Cyprus is one of Britain's best-loved holiday destinations, with up to a million Brits flocking to the island every year. There's lots to love about Cyprus and anyone who has visited in the past can attest to its spectacular beauty and relaxing atmosphere. For those who are yet to visit, here are five reasons to make Cyprus your holiday destination of choice this summer.
1. Incredible sunshine
Cyprus sees up to 3,500 hours of sunshine every year, which is 2.5 times more than the UK – perfect for families looking for some summer sun. We all feel better for spending time in the sun and taking in gorgeous blue skies, so it makes sense to book a holiday in a destination that offers a high chance of fantastic sunny weather. June to October is the best time to visit Cyprus as this is the summer season. Even in its coldest months of January and February Cyprus offers mild temperatures of 17ºC which makes it a great destination to catch some winter sun.
2. Gorgeous beaches
Cyprus is known for its beautiful beaches and it proudly boasts a host of Blue Flag sites. The Blue Flag system of certification identifies beaches and marine sites that meet high standards of cleanliness, environmental quality, safety, and accessibility. There are 5,036 Blue Flag sites in 51 countries around the world, and Cyprus is home to 66 of them. 64 are beaches and two are marinas. If you want a holiday that involves lounging on the beach, swimming in the sea, and trying water sports, Cyprus is the perfect destination.
3. Fascinating history
Cyprus has a long and complex history. It was ruled by the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans throughout ancient times, the Byzantine Empire, Richard I of England, and the French House of Lusignan in the Middle Ages, and then by the Ottoman Turks from the mid-1500s. Britain temporarily occupied the island in the 19th century, and in the early 20th century it became a British Crown Colony. The island finally became independent in the late 20th century. Cyprus has a wealth of historical sites to explore which makes it the perfect destination for travellers who love history.
4. Delicious food
Traditional Cypriot cuisine blends Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours and shares many similarities with Greek cuisine. If you want a holiday destination that's known for its delicious food, Cyprus is a great choice. You can expect lots of fresh produce, tasty marinated and grilled meats, and bold, herby flavours such as parsley, coriander, thyme, oregano, cumin, pepper, and mint. Be sure to try grilled halloumi, stuffed vines leaves, souvlakia, and makaronia tou fournou, all of which are popular traditional dishes.
5. Rugged natural beauty
The natural beauty of Cyprus is a major draw for holidaymakers looking for gorgeous landscapes. The island's southern and eastern coasts are lined with sandy beaches, but the northern coastline is rocky and dotted with coves and bays. Lush green plains, valleys and forests comprise the central portion of the island, and there are two rugged mountain ranges to explore – Kyrenia and Troodos. Those who love the great outdoors have lots of opportunities for walking and hiking across the hilly Cypriot countryside.