Wine Tours in Cyprus
Cyprus is the gateway to eastern Mediterranean culture and three gorgeous nearby continents. The area is known for its sun soaked beaches, breathtaking scenery, exquisite dining and of course, its wine. Oenophiles (wine enthusiasts) have known about the secret pleasures of the Mediterranean coast for a very long time. Boasting some of the worlds oldest wineries from Sicily to Athens and Corsica, the bouquets found here are unlikely to be seen in any shops or restaurants outside of the regions from which they originate.
The local countries maintain exclusive rights to their signature flavors and bottle in limited supplies. As a consequence the only to way to experience each unique delicacy is to visit the homes of the vineyards where their distinct flavors originate. One particularly adored and coveted location for sampling the fine fare the old world has to offer is the island of Cyprus. Specifically Limassol region.
Following is a guide to some of the can’t miss wineries you should definitely visit on your vacation.
Lambouri is one of the highest vineyards in Cyprus, sitting atop the gorgeous Troodos mountain at 1128 meters (3700 feet) above sea level. They are also the only winery that produces one of the world’s oldest variations, Yain Kafrisin. They produce a superb range of international award winning flavors from chardonnays to Cabernets, organics and their famous Maratheftiko.Cyprus Wine photo credits: courtesy of Onirovins
Shoufas Winery is a family owned traditional establishment handed down through generations of innovation and constant expansion. They specialize in Maratheftiko and Cabernet Sauvignon. Located deep in the countryside, thirty minutes from Paphos in the village of Kilinia, Shoufas is remote, rustic (despite recent remodels) and surrounded by vineyards. Today, much as in the past, produce from the winery is still largely consumed locally and contained to the island.
Nestled in the village of Agios Amvrosios on the southern slope of the Troodos mountains, Zambartas resides in the heart of the Cyprus wine country in the region of Krasochoria Lemesou. The internationally famed courtesy and hospitality of locals becomes immediately evident as Zambartas serves it’s elegant Xynisteri to groups of up to 30.Cyprus Wine photo credits: courtesy of Onirovins
One of the greatest parts about visiting Cyprus is that you don’t have to venture too far inland to get a taste of all the fine varieties available. There are several fine dining options serving up the best of the local palate within walking distance of the island's renowned beaches. The Royal Apollonia Hotel located within a stones throw of the gorgeous azure waters of the Mediterranean, has several dining options on site that routinely serve the regions finest choices from all of the local wineries. The Soho Wine Bar in Limassol is a New York inspired local favorite offering a smaller, targeted menu but also serving some of the best local food delights for just the right pairing.
Unusual Foods from Corfu Greece
It’s no secret that while traveling abroad you may encounter traditions that may seem strange to you. Often times you will encounter cultures that dress different, speak different and eat different than you do. The classic hurdle of many intrepid travelers is overcoming the fear of trying a new food that you may not have ever considered back home. Some relish the opportunity, others dread the moment when they will come face to face with a local ‘delicacy’ of questionable origins and ingredients.
The island of Corfu, Greece finds itself at the crossroads of several cultures with incredibly diverse traditions. The result is a melting pot of civilization that has produced some mouth watering and some slightly odd cuisine choices. NO matter which side of the fence you land on, there are exquisite options for both sides. Which will you choose?
Corfu has many restaurants to choose from as a result we've chosen a selection of the most popular amongst visitors to the island to aide you in your quest to discover the world’s best dishes. The hard part will be choosing just one.
This holiday tradition consists of braided sweet bread enriched with egg. There is also a cookie variation commonly flavored with orange.
Where To Find It: Avli has the immediate effect of casting all who enter far back in time to a distant era. When people gathered from throughout the village to dine together, share stories and have a good time. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, encouraging an extended and comfortable visit. Try some wine, have a conversation and maybe make some new friends.
Note: Tsoureki is seasonal and may not be available year round.
This dish actually originates from the island. It is a vegetable and pasta based soup with plenty of room for adjustment. You can use any vegetables you have on hand and the spice is easily adjustable to taste.
Where To Find It: Corcyra Beach Hotel has one of the ideal restaurants for local dishes in the ideal location for an authentic Mediterranean atmosphere. Enjoy the fine dining experience while surrounded by lush green sub-tropical scented gardens. Gaze out over the bay and seemingly endless shimmering turquoise waters. One meal here promises to be an experience you will never forget. While you’re there try a selection from some of the island’s best local wines, you won’t find them anywhere else in the world.
This traditional dish is both simple and delicious. The squid is dredged in flour, then fried. Often considered an appetizer Kalamarakia is served with lemon in smaller portions.
