What could be better, wine and holidays! Enjoy a lazy guided trip around the wine regions of Cyprus with today’s guest post.
With stunning beaches, gorgeous weather, friendly locals and picturesque scenery, it is hardly surprising that Cyprus is such a popular holiday destination – especially among those who happen to have a penchant for exotic wines.
According to the Cyprus Trade Centre, the island has a proud winemaking history that can be traced back some 6,000 years. Legend has it that Cyprus actually provided the inspiration for the iconic wineries that have sprung up in France and Italy over the years, so there is definitely something special about the place.
Getting to Cyprus is no trouble at all and you can find a selection of cheap flights to Larnaca and Paphos from numerous UK airports here.
If you are passionate about wine, read on for some tips on what to do once you land on the island.
Pitsilia Wine Route
You don’t have to be a wine expert to appreciate the splendour of the quaint villages along the Pitsilia Wine Route. This part of Cyprus is renowned for producing rich and full-bodied wines, which is mainly down to the fact the sloping earth forces the vines closer together, thus producing grapes that have a more intense taste.
You can also take a bike tour around the region, which is highly recommended – but not after a wine tasting session, obviously. The area is very easy on the eye, with the mountains providing a spectacular backdrop for the lush wineries and vineyards.
More wine tours for you to enjoy
The Cyprus Tourism Organisation has set up six wine routes across the island in total and you should do your best to complete as many as possible. As you travel around Paphos and Limassol, you will notice a number of brown signs that will direct you to various nearby wineries.
Not only is this a great way to broaden your knowledge of the European nation’s finest beverages, it will also give you an opportunity to take in more of the island’s magnificent sights.
Explore the history of Cypriot winemaking
The warm weather means Cyprus has never had a problem when it comes to growing the ripest of grapes, but changing fashions and tastes have caused the country to adapt over the years.
Although plenty of wineries still use locally-grown grapes, others have successfully managed to introduce foreign vines in the past 20 years, which have been used to make a range of well known tipples such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan Noir and Chardonnay. It is worth picking the brains of the local winery owners to see how they have moved with the times.
Sample Yain Kafrisin
The mountainous village of Platres in the centre of Cyprus has provided a home to the Lambouri Winery for more than 300 years. It uses fresh produce from one of the highest vineyards in Europe and has won numerous international awards for its vast selection of wines.
One drink you must try before your holiday ends is the Yain Kafrisin, which is one of the oldest wines on the planet. The Lambouri Winery is the only place in Cyprus that still produces this historic tipple.
Visit the Cyprus Wine Festival
Although this year’s event has now passed, wine enthusiasts can make sure their holiday in 2014 coincides with the annual Cyprus Wine Festival in Limassol. The event, which is usually held at Alexandra Palace’s Great Hall, features hundreds of stalls and live entertainment, so there is something to keep everyone happy.
Just a short distance away from the coastal town you will find the small village of Erimi, which is home to the Wine Museum.
Commissioned guest post