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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

chic Cyprus

I was browsing the net, and thought I should share this for all would be travellers. Enjoy this piece! Why Cyprus? There’s more to Cyprus than Ayia Napa, R&B and house music. In fact, Cyprus has so much more to offer than a summer of love that it’s difficult to know where to begin. Well, you could start off by visiting the most chic of Cyprus’s options: Pathos and Limassol. People enjoy coming to Pathos all year round because of its traditional villages and also for the appealing temperatures. In the summer it has the lowest climes, and the highest in the winter. Because it is part of the Mediterranean, between May and October the sea temperatures are higher. Cyprus has an ever-changing climate, and within just one hour of driving the temperature can drop by around 5–6°C (10°F).Pathos is an area for people who like a bit of tradition and history mixed in with the mythological adventure that is connected to Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. What about the food? Sample the delights of halloumi, which is grilled traditional Cypriot cheese. It is typically served with watermelon as a popular Cypriot snack during the summer, offering a sweet and salty taste. Cyprus is a haven for fish lovers. If you’re taking a trip to the Aphrodite baths, be sure to stop off at Pollis in Latchi for a fish meze. The meze consists of fresh, succulent fish including sea bass and swordfish, but the more adventurous can try calamari or octopus. To accompany the fish there’s chips, olives and bread made with garlic and herbs. And, of course, a traditional salad of lettuce, tomato and olives provides the perfect accompaniment. As a lunchtime treat in Limassol be sure to head to the trendy Artima restaurant. It makes the perfect stop after visiting the castle nearby.A dining experience not to be missed is an evening at Aliada, also in Limassol. Don’t be deceived by its average-looking exterior: once inside, it’s transformed into a classy restaurant. The sumptuous food comes complete with pianist and chandeliers. Where to stay For the first part of our five-day trip, we stayed at the exclusive Thalassa Hotel in Pathos (right) which is two hours’ drive from Larnaka airport. The five-star hotel is divided into three parts: families, no kids, and everyone. At night, everyone comes together at the nightclub, which has theme nights. The Thalassa, which prides itself on flexibility, is a popular marital spot, hosting about 300 weddings a year. Another fact worth noting is that it was the first hotel to launch a holistic spa. It offers an array of therapies to treat the mind, body and soul. Each guest can receive a lifestyle consultation. The spa features Ancient Greek specialities using locally produced ingredients with classic therapies inspired by Asian and European techniques. They offer services including pilates, reiki, yoga and life-coaching. The spa also offers saunas and a unisex steam room. There’s an indoor pool and two tranquil relaxation areas where you can sip nutritious fruit juice prepared at the juice bar. Treatments include the Trahana Body Wrap, which is made with domestic oats, goat’s yoghurt, fresh herbs and lavender, mashed together and applied to the body in circular motions as a gentle exfoliant, before you are cocooned in a comforting body wrap, allowing the mixture to nourish and cleanse the skin while your scalp is massaged to relieve stress. For the second half of our trip we stayed at the newly refurbished and beautifully designed Londa, which has an air of sophisticated cool to it. By day, the five-star hotel is a lady, where you can sip afternoon tea as you take in the spectacular views. By night, the Londa puts on its lipstick and dresses up. At the bar you can relax to chilled lounge music as you sip a cocktail and take in the amazing views of the Mediterranean Sea. After my treatments at the luxurious Thalassa Boutique hotel and design-led Londa hotel, I felt like a newborn baby – from the body wrap and head massage, to my rejuvenating pedicure and back massage. Nothing more was needed to repair my overworked body and help me feel and look like a sophisticated woman again. What is worth doing? You can’t visit Cyprus without taking a trip to the Baths of Aphrodite (below). It is 150m (almost 500ft) above sea level and looks like a giant, natural shower. The myth goes like this. Aphrodite was married to an old, ugly crippled man, which was her excuse for being unfaithful to him. After her daily swim in the sea, she would shower here, believing that doing so would bring back her virginity. This is where Adonis fell in love with her and where their love story began. Cyprus was the island of love and beauty in ancient times because of Adonis and Aphrodite. Her birthplace and the bath is an area that the Cypriots want to preserve. Up until three years ago, visitors were allowed to bathe in the pool, but that is no longer permitted. The ramblers among you, though, may take a walk along the Aphrodite Trail. It takes around four to five hours but is not recommended in the summer – unless you go early in the morning – because of the intense heat. While in Limassol you can take a trip to the nearby wine museum. It is based in a renovated house in the western district, where they grow the best grapes. This is southwest of the Troodos Mountains, which receives the most sun. The museum offers the chance to sample the delights of Cyprus’s best wines and 20-year-old brandy. As an appetizer, Cypriots serve zivania, which is good for colds. It tends to be served with nuts. After the meal they drink commandaria, a sweet dessert wine. After the wine tasting, it is hard to resist picking up some treats to take back home! Book flights to Cyprus via Cyprus Airways (www.cyprusairways.com). Stay at the Londa (www.londahotel.com) or the Thalassa (www.thalassa.com.cy).

1 comments:

linda ikeji said...

hey B, how now? Tried to reach me yesterday? hola again abeg.Linda