The Perfect Place for a Honeymoon in Cyprus

Cyprus Honeymoon

Cyprus is the perfect place to honeymoon, but for those wanting a little extra luck from their honeymoon; Kakopetria is the perfect village to visit in Cyprus. According to legend a line of stones above the village is good luck for newlyweds. Some of the luck ran out though, and during an earthquake stones of the ridge killed a couple. We still like to think it has brought luck to many a happy couple. Plus, Earthquakes are a very rare occurrence in Cyprus.

The town is located outside of Nicosia near the Troodoos Mountains. Astounding views of the mountains can take in from any point in the village. The Karyiotis River calmly flows through the village to add to the astounding beauty of this small Cyprus village. The village is quite popular with the tourists, so if you want a really quiet vacation you may want to try going off peak season.

While you are in the village there a plenty of little tavernas to try out for meze and vino. You can visit the ancient church the Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis church. The inside of the church holds really old frescoes along with vibrantly colored interior. No photos are allowed inside, and you probably should dress modestly to visit. You can also try exploring the nearby Troodoos Mountains which have countless trails to hike and explore.

For lodging we highly recommend the Marjay Inn. It is off the main road in Kakpetria, so you can really get a good night sleep here. The rooms are very comfortable with balconies and patios facing the picturesque back garden. Make sure to eat here at least once. Ask the inn owner, Eleni, to make you the trout if available. I have never tasted a trout so divinely flavored as the one Eleni makes.

Why Rent a Villa in Cyprus?

Cyprus Villas

If you are planning for a week-long holiday in Cyprus, you may want to consider renting a villa. For those of you who don’t know, a villa is a private house or beach house you can rent for a week in Cyprus.

My favourite part about renting a villa during holiday is being able to make meals from local produce, being able to be out by the pool creating a BBQ for the family. Without a kitchen, holidays can get very expensive. Having every meal out every day at a restaurant while on holiday, even with relatively low Cypriot prices, can add up very quickly to make holidays very expensive. On top of that, once you have explored Cypriot markets with fresh fruits, vegetables and meat you may be extremely tempted to cook. While on holiday, we don’t want to cook every meal, it is nice to have the option.

Besides saving on food, usually it is cheaper per day to rent a villa. Even in some of the more extravagant villas in Cyprus, it is much cheaper to rent a place than pay nightly fees at most hotels. There are villas to match just about anyone’s budget, but be weary some villas are cheap due to them being located in less than ideal areas. Besides not having a maid to turn your sheets over, there is very few advantages to most hotel amenities when compared to the amenities of a villa.

What about a pool? A lot of villas in Cyprus will have a swimming pool. It gets very hot in Cyprus, so we love our pools. Even without a pool, it will encourage you to get out to the beach more often.

Villas are like a home away from home. Some people rent the same villa every time they come to Cyprus. There is something nice about having a familiar home base while you are off holidaying in a foreign country.

Five Items that are Integral to the Cyprus Experience

Lefkara Street

Cypriot culture boasts diverse scenery, rich culture, delicious food, unique drink and master craftsmanship. You could spend a lifetime experiencing all the nuances of the islands, but unfortunately most visitors do not have a lifetime. Here are five items that are must haves to have a full Cyprus Experience.

Leather and lace. Cities and villages always have vendors of the local craftsmanship. You can visit Lefkara where specialize in lace. For leather, we recommend looking at the shoes or handbags for items that will last you a very long time.

Zivania. This strong liquor has the essence of raisins with no added sugars or color. You can try it at a local tavern or pick up a bottle of your own. It is created from grapes, and is very strong with a 45% alcohol content. Enjoy wisely!

Wine. Cyprus has a 6,000 year old tradition of wine making. We have some of the tastiest wine in the world. You can visit a variety of wineries or go to a local market to pick up some tasty Cypriot vino. There is nothing like sipping on a glass of wine at a taverna while enjoying some tasty Cypriot meze.

