It’s time to return to Cyprus, the beautiful island I called home for four years as a child with my own family!
To Cyprus. Or should I start, Dear Cyprus.
I’m not sure whether I’m writing this as a sort of love letter to the island I called home for four years (bet you didn’t know that about me!) or as a sort of open-aired therapy session where I long for a return to those care free days of my childhood. Whichever it is, I’m returning to Cyprus with my family after a decade absence (and 21 years since my family moved back to the UK) and this time I’m doing the island and my memories proud.
A RETURN TO CYPRUS
Our second family holiday with little Evelyn (now 14 months old – Faro was our first holiday!) saw us spend a week at the Atlantica Mare Village just outside of Paphos on the west coast of Cyprus. Back in 2002, as far as I can remember, this area was banana plantation territory but now seemingly the perfect location for this new five star hotel.
We hired a car through Regency Car Hire with a car seat so that we could explore some of the places that I remember so vividly from my childhood. Whilst ultimately quite tiring with a little one in tow, I’m already looking back so fondly on being able to experience re-visiting these places with my daughter and wife.
I planned two main trips (which I will no doubt produce guides for); one across to Limassol via the Old Road and one deep into the Troodos Mountains stopping at the traditional Cypriot villages of Omodos and Lofou. The trip to Limassol saw multiple stops including at my old secondary school and the road up to RAF Akrotiri where we used to live. It didn’t feel real to be stood outside a closed Aphrodite’s Restaurant where I spent my 12th birthday listening to the newly released Blink 182 album on my CD player and eating steak. As I’ve gotten older my memories are a lot hazier and harder to access but I’m hoping that this visit will keep them alive for longer. Maybe one day I’ll be able to return to RAF Akrotiri too where I spent some of my best years. Not many people will be able to appreciate just how much living abroad from the age of 8 to 12 (almost 13) influences you as a person. Yes I was only a kid but Cyprus felt like home and I think I’ll always have a longing to re-live those four years of my life. My aim now is to make sure that Evelyn has the best childhood imaginable.
Other than those two big trips, we spent the rest of the time nipping around the Paphos area searching out the best souvlaki, coldest bottles of Keo and the nicest views. If you only end up reading this post (and I haven’t finished any guides yet) then I’d highly recommend visiting Seven St George’s Tavern for a traditional Cypriot meze, drinks at Ta Bania, lunch at Oniro by the Sea and a walk around the newly renovated Old Town.
The holiday overall probably wasn’t quite as relaxing as I thought it might have been but I wouldn’t change anything about it at all!
Until next time Cyprus!