The beautiful island of Cyprus lies at the crossroads of three continents – Europe, Africa and the Middle East, but officially resides in the far south-east of Europe. However at just a hop, skip and jump from Turkey, Egypt and Syria on the mainland, you can bet that it’s super-hot throughout the summer, with average temperatures of over 30C! It is tinged with exotic mysticism (it was home to Aphrodite, goddess of love) and has bags of ancient history, romance and culture. It also boasts a plethora of gorgeous beaches, of which 50 have Blue Flag status.
Cyprus is a mixed bag, with the south half of the island once belonging to Greece and the north half belonging to Turkey. But despite its chequered past it’s now very much a tourism Mecca, offering championship golf courses, inviting beaches, perfect warm blue seas and breathtaking mountain trails to explore. And for foodies, pretty much everywhere you can find a great meze of stuffed vine leaves, grilled meats, fish, hummus and the king of barbeque cheeses – halloumi. A traditional Cypriot meze feast typically involves eating at least five delicious courses, presented in stages throughout the evening – and with the combination of Greek and Turkish influences you’d expect nothing less!
Holidays to Cyprus have always been popular, as it’s such a great option for couples (escape to Aphrodite’s pool), families (head to the sheltered south-westerly beaches of Coral Bay or Agos Georghios) and friends (visit Ayia Napa for hedonistic clubbing if you dare) wanting guaranteed sun at the outer edges of Europe. What’s more, just last week British Airways added a new direct service to Larnaca on Cyprus’s south coast, from Gatwick. The three times a week service will start from 30 June, which is great news as Cyprus’s south coast is at its best in early summer.
Peter Simpson, British Airways director Gatwick, said: "Cyprus is a firm favourite with British holidaymakers and expatriates alike, and we're sure families will make the most of our new service to Larnaca when it starts.” Holidaymakers to Cyprus can also benefit from BA's existing twice weekly Paphos service from Gatwick until 29 November.
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