Seafood. We are surrounded by the bountiful Mediterranean which provides us with very fresh seafood. Here is a chance to get fish right off the boat onto the plate. The fresh taste of the fish with traditional Cypriot seasoning will take your taste buds to heaven.

Halloumi. You may have tried Halloumi at home, but halloumi on the island is much more pure. It is a cheese with a high melting point so it can be fired and fried to a delicious consistent. Served with bread it is quite the decadent treat.

Cyprus Bailout Levy

Cyprus Bank Bailout

Since 2008, the European banking system has been under great stress due to bad mortgages leading to bank failures and bail outs for Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and now Cyprus. In March 2013, the Cyprus government is negotiating a Cyprus bailout levy in exchange for €10billion ($13billion) from the European Union and International Monetary Fund. The levy is very unpopular with the people.

Bailing Out Cyprus Banks

The Eurozone agreement with Cyprus amounts to a levy of 6.75% (or 3%) on deposits below €100,000 and 9.9% (or 12.5%) above. The original plan has faced strong opposition. The bankers and politicians attempted to put their plan into effect over a three-day weekend. There was not enough support in the Cyprus legislature for the original levy, so there was a shift to increase the tax percentage on higher incomes.

Meanwhile, the original three-day “Bank Holiday” has been extended to a week. The title, “Bank Holiday” is a misnomer because it means that customer accounts are frozen. This has increased the uncertainty in capital markets. The UK has rightly identified the economic downturn as a “Credit Crunch.”

Theft, Tax or Levy

Banks prepared for the levy by freezing the allocated amount from accounts. They also placed capital controls in place to restrict electronic money transfers. Other nations have seen money flow out of their countries after experiencing financial troubles. Banks offered shares in the failed institutions in exchange for the levy.

Needless to say, savers were outraged. Consumers claimed this was theft, robbery and stealing. Why were savers being punished for the failures of banks? One disgusted customer drove his bulldozer in front of a bank. Depositors were lined up in front of ATMs to withdraw as much money as they could. Some customers are living paycheck-to-paycheck and any reduction in their savings would be tough on them.

Spreading Disease

The international banking system is all tightly connected. Lyndon Larouche compared the 2008 Banking Crisis with the Bubonic Plague of the 1300s. The use of a quarantine prevented the Bubonic Plague from spreading. Unfortunately, the 2008 Banking Plague has not been contained.

Cyprus had significant exposure to Greek loans. Cyprus leaders claimed that this bailout levy was required due to a “state of emergency.”

Fear of Bank Panic

The greatest fear of a financial institution is a bank run or panic. Unfortunately, this may be occurring in Cyprus. Depositors will wonder if their money is safe. As customer accounts are frozen, there is less capital for consumer spending. This could damage the entire European banking system.

The Island of Sin or The Island of Aphrodite

Island of Sin or Island of Aphrodite

Before you come to Cyprus, you may marvel at the small size of the country on the map. When you come to Cyprus you’ll be amazed by the diverse range of activities in such a “small” place. Whether you want to go bird watching, tour wineries, see ancient ruins, go clubbing or just lay in the sun, Cyprus has it all.

Some have referred to Cyprus as the Island of Sin while others refer to Cyprus as the Island of Aphrodite. We like to think that we’re both, but you can experience whichever half you like. That is why it is imperative when you plan your trip to Cyprus, you know exactly what you are looking to do with your holiday.

If you want to go clubbing, see live music and live there is no tomorrow, Ayia Napa is the place to go. People travel from around the world to immerse themselves in Ayia Napa’s night life. There is a large cluster of bars, clubs and lounger concentrated together to explore. To cure yourself of any residuals effects of drinking, you can go sweat it off on the Ayia Napa beaches for the day.

For a more laid back experience there are a variety of trips you could plan. You can go to a quiet village like Lemona that has wineries located near it. You can go up to villages nestled in the Troodos Mountains for skiing, craftsmanship and beautiful views. Or you can hang out with the locals in our diverse capitol in Nicosia.

