Honeymoons in secret Cyprus

Honeymoons in secret Cyprus

There’s more to Cyprus than its golden Mediterranean beaches. From mountain biking to skiing, we uncover the island’s best-kept secrets for a romantic honeymoon

Cyprus used to be a secret. That is, until honeymooners and loved-up sun worshippers heard about a beautiful Mediterranean island, just off the south coast of Turkey. When planning a honeymoon, what could be better than year-round glorious sunshine and golden sands, home to Aphrodite - the goddess of love - herself? It's already a prime suspect for the perfect romantic getaway.

But beaches aren't all Cyprus has to offer. Emma Brisdion has gone off-the-beaten-track to find its best-kept secret spots and activities, to add a little more sparkle to your honeymoon...

Discover hidden beaches

Cyprus, or Kypros as the locals call it, is renowned for its beautiful Mediterranean beaches. In fact, the island is so small you're never more than an hour away from the sea! But instead of making a beeline to the bustling sands of Ayia Napa, head over to Cape Greco (pictured top) in the eastern corner. Here you'll find picturesque sailing boats, gently swaying in their moorings against a backdrop of spectacular rocky cliffs. Those who dream of an adrenaline-fuelled honeymoon can test their resolve and try their hand at cliff diving here.

It might not be a big secret, but we couldn't fail to recommend a trip to Aphrodite's Rock. Find it just off the main road from Paphos to Limassol, along the south coast. Legends vary, but it's rumoured that taking a dip in the crystal-clear waters and swimming around the rock can bring you good luck, love, or eternal beauty. And we think that's worth a go!

Take a stroll

They say the best things in life are free, so instead of hiring bikes or a car, explore the island on foot. To the west lies the stunning Akamas Peninsula. Home to many of Cyprus' endemic wildlife species - including the goat-like mouflon featured on the national flag - this 200 sq km plot of untouched rough scrub landscape is littered with azure blue lagoons and trails to suit all walking tastes and abilities. With so much to explore and many longer routes available, this is also the perfect place for mountain biking.

The Aphrodite Trail on Akamas leads you to the highest point on the peninsula: Moutti tis Sotiras (370m). Pack a picnic and spend your lunch gazing out over the breathtaking lagoons, so beautiful in fact, that legend has it Aphrodite used to bring her lover Adonis here for secluded romantic afternoons...

Explore on two wheels

Cyprus' mild climate makes it the perfect destination for cycling trips year-round. Whether you're mountain bikers eager to get off the grid, or road cyclists ready to tackle the hills, even in winter Cyprus has something for everyone. The longer routes through the undulating limestone valleys of the Akamas Peninsula are perfect for a sunny day pedalling past gnarled juniper trees and scrubby bushes around the craggy coastline.

Hit the slopes

You may not think of Cyprus as a destination for winter sports, but it is. For starters, head for the island's volcanic Troodos mountain range - home to the mighty Mount Olympus. In summer you can access its heights by bike, on foot or in your car, but in winter you can ascend in style on a ski lift, ready to swoosh down the mountainside on one of its four snow-covered slopes. There are few places you can ski on real snow in the morning, then find yourselves relaxing on the beach in the afternoon.

Try something new...

After a morning exploring the island's lost paths on two wheels, you might feel like taking an afternoon to relax. Can't agree on what to do? Well, the island caters for everyone, it seems. Ladies, why not stretch out your aching muscles and try outdoor yoga classes in the sun with local teachers?

Don't worry gents, you don't have to don the yoga pants too, in fact the island is littered with golf courses - try the Aphrodite Hills for a sea view, or the Secret Valley in Paphos for a championship course.

Get a private show

During the summer months, the Red Arrows train at RAF Akrotiri near Limassol on the southernmost tip of the island, so if your visit to the Limassol beaches or Akrotiri Bay is timed just right, you may be treated to a surprise training display by these iconic acrobatic jets - a unique addition to any honeymoon!

Getting there: Ryanair flies London Stanstead to Paphos from £105 return.

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Image: Dreamstime

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