When I moved to Germany, I was amazed by the fact how many people decide to spend the winter month somewhere abroad. On the sunny side so to say. The highest percentage decide for the Canary Islands, big chunk for South East Asia, but having February as a very low season month, the flights to other destinations are so much inviting, that after good mount of time in Germany, I decided to do the German way, and booked a flight to Cyprus. To be honest, the prices of the accommodation played a big role in the decision. Sunny February workation, sounded like a super nice plan.
My first idea was to fly to Paphos with Ryanair, ad leave from Larnaca with Easyjet, but in order not ot overcomplicate it, we had the flights from Berlin to Paphos. The only thing I do not like about trips is long flights. There I’ve said it. Anyways, our itinerary went like this:
DAY 0 – MANDRIA
Mandria was chosen strategicaly as the closest village to the airport in Paphos. Driving on the left side is not a strength coming from Germany, so we didn’t want to drive long distances. Also the weather was rainy so it was perfect option to rest afterwork, but also it was great because all the restaurants in the village were open, and one of them had live traditional music. As for the accomodation Mandria is not full of options. We were accommodated in ZenBerry house. One of the many same looking houses in the village. The restaurants were not really to recommend food wise, but to start a rainy vacation with music it surely improves the vacation vibe. The most famous restaurant here is Kentroikon. The halloumi was nice, the moussaka not really, and their wine list was full of well rated wines according the Vivino app.
DAY 1 – APHRODITE ROCK & LARNACA
Woke up to sunshine and on our final destination Agia Napa we decided to stop to one of the tourist spots of the country. The Aphrodite rock or the birth place of the beauty goddess. It is a nice windy beach with a rock in the sea. Is it nice yes of course is it a rock you can put off your list, also yes of course too.
After quick bakery stop in Limassol in Nomad Bakery in Limassol, who were selling coffee from The Underdog Project of Athens we continued to Larnaca. I have explored Larnaca on the Internet before stepping there, and what caught my eye was the art quarter, the old town with colourful doors and old shops, where unfortunately most of the stores were closed. The square of the Lazarus church and the Medieval fort were open for visit. The town has a boardwalk, bustling shopping area, where unfortunately there isn’t much space for pedestrians, but for cars. Of course with many restaurants, eateries and cafes.
What I explored but didn’t have the time to stop by were the Mackenzie beach, right to the Larnacaairport, and the Re Buke beach bar there. All in all nice experience, but to be even more honest the amount of cars in the narrow streets really bothered me.
We ended the night in Agia Napa, little town/village that was our Cypriot home for the first part of our stay. The distance from Larnaca to Agia Napa was about 40 minutes or 50 kilometres.
The same distance by bus is of course possible with bus number 631 from Paphos to end station Aphrodite Rock for 1.5 euros. The unfortunate thing is that if you want to continue to Limassol or Larnaca, you would need to go back to Paphos and take another bus. One way ticket between Paphos and Larnaca would cost 7euros. If you take a whole day ticket or a return ticket it is 15euros. Then from Larnaca to Agia Napa there is frequent bus costing 4euros one way. Options exist but not in the time frames that we are used to.
DAY 2 – NICOSIA
The time when we went to was the coldest they’ve seen lately, the temperatures during the night were going down to 4 degrees, but still it was warmer than home. We started Sunday visiting some of the beaches, Kaparis beach, which was the one closest to the border part, then Malama beach and Trinity beach. At this time of the year, early February, and a bit gloomy weather, there was almost no one at the beach. The Kalifi beach bar was open and we saidwe must return here.
The journey continued around 80km north of Agia Napa to the capital, with clouds so angry our first stop was the mall of Nicosia, it seemed it is the place for hangouts on Sunday, but since it is nothing according our taste, we quickly continued towards the city. It was raining cats and dog, so we couldn’t experience as it should, but on the otherhand for us it wasn’t anything new.
