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Cyprus Vacation: Covid Cases Are Low And Quarantine Free – There Is No Better Place To Take A Break


Suddenly, Cyprus seems to be the only country left.

Coronavirus does not discriminate, but has largely spared the third largest island in the Mediterranean (after Sicily and Sardinia). Infections were minor after the Cypriot government restricted entry and exit in April and May.

"We want to ensure that visitors enjoy a safe, carefree and much-needed vacation after months of stressful isolation," Cyprus's Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios told the Mail.

Cyprus is a fascinating melting pot of cultures, cuisines and religions. Petra Tou Romiou is pictured in Paphos

Cyprus is sunny 300 days a year with temperatures around 25 ° C well into November. Brits traveling there must present a Covid-19 fitness to fly certificate (and proof of a negative test result) prior to entry.

While this may sound like a palaver, it was comforting to know that all passengers tested negative in the last 72 hours when I got on my plane in Paphos.

Cyprus is at the crossroads of three continents. It was discovered by the ancient Greeks and fought over by the Egyptians, Romans, Turks and even the British.

So it's a fascinating melting pot of cultures, cuisines and religions. The journey from east to west only takes two hours. You can be on the beach in the morning, explore Roman ruins in the afternoon, and escape to a rural village for dinner. Here is our pick of where to go …

CULTURAL PAPHOS

The former fishing village of Paphos pictured has an abundance of historical relics that have given the entire city the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The former fishing village of Paphos pictured has an abundance of historical relics that have given the entire city the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Cyprus has 403 miles of coastline, but the west side of the island is as much about culture as it is about the blue flag beaches.

No more than the former fishing village of Paphos, whose wealth of historical relics has earned the entire city the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Don't miss the 2nd century Roman mosaics at Kato Paphos – floor mosaics found in the remains of Roman villas. They depict scenes from Greek mythology (including Narcissus admiring his reflection in the water) and are amazingly well preserved. According to legend, this was the birthplace of Aphrodite.

The Greek goddess of love is said to have emerged from foam between two dramatic sea rocks near Petra Tou Romiou. Go early with a swimsuit and you can even bathe in this beauty spot without the crowds.

There are chichi bars and taverns in Paphos. At night, the Greek colonial buildings in the main square are illuminated

There are chichi bars and taverns in Paphos. At night, the Greek colonial-style buildings in the main square are illuminated

At least one evening should be devoted to exploring old Paphos, which has recently been redesigned. Start with a sundowner at Muse – a cliff-top bar with the best views in town – then take a stroll.

There are chichi bars and taverns in the Hani pedestrian street and at night the Greek colonial buildings in the main square (the town hall is a replica of the Parthenon) are illuminated.

TO ATTEMPT: Order a special Muse cocktail. The History One (that's Paphos, after all) is a mix of cognac, strawberries, mint and raspberry with a ginger ale kick.

How it goes

Luxury: Seven nights half board at the Almyra Hotel in October with Scott Dunn from £ 1,600 per person including flights (scottdunn.com).

Middle class: Seven nights with breakfast at the Constantinou Bros Asimina Hotel in October from £ 1,169 per person including flights (asimina-cbh.com).

Budget: Seven nights all inclusive at Louis Sofianna Resort in November with Tui from £ 426 per person including flights (£ 664 per person, tui.co.uk).

HISTORICAL LIMASSOL

Limassol Marina is filled with gleaming yachts and designer shops on one end and swanky beach hotels on the other

Limassol Marina is filled with gleaming yachts and designer shops on one end and swanky beach hotels on the other

King Richard the Lionheart married and crowned his wife Queen of England in Limassol's medieval castle.

This lively harbor in central southern Cyprus has a chic marina full of gleaming yachts and designer shops on one end and a strip of swanky beach hotels on the other. The Parklane Resort is particularly suitable for families with soccer academies in Rio Ferdinand for young people.

Atop the Acropolis of Kourion is an open-air theater with the best views in the world – an amazingly intact 1st-century Greco-Roman affair overlooking the Mediterranean.

