctantly headed back to the airport to catch our evening flight to London.
Cyprus is unspoilt and charming. For a long weekend the island welcomes fans of action and adventure, with ample walking, water sports and horse riding; and for those that like peace and quiet, it humbly provides a break from the daily grind with healthy food to recover and recuperate. With the right contacts Cyprus can offer a splendid break and forward planning can really help. We may not have found Peter Andre, but we did find some zen and a slight tan.
In terms of what to do…
Stay here but pre-book a hire car to get around:
And for a boat trip to the blue cove:
Or for a flashier boat:
For some fresh seafood look no further:
This spa is a must for beauty lovers:
And make sure you indulge in a cocktail here:
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