There is more to Cyprus than the beach

Yurts in Cyprus

Cyprus has the cleanest bathing waters in Europe, it’s in the top 10 countries worldwide most prepared for the easing of lockdown restrictions and it averages 300 sunny days a year – all of which makes the island an increasingly attractive holiday destination.

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Aspire Cycling Cyprus
*Aspire Cycling Cyprus

Here are our top picks away from the usual sand-and-sea excursions:

Cycling

Good weather, idyllic scenery and challenging routes are fast making Cyprus a go-to destination for bike enthusiasts – with the route to Mount Olympus topping the bucket list of many avid cyclists.

Paphos-based Aspire Cycling welcomes some 600 cyclists a year. There are two cycling seasons to choose from – late February to early May and late October to early December – and all bikes are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after every rental. Prices for a week’s tour start from €165pp and this year the tour company has a ‘ride for four days, pay for three’ rental offer.

For more information, please email: [email protected]

Georges Ranch
*Georges Ranch

Horse Riding

George’s Ranch is a premier equestrian centre, a stone’s throw away from the Sea Caves. With the white rock coastline at its feet and the lush green of Paphos Forest at its back, George’s Ranch has a vast array of options to suit every rider, from absolute beginners to serious equestrians. As well as lessons, the Ranch offers week-long packages tailor-made for individual riders ranging from €260pp to €320pp. Riders have to arrange their own flights and accommodation, but the staff are happy to help with recommendations.

For more information, please email: [email protected]

Kalliopi Dive College
*Kalliopi Dive College

Diving

Thanks to the coronavirus, marine life along the coast has flourished – due to less maritime traffic, fewer swimmers and a decrease in fishing – all of which means, visitors to the Kalliopi Dive College are in for a treat.

Scuba diving has always been a sport governed by strict hygiene protocols, but following the pandemic, staff at this centre have adopted even stricter measures in accordance with DAN Europe guidelines and Ministry of Health directives.

A five-dive package costs €250pp and includes kit, tanks and transfers to and from dive sites. Until the season ends in November, the college also has a ‘Bring a Buddy’ discount of up to 50% to encourage more couples and families to explore the wonders of the Mediterranean together.

For more information, please email: [email protected]

Limosa Holidays
*Limosa Holidays

Bird Watching

Every autumn and spring, twitchers flock to Cyprus to catch a glimpse of the Masked Shrike, Collared Flycatcher, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Purple Herons, Bee-eaters and Black-headed Wagtail as well as homegrown winged wonders such as the Cyprus Scops Owl, Cyprus Warbler and Cyprus Pied Wheatear.

For details on packages available including flights, accommodation, all meals, transfers and birdwatching excursions, please email: [email protected]

Yurts in Cyprus
*Yurts in Cyprus

Green Getaways

Overlooking a rural valley outside Simou village in Paphos you’ll find three authentic Mongolian Yurts offering a unique, sustainable, off-the-grid ecological bed and breakfast experience.

With panoramic, breath-taking views of the Cypriot countryside, Yurts in Cyprus are ideal for winery tours, hiking holidays or star-gazing away from the light pollution of towns and villages.

Open all year round, the yurts are popular with tourists and residents. Prices start from €90 for one night and €595 for a week.

For more information, please email: [email protected]

Husky Sledding Cyprus
*Husky Sledding Cyprus

Husky Sledding

Yes, you read that right – husky sledding on the sunshine island of Cyprus.

Despite its enviable reputation as a sunspot, Cyprus gets enough snow in the winter for skiing holidays and husky rides. Conditions for sledding are usually good by late December or early January, when you will find Australian Ali Rhind and her adorable dogs Dolce, Lulu and Dante ready for action in the Troodos mountains.

A 90-minute session for up to six people costs €195 euros.

For more information, please email: [email protected]

Andrea Busfield

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Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor