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Just south of Greece, the island country of Cyprus is a fairy-tale land all its own. Cyprus has the warmest climate in the Mediterranean, and visitors and locals flock to places like Nissi Beach year-round to walk the sandy shorelines and discover ancient coves in the crystal-blue sea. With art, historic buildings, and literature spanning thousands of years, the island was the birthplace of the Cypria, one of the first Greek epic poems, and boasts cultural marvels like some of the most detailed religious medieval paintings and ancient Roman mosaics in Europe.
Its complex history is rooted in both Greek and Turkish influence, as it had been occupied by various powers—including Assyrians, Egyptians, Greeks, and the Ottoman Empire—over the course of several centuries. Today, Cyprus exists as an independent country where both Greek and Turkish Cypriots reside. Though these groups have a history of conflict and differ in religious beliefs, they both share traditional folk dances, music, and culinary staples reflected in day-to-day life on this colorful oasis.
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Designed and built to access the most off-the-beaten-path locations, the privately owned, 89-passenger M/V Clio is ideally suited to help you uncover Cyprus. From the spacious Sun Deck, breathe in the warm, early-morning air as the palm-tree-lined port of Paphos comes into to focus. Upon arrival, you’ll anchor off the coast alongside yachts and fishing vessels—far from any large vessels that may inundate the island with tourists. Local tenders will bring you right into the heart of the city, allowing you to delve into the mythic delights of its Old Town or the modern amenities of New Town. And after an morning of discoveries, the Clio’s lounge beckons with coffee, tea, soft drinks, and regional spirits—a lively environment for swapping stories as you sail on to your next destination.
Heralded as the mythical birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite, Paphos overlooks the sparkling Mediterranean on the south west coast of Cyprus. A city of contrasts, this ancient locale features two distinct sections. Paphos Old Town, known as Ktima, is more inland, home to the hilltop temple of Aphrodite, erected around 1500 B.C. Meanwhile, the coastal area of New Pathos, or Kato, located on the harbor, is just as architecturally rich, with a resplendent collection of ruins and wonderfully preserved relics in Paphos Archaeological Park, a UNESCO Word Heritage Site. Walk in ancient footsteps in the Hellenistic-Roman Theatre, the Tombs of the Kings in the necropolis, and the House of Dionysus. Stroll the quaint shops and cafes lining the palm dotted promenade and take in seaside views in the land of timeless beauty.
There are pros and cons to visiting a destination during any time of the year. Find out what you can expect during your ideal travel time, from weather and climate, to holidays, festivals, and more.
Cyprus’s temperate winter weather offers relief from the perils of the typical winter experience. Temperatures generally hover between 60 and 70 degrees during the day and dip into the 50s at night.
Eager to spend your vacation outdoors? Winter is the perfect time to take advantage of all of the hiking, biking, and even skiing that Cyprus has to offer. The predominately green Troödos mountain range can sport snow-capped peaks this time of year, making it a surprising yet suitable home to four different ski resorts.
While this is the off-season and some hotels and restaurants will close down, there is no shortage of activities for travelers visiting in winter. Enjoy a marzipan Christmas cake from a local bakery or gaze upon the grand firework displays announcing “Kali Khronia!” (Happy New Year!). The dip in tourism will ensure you experience a pure, bona-fide glimpse into Cypriot life.
Turkish baths were brought to Cyprus by the sultan Murad II in 1444 and remain a completely unique experience for travelers visiting Cyprus today. The cleansing ritual consists of relaxing in a room flowing with hot, dry air for a period of time before rinsing with cold water. The bather then receives a full-body wash and a massage before heading to a cool room to decompress and reflect. Turkish baths are a melting pot of Cypriot culture, drawing locals and tourists alike to detox and revitalize.
Once you’ve treated yourself, consider a peaceful, sunset horse-back ride in Paphos across a quiet country trail that leads to the sea. Enjoy wintertime comfort food like Avgolemoni (egg and lemon soup) or savory souvla (barbecued meat on a skewer). Partake in a wine tour along the lush and picturesque Diarizos River. No matter what you choose, it’s easy to find your place during a slow-paced winter in Cyprus.
There’s no better time to visit Cyprus then in the spring. Temperatures average in the mid-60s through March and rise to the mid-70s by May, keeping the climate agreeable throughout the season. The highest temperatures are accompanied by a dry (as opposed to humid) heat, making even the hottest spring days comfortable.
