A few weeks ago, I was invited to join footwear brand EMU Australia on a mini adventure to the beautiful Paphos in Cyprus, in celebration of their new leather sandals and resort collection. Having explored so many different parts of Greece, I was excited to finally visit what is the ancient birth place of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty… (I mean, who wouldn’t!?).
After checking into the beautiful Almyra Hotel, situated right on the coastline, we hit the pool area (with an infinity scenario to-die-for) for the last of the afternoon rays…
All about those lace bell sleeves for summer…
Cooling mocktails and my go-to sunglasses was a must.
The perfect summer dress to just throw over a bikini, paired perfectly with these dreamy tan leather EMU sandals.
After some pool time action, we settled into the balmy Mediterranean evening, enjoying a local late night feast at Ouzeri. We hit the sack pretty early the first night, getting ourselves ready for a long day of exploring the more ancient part of Paphos…
But first, breakfast! I love a good hotel buffet, and the one at Almyra had a great selection of everything I love; all kinds of fruit, local greek yoghurt, seeds, honey and eggs… Perfect fuel for our long day ahead.
It was a hot and early start to our first day trip of exploring the island. After being picked up by Andreas from Eco Tour Adventures, we were off! The tour included visiting abandoned monastries, Aphrodite’s Rock, the Venice Bridges, hidden waterfalls, lunch at a local tavern and exploring some villages.
First stop? The Panagia Tou Santi monastery.
Panagia Tou Santi was about a 45 minute climb up into the mountains, and it was a magical, yet seemingly abandoned time warp of beauty with so much archaic history…
Although the remains of the monastery outside seemed somewhat forgotten, the inside was so vivid and full of life.
Wearing my favourite EMU Jacana´s – the perfect sandals to explore in.
The monastery was located in the middle of the mountains, surrounded by sloping hills and sleepy villages. The dry heat was pretty intense, so we didn’t hang around too long, but enough to get an impression of what parts of Cyprus must have been like in the ancient history.
With the lovely Emma.
Climbing even higher up in the mountains, with further breathtaking views of this scenic island. What really took us by surprise by this part of Cyprus in particular, was how quiet everything was. Nearly every village was either completely abandoned, with the younger generation moving to the cities with their families, leaving the average number of inhabitants to around 10-20… It was quite sad actually, but it didn’t take away any of the immensely picturesque beauty of the places.
We came across this quaint little restaurant on our journey, stopping by for some local Cyprian coffee, which just hit the spot.
These faces though… I just wanted to feed them up and give them cuddles.
After the coffee, we ventured over to the beautiful Venetian Bridges. There was a bride and groom having their wedding photos taken when we arrived (slightly awkward), so we tried to stay out of their way as much as we could whilst snapping our photos. This place was eerily stunning.
We were excited to take a dip in the Chantera Waterfall, which was the next stop on our agenda. Our local guide wasn’t sure there would even be any water, after a really dry winter and spring, but we were in luck! The perfect place to cool down.
Lunch time could not have come sooner, and we literally ran into this quaint little taverna upon arriving to the sleepy village of Lofou, ordering platters of local salads, cheeses, meats and fish.
We all inhaled this delicious and toasty garlic bread.
Lofou was another partially abandoned village, yet with so much mystery and history rich charm. If only these walls could talk…
Loved the fish scale effect on these walls!
We could have easily spent hours getting lost in this village, with its windy cobbled roads, hidden entrances and absolute tranquil peace. It felt like we were the only people in the village…
After exploring Lofou, we jumped into our car again, and set course down the mountain towards the sea, to enjoy the last hours of sunshine and an evening dip in the crystal clear Mediterranean ocean.
Miles and miles of mostly abandoned vineyards (which is a shame, as the Cyprian wine was so good).
One of the highlights from our day was stopping by this hidden sandy gem. After an adventure fuelled day, we all had an afternoon siesta while listening to the soft sound of whistling waves.
Sea and skies of clear blues – sand and rock with whitewashed hues…
Tune in next week for part two of my Cyprian adventures…