The possibilities are truly endless in Cyprus. It can be hard to choose what, when and where you are going to go. The great thing about being a small island is that most destinations are within close proximity. You can plan a trip with multiple destinations if you plan a car to experience different parts of the country. We’re excited to have you come, and remember you could always plan another trip to experience a different part of Cyprus!

A Mountain Town in Cyprus: Kalopanayiotis

kalopanayiotis

The Guardian recently wrote a piece on their lovely experience in Kalopanayiotis, and it inspired us to feature an article on the quaint mountain village. This town is nestled outside of Kyrenia in the Troodoos Mountains. There is everything from drink, food, religion, skiing and art to experience in the village. We love a little bit of everything in Cyprus.

Byzantino restaurants is the place to dine in the village town. It is a restaurant that tourist and local alike travel to, to get a wonderfully locally sourced meal. Kalopanayiotis is famous for the trout, so you really should order it when you go. As usual, the Cyprus meze lets you try a little bit of everything. For a meze at Byzantino for two the cost is 25 euro for an upscale dining experience.

You can tackle art and religion by visiting the church and monastery of Saint John Lampaditstis that dates back to the 11 century. It features frescoes from many different time periods, including the Byzantine and Renaissance. It is amazing to see the frescoes dominate the church from floor to ceiling, and will impress the most secular of visitors.

For lodging you must stay in the Casale Panayiotis, an upscale, small boutique that only has 29 rooms. It is a refurbished stable, but you most certainly can’t tell that it used to be a place where the barn animals slept. With tall wood beams and stone walls it is the perfect décor to suite your stay in the Troodoos mountains.

To get a glimpse of nature make sure to enjoy hiking, biking and skiing. For the more tame folks, you can go see the fresh mineral springs from a Venetian stone bridge.

There is no shortage of fun to be had in Kalopanayiotis. The tourism truly helps keep the small community going through the year, so that the village can continue its prosperity.

A Guide to Cyprus Nightlife

No matter where you are in Cyprus you will be able to find somewhere to indulge your enjoyment in the nightlife. Whether it is in a small taverna you stumbled up on in a village or having a bottle of wine on the beach with your sweetheart, nighttimes are magical in Cyprus.

When you really want a going out scene, you will need to hit up either Ayia Napa, Larnaca, Limassol and/or Phaphos. All have a little something different to offer, let us give you an overview.

Ayia Napa- If you really love partying in a crowd, this is a top European city of the nightlife. In short, you must stop by for at least one night. More than 20 nightclubs are along the main strip, in between those are bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Some places stay up as late as 6 am for those who want to dance the night away.

Larnaca- Bars, cafes and tavernas line the beachfront, and before you know it you’ll be swaying with the palm trees. If you want something a little more quiet and romantic, there are theatres and lots of restaurants scattered through-out the city.

Limassol- The nightlife scene here is pretty much a less crowded version of Ayia Napa with a refined twist that matches more mature tastes. If you are not into crowds, this is the going out city for you.

Paphos- This city features more family-friendly entertainment, but there are some bars and clubs for those seeking night life. This could be good for parents who can leave the kids behind for a night to explore, but don’t have to worry about the kids being in danger.

Nicosia- A city that is pretty full of itself, but it definitely has earned the more heady attitude. The bars, cafes and clubs have a more cosmopolitan feel that are, of course, a little more expensive. Great for those who want to deal a more tame crowd with refined taste.

What is Meze exactly?




If you are visiting us here in Cyprus, you are going to eat a lot of delicious Meze. So what is in this mysterious Meze you may ask? Well, there is no one set thing that is Meze, so we have a bit of explaining to do.