In Limassol, you can try Commandaria, a Cypriot dessert wine (it tastes like sherry). The beach of Kourion is shown

In Limassol you can try Commandaria, a Cypriot dessert wine (it tastes like sherry). The beach of Kourion is shown

Channel your inner Peter O & # 39; Toole (he filmed Katherine Of Alexandria here) by standing in the middle of the stage and yelling. The acoustics are as good today as they were two thousand years ago.

A day trip from here to the Troodos Mountains offers a refreshing change of scenery. Be sure to visit Governor & # 39; s Beach, accessed via steps made of white limestone cliffs. Its sand is surprisingly dark green.

TO ATTEMPT: Commandaria is a Cypriot dessert wine (it tastes like sherry) that is native to the Limassol region.

How it goes

Luxury: Seven nights with breakfast at the Amara Hotel in October with Sovereign from £ 1,558 per person including flights (soweign.com).

Middle class: Seven nights B&B at Parklane in October with BA Holidays from £ 706 per person including flights (ba.com).

Budget: Seven nights with breakfast at Harmony Bay in October with EasyJet Holidays from £ 386 per person including flights (easyjet.com).

HILLSIDE HIDEAWAYS

The old streets of Omodos. Lace, embroidery and jewelry are sold in the bijou shops

The old streets of Omodos. Lace, embroidery and jewelry are sold in the bijou shops

You need to make sure that you can fly to Cyprus

Jo Kessel in Cyprus. As she got on her plane to Paphos, she said it was comforting to know that all passengers had a negative Covid-19 test within the last 72 hours

Jo Kessel in Cyprus. As she got on her plane to Paphos, she said it was comforting to know that all passengers had a negative Covid-19 test within the last 72 hours

Fit To Fly Certificates are available in private clinics across the UK. It is best to book in advance as the demand is high.

Travelers to Cyprus must also complete an online form (cyprusflightpass.gov.cy) within 24 hours of departure.

Cars can be rented from just £ 25 per day. Cypriots drive left.

A day pass for £ 7.80 allows you to visit as many archaeological sites in Cyprus (there are 12) as you can get within 24 hours. Seniors pay half the price and children under 18 are free (with ID).

No adapters required; Cyprus uses British three-pin plugs.

The first Olympic medal Cyprus won was in sailing at the London 2012 Olympics.

Cyprus is not just about water sports. It's also about winter sports. Mount Olympus is the highest mountain (1,952 m) and has several ski slopes.

On average, Cyprus only receives 40 rainy days per year.

Venture into the calm, rural interior of the island, where the foothills of the Troodos Mountains are covered with vineyards. Try five wines for five euros at the Zambartas winery and you will be spoiled.

If you continue inland you will reach Omodos, the most beautiful old white stone village. It is difficult to negotiate higgledy-piggledy sidewalks (top tip: don't wear heels) when you look at the lace, embroidery, and jewelry sold in the bijou stores.

In the heart of the village is the Monastery of the Holy Cross, which houses one of the most precious (and bloodiest) relics of Christianity: a piece of the rope that Jesus tied to the crucifix.

A short walk away is the Makrinari Tavern. If you order a meze, you can get moussaka, meatballs, Greek salad, tzatziki, olives, halloumi and more for 10 euros per head. If you are lucky, the owner jingles his bouzouki in the background.

TO ATTEMPT: George & # 39; s Bakery is known across Cyprus for its special Omodos bread.

How it goes

luxury: Seven nights B&B on Oinou Strata in October from £ 500 per person (oinoustrata.com). Ryanair (ryanair.com) London to Paphos return from £ 99.

Middle class: Seven nights room only in Arsorama in October from £ 357 per person (arsorama.com.cy). Look like above.

Budget: Seven nights at the Elysium in October with Home Away from £ 266 per person (homeaway.co.uk). Look like above.

