Few feelings can compare to that of sinking your toes into warm sand… of the sun kissing your skin, and your senses taking in the fresh, salty breeze and the endless views of glittering blue waters.
This idyllic scene is one that can be enjoyed for the most part of the year on the island of Cyprus, and one that offers a myriad of experiences, from the total relaxation of sunbathing with drink in hand, to the thrill and challenge of trying a new water sport..
From secluded bays, to lively resorts and sandy beaches to rocky coves, the island’s expansive coastline is home to a variety of different-style beaches; each unique in its appearance and the facilities it offers.
And aside from lazing on hot sands, the crystal depths of the Mediterranean Sea can be appreciated both on and in the water, after all, even the Goddess of Love - Aphrodite herself - was born of the sea foam in Pafos (Paphos)!
Take a stroll to a backdrop of sea and bobbing boats at one of the quaint piers, marinas and harbours…. try your hand at reeling in the ‘catch of the day’ on a fishing trip, or discover the coves and caves of the different coastal areas on a boat trip. By venturing further still with a short cruise to a neighbouring country, you can beautifully combine two holidays in one.
For the more daring visitor, the island’s ideal wind and water conditions open up endless possibilities for exhilarating sports such as windsurfing, sailing and kitesurfing, whilst beneath the foam, a whole new underwater world invites you into to discover a diver’s paradise of world-ranking wrecks and diverse marine life.
So, whether you prefer to be lounging on hot sands, riding the waves, or taking in the views from a porthole, Cyprus is the perfect destination for all the very best of sun and sea.
On an island surrounded by crystal clear waters that consistently rank as the cleanest in Europe - and are further enhanced by their pleasant all-year- round temperatures of approximately 16-24° C - it is only natural that water sports would feature as a popular pastime, and one that offers an abundance of choices.
The range of water sports available in Cyprus start from gentle activities in shallower waters, to pursuits that offer an exhilarating thrill for even the most daring of athletes… and everything in between!
A large number of licensed water sports operators can be found directly on public, organized beaches, and on the coastline of hotel strips, where a selection of both fun or challenging sea activities can be booked on the spot, including: banana boats, tube rides, pedalos, water skiing, wakeboarding, bodyboarding, SUP, parasailing, jet skiing, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking.
The relevant guidance and/or safety equipment is provided by the water sport operators, who also offer arrangements for water sports courses.
For jet skis and speed boats rentals, please note that the minimum user age is 18 years, and a safety / operation briefing prior to their use is provided by the water sports operators.
For more information regarding water sports on the island, contact the Cyprus Water Sports Association on their email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other, more specialist pursuits, such as kitesurfing, can be found on designated, dedicated coasts where schools for the sport can also be found.
Seasoned water sports enthusiasts will find various communities and club facilities for their particular expertise or passion in all the coastal towns.
Blessed with the beauty of nature’s best palette, the scenery of Cyprus unfolds across glittering coasts, rolling mountains, fragrant forests and rugged headlands. From the warm shores of the mainland to the unspoiled and cool oasis of the Troodos mountain range, nature lovers, artists, photographers and explorers will all delight in meeting shy creatures, and discovering rare plants that peep out amidst waterfalls, coves, woodland, winding trails and secluded sands.
As the island is on the migration path between Europe, Asia and Africa, Cyprus is a birdwatcher’s dream, with flocks of flamingos frequenting the salt lakes, and many other significant species passing through or nesting. And deep in the forests, the national animal - the Mouflon - roams freely, with catching a glimpse of this timid, wild sheep a real treat for locals and visitors alike.
Exotic and rare forms of wildlife also give Cyprus a special touch. Green and Loggerhead turtles breed on the island's sandy beaches in summer, while the Mediterranean Seal and dolphins have also been seen swimming in the warm, calm, crystal clear seas of the island.
Botanists and herbalists will equally appreciate the island’s green side, with a large number of local herbs and endemic plants, including the Cyprus orchid, tulip and crocus waiting to be stumbled upon along winding nature trails and paths less travelled.
From stunning sunrise to breath-taking sunset, the natural allure of Cyprus is both magnificent and inspiring… and all waiting to be uncovered.
The ritual of sharing good, fresh local cuisine is an important part of the island’s culture, and is intrinsically linked with every social event, from family gatherings and special occasions to religious festivals… each marked with its own distinct delicacies and recipes.
From hearty meat dishes and specialty cheeses to unique desserts of carob and grape, the Cypriot cuisine is an exotic blend of Greek and Middle Eastern cultures, sprinkled with remnants of ancient civilisations such as indigenous Roman root vegetables or old Phoenician delicacies.
And it is no secret that the ‘Mediterranean diet’ is considered to be of the healthiest, thanks to its abundance of heart-healthy olive oil, pulses, lean meat, local herbs and freshly grown fruits and vegetables. Add to this the favourable climate - that gives the fresh produce its intense flavour - and a celebration around every corner, complete with special treats, and you will find a big gastronomic adventure awaits on this tiny island!
Synonymous with Cypriot cuisine is the ‘meze’ - a variety of small dishes that combine to create a feast, and a good starting point to become acquainted with the local dishes, such as moreish dips, braised, stewed and clay-cooked meats; local, freshly caught fish; pulses and legumes in various sauces; specialty cheeses and delicatessen cuts, and more unusual bites, all authentically prepared.
And if you are visiting the island during a festival or holiday period, an amazing array of treats and dishes unique to the event appear to mark the occasion, often made by the women of the family, who gather together on specific days to share in the traditions passed down from generation to generation…
…and that remain today so that both locals and visitors alike can continue to enjoy, savour and share the mouth-watering, appetising, fragrant and abundant everyday experience that Cypriot cuisine!
Training hard doesn’t mean having to train in harsh conditions, and there is no better motivator than practising and preparing for the sport you love on an island where the pleasant climate combines with beautiful Mediterranean surroundings - and first-rate amenities - to inspire success for the coming season.
A host of sportspersons and teams from all over the world, including European football squads, Olympic hopefuls, seasoned medallists and endurance athletes, all give themselves a competitive advantage by opting to train towards their goals in Cyprus, thanks to a winning formula of services.
One of the most attractive reasons for choosing the island is indeed its almost-guaranteed daily sunshine, mild winter temperatures and minimal rainfall, and this is further enhanced and complemented by a host of other benefits.
State-of- the-art training facilities, sports medicine, accommodation for all budgets, professional support, easy access from most European countries, a reliable communications and telecommunications network, low levels of crime, and an enviable standard of living, all make training efficient and rewarding.
From floodlit, grass pitches and modern arenas; heated swimming pools and fully-equipped sports centres; high-tech ranges and trails or tracks; progressive gyms and challenging natural terrain… you will find collectives of cyclists, swimmers, runners, gymnasts, multi-discipline athletes, footballers, and tennis and volleyball players working hard…
...then enjoying the reward of all that the island offers.