Where To Find It: Pane e Souvlaki is one of the most popular restaurants in Corfu. It is located in Town Hall Square surrounded by the varied cultural influences that make its menu so enticing. Courtesy is a mainstay here. The service to be experienced is second to none. The landscape is without equal in beauty or majesty. You will enjoy more than one meal here with no doubt should time allow it.
Traditional Villages of Limassol Cyprus
Limassol is an eclectic mix of modern comforts and ancient wonders. For the best visit spend some time in the city and then head out into the country to appreciate this countries humble beginnings. First find yourself a good home base. The Royal Apollonia Beach Hotel is a great start, located within feet of white sand beaches and turquoise blue seas every journey requires a refreshing place to rest. While you’re there for the very best in traditional Limassol food visit Meze Taverna on St. Andrews street. They sell the finest Grecian cuisine in a warm atmosphere and more than generous portions.
Since the sustainable tourism initiative established routes for tourists to discover the inland wonders of Limassol and Cyprus, a wealth of opportunities have presented themselves for intrepid travelers seeking to find something more from their vacation spots. Whether for anthropological curiosity, cultural and craft exposure or wine tasting adventurous there are numerous reasons to leave the beaches behind, seek higher ground and come face to face with what life in Cyprus is all about.
Limassol itself was once a simple seaside village between the ancient cities of Amathus and Kourion, known as Neapolis (New Town.) Its historical center revolves around the old port and Kolossi Castle built in 1210. The nearby village of Omodos still maintains this ancient mystique. Stone paved roads lead down old world alleys to open air markets and eventually a Medieval monastery built in the 17th century. The village produces an abundance of wine, so should you arrive in August, definitely visit the wine festival held annually.
The village of Lefkara can be found along route 2 of the tourism map available at any hotel for about 5 euros. This mountain village can be found on the southern slopes of the Troodos mountains. The name translated in Greek means roughly ‘White Hills.’ Lefkara is famous for lace making and silver crafting. The culture remains largely unchanged over the centuries. A common sight in the cobblestone streets of Lefkara includes local women sitting in the narrow streets preparing their fine embroidery. Legend has it that Leonardo Da Vinci visited Lefkara in 1481 and attained lace cloth for the altar of the Duomo di Milano.
The village of Kalavasos is located in the Larnaca district. The village has existed since the new stone age and is situated near a local copper mine. This traditional village has fluctuated in population over the last century always hovering well below 1,000 inhabitants. For a real look at unspoiled traditional culture look no further.
The many villages of Cyprus offer insight on what it’s like to be a resident Cyprus. Far from the beach resorts and fine dining of Limassol and Paphos. The residents here still enjoy the same cultural traditions of their ancestors and maintain their heritage faithfully. Visitors will have no trouble imagining what it was like to walk these streets in centuries past as much has gone unchanged. What has developed over time is the wine industry which has elevated the ethnic pull of the area. Wine making is a family business in Cyprus passed down through the generations developing rare varieties unavailable anywhere else in the world.
A visit to the mountains of Cyprus island should always include plenty of time to wander and explore. There is more beneath the surface of this popular vacation spot than can be easily conceived upon arrival. Give yourself time to slow down and appreciate the quiet calm and subtle charm that exudes from every moment spent amongst this ancient and interesting culture.
Far back in antiquity the port city of Pafos, Cyprus was founded. As far back as the 12th century b.c. in fact. The city exists in its current form as two separate settlements, Old Pafos and New Pafos. New Pafos is the currently inhabited area. Originally a pilgrimage site for worshipers of the Grecian goddess Aphrodite, Pafos quickly became the capital city of Cyprus. Over the years nearby metropolitan areas such as Cyprus’ two largest cities Nicosia and Limassol have drawn attention away from this original cultural and historical center. Development and tourism may have favored its neighbors but the city of Pafos has a lot to offer. Many changes have taken place over the centuries leaving a storied and vibrant history just waiting to be discovered by curious travelers.
This towering sea stacks rising out of the Mediterranean. Is the legendary birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite. Ancient mythology holds that the turbulent waters that routinely break against the rocks of the natural cove are the same waters where Aphrodite (Venus in Roman culture) first emerged from the sea. She was eventually carried to Cyprus by the currents. However, Pilgrims from all over flocked to this spot to build temples in her honor and worship their goddess. The nearby Sanctuary of Aphrodite is a timeless example of this.