AWESOME AYIA NAPA

The Adams Beach Hotel pictured is perfectly located next to Nissi Beach with a water sports center

The Adams Beach Hotel pictured is perfectly located next to Nissi Beach with a water sports center

Around half of all holidaymakers to Cyprus park in the eastern Famagusta district. The sea is warm; The turquoise water is so clear that you can see tiny shimmering silver fish swimming around you. The pearly white beaches look more Caribbean than European. Ayia Napa has a reputation for being a party resort, but it's easy to find quiet corners. Nissi Beach is the most popular with a water sports center on an island that is within walking distance.

The Adams Beach Hotel is perfectly located next to Nissi and has its own serene cove and waterslides, though they're not as daring as the rides at Ayia Napa's ancient Greek WaterWorld.

For a complete change of scenery, visit the city of Larnaca, 40 minutes away. Highlights include a stroll along the palm tree promenade, St. Lazarus Church and a number of salt lakes where flamingos are common from November to spring.

TO ATTEMPT: Earn dinner with a two-mile walk along the coastal path to the harbor full of colorful fishing boats.

How it goes

luxury: Seven nights at Villa Seashell (for 12 people) in October with James Villas from £ 1,790 per person. Wizz Air (wizzair.com) London to Larnaca from GBP 50 round-trip.

Middle class: Seven all-inclusive nights at Panthea Holiday Village in October with First Choice from £ 903 per person including flights (£ 992 per person, firstchoice.co.uk).

Budget: Seven nights and breakfast at the Adams Beach Hotel in October with Jet2 Holidays from £ 528 per person including flights (jet2.com).

YOUR CURRENT TRAVEL RESTRICTION MANUAL

The mystery of the travel corridor is becoming increasingly difficult to predict. After Danish infections surged over 20 cases per 100,000 people – the UK government's threshold for introducing quarantine – the Scandinavian country was asked to be removed from the safety list.

But Slovenia and the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe were instead dropped on Thursday, while Thailand and Singapore were added (although British tourists are currently banned from entering both countries).

Here's what's happening elsewhere …

Turkey

The country remains a great option for a quarantine-free, sunny break. According to Travel Supermarket, package tours are 19 percent cheaper than at this time last year, and temperatures hit a daily high of 26 ° C in October.

Spain

Spain is preparing for a second wave after recording 11,000 cases and 239 deaths on Wednesday – the deadliest day since early May during the lockdown.

Madrid is seeing the biggest increase: parts of the capital reach 1,000 cases per 100,000 population (the UK is currently 35.2).

Italy

Falls remain high but stable in the Amber Zone. The country is still on the UK travel corridor list but could be removed if cases creep in.

Greece

Mainland Greece remains under quarantine for tourists from England. As in Italy, cases remain high but are under adequate control.

St. Lucia

The depicted visitors to St. Lucia must stay in a Covid-certified hotel and are only allowed to leave the resorts on organized excursions

The depicted visitors to St. Lucia must stay in a Covid-certified hotel and are only allowed to leave the resorts on organized excursions

The Caribbean islands are our best choice for the winter sun. St Lucia is on the UK travel corridor list, has had no Covid deaths and only 26 cases since the pandemic began. UK tourists are welcome but must have a negative test no later than seven days prior to arrival.

Visitors must stay in a Covid-certified hotel and are only allowed to leave the resorts on organized excursions that include visits to rainforests, waterfalls, and hiking tours of the Pitons.

BA flies direct and return rates in October and November are just £ 392.

Antigua and Barbuda

The islands have had three deaths and 95 cases and are on the UK travel corridor list. Visitors must present a negative test carried out no later than seven days prior to arrival. Additional health checks can be carried out at the airport upon arrival.

Depending on the test results, authorities may instruct visitors to enter the government-provided quarantine, which may be charged a fee of £ 28.50 per night.

Seychelles

The group of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean had 140 cases and no deaths. It's on the UK travel corridors list but only tourists from low or medium risk countries are allowed to enter. The UK is currently not on the list of approved countries.

By Harriet Sime

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