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MT 19 October 2014

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maltatoday, Sunday, 19 OctOber 2014 this week 38 What to do? Like Malta, Cyprus has a history steeped in religious activity and has some of the world's most beautiful churches with a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit Agios Io- annis Lampadistis Church, original- ly a monastery that consists of three churches, which all share a single timber roof. Originally built in the 11th century on the tomb of a saint, the church has been reconstructed several times through the ages. Panagaia tou Araka is considered one of the more important Byzan- tine churches on the island. Just outside the village of Lagourdera, the church boasts some of the finest frescoes of the late Comnenian style (1192), which prevailed throughout Greece, the Balkans and Russia. To be let in to they church, visitors need to be escorted by the priest, who can be found in the premises next to the church. The Tombs of the Kings are situ- ated close to the sea in Paphos. They owe their name to their size and splendour – some probably belonged to the Pafian aristocracy - not because royalty was buried there. They are rock-cut and date to the Hellenistic and early Roman periods. Some of them imitate the houses of the living, with the rooms (here the burial chambers) opening onto a peristyle atrium. They are similar to tombs found in Alexan- dria, demonstrating the close rela- tions between the two cities during the Hellenistic period. While in Paphos, visit the Petra tou Romiou, The Rock of Aphro- dite, a geological rock formation that is associated with the goddess of love and beauty. According to leg- end, this is the spot where the strik- ingly beautiful Aphrodite rose from the waves of the foaming seas and was escorted on a shell to the rocks known as the Rock of Aphrodite. Nothing beats Cyprus for a beach holiday. The clear blue waters come up onto a variety of beaches from golden sandy beaches to rocky coves, lively resorts and secluded bays. Take advantage of the water sports available. Try the waterpark for thrills or bungee jumping for the extreme sports fans out there, or discover the underwater world snor- kelling or diving in the warm, crys- tal clear waters. The steady winds and calm predictable seas make Cyprus the ideal spot to learn to sail or to windsurf or, with Cyprus as the starting point, for cruises to a number of different countries. Where to stay? Six acres of lush gardens await at Annabelle,, a family-run oasis on Paphos' Medi- terranean beach front. The bars and restaurants show- case traditional Cypriot fare, local dishes paired with local wines with live music almost every night to give you a true taste of Cyprus. Glitter- ing waterfalls ref lect the tantalising blue of the Mediterranean; swaying palms slow life to a blissful pace and languid days roll into leisurely nights with impeccable ease at this five star resort. Every room has uninterrupted views of the Mediterranean and the old fishing harbour of Paphos, guests return time and time again to experience the seclusion and highly acclaimed cuisine. Take advantage of Cyprus' fine golden sands and crystal clear wa- ters at Sunrise Hotels, www.sun- The hotel enjoys the most privileged beachfront location where guests can roll out of bed on- to the beach. Whether you are look- ing for the ultimate luxury hotel in Protaras or a quality self-catering hotel from which to explore the area, Sunrise Hotels has something in mind offering traditional cuisine and an unforgettable experience. Stamatia, www.stamatiahotel. com, is an ideal getaway for all. In the centre of Ayia Napa everything you need is just a few minutes away, whether it's the beach, shopping or wandering around the city. Amuse- ment parks are just a step away so the kids can be kept entertained all day long. From a more adult per- spective the nightlife in Ayia Napa is something not to be missed. Stama- tia is not a fancy hotel in terms of décor but if you're looking for family friendly value for money then this is the right spot. Where to eat? For traditionally Cypriot food try Pyrkos Tavern, www.pyrkostavern. com. The menu is meze style, suit- able for sharing though they also have traditional main dishes such as stifado (stews), aphelia (braised pork with red wine and coriander seeds), souvla (meat on long skewers cooked over a charcoal barbeque), sheftalia (pork or lamb sausages wrapped in caul fat, which is a layer of fat around the intestines, rather than regular sausage casing). The wine list is also traditionally Cyp- riot with a variety of local reds and whites. For a more up-market Cypriot meal, head down to Andria restau- rant,, located in Coral Bay in Paphos. The menu includes some of the lo- cal favourites with some exotic and seafood dishes thrown in for good measure. The restaurant is located in a family vineyard, passed down from grandfather to grandson giv- ing the restaurant a truly family feel. In the heart of Limassol's old town is the Columbia Plaza, Whether you're looking for somewhere to dine, to entertain, do business or spend a good night out in a trendy nightspot the Plaza has it all. International acts are regularly f lown in as well as chefs to provide the best quality gastronomy the island has to offer. How to get there? Emirates offer regular f lights from Malta direct to Larnaca in Cyprus. Flights departing from Malta on 30 October and returning on 6 Novem- ber were priced at €286.89, inclusive of airport tax, at the time of going to print. Sun, sea and culture Similar to Malta in its location in the Mediterranean Sea, cyprus is a great spot for a holiday with its beautiful beaches and clear waters. the island is rich in history with a number of uneScO World Heritage Sites According to legend, Aphrodite's Rock is where the Greek goddess rose from the foaming seas To see the frescoes at Panagaia tou Araka, visitors need to be escorted into the Byzantine church by the priest The monastery of Agios Ioannis Lampadistis consists of three churches that share one single timber roof The King of Tombs is the resting place of Pafian aristocracy

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