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Cyprus: Truly Aphrodite’s Country

On your Cyprus holidays, see the beauty that makes “Aphrodite’s Country” a fitting title for the island; visit the Medieval walls of Lefkosia and see the mark left by the Franks, Venetians, and Ottomans after centuries of occupation. For a taste of the Late Bronze age, visit the Maa-Palaeokastro settlement in Pafos, near Coral Bay, which is known for its defensive walls against land and sea.

Healthy and delicious can go together in this island – have some glyko, which is preserved fruit, and halloumi cheese made of sheep’s and goat’s milk; meze is a part of every festivity, with up to 30 local specialties, including sausages (loukanika), minced meatballs (keftedes), and octopus in red wine. They serve bread with dips such as taramosalata (fish roe), skordalia (potato and garlic), and tsatziki (cucumber) too.

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The Pitsilia Wine Route through Madari, Papoutsa, and Machairas is the road you definitely have to travel; this mountainous region produces rich wines because of its altitude and slope. For a rare treat, try their local Maratheftiko; the vodka-like Zivania and the oldest wine in the world, Commandaria, are not to be missed either.

There are lots of things happening aside from the dining and wining in Cyprus; Madama Butterfly is onstage at Pafos Medieval Castle for this year’s Pafos Aphrodite Festival. The opera will run from the 29th to the 31st of August. If you’re feeling bold, the Cyprus Shooting Sport Federation has organised championship games in shotgun shooting at the Nicosia Olympic Shooting Range; you can watch or participate in matches in Trap, Skeet and Double Trap divisions.

Cyprus' Kataklysmos (Flood Festival) celebrates Aphrodite, Adonis, and Deukalion, among others; children fire their water guns and play in the sea during this festivity revolving around water. Concerts are there for the adults to enjoy, as well, so get wet from the 14th to the 16th of June in Polis or Pafos.

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