The sightseeing point of interest for me was the checkpoint in the middle of the main street, and having in mind the time we didn’t manage to cross to the other side, where apparently there are more of the sightseeing points.
We were to tired to stay till Lost and Found Drinkery that is on the best bars list, and we went back to our Cypriot home.
By bus this would take around 2 hours and 5euros one way or 9 euros return ticket.
DAY 3 – 5 – AGIA NAPA & AROUND
How was Agia Napa? Empty. The beaches around were so nice to observe and just be zen around. Even ATMs have seasonal working hours and function between April and October. Other than that Ocean Basket, Hard Rock and Zorbas were the saviours, and a nice restaurant Sesoula Kalamaki, open Friday-Sunday.
Everybody says it is another world in the summer months and you can sense that by seeing all the discos and clubs, but i guess it is more of a place for people in their twenties or very young and heart 30ties.
The sightseeing spots that we visited were Cape Greco, and the Sea Caves. Another very cool spot was Louis’s food truck, right before Cape Greco. Nothing ground breaking, just pure fresh and while the ingredients last.
One morning we went for brunch in Paralimni, but really nothing to do there.
DAY 6 – LEFKARIA & LIMASSOL
After Agia Napa vacation days started and we went to the little village Lefkaria, which is famous for silver and lace making goods. We were literally the only ones there and I can imagine how many people pass through it in the proper tourist season. We wanted to have coffee while soaking the sun, but it wasn’t an option as everything was in huge shadow, so we continued toward direction of the day Limassol.
We parked at Marina Limassol, where the most beautiful buildings and private residences were, had sunny lunch at Kipriakon, all was okay and service was nice, but in avearage range. Then the stroll happened, we really liked the covered market Agora, and the streets around and ended up in the hip area around Elefterias street.
Had our coffee at melting pot and decided that we must come back for more bars, african food and for the night vibe. Even though we realised that maybe February is not really the month for it.
Note: The last weekend of February there is the Limassol Carnival.
DAY 7 – 8 – PAPHOS & AROUND
Paphos has most cultural activities to be done and explored as Archaeological Site of Nea Paphos, protected by UNESCO, the reconstructed Old Town and its Market, and if you are willing to drive the Akamasios Forest PArk and many wineries starting from 30 minutes drive distance. Our accommodation was in Kato Pafosm next to the sea and the archeological site. The entrance fee was 4.5 euros and it was really worth it. Soaking the sun on the promenade was the same amount of worthiness, walking to the old city centre is something you should definitively skip, and either take bus or car. The city transport stands at 1.5euros.
Paphos was the first spot where we finally said oh wow great food (not that the other places were not nice, but it was more of the usual). We fell in love with Koutourou Ouzeri, they have daily changing menu, but many of the things are standard. And for a changed we ordered everything vegetarian and everything was out of this world.
Our second favorite was Agora right next to the old market, overlooking the whole city including te sea, they had amazing selection of wine and cocktails nad the vegeterian mezze was amazing and kept on coming without stopping.
On one of our days we decided то висит Kolios Winery, and see if we have time for more. For wine tasting reservation is not needed, and you can choose between cheese or nuts plattter for 15 vs 8 euros and small tour of the winery is included. The winemaker was a really good promotion for his brand. Why did we decided to visit this one, mainly because of the fact that everywhere we went the Kolios wines were on the menu. Very good review about the wineries of the region I found on this blog: The Viva La Vita. Plenty of useful tips for Cyprus too.
We wanted to visit some more but our car was not really appropriate for this and many of them were closing at 5PM so we didnt want to risk going there too late.
Intead we went sunset chassing along Coral bay, stumbled upon not your typical Cypriot cafe by the road the Ola Red Cafe. It was true refreshment with the best view and very kind owners. Usually we do not exchange a lot but these people were worth every minute.
Overall impressions when we started it was more on the disappointment site, but as the days were passing it was getting better and better. Probably April would be better option for visiting, but for a budget workation it is a great spot.