From cycling to diving — Paphos has more to offer than just beaches
THE Germans might get to Cyprus first this year but when we arrive we’ve been promised a sunbed.
Demos Chrysostomou, groups manager of the 5-star Coral Beach Hotel and Resort in Paphos, told The Sun: “Our first priority is the wellbeing, health and safety of our guests — our second priority is that our British friends get their own dedicated sunbeds.
“This is just one of the measures we are implementing, along with increased hygiene protocols and 48 hours between guests leaving a room and new ones arriving.”
Cyprus, which has had 975 Covid-19 infections and 18 deaths, is seen as one of Europe’s safest travel destinations for avoiding coronavirus after imposing an early lockdown.
Last week airports reopened to countries with relatively low infection rates, such as Germany, with Brits likely to return in mid-July.
Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said: “Over the last decade, we established the ‘sun and sea’ model, which can now serve as the backbone that allows us to go for more special forms of tourism.” There are many incentives to lure UK holidaymakers beyond the traditional summer window, with firms offering discounts on everything from horseriding to scuba-diving and husky-sledding.
We take a look around the popular resort of Paphos, to bring you our top picks for non-beach activities . . .
MARINE life on the west coast has flourished – due to less maritime traffic, fewer swimmers and a decrease in fishing – which means visitors to the Kalliopi Dive College are in for a treat.
With strict hygiene protocols, a five-dive package costs from £223 and includes kit, tanks and transfers to and from dive sites.
Until the season ends in November, the college also has a “Bring a Buddy” discount of up to 50 per cent to encourage more couples and families to dive together.
Good weather, idyllic scenery and challenging routes make Cyprus a go-to destination for bike enthusiasts.
Paphos-based Aspire Cycling welcomes some 600 cyclists a year, with Brits making up 40 per cent of its guests.
There are two cycling seasons to choose from – late February to early May and late October to early December – and bikes are cleaned and disinfected after each rental.
Pricing for a week’s tour start from £147 and the firm has a ride-for-four-days, pay-for-three offer.
GEORGE’S Ranch is a premier riding centre near the Sea Caves and caters to both beginners and serious equestrians.
It offers lessons and also week-long packages tailormade for individual riders, from £232pp (€260) to £285pp (€320).
As well as packages for experienced equestrians, novices can learn to ride or simply enjoy a sunset hack along the coastline.
Riders arrange their own flights and accommodation but staff are happy to help with their own recommendations.
For more information see georgesranchcyprus.com
CYPRUS gets enough snow in the winter for skiing holidays and husky rides.
Conditions for sledding are usually good by late December or early January, which is when you will find Ali Rhind and her dogs Dolce, Lulu and Dante ready for action on the spectacular wooded slopes of the Troodos mountains.
A 90-minute session for up to six people costs from £174 (€195).
As Ali spent many year in Afghanistan, she also offers a €20 discount for British military personnel past and present.
For details, email [email protected]
OVERLOOKING a rural valley outside Simou village, you’ll find three Mongolian yurt tents offering an off-the-grid, ecological bnb experience.
With panoramic views of the Cypriot countryside, the Yurts in Cyprus site is ideally situated for winery tours, hiking holidays or stargazing.
And to help Brits feel welcome once travel restrictions are lifted, owner Pawel Sikorski is offering a free bottle of Cypriot wine, and Yorkshire tea.
Pricing starts from £80 (€90) for one night and from £530 (€595) for a week.
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