Friday, 31 August 2018


We didn't think that we would be able to have a family holiday this year. L was doing her year as a pupil barrister, working hard and trying to impress, and E didn't fancy a holiday without her (apart from the fun weekend in Stockholm!). Then suddenly, L was given tenancy and we were on. We're masters in the art of last minute holidays - our personal best being a trip to Barcelona, where we had about 5 hours between booking and the actual flight! So, a week's notice gave us plenty of time. Cyprus was chosen as the destination; flights booked; accommodation found, far from the madding crowds in the quiet village of Pissouri; neighbours lined up to look after Hamish and the chucks, and off we went.
Given that we had just had a bit of a heatwave in the UK, I did wonder at how wise it was to visit Cyprus in the middle of August. Friends who had visited in October had found it quite hot enough, so I was slightly concerned. As it was, I needn't have worried. Our spell of hot weather may have acclimatized us somewhat, air conditioning and sea breezes took care of the rest. We had a wonderfully relaxing 10 days. Cyprus was beautiful, the locals friendly and helpful, and the vegan food lovely (although, I might give hummus and falafel a wide berth for the next few weeks!). It is, however, the 'home of halloumi', so we felt that we slightly missed out there.
Here then are a few photos, chosen at random, from our trip:
The view from our balcony:
On our last day, R woke me up at 5am to watch a bat flitting round. By the time I had staggered out the bat had disappeared, but I did get to have a cup of tea whilst watching the sunrise:
Kato Pafos Archaeological Park. The mosaics in the Roman villas are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site:

E loves lizard spotting:
Watching paragliders at sunset:
We tried to pick one of the cooler days for our visit to Nicosia; being inland we found the temperature much hotter and, unlike the coastal areas, it maintained the heat after 5pm staying hot and humid. Despite that, the medieval walled city was one of my favorite parts of Cyprus. It is famously divided - the northern part reflecting Turkish culture and the south remaining very much Greek. We crossed the border between the two and I loved the Turkish part with its mosques, bazaars, spices, and the call to prayer sounding out. Sadly, I didn't do enough research and, being Monday, the Cyprus Museum with its famous terracotta figurines was closed.

Buyuk Han - a former Ottoman inn, now a central courtyard featuring craft shops and cafes:
We drove into the mountains to see the famous Troodos painted churches. These unassuming little buildings with their treasury of Byzantine religious art also have UNESCO World Heritage status: 

Vegan ice cream!
We seriously challenged our hire car by driving miles along rutted tracks to reach Lara Bay. The beach here  is frequented by loggerhead turtles.

Kourion - our favourite ancient city in Cyprus. We arrived late in the afternoon to avoid the heat, and stayed until after sunset when the site closed. There were beautiful mosaics, Roman Baths, an amphitheatre, stadium and more villas than you could shake a stick at.  

Bouzouki and Tapas night at our local taverna. The owner even arranged for vegan tapas to be made especially for us. 
The evening ended with plate smashing and Greek dancing - although, I'm not posting those particular photos!
Historic Limassol, Cyprus' second largest city. The ancient medieval core was fun to explore and when we got too hot, we sat outside of this gorgeous cafe and enjoyed frappes.

On our last day on the way to the airport, we popped into Ancient Amathous to get a last fix of ruins.

Well, that just about sums up our holiday. I would heartily recommend Cyprus to anyone who hasn't been. The island does have some tourist hot spots which are probably best avoided if, like us, you prefer a quiet life. That aside, it has so much to offer - go for the archaeology, the historic city centres, the food, the beaches, the warm weather and, above all, the people.

Toodle pip for now. x


  1. It looks and sounds lovely, what a fab holiday. And how nice you all managed to go together too. I'm curious what the vegan ice cream is made from? xx

    1. I think it was probably more of a sorbet as it was the fruity ones that were vegan. The one shown was Limoncello flavour, and very yummy it was too! xx

  2. What a wonderful holiday. Certainly my sort of place with all those ruins. I’m not sure I could get ready for a trip away in just five hours. I’m very impressed. My better half has just told me that I’ve inherited a walking stick from the Troodos mountains that my mother in law bought many years ago. B x

  3. What a wonderful vacation, all the more so because it was last minute. I love the pomegranate in the last photo - for us it is considered the harbinger of autumn, so very welcome after a long hot summer :-)

  4. Oh, I loved reading this post! We went to Cyprus two years ago and really enjoyed it there. We'll definitely be going back (and it's really near for us too!). We saw a lot of what you saw, but we didn't get to Kourion, nor did we see that particular painted church (we saw others and they were amazing!). It's nice to see someone else enjoying similar things to us.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  5. Last minute holidays are always great! I have never been to Cyprus but am certainly interested now. What an interesting holiday, loved all your photos!What is it with hummus and falafel though?!? Sighs....oh...halloumi...I bet you where drooling at the thought of it, I still seriously crave the stuff! Loved the ruins and that 5am sunrise....and wish I could have bought a shedload of those spices! xxx

  6. I've never been to Cyprus but it looks great. I don't like busy, touristy places either, much prefer off the beaten track kind of place. Looks like you had a lovely holiday. xx

  7. What lovely photos! Reading this with a cold when the weather's very grey outside makes me feel like I've had a dose of sunshine. Those spices look wonderful, and you did very well not to indulge in some halloumi - I love it! Kourion looks very beautiful indeed - you can't beat a wander around ruins.
    Cathy x