22 January 2018
Escape the stresses of modern life and find a true sense of wellbeing in Cyprus. Bathed in sunshine with a favourable climate, the ‘Island of Aphrodite’ is a magnet for wellness enthusiasts boasting the rejuvenating spas, calm beaches and healthy cuisine that’ll revitalise your soul.
Situated in the heart of the east Mediterranean, Cyprus receives year-round sunshine. The island has a pleasant climate, with dry hot summers which often last as late as October and mild winters, so you can come here to escape colder weather back home at any point of the year. There’s nowhere better to soak up that Vitamin D-rich sunlight and all the noted health benefits which it brings!
There’s nothing more relaxing than laying on soft sands in the sun, or taking a leisurely swim. As luck would have it, Cyprus has some of the Mediterranean’s best beaches, including 64 blue flag awarded ones. A top spot for sun-worshippers is Coral Bay; north of Paphos, this blue flag beach boasts sweeping golden sands, calm waters and relaxing sun loungers. To enjoy a coastal stroll head to Limassol’s Akti Olympion Beach, which possesses over two kilometres of silky sands. One of the best beaches for swimming is Fig Tree Bay with its warm shallow waters, while you can also go to the Blue Lagoon in Akamas peninsular, a great snorkelling and boating spot, if seclusion is what you’re looking for as this location is only reachable by boat or 4x4.
Maximise the restorative powers of nature’s most critical element – water – in Cyprus. Dip in pools across the island, from the exotic lagoon of the Annabelle Hotel in Paphos – complete with waterfalls and caves – to the palm-lined pool of the Four Seasons in Limassol, which comes with a jacuzzi. Ayii Anargyri Natural Spa Retreat near the village of Miliou is popular among wellness enthusiasts for the healing sulphur hot springs based in the local spa, which also provides everything from massages to physiotherapy.
For a truly unique experience book a session at the Anassa Hotel’s Thalassa Spa. A classic Roman-style thalassotherapy spa, this venue takes a holistic approach to wellbeing, drawing on 100% natural ingredients to provide re-energising treatments like a ‘green marine detox thalasso bath’, which utilises on healing sea minerals to soothe sore muscles. You can also immerse yourself in the island’s ancient mythology by submerging yourself in the ‘Baths of Aphrodite’ in Paphos – it’s said that the goddess of love and beauty herself used to wash in these placid cool ponds.
Cyprus is home to some outstanding spas. Retire to your personal sanctuary at the Sanctum Spa & Fitness at Limassol Marina. Here you can experience Ayurvedic treatments, ‘Golden Glow’ body wraps and facials and the ‘Sanctum Detox Package’ which utilises peppermint marine extracts to remove dead skin cells, as well as deep tissue massages. Another place to visit is the Aphrodite Hills Spa in Kouklia, where you can indulge in bathing rituals while enjoying healthy tonics or nutritional smoothies. The award-winning Azia Resort and Spa in Paphos is a standout, offering everything from ‘amethyst steam baths’ and ‘Elemis foot treatments’ to an infrared body healing sauna. You can also unwind in a Russian banya at the 3,000-square metre Kalloni Spa, a venue based in the five-star Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa which is due to open in summer 2018.
The health benefits of a Mediterranean diet are well-publicised, so by sampling Cypriot delicacies you can enhance your physical wellbeing. Some local dishes to try include ‘koupepia’ (minced meat-stuffed vine leaves, which can also be served vegetarian with a substitute for the mince), moussaka and a seafood stew called ‘fish meze’. You can also buy fresh produce at organic shops on the island including Health Basket in Paphos and Nicosia, which sells everything from rye bread to seasonal fruit and veg. Restaurants you should include on your itinerary include healthy café Olives & Burgers, which serves everything from grilled chicken and goji salad to falafel burger salad, while the Pyxida Fish Tavern which specialises in fish meze. One must-try restaurant for the itinerary of any foodie is Oliveto, where chefs draw on ancient stone-grilling techniques to cook succulent dishes like sirloin steak without using fat or oil, creating a healthier, tastier meal!