Cyprus definitely holds something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a Paphos poolside break to lap up the rays, or an all-night party in Ayia Napa, you’ll find everything you’re looking for on this island.
However, there’s more to the shimmering beaches than meets the eye. On the flipside is Nicosia with its rich culture and history for you to delve right into.
Nicosia is the capital and historical hub of the country and, by including it on a cultural summer holiday to Cyprus, you can see the past ages in its churches, mosques and exotic buildings.
Set inland from the beach resorts, north of the stunning Troodos mountains, the city is more secluded from the tourist destinations. Nicosia is surrounded by Venetian walls dating back 400 years, giving it a sense of mystery – one you’ll want to unlock for yourself.
This beautiful building stands in the market centre of Nicosia. Once an Ottoman roadside inn (or caravansarai), it is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the area. ‘Buyuk Han’ literally means ‘Great Inn’, having housed the richest merchants and travellers. It would have been something to marvel at with its stunning fortress-like style and still wows awestruck visitors every day.
You can explore the courtyard and shop in its many craft boutiques, or even see a traditional wedding performed there!
This imposing, gorgeous building welcomes all to participate in folklore dance shows, piano recitals and drama performances.
The Cyprus Museum – in the old part of the city – showcases artefacts and relics all discovered in the area.
Over the years, Cyprus has changed hands many times and you’ll see this all over the island. Greeks Ottomans and Venetians alike viewed it as the jewel of the Mediterranean. As a result, Nicosia has a varied mixture of mosques and Orthodox churches. The Cyprus Museum let’s you explore the stories of the people and the overwhelming past of the island.
Find out the history here and become an expert on the Cypriot culture, from Bronze Age pottery and ancient inscriptions, to local traditions and clothing.
Take an afternoon break to the nearby in the city centre where you’ll be able to sample a range of top-class bars and entertainment.
Royal Tombs at Tamassos
Venturing just outside of the city walls, you’ll find this hidden gem in the small village of Politiko. Visit the remains of the ancient Temple of Aphrodite and the tombs of the region’s ancient kings.
For a tiny cost you can see this amazing site where you can get a sense of the old wealth of Cyprus.
In an archaeological dig during the 1970s, the remains of Aphrodite’s temple were discovered. The deity of love and fertility, also known as the Mother Goddess, was worshipped all over the island. This site goes back thousands of years and the sense of history is simply astounding.
With a short bus ride out of the centre you can breathe in the air of a different era.
Nicosia is a wonderful location with such incredible stories. Join a guided tour and see as much as possible of a of a city that has been coveted and loved by many.
Temperatures can reach up to 30 degrees in the summer, so if you’re looking to top up your tan then book your holiday to Cyprus now.