Well I’m back in Blighty and back to normal…so now it’s time for a holiday review…..ooh yeaa! Well…Coral Bay in Paphos, Cyprus is GORGEOUS! My pictures speak for themselves non? It is perfectly serene, not too far from pubs and shops but not too close so that it’s bustling and busy. If you want to relax and embrace hotel livin’ for a while then this really IS the place.
As I don’t ever really opt for package holidays normally, I usually just wing it independently, I find booking them quite fun really. Especially because (as much as you may not think it) I LOVE how gloriously tacky they are!
I love the cheesiness, the OTT nature of it all and the fun eccentricities of the whole experience… the holiday reps, the awful europop music playing by the pool, HOTEL ENTERTAINMENT (FAVE bit!), the buffet meals, the swans made out of your towels – oh lord yes!
It fills me with joy because it’s just so much fun. I embrace it as the fantastic cheesy European wonder that it is; The Great British Package ‘Oliday. We love to spoil ourselves! And why not eh?!
Although, I do think there is great achievement found in picking a destination, doing your research and booking it all yourself; going for a trip where EVERYTHING is done for you can really be a welcomed break indeed. Pamper yourself luv! That’s what I say!
We opted for a half board deal, which I think is always a better option to be honest. If you’re going to be looked after, then breakfast and dinner included, makes sense to me. I think when you go all the way with Full Board – you loose your freedom to go and explore a bit. It’s great that EVERYTHING is pre-paid but it means that if you do want to go out and try some local cuisine in an authentic restaurant, then you end up feeling a bit guilty about it. And guilty is not what you should be feeling on holiday. No no.
First up on the list of things to see and do is the Tomb Of The Kings, is a burial necropolis (best word ever no?) dating back to 300 BC. There was no evidence royalty was buried there but the tombs are so impressive, the nickname just stuck. We felt like we were in a scene of Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider and had a lot of fun hoping from burial spots to caves to climbing points. It was a lot of fun.
We went on a few trips while we were there, which broke the week up nicely. Me and my mom aren’t really just lie-on-the-beach-for-week-solid kinda people. We’d be bored. So taking in the culture and history of the area on a tour was a perfect opportunity for us. We found a local travel agents and saw that there were lots of tours to do, so we opted for a coach trip to the Troodos Mountains and to the Baths Of Aphrodite. They were really great and very interesting, even though our tour guide was a very cynical New Yorker who clearly didn’t care for Greek Mythology (shocking eh?). Nonetheless I’m still a believer. Go GREEK!
Our tour of the Troodos Mountains took us up into Mount Olympus – the highest point in Cyprus with a peak of 1951 meters. We took in the panoramic views in Troodos Square and wandered around the quaint markets. It was beautiful!
We then travelled further up the mountain to see Kykkos Monastery. I’ve got to admit I’ve never seen so many churches and monastery’s in one week – I think I came back more blessed than I’ve ever been! These tours really celebrate the wonders of the Byzantine decorated churches and now, I truly understand why, they are so incredibly beautiful! So ornately decorated and full of amazing and often unusual religious relics. I’d say I saw at least 3 skulls belonging to saints…yup impressive I know 🙂
The trip to the Baths of Aphrodite was wonderful. I think it was my favourite trip of them all, as it was just so incredible to see this magical place. The tour guide irritated me however, telling us the baths ‘were not impressive and were more like a large puddle than a mythical beautiful spa.’ Well I was impressed. It reminded me of a mermaid’s grotto…
The water was so clear and the reeds hanging and fallen branches leaning over it, made it look so idyllic. I loved it.
My Life As A White-Trash Zombie, as daft as it sounds, is actually a really great, short read. It’s compelling, funny and reminded me of a CSI episode with a fun-twist. LOVED it!
Then there is The Best Of Everything, an incredible book which focuses on 1950s women all working in a publishing office in New York. It was featured in Mad Men and very much embodies the ideals of that show. Women desperate to marry, the woes of love and womanhood in a man’s world. I found the book wasn’t dated at all, a lot of these ideas and values still translate to today, It’s written beautifully and the characters are very relatable. I really recommend. Overall, we had a wonderful, indulgent, relaxing time. It was the special, quality time we were both looking for and it was great. I really recommend Paphos as a holiday destination but I would suggest, if you’re looking for peace, quiet and hot weather – then April/May or September/October would be perfect. Me and my mom would definitely go back there during those times. We booked with Low Cost Holidays and stayed at the Kefalos Beach Tourist Village.
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Love & cocktail umbrellas Em xoxo