On the Gourmet Trail. Cyprus: Souvlaki

Our recipe for delicious Souvlaki, from Cyprus, is delightfully simple yet wonderfully tasty! Easy to make at home or in the comfort of your villa, this dish will please everyone.

Ingredients

3 sweet pointed peppers

4 sprigs fresh mint, leaves picked

1 small bunch fresh dill, chopped (stalks and all)

red wine vinegar

Greek extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon, to serve

For the kebabs

800 g higher-welfare leg of pork, shin if you can get it, cut into 2cm chunks

1 tablespoon dried mint

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 lemon, juice of

100 ml good-quality olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

For the Tzatziki

½ large cucumber

200 ml fat-free natural yoghurt

1 small clove garlic, peeled

1 heaped teaspoon dried mint

1½ teaspoons red wine vinegar

 

Method

1. You can use wooden or metal skewers, but if you choose wooden, soak them in a tray of water to stop them burning. Put all the kebab ingredients into a bowl and mix it all together.  Cover with clingfilm and put the bowl in to the fridge, allowing the meat to marinade, anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours. The longer you leave it, the better it will taste!

2. Take the peppers and blacken them, either by putting them straight on to a barbecue or in a hot, dry griddle pan.. Keep turning them until the go black, then let them cool before removing the skin.

3. To make the tzatziki start by grating the cucumber into a sieve, which should be over a bowl. Add a pinch of sea salt and then strain out as much water as much. In a clean bowl add yoghurt to the cucumber, then using a pestle and mortar mash the garlic with a good pinch of salt until you have a paste, and spoon that into the bowl with the cucumber. Add the dried mint and red wine vinegar and mix really well.

4. Put the meat on to the skewers and add them to the hot griddle pan or barbecue for about 10 minutes. Turn the skewers every couple of minutes to ensure the meat is cook properly.

5. Add the peeled peppers to the mint leaves, which should be finely sliced, put them in a bowl along with the dill. Add 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar, a pinch or two of salt and black pepper and a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Mix all of the ingredients together. Toss and mix together, then have a taste to check the balance of flavours. Cut your lemon into wedges.

6. Your Souvlaki is now ready to enjoy! Take the meat off the skewers, mix in with the pepper mixture and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Floral Themed Villas

To celebrate the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 we decided to dig out some of our floral inspired villas and share a bunch of our favourites with you.

 

Villa Poppy, Polis, Cyprus

Situated in a fantastic central location, just 900 yds from the beach, is Villa Poppy. Ideal for couples and small groups, this 2 bedroom villa is spacious inside and out and is the ideal place for a relaxing week or two in the sun.

poppy_914_villa1e_w4

Villa Daisy, Lagos, Algarve

Part of our Very Villa Plus programme is the daintily named Villa Daisy. With 4 bedrooms, sleeping up to 9 people, you’ll have plenty of room for all the family. Enjoy your private, heated swimming pool and impressive garden space during your Villa Plus holiday in Portugal.

Daisy

Villa Lavanda, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote

Just a 20-minute walk from the centre of Playa Blanca is Villa Lavanda. With 3 bedrooms, bright and airy rooms and a private, heated pool you have everything you need for your dream holiday this summer.

Lavanda

Villa Rosemary Sostis, Agios Sostis, Zante

This centrally located, 2-bedroom property is Villa Rosemary Sostis. Situated just 500 yds from the beach, the villa is also close to the waterside restaurants and mini markets. Enjoy the privacy of your villa, with heated pool, or use it as a base to explore the island. The choice is yours!

Rosemary Sostis

Villa Lotus, Porec, Croatia

Nestled in the countryside is Villa Lotus, an ideal choice for those looking for a relaxing holiday away from the hustle and bustle of a busy resort. The property had a landscaped garden, perfect for sunbathing in after a refreshing dip in the pool.

Lotus

Villa Jazminez, Marbella, Costa del Sol

This delightful 3-bedroom property is Villa Jazminez. Set amongst a mature, private garden, you’ll have a private pool, al fresco dining area and plenty of privacy.

