Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and attracts just shy of one million British tourists a year. With 326 days of sunshine each year, mouth-watering cuisine, charming scenery and only a four-hour flight away it’s not difficult to see why the island is a popular holiday destination.
On offer to visitors in 2013 is a wealth of events such as:
Taking place every March in the Paphos area, the Cyprus marathon draws professional and non-professional runners from across the globe, incorporating three different distances – the marathon, half-marathon and the 10 km road race.
Starting at Petra tou Rominou – the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite – the race offers participants the chance to soak-up the panoramic views from the island’s rugged coastline with a large proportion of the course along the Paphos seafront. For more information visit www.cyprusmarathon.com
Easter is one of the most fascinating times to visit Cyprus. While the weather is warm (highs of around 18 degrees) without being too hot, the island’s rich religious and cultural heritage comes to the fore over a two-week period that sees the whole of Cyprus transformed into a buzzing celebration of both new life and ancient traditions.
Highlights include lively flower processions and colourful ceremonies, while food plays central role as mouth-watering feasts of spit-roasted lamb and delicious traditional cheesecakes and breads are prepared on key religious days.
Centuries-old ceremonies still dominate the two weeks and villagers across the island invite visitors to join their ancient customs.
Kataklysmos / Water festival
The annual Kataklysmos (Water Festival) takes place on the day of the Holy Spirit – 50 days after the Orthodox Easter.
Kick-starting the summer season, all coastal towns from Larnaca through to Paphos come alive over the bank holiday with boat races, swimming competitions, a series of performances by popular Greek and Cypriot singers and dance troupes, as well as the traditional chatista contest – an off-the-cuff repartee of rhyming songs in the Cypriot dialect.
Performed on the ancient stage of the stunning Kourion Theatre – one of the most spectacularly located ancient sites in Cyprus, which enjoys an uninterrupted backdrop of Mediterranean sea – the annual Shakespeare Festival is organised by the Performing Arts for Cyprus Charities. Performances take place daily throughout the month of July.
30 August to 9 September 2013
Limassol Wine Festival
The annual Limassol Wine Festival has been one of the island’s highlights for more than five decades, and is a chance for visitors and locals alike to take part the traditional custom of grape treading as well as enjoy free wine tastings of some of the region’s finest wines – such the famous Muscat and Commandaria grapes. It is also an opportunity to savour flavours of the local cuisine – such as the fasolia yiahni of haricot beans in a rich tomato sauce, accompanied with fresh onions and freshly cooked bread to soak up the delicious juices; as well as enjoy a variety of concerts and theatrical performances throughout the ten-day festival. www.limassolmunicipal.com.cy
Ayia Napa International Festival
An annual highlight, the Ayia Napa International Festival, is held in the monastery’s Seferis Square (Plateia Seferi), in the heart of the town. Bringing the community together year-on-year with traditional Cypriot music and folk dancing, all manner of concerts and an abundance of art exhibitions showcasing Greek legends, mythology and archaeology, it really does showcase an exciting alternative for this thriving town.