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Reasons to Visit Cyprus in the Winter
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, attracting more than 2,000,000 visitors each year. The island has something for everyone, including friendly people, a stunning coastline, a gorgeous mountain village, family-friendly resorts, marinas, a booming agritourism scene, world-class spas and award-winning golf courses designed by golf legends . On your business holiday in Cyprus, taste the tradition of Cypriot cuisine and follow the wine trails of the islands celebrating the 40 new wineries that have developed on the island in recent years. Six wine routes cross the island, taking in some of the best boutique wineries. Cypriot wine production dates back almost 5000 years. The warm waters of Cyprus are perfect for diving and water skiing while those seeking adventure can explore this beautiful island on trekking or bird watching tours.
So why go to Cyprus for your winter sun holiday? Apart from the fact that the holiday packages are at their lowest price at this time of the year, the following are just a few reasons why Cyprus is the perfect choice for your holiday during the winter season.
1. The average winter day temperature throughout Cyprus rarely drops below 20C which makes this the ideal time to explore the island and all it has to offer. With 340 sunny days a year, you can be sure to catch some rays in December and January. The island’s magnificent blue flag beaches enjoy high-teens sea temperatures during the winter months making it possible to take a dip on Christmas Day!
2. Christmas is an amazing time on Cyprus with ancient traditions and plenty of delicious Cypriot food. Unique in the region is the custom of hanging crosses wrapped in basil and sprinkled with holy water on the door of the house to ward off the kallikantzari (goblin-like spirits), which are said to cause harm during the twelve days of Christmas. The villages and towns of the island celebrate Christmas with magical processes accompanied by kalanda (songs) that have been handed down from generation to generation since Byzantine times. The main party on Christmas Day is held in Eleftheria (Liberty) Square Nicosia. Larnaca hosts one of the most dramatic services on January 5 when young swimmers dive for a cross that they return to the priest.
3. Winter is not excluded from the islands colorful cultural scene year. Concerts and events take place all over Cyprus, from local bands, choirs, orchestras, dancers and groups to Viva Verdi – Moscow New Opera in Rialto, Limassol. Eleftheria Square in Nicosia is the place to be to catch live acts with shows every day during the last two weeks of December with free entertainment every Sunday at the entrance to the Pafos Mosaics near the port.
4. The Cypriot people love their food which plays a big role in their Christmas celebrations. Christopsomo (Christ Bread) accompanied by dried figs, walnuts and honey are eaten on Christmas Eve with stuffed turkey, roast chicken and roast lamb traditionally served on Christmas Day. If you have a sweet tooth, you will love the traditional cakes, such as kourabiedes (a small almond cake covered in sugar glaze), melomakarona (traditional honey cake) and finikia (walnut cake). If you want a traditional British Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, you won’t be disappointed, as most hotels observe British traditions with traditional British fare and festive decorations.
5. New Year is an important date for families in Cyprus with January 1 marking the Feast of St. Basil, the regions equivalent to St. Nicholas. This is the main day for the present. The center of Limassol hosts some of the best New Year’s Eve parties, but most hotels celebrate in style. Visitors should celebrate the New Year in Cyprus with a piece of Vassilopitta (Saint Basil’s Cake) which is baked with a silver or gold coin to bring good luck to the person who finds it.
6. Visit Cyprus for pampering and relaxation. In recent years, the island has seen the opening of a number of high-quality spas and health farms that mix with the good weather all year round and varied terrain offer a great way to recharge the batteries. Intensive yoga stays and relaxing spa breaks along with indigenous Cyprus treatments, such as the chance to be immersed in the healing waters of Ayii Anargyri, will leave you feeling totally relaxed and revitalized.
7. Car hire is exceptionally cheap at this time of year giving visitors the chance to explore this amazing island under their own steam. The Cyprus Tourism Organization has teamed up with the Travel Foundation to create 6 self-drive routes that will take you to some of the most beautiful and special parts of the island’s hidden interior.
Just a four-hour flight from the UK, December holidays in Cyprus remain a popular choice of winter sun holiday with visitors from the UK andmost island last year can not be wrong!
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