This concept was at the very top of my to-do list. I wanted to recover some energy during my vacation, to forget about my daily life, if only briefly. Was 5 days going to be enough time to allow me to unwind? To think different thoughts, to get off the hamster wheel of duty and responsibility – in as uncomplicated a manner as possible – that was the idea, and my biggest wish.
This is where it usually gets tricky, as I only had a small window in which I knew I could leave. Moreover, I wanted to travel somewhere pretty distant, but also make sure I’d end up in a place with good weather. Plus, and that was also an important criterion, I wanted a direct flight to a place I’d never been before. If you live in Berlin, you know that these prerequisites can already make it challenging to find good options, as there seem to be relatively few direct flights to interesting holiday destinations. Fortunately though, we found a direct flight to Cyprus, exactly a the dates we needed. I had a quick check on Pinterest what the place looks like, and then we made our decision pretty quickly. We were going to go to Cyprus.
Finding a hotel was pretty easy as well, we eventually checked in at the noble Anassa Resort, which is considered the best hotel in Cyprus. The place really lived up to its reputation as well, offering the full princess program, making it easy for me to focus on the main objective of the trip: relaxation.
The plan was to spend our days at the pool or the beach, ideally to move as little as possible. There was only one catch: I am incapable of spending more than a day like a stranded whale on one spot. So we decided to mix things up a little – we were going to alternate days of lazing around with days of action. After 5 days of holidays I felt thoroughly relaxed, but also grounded, strengthened by good sleep. Most of all, I was incredibly grateful. Sometimes it’s simply necessary to flee from reality, to gain a wider perspective in which project XY can wait a little. It’s important to find a mental spot from time to time from which you see how pointlessly worked up you get about unimportant stuff. It is crucial that we allow our inner priorities to find a natural balance every once in a while.
Sometimes I am so caught up in my own thoughts, so engulfed by the worries of everyday life, that I forget to be thankful for the little things in life. I I am health, and I am privileged to actively choose my path in life. How many serendipitous circumstances did it take for me to end up at this island? I felt deeply grateful for all of them.
Our flight left Berlin at 6 am, which meant that even after four hours in the air we arrived at our destination early in the day. We spent the first day checking in, exploring our hotel, sampling the culinary delights on offer in the restaurant, lazing around a bit, and making plans for the following days. We confirmed an old truth that planning is best done on the beach, drink in hand, gazing out onto the sea. We also made sure to check the water temperature and depth that day. After a romantic first dinner we pretty much fell into bed straight away, starting to catch up on the sleep we so badly needed.
The first full vacation day seemed like a great idea to explore the island a little. We decided to go on a hike, to take in the beautiful landscape. One of the most scenic hiking trails is in Avakas Gorge, where you climb over boulders and pass a canyon. The trail is a little dangerous, and is recommended for hikers with at least a modicum of physical fitness. It is certainly worth it: we were rewarded with breathtaking nature, and entertained by funny, sometimes pretty world-weary looking mountain goats, which climbed through the canyons and seemed to find great joy in bleating at each other over large distances.
After all that physical exercise, we drove down to the coast to checkout the sea caves close by. Not only did we find impressive cave formations, we were also delighted to discover crystal clear water and lonely bays, which at more easily accessible locations would probably have been completely overrun. There are so many caves on Cyprus, and it’s easy to feel you are the first person to set foot in them when you’re by yourself.
After this full day we felt ravenous hunger, and cruised down to the next location, where we also checked out the shipwreck that’s stranded there since the 60s. The sight of this big ship fixed on the horizon is unusual per se, but it’s also a big highlight for experienced swimmers and divers to explore closeup. At high tide, and with suitable equipment, it’s possible to climb up ropes dangling down the sides of the hull of the ship. Being the scaredy-cat that I am, I didn’t dare to do that, though. Instead, I enjoyed my tasty lunch at Onori, with the ship in sight in the distance. By the way, Oniro means beautiful view, and I am happy to confirm that the place lived up to its name: the view was truly outstanding.
Relaxing & Spa
Why would anyone check into a luxury resort with a large spa area, if they weren’t keen on taking full advantage of it? Exactly. Said and done, day three was entirely dedicated to hanging loose in the sun.
