South of Turkey, north of Egypt, southeast of the Greek Islands and standing alone with a pristine coastline, Cyprus is one of the best-kept secrets in the Mediterranean. The illustrious island mixes together a dozen cultural influences from various periods, meaning awe-inspiring historical sites are just as plentiful as its golden beaches and tantalizing cuisine. After all, this is the place where the Greeks believed their goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, was born from the foam of the sea. Traces of this gorgeous deity can still be found all over Cyprus today, be it at her mythical birthplace on the divine beach of Petra tou Romiou to the Baths of Aphrodite near the town of Polis, where she met her lover Adonis while swimming in the natural pools. Steeped in ancient legend and incredible natural beauty, the “Island of Love” dazzles as few places do.
Where to Stay
Overlooking the serene Pissouri Bay along the southern coast of the island, the Columbia Beach Resort shines brightly with its lovely Mediterranean architecture. Inspired by a traditional Cypriot village, the spectacular resort features honey-colored stone buildings, red clay roofs and archways that sit just moments from the sea. The 169 exquisite suites all boast panoramic views of the coastline and are decked out with lovely wooden furniture and hand-woven fabrics for immerse character.
The cozy yet luxurious feel continues to the marble bathrooms, with most rooms having a separate shower and bath. After some time spent on the private beach and a leisurely lunch on the terrace, the calming Hébe Spa is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. The award-winning facilities feature a stunning swim-through, indoor-outdoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna, relaxation areas and six treatment rooms for an unforgettable escape.
The best way to follow in Aphrodite’s footsteps and fall in love with the island of romance is onboard a luxury superyacht with an experienced crew to tend to your every need and show you the very best of Cyprus. Our favorite choice is the incredibly versatile 206.69ft (63m) M/Y 11/11. Built by Benetti Yachts in 2015, the vessel boasts a child-friendly design that’s perfect for a family charter experience, as well as ample entertaining spaces and a strong selection of water toys to satisfy adventurous souls.
The interior spaces have been tastefully styled by the owner’s personal design team in an enchanting neutral color palette accented with unique artworks by leading tastemakers like Tracy Emin and Hans Kotter. In total, 11/11 can accommodate up to 12 guests with two double and two twin suites located on the lower deck, a VIP suite on the main deck and the owner’s cabin on the upper deck. Other al fresco highlights include her cozy sun deck which features a second pool surrounded by pads and ample lounge seating for lazy afternoons spent basking in the warm glow of Cypriot sun.
Check out our 11/11 Charter Guide for a comprehensive breakdown of the superyacht.
Where to Dine
If you’re in the mood for a dreamy atmosphere over an exquisite meal, look no further than Ristorante Locatelli. The restaurant is one of the island’s newest additions at the ultra-luxe Amara Hotel and it’s headed by the Michelin-starred chef Giorgio Locatelli. The indoor dining room is sophisticated and intimate with cream-colored furniture and contemporary accents throughout, whereas the sensational outdoor terrace offers panoramic views of the coastline as far as the eye can see.
The kitchen looks towards Italy’s spirit of conviviality, in which excellent company is just as important as the quality of the food. It’s here you can indulge on refined Italian dishes, such as linguine with lobster and roast monkfish with walnut and caper sauce, with an added pinch of inspiration from the fresh Cyprus produce and ingredients.
What to Do
Paphos offers everything from ancient culture to the contemporary urban Bar Street. Through the centuries, foreign influence has given the town an array of interesting sites that range from Roman monasteries and Byzantine castles to Islamic mosques and Medieval baths. The Tombs of the Kings from the 4th century BC offer exploration of amphorae stamped by the manufacturer at an exquisite ancient burial ground. Elsewhere, Kyrenia is one of the busiest ports in Cyprus, attracting visitors with its vibrant nightlife and a wealth of cultural and art fairs.
The busy waterfront finds charming restaurants and shops overlooking the harbor, inviting an interesting land-based evening. Limassol is another busy, urban port, simply brimming over with a wonderful blend of Turkish and Greek culture. Try some of the local wines at the tavernas, and nibble the fish meze and various small plates for a culinary adventure, often from the sea. The city is no stranger to buzzing clubs and bars, giving guests the option of a glamorous night out as well. Cruise to the Northeast point and you’ll find the Klidhes Islands and a protected nature reserve, home to impressive and beautiful bird populations. This lovely archipelago reaching out from the Karpasia Peninsula will find you cruising through clear blue water, around undisturbed coastal areas.
Built around the city’s world-class superyacht marina, this exclusive community, the Limassol Marina is the place to soak up the city’s glamorous vibe. Dining and shopping opportunities are plentiful with everything from elegant fashion boutiques and waterfront cocktail bars to coffee shops and juice bars. Also on-site in the marina is a state-of-the-art luxury fitness center, Sanctum Spa & Fitness, which offers a relaxing sanctuary packed with excellent amenities to keep your body and mind in perfect balance.
What to Pack
If you’ve landed yourself a trip to Cyprus, get ready to be swept away to an island that will transport you in not only place but in time. Pulling its inspiration from the surrounding countries of Greece and Turkey, Cyprus offers a balance of a cultural experience of the past paired with the posh, modern lifestyle sophisticated travelers enjoy today. Exuding a playful summer feel, this chic Mister Zimi Abbie Linen Dress is perfect for strolling around the island under the Mediterranean sun. Pair the dress with these Marina Moscone Knotted Leather Sandals. Crafted from durable black leather, these sandals are equal parts comfortable and classic, ideal when you’re exploring ancient ruins or grabbing evening cocktails.