Winter break in Cyprus

Half an hour into our Greek mezze, I ate my weight in authentic Cypriot food.

But as our grinning waiter Valentino cleared the bowls, he informed us: “You still have four more rounds to enjoy.”

The must-see is Aphrodite's Rock


The must-see is Aphrodite’s RockCredit: Getty – Contributor
This sprawling resort on the outskirts of Paphos is ideal for post-pandemic holidays, with spacious apartments and great villas for multigenerational groups.


This sprawling resort on the outskirts of Paphos is ideal for post-pandemic holidays, with spacious apartments and great villas for multigenerational groups.Credit: Alamy
As Valentino cleared the bowls, he grinned and informed us: 'You still have four more rounds to enjoy'


As Valentino cleared the bowls, he grinned and informed us: ‘You still have four more rounds to enjoy’Credit: All rights reserved

So after lamb chops, souvlaki and Halloumi ravioli, we weren’t even halfway through our seven-course party.

Luckily, our villa was only a five-minute taxi ride from the Pithari Tavern in the village square of Aphrodite Hills Resort.

Swimming at midnight

This sprawling resort on the outskirts of Paphos is perfect for post-pandemic holidays, with spacious apartments and great villas for multigenerational groups.

We traveled with SPL Villas and had our own three bedroom villa set in beautiful gardens with a private pool.

Swim at midnight, anyone?

Beautifully furnished, there was a bottle of wine waiting for us, along with a fridge stocked with eggs, wine, ham and juice. But this isn’t special treatment, it’s standard when you stay in a Superior villa – and you can claim the entire shopping list available there before you arrive.

After a peaceful morning of swimming and listening to crickets, we headed to the Clubhouse for a Cypriot party overlooking the perfectly manicured PGA National Championship golf course. As someone who’s only ever gone crazy in golf, I don’t have high hopes that I’ll be joining the pro team any time soon.

But after an hour on the field with Coach Rob, I found real enjoyment in swinging the bat and jumping for joy when a ball landed past the 100-meter mark. See you soon, Tiger Woods.

There are plenty of other activities, for all ages, at the resort. Tennis and soccer fans can take advantage of professional facilities and expert tuition.

The spa offers all the favorites and can be explored by the whole family on bike rides. Many teenagers can also rest with their parents at various children’s clubs.

My favorite activity is a riding lesson in the lovely, secluded forest of Lakkos Tou Frangou. The facilities, location and horses are top-notch and it’s a great experience, with both lessons for beginners and challenging rides for more advanced riders.

As someone who never calls herself a fitness fan, I ignored the raised eyebrows and rented a bicycle to get from the stables back to our villa.

This is not an easy trip. But 20 minutes later, I had crossed two steep hills and crossed a ravine to find my villa.

A cold, crisp beer is the perfect reward.

With a chemist, supermarket and even Costa at the village square resort, you could quite easily spend a week enjoying the villa and all the activities.

But on our first visit to Island we were keen to explore more – and it was very easy to rent a car directly from the resort.

The locals told us that if you want to get a real taste of Paphos, you need to visit the Old Town. So, after a 30-minute drive, we parked down a cobbled road and went for a hike.

Goddess of love

The narrow streets are easy to get lost in – especially when you stop to explore the bazaars filled with jewelry, craft workshops and local craft shops.

With rumbling tumors, we stumbled across the perfect spot for lunch. The Kiniras Traditional House, with its large red doors and authentic decor, caught our attention. There we enjoyed traditional dishes of kleftiko and stifado in a courtyard surrounded by trees and statues of Greek gods.

The narrow streets, neoclassical buildings and live music outside City Hall are enough to make anyone swoon – and we were mesmerized.

After a tour of the impressive ruins at the nearby Tomb of the Kings, we visited the wreck of the Edro III and watched the sun go down with a beer at Oniro By The Sea – a pretty Instagrammable restaurant spot. greater.

But the must-see is Aphrodite’s Rock, just ten minutes away.

The famous formation is said to be where the Greek goddess of love first appeared.

Swimming around it is said to bring you eternal youth and beauty.

Although I didn’t have the courage to take a dip, I learned one thing from the goddess. . . From now on, I’m going on a heroine-style vacation – by staying in a private villa.

A delicious Cypriot psychedelic food


A delicious Cypriot psychedelic foodCredit: Alamy
Writer Sun Siobhan sits on the saddle


Writer Sun Siobhan sits on the saddleCredit: Siobhan O’Connor
Impressive Ruins at the Tomb of the Kings


Impressive Ruins at the Tomb of the KingsCredit: Shutterstock
Villa's private swimming pool


Villa’s private swimming pool


COVINS: Fully vaccinated travelers do not have to take the test before departure or on arrival. SPL Villas’ Covid-19 Free Cancellation Policy offers refunds if your home destination or villa destination is locked seven days before the holiday begins.

OVER THERE: SPL Villas is a family-run independent villa specialist with villas in 100 destinations across the Med. Seven nights at Superior Villa Keri at Aphrodite Hills total from £1,405 or £234pp, based on dates selected in December 2021, and totals from £2,834 or £472pp for select dates in July and August 2022. Seeing

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Tom Vazquez

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