Rock of Ramios
Posted May 17, 2011
The gorgeous island nation of Cyprus will be a true highlight for those sailing on a European cruise on the Mediterranean Sea, as it offers a bit of something for everyone: history, culture, relaxation and plenty of opportunity for adventure. The port of Limassol, just an hour's drive from the country's capital of Nicosia, will be your jumping-off point for your day in the sun.
A trip to Cyprus really isn't complete without learning some of the island's history. Structures and ruins dating back hundreds of years boast a strong Greco-Roman influence. Visit the "House of Dionysus," named after the Roman god of wine. This palatial estate once served as the residence of a Roman governor when the island was part of the historic Empire. Another figure from Roman mythology, Venus, is said to have emerged near the Rock of Ramios, which is situated on the coast. Later in history, the island had an important role to play during the crusades, and you can tour some of the fortifications left over from this bloody era of history.
All of these historic rulers and people coming to the island have turned Cyprus into a fantastic place for those with an appreciation for the culinary arts. Visit a local tavern to partake in mezze, which is similar to the Spanish concept of tapas, or small plates. Calling the dishes "Mediterranean" is a great disservice - the island mixes influences from French, Italian, Greek, Syrian, Lebanese and Turkish cooking. The result is a smorgasbord of food and wine that compares favorably with any destination in the world.
Finally, Cyprus' stunning natural beauty is yours for the taking. Whether you prefer the leisurely catamaran cruise along the island's crystal waters or a jeep safari into the jungles, there are so many ways to enjoy Cyprus that the only problem will be choosing where to start.