Summer season is almost upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means we're dreaming of sandy beaches and azure waters — exactly what comes to mind when you think of a Mediterranean island. A time of bliss, spent at a beachfront resort, a week of utter relaxation, mixed in with some fragrant wine and indulgent eating. Lovely ... but predictable.


What if we told you that you can visit one Mediterranean island this year with a difference? That you could take part in a world-class entrepreneurial conference at a five-star beach resort and stay at a traditional guesthouse miles away from the beach? That you could skip the water sports or combine them with such exotic events as the Rose Festival? And all this in just one week — combining business with pleasure, indulging your desires for experiences both #authentic and luxe. 


Cyprus' Mountain Gems


We've previously told you about Cyprus’ many gorgeous beaches. However, the beauty of the island is that a 20-minute drive takes you into an entirely different environment. Mountain ranges, canopies of evergreens and waterfalls await you in the Troodos region, easily accessible either from the capital of Nicosia or the beaches of Limassol. 

 

Natural Wonders

Visit the Caledonian waterfalls or take a short drive to Olympus to see Cyprus’ highest point. The latter serves as a ski resort in winter but is full of excellent hiking and biking routes in the summer. Cross over the highest mountain peaks and explore the sanctuary of mouflons, nearly extinct wild sheep native to the island.

Mouflon enclosure, Paphos Forest, near the Stavros tis Psokas Forest Station, Paphos district

 

Man-Made Wonders

Kykkos Monastery via Website


Nestled in the mountains is the Berengaria Hotel, which is draped in mystery and, according to legend, haunted by ghosts. Take a tour now; it's slated for redevelopment, so there's not much time left to hear stories that will make your skin crawl — while you also imagine the decadence enjoyed by Europe's jet set during the hotel’s prime years.

Prodoromos 4840, Cyprus


While in the area, drive toward Paphos (Pafos) and tap into your spiritual side by visiting Kykkos Monastery. The building is a testament to the grandeur of Byzantine architecture, offering a beautiful place to contemplate the mysteries of life.

Marathasa Valley, 13km from Pedoulas village, Cyprus. +357 22 942 435; kykkos.org.cy

 

The Finer Things in Life

Casale Panayiotis Hotel via Website


In the mountains of Cyprus there's much to do for the nature lover and those who appreciate the good life. You don't have to sleep in a tent to appreciate the crisp air and chirping birds.

If you want a little distance from nature's majesty, you can make Casale Panayiotis Hotel your home for a night. Tucked away in the Nicosia region of the mountains, in the 
picturesque village of Kalopanayiotis, it is quite a drive from the seaside resorts.

Whether or not you stay overnight at the hotel, tantalize your senses at the Myrianthousa Spa, which comes complete with a snow room, possibly the best massage money can buy and views of cliffs that you can enjoy from the floor-to-ceiling windows of the pool room.


Markou Drakou 80, 2862 Kalopanayiotis​, Nicosia, Cyprus. +357 22 952444; casalepanayiotis.com

 

In Vino Veritas

Zambartas Wineries via Website


Cyprus is home to some excellent wineries not far from the seaside towns, comfortably hugging the mountains. Exploring the wineries can make for an exciting afternoon whether you're alone or with a group, but do book well in advance.

The award-winning Zambartas Wineries has some excellent rosés and is near one of Cyprus’ most charming villages, Lofou. The family-run business offers short 30- to 60-minute personalized tours and tastings.


39 Grigores Afxentiou street, 4710 Agios Amvrosios, Limassol, Cyprus. +357 25 942424; zambartaswineries.com

Apokryfo Hotel is another local gem just a short drive from Lofou. Explore this award-winning traditional guesthouse with a twist, selecting a suite that's luxuriously appointed with high-thread-count sheets and exclusive interior design items, and imbued with an ambience so tranquil you will want to relocate. If you're traveling with a group, check into the plush Schoolmasters' House, which sleeps up to nine people when combined with the Gatehouse property. 

Lofou, Limassol, Cyprus. +357 25 813777; apokryfo.com

 

Spring Events

Cyprus is more than just a beach getaway, both in the high season and off-peak times of year. Numerous festivals, world-class music and professional events, and more await you in spring. However you schedule your travel plans, you can catch some of these events this spring.

 

Mixing Business with Pleasure

Elysium Hotel via Website


If you'll be in Cyprus in May, you may be lucky enough to catch a business development event that is unprecedented on the island. It attracts world-class talent from across the globe, takes place in a five-star resort and is appropriately aimed at women entrepreneurs (this is the island of Aphrodite’s birth, after all!).

The Creative Women Conference, happening May 4-7 in Paphos, is a weekend of workshops and seminars dedicated to women professionals and entrepreneurs (full disclosure: this author is one of the speakers). More than 20 multicultural speakers, most of whom have achieved international acclaim, will impart wisdom in keynotes and panel discussions. The event also includes yoga workshops, beach meditations and a gala dinner with classical ballet dancers.

Set in the recently renovated and stunning Elysium Hotel in Paphos, the conference allows for excellent opportunities to grow your community and business. You could be networking in elegant and relaxing settings, enjoying a remarkable string of social events. 

Queen Verenikis street, 8107 Paphos, Cyprus. +357 26 844444; elysium-hotel.com

 

Local Traditions

Cyprus is truly the land of festivals. There are wine festivals, flower festivals, water festivals (loosely linked to the Old Testament, believe it or not), music festivals and more all year long. 

May is an excellent time to catch the massive flower parades that grace the main roads of all major cities and key villages in Cyprus. This is the celebration of spring, aptly named Flower Festival that is central to island life. If you want something more specific, visit Agros village for the annual Rose Festival, where you can watch, taste and smell all things rose flavored and scented to your heart’s content.

And that’s how you spend a week in Cyprus without lazing around on the beach (unless you want to). This spring you can learn and explore new things on the island and find out about authentic Cypriot life.


Rose Festival, May 13, 14, 20 & 21. Agros, Limassol District, Cyprus


By Bella Sovmiz

Bella Sovmiz is a bilingual Russian-born blogger who resides on the sunny island of Cyprus. She writes for a variety of online publications and is the creator, contributor and editor of The Other F-Word blog, which brings fashion, travel, lifestyle and beauty under one roof. An avid traveler, Bella loves to share all things entertainment and culture from her many urban escapes.