Cyprus is without a doubt a beautiful Island paradise teeming with natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage. For most tourist however the only parts of Cyprus they get to visit are the major holiday resorts and places that the organized tours visit. As you may imagine there is so much more to this lovely country and you will certainly benefit from a scratch below the surface. Cyprus has had a turbulent history dating back to ancient times right up until the 1970s. In fact the country remains divided North from South even as I write this article.
For those who are prepared to look a little further than the main coastal resorts of North West Cyprus there are some real gems to be found. For instance only a few will have ever heard of the village of Kapparis. This small resort about 5K North of the busy sea side resort of Protaras nestles up against the border with Northern Cyprus. The main street through this little town was once the main coastal road to Famagusta. Famagusta now a “ghost town” lies in crumbling dereliction just across the border in the Turkish occupied North. Until the the Invasion in 1976 the town was the principle port and possibly the most prestigious holiday resort in the Mediterranean. With its miles of white sand and safe beaches Famagusta was the jewel in the crown of Cyprus.
All the towns and villages from Kapparis down as far as Ayia Napa are still known as the Famagusta area or Municipality or Famagusta and many Greek Cypriots that fled in the conflict still consider themselves refugees. Lots of the shops and businesses around the area will proudly display large photographs of the homes or premises they were forced to leave behind. Most of these people left with only what they were able to carry and the pain of loss has not diminished over time. When you speak to some of these people about the flight from Northern Cyprus you can’t help but feel their sense of loss and the mention of Famagusta still breaks their hearts to this day. Many still dream of a time when they will be able to reclaim the homes they have lost. Homes where families had lived for generations, past down Farther to Son in the traditional Greek way.
A few minutes in land is the bustling town of Paralimini with it’s beautiful square and main church. The square is a hive of activity with both trendy cafe’s and traditional Cypriot Taverna’s where the locals spend the warm afternoons socializing over a Cyprus coffee.
There are lots of shops if you prefer satisfying your need for retail therapy or you can just relax in the square and take in the atmosphere. Remember that Wednesday is half day closing so don’t arrive there on that day expecting anywhere to be open apart from the bars and cafes.
Kapparis itself has grown into a lovely little resort over the past few years due to the ongoing development of the Island. Many of the new homes that have been built around the village are now permanent homes for the English who love to retire to Cyprus. With the long summers and low cost of living the Island is becoming a top destination for retirees from all over Europe. The irony is that although one of the smaller and lesser known resorts Kapparis is becoming the center of activity in the Famagusta area during the winter months too. In fact there are more shops and restaurants staying open right through the year in Kapparis than in all the other resorts put together.
If Kapparis sounds like the kind of place you would wish to spend your Cyprus holidays there is plenty of accommodation available. With the rapid growth in the Cyprus property market you will have no problems finding a luxury villa or apartment to rent. There are also some nice hotels in the village and no shortage of bars and restaurants to enjoy. The beach is only about 3 minutes walk from the main street and there is plenty to entertain the whole family so Enjoy Cyprus!
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