Where has the UK summer gone?

Don’t worry there’s still Cyprus.  This is one of my favourite times of the year for holidaying in Paphos.

All the flowers are in bloom, the sea is blue and with only the odd wispy cloud in the sky – a sun lover’s paradise.

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The sun does get very hot in the middle of the day in July and August so make like the locals and take an afternoon siesta.  Maybe have lunch on the terrace or eat inside in brand new air conditioning still with stunning views through the window.  Finally cool off with a power shower before heading off to the beach.

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Visiting the award winning beaches and taking a dip in the sea is the perfect way to cool off during the day but there’s more to do than just swimming.  The West Coast of Cyprus has one of the largest selections of water sports and activity centres.  There’s snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing, jet skiing, wind surfing, wake boarding, banana boats and even pedalos to hire at Coral Bay.

For those who prefer sporting activities on dry ground there are championship golf courses, holistic spa treatment centres, hiking, mountain biking, sky diving, quad biking, 4×4 off roading in the Akamas peninsula or up in the Troodos mountains.  There are also local rugby and football clubs with frequent international games.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite then what better place for a Cypriot style BBQ than in a flower filled patio with stunning sea views.  If you want someone else to do the cooking then there are lots of delicious restaurants, cafes, take aways and bars in Paphos, Coral Bay and the nearby village of Chlorakas.  Some bars and restaurants have amazing sea views and others are in the hustle bustle of the town centre – there’s something for everyone.

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Late night bars, live music venues and nightclubs are located in both Paphos and Coral Bay equidistance from Bella Vista.  Nightclubs in Paphos tend to open until 5am so often the sun rises before you do.

If you do make it home before the dawn chorus then after a night out dancing what better way to relax than to sit on the edge of the moonlit pool and dangle weary feet into the cool water.

 

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Sunshine all the way so a water flight is the perfect way to cool off!

Currently temperatures in Cyprus are an average of 28 degrees and rising everyday from now until September.  If you’re looking for a fun way to cool off then make sure you’re around on 12th June as Cypriots celebrate, Kataklysmos, the Festival of the Flood, which coincides with (Greek) Pentecost and is marked by festivities at all seaside towns. The most popular custom involves a huge water fight!  So simply throwing water at other people this symbolises the purification of the body and soul.

The festival begins with an ecclesiastical ceremony where the priest hurls a cross into the sea (something there for those atheists too) and the diver who brings the cross back up receives a blessing and a sovereign, which marks the start of the rest of the festivities.

Events take place in Paphos and are amongst the most popular. Usually there are folk dances, boat and swimming races, wrestling, canoe-races and traditional songs such as tchattista, composed of improvised verses that are sung by competing parties.  The Cypriot version of ‘whose line is it anyway”

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Don’t miss an awesome water fight and unique celebration the way only Cypriots can party!

If you don’t fancy taking part in the water fight there are plenty of other ways you can cool off – here are just five.

1.       Take a refreshing dip in the brand new swimming pool at Bella Vista

 

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2.       Go diving in one of the world’s top ten dive sites just off the Paphos coast or snorkel in the world famous Coral Bay

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3.       Hire a sail boat or a jet ski and take off around the islands unspoilt coastline – such as the UNESCO protected Akamas peninsula and swim in the blue lagoon.

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4.       Enjoy a leisure cruise between Paphos and Coral Bay so you can watch the sun set while catching the off shore breeze

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5.       Hike in the cooling pine forests in the Troodos mountain range only 45 minute drive from Bella Vista

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There is currently availability for a few weeks in July and August please contact me at bellavista2010@hotmail.co.uk for more information or to make a reservation.

1st March – spring is finally here at last!

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Spring is here at last and for those of us unfortunate to be in the UK we’ve seen some of the worst weather on record however if you’ve been in the sunshine paradise I like to call Cyprus then you enjoyed a prolonged summer with temperatures of 30 degrees well into November – you lucky things!

Anyway today we had the first day of spring in the UK today with unbroken blue skies and bright sunshine all day – first this year.  Felt so great especially as everyone seemed in such a good mood!

Spring has also sprung in Paphos as plants are beginning to flower, there are buds on the trees and it’s already enjoying daytime temperatures of 18 degrees.

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Maybe time to start thinking about booking that spring break or summer holiday?

If you plan to be in Cyprus next week then don’t miss joining in with the celebrations of Green Monday on 7th March.

Green Monday marks the beginning of Lent and is celebrated in Cyprus with picnics, outdoor fun and plenty of music and dancing. The day is filled with the spirit of Carnival and some people still wander around in fancy dress.

Families and friends gather for an outdoor vegetarian meal of bread, vegetables and olives at the start of this Orthodox festival of fasting and contemplation.

In Paphos, a kite-flying competition takes place down by the lighthouse just off Tomb of the Kings road.  People of all ages fly home-made or locally purchased kites and it’s a magically colourful sight to be seen.

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Celebrate Green Monday in Agia Napa at Cape Gkreko, in Larnaka at Tekke Grove, in Paphos at Faros Beach, in Pervolia (Larnaka District) at the Rigena Medieval Tower and in Polis at the Polis Municipal Beach.