Jazminez

Which of these villas would you pick? Let us know in the comments below

 

By Maddy Morgan

 

Cyprus cycling routes: best routes for villa holidaymakers

If you’re wanting an active getaway complete with sun, sea and stunning sights, then you can’t go wrong with Cyprus. Alongside this Mediterranean gem’s vast beaches and cultural spots, it has an array of cycle routes that make Cyprus cycling holidays perfect for both adventure seekers and riders content to trundle along at their own pace.

To really make the most of your Cyprus cycling holiday, consider staying in a holiday rental. This’ll give you the option to prepare food in advance before heading out on a big ride, and at the end of a long day’s cycling it’s always nice to put your feet up by a heated pool

The island’s compact size means it’s not hard to get from one side to the other. Explore Cyprus’ shore-spanning allures and check out some of these routes…

Through Athalassa National Forest Park

You’ll find this verdant park to the south of the island’s capital, Nicosia, or Lefkosia as it’s also known. A 10-mile cycle route runs through the park, suitable for most abilities, making it popular amongst locals and tourists seeking a bit of fresh air and exercise. Make a delicious picnic from your holiday rental, then stop by the park’s lake and dig into it once you’ve worked up an appetite.

Along Pedieos river

Southeast of Nicosia lies the suburb of Lakatamia. Saddle up, then cycle for five miles along the banks of the Pedieos river, starting in Lakatamia and finishing at the Presidential Palace on the outskirts of the capital. This is an easy, smooth and scenic route that’s perfect for young families looking to discover Cyprus. It takes a little short of two hours to get here from Paphos and Coral Bay, making this a perfect daytrip for anyone staying on the west of the island.

Beside the Limassol coastline

After tranquil sea views? Then try out this cycle route near the city of Limassol. Start at the old port and follow the coast towards the ancient city of Amathus, which is now an archaeological site. The route is paved, making it smooth and suitable for road bikes as well as hybrid and off-road models. Near to the site at Amathus, you’ll find a eucalyptus grove and beach area ideal for a picnic.

From Larnaka to Meneou

Step up your endurance game and cycle from Larnaka to Meneou. This enjoyable 11-mile cycle route starts at Larnaka’s main beach, running south past the city’s castle and popular Mackenzie beach, before joining the airport road and heading to the historic Hala Sultan Tekke mosque. From here the route continues round the airport to Meneou village.

From Paphos to Troodos

Endurance cyclists might be after something which’ll really get the gears working. This route from Paphos to the small town of Troodos is aimed at proficient riders, and is wholly rewarding if you’re up to the challenge. From Paphos Castle, head southeast along the coast until you reach the village of Mandria. Once you’re there, take the old Lemesos-Paphos road towards the Diarizos Valley. Continue southeast, past Psilo Dendro and towards Troodos.

Check out Villa Plus properties on the island and set the wheels of your cycling getaway rolling…

By Isabella Perkins, a freelance travel writer best known for writing about self-catering holidays. Her writing tends to have a family focus, and she is in the middle of writing a new travel guide due to be published next year.

Best Mediterranean places to visit for cycling holidays

There’s something idyllic about cycling along a clifftop track while the sea gently crashes beneath you. Apart from that and the whizz of your hubs, the world seems mysteriously quiet. It’s moments like this that make cycling holidays in the Mediterranean region so appealing.

Between Spain’s Costa del Sol and Cyprus’ eastern shores you’ll find some of the best Mediterranean places to visit for cycling holidays. Here are a few that any cyclist should tick off.

Spain – Costa del Sol

Like the name suggests, Spain’s Sun Coast largely makes for brightly-lit rides which, depending on when you visit, can get a little hot, so bring a hydration pack! One such Costa del Sol cycle starts from the small hillside town of Mijas.

Study a few maps then make for La Cala Golf Course, a popular spot for golfers that’s south of Mijas. The route entails a mixture of arid single-track and two-lane roads, suited to either hybrid bikes or cross-country models. Like all great bike rides, it’s a mixture of ups, for a challenge, and downs, which leave you with a little more time to enjoy the stunning Andalusian views. Once you get to the river near the golf course, stop for a picnic, made up from the kitchen of your self-catering holiday rental, then prepare to do it all again on your way back to Mijas.