The Tomb of The Kings is a large underground necropolis that remains largely unexplored. The area is still undergoing excavation. The tombs are named for the magnificence of their appearance. While it is unlikely that any actual kings were buried here, in favor of aristocracy from the nearby settlement of Pafos. The Tombs have existed in the location for at least the last 2500 years carved directly out of the surrounding rock.
Pafos Castle has played a large role in most of the turning points of Pafos and Cyprus as a nation. Constructed on the edge of the old port as a Byzantine fortress the castle was destroyed in the earthquake of 1222. When the island was invaded by the Ottomans the inhabiting Venetians dismantled the castle to prevent its use. The Ottomans reconstructed and reinforced the castle during their reign. The British used the castle as a warehouse for salt during colonial periods. Eventually the fortification was converted into a jail and recently has become the home of the annual cultural festival each September.
In modern times the face of the city has changed significantly. It has a developing tourism department and is seeing an influx of modern culture that promises to marry the ancient world with the new world. Pafos International Airport has recently expanded and includes many connections throughout the region. Louis King Jason luxury hotel apartments offer studios and suites for travelers blended into the residential neighborhoods of the island attracting a unique flavor of touristry. Brand name designers like Prada and Miu Miu have found homes in the Kings Avenue Shopping Center, attracting fashionistas far and wide. All in all this once popular, former capital turned forgotten wonderland of ancient intrigue has certainly begun to make a comeback.
Paphos is one of the most culturally significant cities on the entire island of Cyprus. It is also one of the fastest growing tourism destinations along the southern coast and plays home to some of the most unique and historically influential sites in the Eastern Mediterranean. Throw in a healthy dose of picturesque characteristic pebble stone beaches and a lively nightlife and you've got the makings of quite a vacation spot. Follow these steps to plan your visit and find out exactly what all the talk is about before the secret gets out.
There are two main options for arriving in Paphos. The airport is the second largest on the island recently expanding to include a new terminal. There are numerous inbound flights available from Europe and the Ukraine. The second option is to take the scenic route and arrive directly in the port of Paphos by ship. Several cruise companies offer port into Paphos including a pirate themed sailing adventure based on the island offered by the Jolly Roger company.
Seaside hotels are plentiful in all coastal beach towns. However the Louis King Jason luxury hotel apartments is a welcome twist on that theme. Located within a quiet residential neighborhood your visit will feel more like a home away from home than a pricey vacation rental. They offer suites and condos with amazing sea views and encompassing Mediterranean themes. Surrounded by red tiled Grecian rooftops and manicured gardens all within easy walking distance of most local attractions.
For something slightly different Seven St. George’s is a completely different type of experience. The menu at George’s does not technically exist. The restaurant serves a daily selection of fresh seafood, homegrown vegetables and organic ingredients. George also makes his own wines. The portions here aren’t just plentiful, the staff will continue to bring you food until you are finished. George is renowned for his innovation in recipe preparation which revolves mostly around traditional Grecian recipes.
The list of attractions in the city of Paphos is nearly endless. The many local villages near the city offer a unique insight into the culture that inhabits the island. The wineries produce distinct varieties of wines that are not available anywhere else in the world. The numerous ruins that dot the countryside reveal the religious and cultural evolution of the island.
The old Castle in port saw the entire history of Paphos unfold before it plays central roles in many of the most significant changes. Coral Beach is one of the locals favorite places on the island. The long stretches of pebble strewn coastline are almost entirely undeveloped and accompanied to the west by endless azure and aquamarine seas that stretch far into the distance. For a truly memorable experience find yourself here at sunset and experience one of the true wonders of nature the same way the ancients did.
There is no real bad time to visit the island. The warm months last from March into November. The lowest temperatures average near the high 60s Fahrenheit. Tourism is highest during predictable patterns in this area. The best time to visit Paphos is when you have the time to truly explore the city and its magnificent character. There are so many things to see that no matter how long you stay, you will long to return.
Whenever you visit the ancient land of Greece, you will find a beautiful country full of friendly welcoming people and you are sure to have a good time. The cultural and historical attractions will have history buffs watering at the mouth and many areas have scenery that is to die for not matter what month you go. However, depending on what you are looking for, you may want to choose when you visit Greece carefully in order to get the most out of your time there.
Winter - For the most part, the climate in Greece is mild even in the winter though the mountainous region to the north does have short summers and harsh winters. In southern Greece, winter temperatures are usually mild, averaging between 13 and 16 Celsius in the capitol, Athens.
By the end of October the islands become much quieter and many facilities begin to close for the winter. However if you are visiting Athens or the mainland you can see all the sites and attractions while enjoying cooler but still warm weather.
