Cyprus information and useful advice
Our fantastic and unforgettable journey starts from Larnaca, a real holiday town with a beautiful beach, a great promenade and superb restaurants.
In the taverns further away from the tourist area, I recommend tasting the "Cyprus meze"Best in the country.
On the outskirts of the city you can see the salt lake, a wide desert expanse of sand and salt that shares the same nature as the Dead Sea.
Soon, however, we move to the capital, Nicosia.
Cyprus what to visit
One of the problems encountered in Cyprus is that of the name to be given to places: there are always at least three, all equally used, all equally known.
Then they are fine too Lefcosia o Lefcosa, a city divided in two by an anachronistic wall reminiscent of the Berlin of yesteryear.
Here not to be missed is the iconostasis of the church Tripiotis, Famagusta Gate and the modern colossal statue of Macaries.America Coast to Coast
After the internal border, you enter the Turkish part, the richest in historical monuments.
Visit the entire historic center, whose slow rhythms and tranquility of the inhabitants are immediately noticeable, generally kind and helpful with Spanish visitors.
The caravanserai welcome tourists as they have done for centuries, the hammams take us to the east while the Venetian walls and palaces reveal the face of a city still linked to the West.
But the tragedy of the division has left its mark and the neglect of some sites is evident; in the background the dilapidated houses, the walls hit by bombs, the dilapidated buildings still closed by sandbags tell us a sad story, which fortunately now fades into the past.
We then head on the Turkish road towards Famagusta (Famagusta, Gazimagusa, Ammocostos): the splendid Venetian city is now sparsely inhabited, but bears the signs of a moderate revival of liveliness. Famagusta it is a marvel: rich in monuments of all kinds, even a very rare Nestorian church, it boasts the cathedral of San Nicola also today a mosque.
And then the Templar seats, those of the Knights of Malta, the Venetian walls, the fortress of Othello, the lions of San Marco that pop up here and there; everything binds this city to the highest European historical tradition. As we travel through Cyprus, we notice that one of the island's prerogatives is still that of being a real crossroads; in a few other places it happens to come across vehicles of 5 armies along the road: the official Cypriot, the Greek, the Turkish, the English and the UN… here territorial sovereignty seems a relative concept.
However, the strong militarization is never a source of tension and the air you breathe is decidedly calm, so much so that the most dangerous thing that can happen today in Cyprus is… getting burned by the hot sun.
For this reason, bring strong shielding sunscreen and get ready to dream of cold water, as well as that of the hotels comes out hot from the blue tap and hot from burn from the red one (not to be used at all).
The air conditioner is then a must in every room, even the cheapest one, to be able to sleep in the night.
Da Nicosia let's go to the mountains Troodos, where we finally find some coolness and visit the ancient monasteries scattered here and there.
It starts from Kikkos, the most important, with a beautiful structure but which has been almost totally rebuilt in very recent times due to the frequent fires that have devastated it.
The attached museum, however, preserves some of the most beautiful icons of the whole of Orthodoxy.
Then look for the church of Santa Maura, on the way to the south. It is worth a stop and is preserved intact and original, with its splendid Byzantine frescoes.
We arrive at Pafos, a mostly tourist city, a favorite destination for Russians and English.
It seems to be in Porto Cervo because of the numerous yachts, and the many nightclubs.
The town is also an excellent base for excursions to the most beautiful beaches on the island.
Here we can finally meet Afrodite... seems to really see her waiting for us in the foaming waves of Petra tou Romiou, the place that saw it born: a swim in the waves is not to be missed.
The baths of Aphrodite are instead to the north, where a source gushes from the rock and then bathes a sea with very warm and transparent waters… you almost wonder how the fish survive and never end up boiled.
Arm yourself with patience and a good off-road vehicle to reach from dirt and dusty roads Lara, one of the wildest golden beaches in the Mediterranean.
Here time has stopped at creation and it is almost a primordial Eden.
Be careful not to step on the many sea turtle nests that you will find on your path and enjoy the immense sunset over the sea.
In the peninsula of Akamas if you have time you can hike up to Androlikos, an abandoned town, populated only by many goats who live in dilapidated houses, revealing a particular and unusual scenario.
A sud di Pafos e Curion, on the top of a promontory overlooking the sea.
A first-rate archaeological site, well organized and perfectly preserved. The theater still in use, the thermal baths, the gladiator house, a wonderful panorama and the curiosity that everyone wants to see: the mosaic of Achilles disguised as a woman.
In Pafos, the museum of mosaics and the Tombs of the Kings, something halfway between the Etruscan tombs and the Greek temples. The sun overlooking the sea penetrates the rocks and enters the dark cavities, the ravines, the tunnels, reveals the columns, touches the Ionic capitals and the triglyphs ... and it's all a game of echoes, shadows, blinding light, a surreal and magical effect that almost stuns.
There would still be a lot to see on the island, but time is running out and the time to return home wakes us up from this dream ... we leave and out of the corner of our eye we see Aphrodite diving into the waves and saying goodbye ... goodbye to soon in the warm waters of Cyprus.
Photo gallery Cyprus