Cyprus Meze

Meze is a small dish that is shared with friends. The dish will come out, then everyone will get a plate, and you divvy up your portions. You may think- so it is an appetizer, right? Not really. An appetizer is meant to whet the appetite for a meal. Meze is supposed to be paired with a drink, scenery or conversation, it is meant to enhance the moment. You can nibble between sips of wine or ouzo.

Frequently, when you get Meze, you will get other Meze to accompany it. It then becomes Mezethes. You can adventure from small dish to small dish to explore different textures, flavors and aromas that the particular place may offer. You can also order light meze before a meal, similar in the manner of ordering appetizer before entrees.

One of my favorite ways to experience Mezethes is to order a bottle of wine then order a bunch of different plates. It is so fun to have a little of everything instead of one heavy entrée that does not let you explore the variety offered by the restaurant or taverna.

What is in the actual Meze will just depend where you are. If you are along the coast of Cyprus you can expect lots of seafood meze. Through out Cyprus lamb meze is very popular, and very delicious when done right. You can even find places that have vegetarian meze, but do not assume vegetarians will be accommodated everywhere.

One of my favorite meze is Gavros Marinatos. It is a simple dish of sardines marinated in oil. Now these are not your canned sardines, they are fresh, juicy and delicious sardines. If you think you don’t like sardines, and haven’t had a fresh one, you just haven’t eaten it the correct way yet. Fresh is the only way to eat sardines.

We encourage you to be adventurous while you are in Cyprus. Try something new, and you will be surprise by what you enjoy. Cyprus tavernas offer some of the finest dining in the Mediterranean.

Kakopetria

Kakopetria is a small village in Cyprus, some fifty-five kilometers away from Nicosia. Also famously known as Kaki Petra, it means wicked stone. The legend dates back some thousand years ago that this tiny settlement brought good luck to the newlyweds usually sent there for about a week to soak into its lucky charms and bring back marital bliss. However, during an Earthquake, some stones from a point above the village fell on an unlucky couple and killed them. Hence the name Kakopetria was given birth.

Nowadays, this ancient village is a major tourist attraction for people visiting Cyprus and is established between two banks of river Karyiotis. The river is famous for fishing and has an assortment of great sea-food restaurants. The most important factor that makes this village a fascinating vacation spot is the warm attitude of the residents living here. They are always ready to be a tour-guide, to show travelers their folklore heritage, the rich vegetation and the sparkling river itself. Kakopetria’s geographic location is such that climate is always mild and cooler during night, making it possible for visitors and travelers to enjoy more without sweltering in heat. Kakopetria also has some good hotels which are busy with tourists during summers, and banks with ATM machines installed, so that being out of cash is never a problem. The village is great from an exploring point of view and one can also see a range of small Byzantine churches here.

Nicosia




Nicosia is without a doubt the largest city of Cyprus, located at the centre of the island. Nicosia serves as home for the oldest and most beautiful museums as well theatres for performing arts. The old part of the city is bordered with parks and settings from the ancient world, while the new city holds its head high with many skyscrapers and work places.

Some major museums as well as tourist attractions that Nicosia has to offer are as follows:

Cyprus Museum
National Struggle Museum
Nicosia Municipal Arts centre
Leventis Municipal Museum
Byzantine Museum
Museum of the History of Cypriot Coinage
Ledra Observatory Museum
The Cyprus Classic Motorcycle museum
The Nicosia Municipal Theatre

The local sport of the island is football and tourists often make their way towards the home clubs to watch a quick game. The National Cyprus Football team has its dwelling ground at the Nicosia stadium.

To have a taste of the traditional Cypriot cuisine, Nicosia serves as an ideal place for it. For mouth-watering food in traditional settings as well as the newly developed love for McDonalds and majority of the famous franchises, tourists find all that in Nicosia. For men and women alike, various spas are available for a relaxing massage and if they’re looking for a night out at the movies, Nicosia offers an extensive diversity of cinemas as well. All in all, it’s a major tourist spot, bustling with visitors from all over the world, especially during summers.

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