This time of year is not a popular time to visit Greece though prices are much cheaper everywhere during the months between November and March. While the summer attractions such as the beaches are not an option, cultural pursuits are still available and you could even go skiing in the mountains, a popular activity with many Greek people.
In the summer, temperatures average between 30 – 35 degrees centigrade and at their peak can go as high as 38. However in many parts of the country especially on the islands, a prevailing north wind known as meltemi makes the temperatures more bearable and cools things down in the evening considerably.
If you like big crowds and very hot weather, the best time to go is in the high season which is between July and August. People pour into the country from all over the world so it’s best to book everything well in advance including your activities for your stay where possible as facilities do become strained at this time of year.
For many tourists, the best time to visit Greece is in the early season, sometime between April and June or late season, between September and October. During these months, the crowds are relatively low, services and facilities are more readily available and everything tends to be cheaper but the weather is still very comfortable.
If you visit in the spring, you may be around for the Orthodox Easter celebrations, which takes place around the same time as in non-Orthodox countries (but not exactly). During this time, there are ceremonies, precessions and traditional customs that you can observe and in many cases take part in which can give a real flavour for life in Greece as the people there celebrate their most important religious holiday. However, travelling at this time will be difficult as many people return to their hometowns to celebrate with loved ones and during the holiday period, most official buildings are closed.
Few places in the world can boast a cultural heritage as rich and as long as Greece’s and its importance to the history of Europe cannot be overstated. As a result, the museums, archaeological sites and historical attractions in the country are seemingly endless and many of them are situated on the islands. This allows for a combination of intellectual exploration coupled with a holiday that offers some of the best beaches and scenery to be found anywhere in the Mediterranean, and helps make Greece one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
The historically significant sites in Greece are too numerous to name but some of the most important include;
There are literally thousands of beaches to choose from in Greece, many of which are on the country’s 227 inhabited islands. There is a lot to do on the islands including sun bathing in idyllic temperatures and bathing in perfect waters. As well as this, some offer stunning geological and natural scenery such as Santorini and others have a nightlife that can rival places like Ibiza, such as Mykonos. If it’s water sports you are looking for, many of the islands offer great opportunities for this and as one of the most picturesque places on earth, it is also a great destination for romance.
If you love visiting sites with historical significance but also want to spend time on a beautiful beach or soaking up a party atmosphere, several places in Greece can accommodate.
Greece is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe and has something to offer everyone.
Greece is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe and has something to offer everyone. Whether you are looking for golden beaches, great shopping opportunities, some of the best nightlife around or a chance to soak up historical sites in the birth place of Western civilization, the country is awash with great places to visit.
Athens should be high on anybody’s list when trying to find the best places to visit in Greece. Western civilization began here and it was home to the first working version of a democratic society. The city is full of important archaeological and historical sites such the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Ancient Agora and the Theatre of Dionysus and the museums are a must visit for anybody with so much as a passing interest in the study of the past.
In a stunning contrast, set into this backdrop of the ancient world is a vibrant modern capital city with all that has to offer including a fantastic nightlife, some of the best places to sample Greek food in the country and modern cultural pursuits such as shopping, art galleries, theatres and sporting events.
Meteora is a series of monasteries built on cliffs stretching over a thousand feet into the air. Situated in the northern part of central mainland Greece overlooking the villages of Kalambaka and Kastraki, the earliest of these monastic buildings dates back to the 14th century. They were built by monks seeking solitude from the everyday hustle and bustle of life and religious freedom from the Ottoman Turks.
To gain access to these monasteries, the monks would have to climb a cliff face or be hauled up by other monks while stood on a platform attached to ropes. These days, they are much more accessible however and visitors can take advantage of steps that are now provided for those who want to visit these magnificent feats of architecture.
A visit to the most northerly Ionian Island Corfu, is a great way to sample in one place the diversity of cultural and architectural influences the county has seen over the years. These include the many foreign invaders that have ruled there such as the Romans, the Byzantine Empire, the Venetians, the British and the French.
The largest of the Greek islands, Crete offers several different landscapes and can be considered several types of holiday destinations in one. It’s a great place for hikers who can explore the rugged mountains and countryside, while those who prefer to soak up some rays will not be disappointed with the spectacular beaches on offer. The busy cities offer all the advantages of modern living while the smaller villages in the county provide holidaymakers with a more rustic experience.
Mykonos is another island that has a lot to offer when it comes to diversity and it is one of the most cosmopolitan, friendly destinations in the whole of Europe. It has great beaches, historical sites and some of the best scenic spots you will ever whiteness, but what Mykonos is really famous for its non-stop nightlife.
