Jay & Nicole Visit Cyprus
October - 2008

(click any pictures for enlargement)

Sunday, October 19th

This adventure began with a very early 2-hour flight from Israel to Cyprus ... a  large island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Cyprus is close for us, so we are hoping to enjoy our visit and possibly visit there on a yearly basis ... although this flight cost as much as a trip to Europe! 

Cyprus Information:

Size: 100 miles long (160km) &
            50 miles wide (80km) 

Capital: Nicosia

Population: 800,000 
   = 80% Greek     ( Christian )
   = 20% Turkish  ( Moslem )

Economy: Tourism, Real Estate & Finance (not a good mix today). Only 10% arable land & very dry.

We flew into Larnarca (see map, lower right) and then spent:
-  4 days in Paphos (left)
-  3 days in Kyrenia (top middle)

Note: Cyprus is a divided island.  The lower half is Greek and called the Republic of Cyprus (left flag above).  The upper half is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (right flag above). The split occurred in 1974 and the gray area shows the UN-controlled border.

We landed, picked up our rental car and got some money at an ATM. The Republic of Cyprus is part of the European Union and uses the Euro as their currency.

We headed towards Paphos, but stopped in Limassol for breakfast. Our 1st impressions were very favorable.

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We drove along the southern coast, heading west.  The terrain began as tree-filled flatlands ... with hills rising in the distance.  Cyprus was an old British colony, thus they drive on the left side of the road.  

We saw a sign for a place called "St. Michaels Cat Hospice", so we decided to get off the highway and do a bit of exploring.

The road took us through an agricultural area where orchards and fields of grain were growing. 


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The cat hospice was closed, but Nicole quickly made new friends through the fence ... what a variety!

We left "cat-land" and continued driving west, which took us to a fertile valley with some farms ... but few trees. The area was very dry and has suffered through a few years of severe drought.

In the background we could see a low mountain range which we needed to cross over.

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We passed a British military base, which seemed out of place. We stopped at this canopy, which signified an archeological dig.  We then began to head up into the mountain; our car did fine!

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As we got into the mountains, the terrain got very desolate; it was too dry for even cactus to grow!



The billboards meant that we were nearing civilization.  The traffic signs were good and identified each city we came to.  Luckily they included English, as we can't read Greek!

We got back to the coast and saw some nice beach areas.  The water was totally calm, which made the coast look somewhat bland.

There were few people on these out-of-the-way beaches, unlike the crowded tourist beaches on the eastern side of the island.

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Shortly thereafter we began to see the outskirts of Paphos.

Paphos is quite large, with 100,000 people. This area has seen extreme growth in the past few years, as many foreigners have been buying up any available real estate.

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As we entered the center of Paphos, we got a good view of the populated western coast.  It became obvious that the Cypriotes were not poor, as there were many big homes with nice views.

We followed the ridge road until we saw a 'double bay', which indicated the location of our hotel. 

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But wait ... we couldn't figure out how to get off the ridge road. We had to turn back, which was no big deal since the views were nice. We finally had our destination in sight ... according to our book!

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We found the hotel ... and had a welcome drink on the balcony ... before heading to the pool area.

I walked around the hotel and took pictures from each direction.

Above is the view looking south, over some very nice timeshare apartments ... but they have no pool and only a rocky beach.

To the right is our pool, which was nice ... but freezing cold!

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From the balcony of our room, we had a nice view of the area north of Paphos.  There seemed to be a lot of homes built along the mountain-side; we plan to visit that area tomorrow.

Luckily there was an empty lot next to the hotel and a small bay right below us ... the waves lulled us to sleep each night ... great background noise!

The coastal road had many bars & tourist restaurants along it.  We visited this area each night and ate mostly at newer places. We could've ventured into the side streets to find older places.

Monday, October 20th

We mapped out the places we wanted to see in the Paphos area and decided to go north today, to get the longest day-trip completed.  

The route towards Polis would take us over another small mountain range. After touring the Polis area, we planned to go up the coast a bit and then return to Paphos via a different mountain pass.

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The winding mountain road took us past hill-side villages with a lot of construction going on. We then  began to see vineyards, which Cyprus is supposedly famous for; they also grow olives and carob.

The vineyards were carefully terraced into the sides of the hills; most farms were quite small in size.

Some nice estate homes proved they were making good money!

As we began the quick descent down the mountain, we got a good view of the beautiful north coast.

This side of the island is more secluded and hasn't been built-up as much as the other sides.

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We visited a National Park where Aphrodite, the Greek "goddess of love", was supposed to have bathed.

We had to take a few breaks along the way, but the scary yellow sign kept us from veering too far off the path! 

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The rocky coast was beautiful; it was all somehow part of Aphrodites legend.  

It was very hot out, but we didn't feel like trying to swim ... as without showers we'd be all salty for the remainder of the day.

The town of Polis was actually quite disappointing and we didn't spend any time there.  We drove up the pretty coast until the road became dirt.  There were only a few scattered farms and houses.

This lone house was very modern and had a great view!

We stopped on a coastal cliff and took a break. Looking back, the beach looked dark & rocky.

I don't expect much expansion on this side of the island since the beaches aren't very nice and since it was difficult to get over the mountain.

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We took a smaller, scenic road back towards Paphos; we passed more terraced orchards.   In one area we saw the remains of an old Roman arch ... still standing after all these years!   We continued to see things related to Aphrodite ... they sure like to worship their goddess!

At the top of the mountain there were deeply cut valleys, which made very picturesque views.

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As we got further down the mountain, we drove through sub-divisions of brand-new villas ... wow!. 

The views from these places was fantastic ... but the drive to the nearest city would take quite a while. 

No people were around and we were told that most of these places are holiday homes for Europeans. There was still a lot of construction, but I bet the current financial crisis will impact future growth!

We had a relaxing evening around the hotel and in town ... falling to sleep easily after a busy day.

At this point we need to transition to the next Cyprus picture page, by clicking here

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