6 days in Cyprus

Intro

6 days with my wife in June 2014.

We rented a car and stayed in:

CYPRUSJPG-1

Getting around

Buses looked decent, but if you’re around for more than a few days you should absolutely rent a car.

Most roads are well maintained (smooth asphalted) and un-congested and generally tempting for people who like to drive fast, but speed limits are low and there are loads of militant traffic police, so take your time.

I looked into multiple car hire companies and plumped with ‘elephantrentacar‘ a local firm.

They meet you at arrivals and walk you to your car at the airport car park after you’ve signed the T&Cs and paid for the rental plus half a tank of fuel. They didn’t ask me for my paper counterpart.

Pricing, condition of the the car and the overall service were all good. Would use again.

I navigated using my iphone and google maps, which wasn’t an issue. I also bought a road map from insight guides, for peace of mind in the countryside:

Paphos

ORIENTATION

The airport is an easy 20 minute drive to the center of town along the B6.

Paphos is not a pretty town – chav central, particularly in the tourist area. You can wonder the promenade, visit the roman world heritage site and that’s about it.

Conversely, the wider Paphos district was stunning and a place i’d like to return to – tree lined mountains, gulfs and coves, beaches and tiny isles. Next time i’ll book a villa in a mountain village with stunning views – e.g. Villa Olivia in Letymbou Village, (which has two very good restaurants).

paphos-1

 

HOTEL

King Jason

The ‘King Jason’ is Thomson Holiday central… full of the type of people who would put towels on the deck chairs before breakfast to reserve seats for the whole day…

Location: 15/25 [Not near enough the sea or the old town. 15 mins walk anywhere at least]
Room: 15/25 [Good size but away from the pools etc. Phone didn’t work. Wanted to charge for use of safe and internet.]
Breakfast: 7/10 [decent spread. Could do with fresh juice and real bacon etc] 
Staff: 9/10 [Helpful and smilely]
Amenities: 5/10 [No free wifi in rooms, wanted you to pay for key to safe, gym equipment had now power]
Value: 13/20 [£93]
Overall: 64/100 = Average

I wasn’t inspired to take any photos.

FOOD

Laona Restaurant

Food = 35/40
Service = 15/20
Value = 15/20
Atmosphere = 15/20
Overall = 80/100

Chef de karp

Food = 35/40
Service = 15/20
Value = 15/20
Atmosphere = 12/20
Overall = 77/100

We went to both these restaurants on local recommendations. Laona is on a pedestrian street in the old town. Nicer setting, and food felt a bit more ‘home made’. That said we enjoyed the steak and linguine at Chef De Karp.

Both are decent options.

Laona Restaurant

Chef de Karp

PAPHOS DISTRICT

Drive North-East from Paphos along the B7 and you climb up quickly to cooler unspoiled green surroundings, with picturesque vineyards and attractive mountain scenery with occasional views down to the coast.

Highlights included:
(a) Tsangarides Winery at Lemona
(b) The Vineyard Taverna at Letymbou
(c) Horse riding at Ride in Cyprus near Melandra

paphos district

TSANGARIDES WINERY

Organic winery located in the south end of the Troodos Mountains in a valley outside very pretty Lemona. A little difficult to find, but worth it.

I tried many of the wines and overall favoured the local Xinisteri Dry White (I bought a few bottles at a very modest 5 Euros each). I also liked the Mattaro – a full bodied red with heavy tannines.

Angelos Tsangarides (owner) very kindly showed us around and laid out some cheeses and nibbles as we were tasting.

 

 

VINEYARD TAVERNA

The food in Cyprus was overall fantastic and the Vineyard Taverna in Letymbou was my favourite restaurant.

Food = 38/40
Service = 20/20
Value = 15/20
Atmosphere = 17/20
Overall = 90/100

Run by English couple, Debbie and Charles. Service and food were excellent. The restaurant is beautifully presented in pretty Letymbou village and serves lots of the local wines.

 

RIDE IN CYRPUS

Friendly and relaxed rides through the mountains and deserted villages. Great fun, and beautiful views as the sun set while we drove back to Paphos.

NB – google maps takes you along dirt roads. Visit the website for directions before you leave.

Limassol

ORIENTATION

Err… We only stayed a day and didn’t walk around a lot. The hotel (Alasia) was nice, and I understood there wasn’t a lot to do in Limassol other than eat. There’s a cluster of great restaurants surrounding the carob mill near the old port. We went straight there.

Limassol

HOTEL

Hotel Alasia

Billed as a 3* but better than many 4*. Best place we stayed. Classy decor.

Location: 15/25 [See ’11’ on map above. on a quiet residential street away from port. Will want to drive to get anywhere.]
Room: 15/25 [Small, but tastefully kitted out. The air conditioning worked almost too well]
Breakfast: 5/10 [Limited options. Machine coffee. A shame as the hotel restaurant we went to for dinner was excellent]
Staff: 7/10 [A mixture of Helpful and Moody.]
Amenities: 9/10 [Really enjoyed the decor generally and the pool out the back, which has some pretty banging music going on, and good coctail service.]
Value: 17 /20 [£140]
Overall: 68/100 = Recommended

 

FOOD

Karatello Restaurant

Food =35/40
Service = 18/20
Value = 15/20
Atmosphere = 18/20
Overall = 86/100 = Recommended

One of many nice looking restaurants in a square which used to house a carob mill. Recommended by Debbie at Vineyard Taverna. We went for the Meze which was just immense. We were pleading the staff to stop bringing food by the end.

 

Nicosia

ORIENTATION

The main highlight of Nicosia seems to be walking down the main street and crossing the border into Turkish Cyprus and back again to the Greek side – bit like stepping through a time machine – Turkish beer suddenly on offer, everything’s bit more shabby…

We stayed at the Classic Hotel, which was cheap and delivered well for the price – good location; rooms were a decent size and clean. Staff very friendly.

Highlights on the Turkish side were Buyuk Hamam and Buyuk Han, the old trading offices.

The Greek side was better for bars, restaurants and cafe culture.

Overall pleasant experience, but a day felt like enough to me.

 

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