I’ve been asked five times in the last week about the trip that we took last summer to Cyprus. I don’t know if there is something in the air…or people are just looking for some creative ideas for this summer…but I realized that I uncharacteristically didn’t write about our adventure last summer. The horror!
And, of course, if I had written about it, I could have just sent the link to the blog and helped others to plan their trips. So, I’m here to rectify the wrong and to help all of you antsy souls looking for somewhere great to go for an amazing trip.
We loved Cyprus.
We thought it would be fun to take the kids somewhere new and different and to explore another country. But we didn’t realize just how great this little place, so close to home, could be.
The flight was all of 37 minutes long, which cracked us all up. It took us longer to check our bags and go through security than it did to fly.
We arrived in Limassol to our 8 seater van (driven on the other side of the road!) and started our journey to our rental house. We wove up into the mountains higher and higher until we arrived at a tiny village called Eptogonia. As we drove through the village I had that feeling of “Uh oh...what have I done?” There were mud and straw homes that looked like they were a hundred years old. I had royally messed up with our Airbnb reservation.
And then we arrived, and Nikkos, the young homeowner, was there to welcome us to his gorgeous three bedroom home. There were original antiques everywhere from his family’s history (yes, we told the kids to stay in the backyard the entire trip)! The house was equipped with a fully modern kitchen and we had a large, comfortable pool and yard all to ourselves.
In addition to basking in the sun by the pool and enjoying time in the house, we had many activities.
We went on a 3 or 4 kilometer hike at Caledonia Falls. It was a lovely hike, although we weren’t so sure how we were going to get to our car at the end; turns out you could ask someone to call you a cab at the bottom and they would drive you back to your car.
From the end of the Caledonia Falls there was an amazing ropes course nearby called the Sparti Adventure Park. It was an incredibly well organized course where each kid was able to challenge himself at his own level for 2-3 hours of adventure.
Another day we went to Ayia Napa where we surprised the kids with a boat ride on the Yellow Submarine. There are a lot of British people living in Cyprus who own water-related businesses. In Ayia Napa we had a blast on their boat which navigated the sparkling blue water to a snorkeling destination in the sea caves. The boat also had a slide attached to the side of it and three diving platforms, so when we stopped at the sea caves, everyone had a blast sliding down and jump off of a diving board. Kid heaven!
We went to Aphrodite’s Rock which was a gorgeous little alcove where the waves crashed around us and people came to learn about the myth of Aphrodite.
Next up was jet skiing in Pissouri. A sweet British family owns a water activity center there and we had a half day of fun. There were beautiful, unusual rocks along the water and we collected them and enjoyed the beach. We jet skied and the kids enjoyed being pulled by a jet ski on floating sofas and boats.
Pissouri, by the way, has a large concentration of British people and the neighborhood grocery store was filled with British, kosher treats.
About an hour from our house were the Troodos Mountains where there were loads and loads of gorgeous and well-marked trails. We hiked on two different days here, including around Mount Olympus, admiring the beauty and having a great time. They had a quaint town center that was fun to walk around.
Another day it was time to enjoy some mall fun. But the mall in Limassol isn’t just any mall. It has a full size, virtually empty skating rink in it and brand new bowling alleys.
We spent one day, as well, on the ancient activities including the Kourion, Limassol Castle, and the Kolossi Castle.
We had so much fun in Cyprus that we actually ran out of time. There is an entire, less traveled section of the country in the western area called Paphos. There are half day and full day tours that can take you to all of the sites…and there are many things you could do there on your own as well.
It was such a beautiful get-away and such a great way to spend time with our kids. We love showing them Israel and enjoying trips together here, but it was also fun to go somewhere new and different! Everything was incredible inexpensive, by the way, and we found many great kosher selections at the local grocery store from a list that Chabad puts out.
Say hi to Nikkos if you go and have a great time!