We spent a few hours at the pool, had a full and extended lunch, I had a go at ping pong (what I lack in motoric skills I make up for in motivation), we even worked out a bit in the gym, followed by an extensive visit to the spa, where we magnanimously approved of the qualities of the whirlpool, the extra massage pool and the steam sauna. My verdict: 100 out of 10 points.
For dinner there was a huge Greek buffet with a wide range of fresh, local dishes, all set up at the large square in front of the church. I pretty much ate my whole body weight in food that day. But you know what they say: holiday calories are no real calories.
Did you ever steer a boat by yourself?
Well, neither did I up until that point. An unusual practice has it that in Cyprus you only need a driving license to rent a boat. You get a fast crash course on the most important rules, none of which are too difficult to take in, to be honest. So, off we went, boating! The route was set by the guys we rented the boat from. We started pretty much right at the hotel, where Latschi, the local boat renting company, has a spot, and ended up cruising to the blue lagoon. We had rented a 70 PS boat for the full day, and scouted for the most beautiful spot while boating along the coast.
The blue lagoon turned out to be a heavenly place, with some of the clearest, most turquoise water I’d ever seen, and lots of sun. What more do you need to enjoy life to the fullest? We gathered so many beautiful memories that day – memories that will nurture me for a long time to come. It felt almost unreal at the time. I think it may have been one of the most beautiful days of my life so far.
Fun fact: since I have a terrible panic of drowning and of all things swimming in the ocean, it was huge deal for me to dive down to the ocean bed while snorkeling. My fear is sadly too big for me ever to become a proper diver. But even that brief moment under water was a very special moment for me.
The next day we were ready for adventure again, and we’d already gotten the sense that there was no shortage of exciting things to do on Cyprus. We had cast our eyes on a spot called Bath of Adonis, embedded into the mountains. It looked absolutely stunning on pictures: a waterfall and a tree with ropes to swing into the water with. If we’re talking instagramable locations, does it get any better than that?
Well, what can I tell you? The spot itself was certainly as beautiful as we imagined, but the pictures we’d seen beforehand didn’t show us that, quite unlike many other locations we visited during our trip, Bath of Adonis was relatively crowded. Definitely no longer a secret tip. So, it was a bit more crowded than other spots, but it was far from unpleasant. A word of warning: getting there is quite challenging, and more than once I thought we were going to wreck our car. I mean, there’s a road sign that says “This Road is Good for All Cars”, but I have my serious doubts about that. I think it’d be a good idea to rent a quad for a day, the rocky road is perfect for that kind of thing. If you’re coming with a regular ride, make sure to schedule enough time and don’t rush it too much. Bath of Adonis is certainly worth the visit.
Fun fact: it is no exaggeration to say that I am mad about cats. Ever since I was little, I seized any opportunity I got to caress any cat in sight, and I still do. Having so many cats vie for my attention was a heavenly experience.
Not far from the beautiful waterfall, there’s Kilos, a picturesque mountain village you should not miss!
In Kilos, there’s a cat farm, on which many dozens of cats are being cared for, all of which are longing to be caressed by cat-loving visitors. A few meters farther there’s a beautiful monastery, set right into the mountain. A wonderful sense of peace and deep harmony with nature emanated from that place. Part of the building is literally chiseled into the rock, so the monastery is one with the mountain. It is surrounded by lush vegetation of all description, contributing to an other-worldly feel. It’s like you’ve been transported into a different time, a different space. Feeling grounded the way I did there was an almost spiritual experience in and by itself.
5 days in Cyprus are sufficient to leave your daily life behind and return home thoroughly recharged. It is in no way sufficient to properly explore the island.
While Cyprus is a relatively small island, with a surface area of less than 10 000 km², there is just so much to see there. It is a truly gorgeous place on earth, one of the most beautiful I ever had the good fortune to visit. It makes sense, then, that so much of Greek mythology plays out on Cyprus. There is something truly magical about this place. I highly recommend a visit, from the bottom of my heart. And as for me, I already know I’ll be back.
This post is also available in DE