Journey to the Blue Lagoon

After a leisurely breakfast of freshly made orange juice, fresh fruit covered in Greek yoghurt and coffee on the colourful terrace we decided to walk down to the bottom of the hill and onto the main coast road to catch a bus to the beach at Coral Bay for a spot of scuba diving.  Ranked as one of the top ten dive sites in the world; there are many dive shops and instructors all along this coastline with many ship wrecks and sea caves offering divers some of the best underwater experiences in the world.

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In the afternoon we decided to hire a boat to explore Cyprus from the water; you can hire a boat from Coral Bay or Latchi and sail around the Akamas peninsula, long said to be the jewel in Southern Cyprus’s crown.  Largely unspoilt this gorgeous peninsula is home to Loggerhead sea turtles, fruit bats

, monk seals and a vast selection of rare flora and fauna. Wild flowers include cyclamen, turban buttercups, alyssum (alyssum akamasicum endemic to Akamas) Cyprus tulip, and many species of orchid, yellow gorse and white rock rose. It is one of only 22 areas of endemism in Europe making it a rare destination to explore and even David Attenborough filmed here in 2006.

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We sailed around to the famous blue lagoon at Chamili Bay where the azure waters are so clear you can see the sea bed a hundred feet below and watch silver fish glinting past. The waters here were so warm and so salty that we seemed to float weightlessly and effortlessly.  After our mid afternoon dip we sailed on to the sea caves at Manolis Bay that look almost lunar like with plenty of small pools with a pink tinge that mean moonlight here sparkles off all the rocks.

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For details of hiring boats –

http://www.cyprusminicruises.com

http://www.latchiwatersportscentre.com/

http://www.paphosseacruises.com/

http://www.sunvil.co.uk

Information on Akamas peninsula click here –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akamas

http://www.akamas-film.com/index.shtml

Boogie nights

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After our delicious dinner we headed in the opposite direction of Bella Vista into Paphos town itself to sample the nightlife of Bar Street aptly named as it is a mainly pedestrianised road containing only bars and nightclubs.  There’s a diverse range of different offerings from choice of music to the décor to the theme; from retro clubs with glitter balls and dance floors that light up to bars that seem as though they’ve been airlifted from the film Robin Hood complete with wooden turrets.  We opted for Boogies so my friend could demonstrate her wonderful singing voice on the karaoke crowd and whilst we could have stayed until the sun came up we decided to head home before the dawn chorus began.

A short taxi ride up the road and we were back home in ‘Bella Vista’ Spanish or ‘Beautiful Views’ and that’s not a clever marketing ploy as they are really amazing from up here.  When we arrived home the only sound was the noise from the crickets and a faint scent of jasmine and hibiscus in the air that blew in a warm obviously Egyptian breeze. The lights all along the coastline twinkled and reflected on the now very calm sea which seemed to completely merge into the star filled sky so it was impossible to tell where one began and the other finished until that was a cruise liner sailed UFO like across the sky!

It was hard to believe we were somewhere so peaceful when a few moments earlier we were in a busy town with noise and nightlife; we slept very well indeed.

http://www.paphospeople.com/index.html

http://www.wowcyprus.com/SitePages/141

http://www.whatsonwhen.com/sisp/index.htm?fx=event&event_id=97004

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Europe/Cyprus/Paphos_District/Paphos-394302/TravelGuide-Paphos.html

http://www.visitpafos.org.cy/

What a view?

Woke up this morning to see bright sun shine streaming in from between the shutters and the white linen curtains moving gently in the cool breeze from the French doors I left ajar last night.

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Doors that open onto a balcony framed by spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea beyond the panoramic coastline of the West coast of Cyprus; views from historical Paphos, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1980,

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to the Akamas Peninsula, one of the largest unspoilt wildernesses in the Mediterranean home to many vulnerable species, some of which are endemic to Akamas.

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In the foreground is Coral Bay, a natural beach spanning 600m in a crescent shape of powdery white sand, has earned itself a European Blue Flag.  Looking inland to the right of the scene are the beginnings of the Troodos mountain range looming upwards with their fragrant pine forests to provide cool escape in the hot summers and snow for skiing in the relatively undiscovered ski resorts in winter months.

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Paphos is one of the few places where you can drive for an hour into the mountains to ski and then return to the coast for a barbeque afterwards!

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Gorgeous Paphos Townhouse with stunning views & new pool

Gorgeous Paphos Townhouse with stunning views & new pool available to rent

2 bedroom 2 bathrooms with stunning sea views & beautiful brand new pool

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One double bedroom & second bedroom with two singles

Stunning panoramic sea views from balcony off double bedroom & downstairs terrace

Rear garden & front terrace

Air-conditioning throughout

Allocated parking space

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Located in Chloraka, Paphos

Quiet residential area -restaurant, kiosk, beach & bars within walking distance

Equidistant between historic Paphos harbour and the stunning beach at Coral Bay

2 championship golf courses Minthis Hills Golf Club and The Secret Valley Golf Club a short drive away

A week rental from £250 per week and longer term lets from £450 per month during winter season when there’s an average daytime winter temperature of 20-26 degrees.

Contact details for more information would be bellavista2010@hotmail.co.uk