When Lent has come to an end, don’t miss out on the Easter festivities. The poppies and golden daises begin to bloom, the streets smell of traditional Cypriot baked goods, and the air buzzes with excitement. People attend church services leading up to a great feast of souvla, cakes, desserts, beverages made with local spirits, and more.
April marks the start of tourist season, and with it local restaurants, hotels, and shops open their doors. With spring also comes races like the Logicom Cyprus Marathon through scenic Paphos and the Opap Lemesos Marathon along the Lemesos coastline. For travelers who prefer walking, why not walk the white-sand shorelines of Nissi beach or the historic Paphos Old Town, home to the temple of Aphrodite?
If you visit during Easter, you may notice there aren’t many people on the streets. That’s because locals and tourists alike head in droves to the Greek Orthodox Churches. Easter is the most important Cypriot religious celebration of the year. The week leading up to Holy Sunday is characterized by Masses, baking Flaounes (crust with cheese, eggs, raisins, and mint filling), decorations, churchyard bonfires, midnight candle-lit services, parades, and more. You must see it with your own eyes to comprehend the magnitude of the Easter celebration.
When the festivities come to a close, consider visiting the Paphos Archaeological Park to explore what’s thought of as the most important historical site in Cyprus. Gaze upon relics left behind from the medieval era all the way back to prehistoric times. Most ruins date back the Roman period, and travelers can explore five ancient houses within the park built to commemorate Greek gods and goddesses.
During the summer months, things literally and figuratively heat up in Cyprus. It’s one of the warmest destinations in the Mediterranean, with June temperatures averaging around 80 degrees and August temperatures hovering between 85 and 90 degrees. With the dry warmth also comes 11 hours of sunlight, extending your days for easy-paced leisure.
Summer is easily the most active time of year for tourism in Cyprus, giving you the opportunity to meet travelers from all over the world. The striking beaches such as Aiya Napa, Protaras, and Paphos are full of sunbathers, avid swimmers, and of course, octopus hunters. Restaurants stay open, giving you your pick of authentic Cypriot cuisine.
Countless festivals celebrating everything from agriculture to art to occur during these months. Early June brings the Kataklysmos Water Festival, a waterfront celebration including live performances, street food, and folklore programs. During the Feggaros Festival in early August, people gather for three days to see local and international musicians play folk, blues, and rock n’ roll. Wherever you visit, you’re sure to find yourself in the midst of a lively summer celebration.
Cyprus has no shortage of mystifying beaches. However, nothing quite compares to the experience you’ll have at the untouched Lara Bay Beach. This beach is atypical in that it can only be reached by 4x4 vehicle and lounging and sunbathing is not allowed. Why? Because this deserted strip is one of few remaining homes to loggerhead and green turtle nests. Only the most adventurous of travelers who leave the hustle and bustle of town behind for the day will be lucky enough to spot these creatures in their natural habitat. There is an open-air restaurant in the area, but bringing ample food and water with you on your journey is recommended.
Antarctica at the beginning of October is in pristine condition as a fresh blanket of snow covers the continent and smooth layers of ice coat the water. This icy landscape remains frozen through October due to the bitter cold temperatures that the continent is still experiencing—temperatures in the middle of the continent can dip to as low as -60 degrees. Because the ice off Antarctica's coasts and along its waterways is set and strong, it's still difficult for ships to break through and travel to the region. Ships typically start making their way to Antarctica at the end of October when a slight warm-up occurs and the ice is easier for the ships to break through.
The end of October and beginning of November are great times to visit Antarctica when the snow is still fairly fresh and wildlife starts to make its way back to the ice continent. There are plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities at the end of October and throughout November as it's breeding season for Adélie penguins, Chinstrap penguins, and elephant seals.
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Discover the timeless legends and sacred sites you'll encounter from Athens to Jerusalem.
Small Ship Adventure
Days in Cyprus
7 nights from only $945
5 nights from only $995
Our Activity Level rating system ranks adventures on a scale of 1 to 5 to help you determine if a trip is right for you. See the descriptions below for more information about the physical requirements associated with each rating.
Activity Level 1:
Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.
Activity Level 2:
Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.
Activity Level 3:
Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.
Activity Level 4:
Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.
Activity Level 5:
Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.
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