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Cyprus has served a tasty Mediterranean dish for over two millennium. It blends classic regional ingredients - dazzling azure sea, peachy beaches and relentless sunshine - with memorable archaeological sites and a beautifully rugged interior, dotted with snoozy villages. citrus groves and monasteries.
But to get the most from the island lauded as the birthplace of Aphrodite; to really appreciate its local charms and glorious widescreen landscapes well away from the maddening crowds, you need to be in the right hands - and that means A&K.
Our highly qualified, multi-lingual European team has provided luxury travel across the continent for over a quarter of a century with knowledgeable staff, long established contacts and superb guides. It allows us to offer unique experiences off the mainstream visitor radar including tours with historians, archaeologists and conservationists, and cooking lessons with the best island chefs.
Take an Abercrombie & Kent luxury holiday to Cyprus in 2014 and we recommend you head west to the picturesque, taverna-dotted coastline around Pafos. Head inland from its foodie frontline on the waterfront, whose Ottoman castle provides a theatrical backdrop to cultural events, and we'll show the archaeological legacy of its Greek, Roman and Byzantine eras, including exquisite mosaics in 1800-year-old villas. Most famously you can see the rocks where Aphrodite is believed to have risen from the ocean like an ancient Bond Girl - minus the white bikini - and discover more evidence of her importance, at the temple in Kouklia.
Alternatively, our guides suggest swapping fables for fish at Latsi, famed for its seafood, often served in the converted stone warehouses that once stored the local carob crop. You can then work off the indulgence on the supremely photogenic trails of the Akamas Peninsula, whose often vertiginous slopes merge seamlessly with ochre rocks and translucent sea.
Staying west, Pissouri is the spot to kick back and sip coffee with the locals, before sampling the rugged interior at Omodos where traditional wine presses and bakeries come, naturally, with Christianity, in the shape of the Timios Stavros Monastery. Its all waiting for you, including Kourion, where you overlook Episkopi Bay from an astonishing Greco Roman amphitheatre - and with A&K's excellent team, it's all possible.
Best time to be there
A year round destination with long hot summers and cool mild winters. During the summer months, clear blue skies dominate and temperatures can soar above 30°C.
Pafos and Larnaca (British Airways)
4 hours 25 minutes
GMT +2 hours
A trip of a lifetime; we were sorry to come home. The accommodation exceeded our expectations, particularly Sussi and Chuma.
- JS, Tring