We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Ann Marie, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Ann Marie lives in the United States, and submitted the following report about Cyprus. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Greek, Turkish, English
Reasons to Visit Cyprus
The entire island of Cyprus has layers of history that make it an interesting destination. It has hosted waves of visitors through the centuries, all of whom have left their influence in the food, the architecture, and the ancient sites. It is even rumored to be where Aphrodite emerged from the sea.
Nicosia is the sole remaining divided capital in the world. It is easy to cross on foot from the north to the south and vice versa for Canadian, US, and European passport holders. The northern walled part of the city is old and atmospheric with a Turkish feeling that recalls Istanbul; the southern part of the city is cosmopolitan and European in feel, similar to Athens or a southern Mediterranean city.
The Republic of Cyprus in the south uses the euro and is easy to get around. Owing to the good roads and signage, I drove myself through the Troodos Mountains to see the UNESCO churches, which I highly recommend. They were historic, spiritual, and house beautiful frescoes.
Paphos, in the southwestern corner, has some of the most beautiful mosaics in their natural setting that I've seen. I highly recommend this UNESCO site, too. Kourion, on a high bluff over the sea, has more ruins and mosaics in a stunning location.
The Turkish north has a different feel than the south and is worth seeing as well. Kyrenia is a small city on the northern coast that has a pleasant harbor where you can eat some Turkish food and watch the boats. Bellapais Abbey is a very picturesque old monastery and is easy to get to from Kyrenia. Old Nicosia contains Buyuk Han, an old caravanserai and nice spot to shop for good handicrafts, and Arabahmet, the old Arab district, which contains traditional architecture and is interesting to walk around.
In short, the island offers history, culture, food, and easy travel. The people and weather are warm and the costs are reasonable.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)