Health, Heat and Halloumi: 5 Reasons Why Cyprus Should Be on Your Wellness Bucket List
Have we already mentioned Halloumi?
Summer may have been and gone in most of the northern hemisphere, but we’re here to let you in on a little secret. A quick hop, skip then flight and you can keep the summer vibes going long into the winter months with a trip to the sunshine-stuffed island of Cyprus.
The beaches are Instagram-level amazing, and the sun is guaranteed to darken your fading summer tan. Even better, it has the perfect blend of health and halloumi to keep you topping up your zen levels too. Here’s why.
You Guys... The Food
You may think you’ve tried halloumi in every way, shape and form before, but you’ve never had it like this. We’re not kidding when we say it was in every meal we consumed here.
Cypriot halloumi is something else, and as it should be as they’ve been making it since the Byzantine rule (AD 395 aka a crazy long time). But it’s not just cheese that will float your Mediterranean boat in Cyprus. The abundance of fresh and local produce will have your taste buds tingling at every turn.
You can fulfil your #masterchef dreams with a one-on-one cooking session at Paradisos Hills.
Real life dream grandma Niki will have you whipping up a homemade moussaka, kleftiko and a Cypriot salad straight from the grounds of the stunning hotel that she owns and runs. Oh and she was totally cool with us stuffing the homemade bread with halloumi too, just for good measure.
If starting directly into a heavenly sunset over the Mediterranean Sea while you sip gorgeous wines is more your thing, Cap St. George is just the place for you. Think French Riviera vibes with incredible local seafood and a fantastic wine pairing menu .Oh and if you’re feeling spendy, you could always buy one of their villas. Anyone got change for £3m?
The Suite Life
The pure mention of a Cypriot getaway undeniably conjures up dreams about lazy long days on the beach as the sun toasts you a lovely golden brown, and granted this little island does that well.
But in terms of surroundings, Cyprus has whole other worlds to offer. We headed up the (very, very windy) Troodos mountains out of the Paphos forest to the Aristotelio Boutique Hotel.
Nestled in sleepy Pedoulas, in the highest valley of Marathasa, a lush night’s sleep in this ridiculously Pinterest-worthy hotel is just the ticket. Also a hot tub in your room is fun - WINKY FACE.
However, for those sun and sand worshippers that would rather stick to the Cypriot coastline, the island has plenty to offer in the way of insanely “make all your Facebook friends jealous”-level hotel.
The Pioneer Beach Hotel fronts right onto Pachyammos beach, complete with jetty you can cannonball off, a Baywatch style lifeguard lookout (and Baywatch style lifeguards for good measure), and presidential style and sized suites with views for days.
The Great Outdoors
If you feel the need to work off some of that halloumi heaven, then a short drive from the aforementioned town of Pedoulas is the Kaleidonia Nature Trail trek.
The 3km track is mostly downhill (or uphill depending on where you start, we know which way we’d go) and winds through trickling streams and lush forests, culminating in a spectacular waterfall at the bottom.
But if a cardio fix isn’t your health and fitness jam then why not head to The Yurts in Simou, located just outside of Simou village, which offer Forrest yoga sessions with a spectacular de-stressing view, and offers eco-friendly yurts for you to stay in, too.
Or why not embrace some Mills & Boon-style sunset horse riding for a truly romantic fitness hit. George’s ranch in Peyia have horses for all ability levels. Or for the more aquatic amongst you, we heartily encourage hopping aboard a kayak with Sea Kayak Cyprus, whose local knowledge of the best and most scenic cliff-jumping spots and cave hidey-holes ensures you’re spending as much time in the water as paddling on top of it.
Get Your UNESCO On
Cyprus is a country steeped in thousands of years of fascinating history, and this is evident all around.
Kato Paphos Archaeological Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site including sites and monuments from the 4th century BC to the Middle Ages. The preserved mosaics here are really breathtaking, particularly as they survived a 7.5-on-the-richter-scale earthquake in 1222AD that decimated most of the island. And unlike most sites like these around Europe, you don’t have to battle with thousands of people just to catch a glimpse of a surviving temple column (I’m looking at you, Pompeii).