Best Places to visit in Cyprus. Cyprus has many places to visit including a beautiful coastline with spectacular beaches, quaint rustic villages, historical and cultural sites.
Cyprus is an island situated in the Eastern Mediterranean and is the third largest and third most populous island in the region. It has many attractions for tourists including a beautiful coastline with spectacular beaches, quaint rustic villages with breath taking scenery and historical and cultural places to visit to rival even those of nearby Greece.
For beaches, the best place to visit on Cyprus is the clear white sands around Agia Napa in the south east of the island. Makronissos Beach is a great place for small children due to its lack of currents and shallow waters and the nearby Makronissos Tombs, a Neolithic burial site consisting of 19 tombs cut into the rocks, make it educational too.
For those who love to walk and take in the scenery, a walkway that starts at Nissi Beach is perfect. Heading east along the coast, you eventually come to Kermia Beach which then leads to a nice nature trail that takes you to Cape Greco which is home to lofty cliffs, sea caves and sparkling clear waters.
The Cyprus Museum in Nicosia is a must visit as it is home to one of the best archaeological collections in the world. The artefacts cover the Stone Age to the Byzantine era but the museum is perhaps best known for its Bronze Age collection. Amongst the highlights that delight visitors are;
If you are in the mood to sample a little local wine, there are three big wineries near the old fishing port of Limassol, KEO, ETKO, and LOEL. These tours are quite strictly laid out so if you prefer to do a little wandering and exploring, of both the area and lesser known beverage brands, the vine-terraced foothills of Limassol district has a number of villages that produce their own local wine which can be sampled in the local taverns.
The Troödos Churches situated on the mountains of the same name north west of Limassol are easily accessible from Nicosia. They don’t look like much from the outside but on closer inspection, they are clearly amongst the best places to visit on Cyprus and the frescos from the Byzantine period will have lovers of art history watering at the mouth.
For lovers of water sports, Larnaca is the place to be, especially for the scuba diving opportunities there. The Zenobia is considered one of the best wreck dives in the whole of the Mediterranean and is to be found a little way out at Larnaca harbour. An electrical problem caused the ship to run into problems on its maiden voyage in the 1980s so it was sunk at its current location, complete with over a hundred lorries still chained to the decks.
Cyprus is one of the favourite holiday destinations in the Mediterranean attracting thousands of people each year. While there are several factors that attract them, for many it is the chance to soak up the sun on some of the best beaches to be found anywhere. Long stretches of white sand, crystal clear waters and spectacular sea caves make it one of the most picturesque places around.
Some of the best beaches in Cyprus are to be found in Agia Napa & Protaras on the south east side of the island. Makronissos Beach is a fish tail shaped beach that is the perfect place for families. Its shallow waters and lack of current mean that small children can enjoy the water in relative safety, giving mum and dad a little peace of mind.
Near-Nissi Beach is a great place to start a scenic walk towards Protaras and on the way, be sure to spend some time checking out the sea caves and cliffs at Cape Greco. When you get to Protaras, Fig Tree Bay and Green Bay are the place to be as they offer long white powder-soft stretches of sand and radiant turquoise water.
For those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle and the younger crowd, Konnos Bay offers protection from the prevailing wind and some of the best sunsets the island has to offer. Jet skis and motor boats are available for hire and the beach is overlooked by a great little café in case you get a little peckish.
Many beaches in this area are very clean, meeting international Blue Flag standards and have cheap sunbeds and umbrellas to rent. South of the town are Mackenzie Beach and Phinikoudes promenade which is lined with palm trees and has plenty of nearby shops, restaurants and bars so when visiting, you won’t have to go far to have all your needs catered for. Other beaches in Larnaka include The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) Beach which has great water sport facilities and plays host to beach volley ball tournaments, or for quieter places to soak up the sun, head towards Mazotos.
Pafos has long sandy white beaches on one side and hills adorned with Aleppo pines and juniper on the other. Coral Bay is probably the pick of the beaches of this part of Cyprus though for those looking for a secluded place to hide away, Lara Bay is a great choice. It is also a protected nesting place of the island’s Green Turtles and at certain times of the year provides the opportunity for the unique experience of turtle-watching and volunteering to aid local conservation efforts.
The Lara Beach is well known as the turtle beach as it is famous for its turtle sanctuary to protect green and loggerhead turtles. Located to the north of Paphos, it offers some of the best scenery around and is virtually untouched by tourist development. You will need your own transport to get to the area but it is well worth the effort as the quiet beaches are set to the backdrop of authentic rural villages and acres of rolling hills filled with pines.