Image by Antonio, used under CC License (CC by 2.0)

Spain – Costa Blanca

Many professional cycling teams use the Costa Blanca as a training hub in the winter. The smooth surfaces here appeal to road cyclists who thrive on gradual climbs, speedy descents and flat stretches.

One of the most renowned climbs in the region is known as the Coll de Rates. You can easily access it from nearby towns, like Javea and Calpe. From Coll de Rates, make your way to the village of Parcent, where the route starts off with a light incline until you reach the summit. Soak up the verdant views of the surrounding region then replenish with a refreshing drink and get ready for a leisurely cruise back down.


Image by Phillip Capper, used under CC License (CC by 2.0)

Greek islands – Crete

If you’re ever struggling to tackle a Greek hill, promise yourself a big platter of mezes when you finish your ride to spur you on. Other than the end-of-ride meal, however, Greek island cycling makes for unbeatable holiday memories on routes you’ll always remember, many of which are found on Crete. A lot of Cretan roads are large and quiet, too, resulting in a wholly tranquil experience when you’re speeding across the island.

While it’s perfectly easy to trundle along these roads at your own pace, a real test of endurance is to brave the near-90km journey from Chania through the inland hills to the stunning village of Kallikratis. From here you’ll be able to see much of the island’s enticing coastline. Make sure you bring a camera, then capture the moment with a panoramic shot which’ll always remind you of your Crete cycling holiday. If you don’t fancy doing it over again, though, get a holiday companion to drive over and take you back to your villa rental.


Image by Andy Montgomery, used under CC License (CC by 2.0)

Cyprus – Paphos

Cyprus serves cyclists a selection of island routes for many different preferences. The city of Paphos and the surrounding resorts of Coral Bay are home to road and off-road paths suited to everyone from the everyday commuter to the endurance junkie who craves another fix of kilometre-rich coastal roads.

For a real challenge, cycle into the Troodos mountain range from Paphos. The journey itself is roughly 65 kilometres and is mostly downhill, making for a highly enjoyable and breezy trip. It’s suited to both road and off-road cyclists – just make sure your trusty steed is fitted with a good set of brakes for when you need to stop!

Take the time to soak up gorgeous Cypriot views, like that of the Diarizos river, which you’ll encounter along the way. It’s the fourth largest river on the island, although every twist and turn makes for a serene spot for a sandwich and a bottle of water. Failing that, you can always dip your feet in the river to help cool off before hitting the road again!


Image by Tomasz Huczek, used under CC License (CC by 2.0)

Mediterranean destinations have all the right ingredients for a cycling holiday – sun, scenery and a fair whack of sandy strips where you can put your feet up after a long day of pedalling!

Thinking about bringing your beloved bicycle on your next getaway? Here’s how to go about taking it onto an aeroplane.

By Isabella Perkins, a freelance travel writer best known for writing about self-catering holidays. Her writing tends to have a family focus, and she is in the middle of writing a new travel guide due to be published next year.

Good snorkelling holidays for villa-loving travellers

Holiday rentals provide the perfect basecamp for snorkelling getaways. Hiring a villa gives you the freedom to prepare your own packed lunches and dinners, and you’ll have plenty of room to store your snorkels, flippers and wetsuits.


Image by Lance, used under CC License (CC by 2.0

Good snorkelling holidays unlock a country’s most enthralling secrets. Pack your underwater camera and get ready to delve deep in some of these top destinations…

Costa del Sol, Spain

Costa del Sol is blessed with tepid waters bustling with marine life. On top of that, there’s plenty of sun-kissed beaches where you can set up camp before a few hours of snorkelling. Visit Maro beach, near the town of Nerja, and try to find its fascinating underwater cave if you’re feeling daring.

The shores surrounding Las Yucas and La Viborilla beaches, near Benalmadena, house a wide range of fish such as tuna, bonitos, and dolphinfish.

Costa Blanca, Spain

Like Costa del Sol, the Costa Blanca is a snorkelers’ paradise. Explore the region’s shorelines and you’ll quickly find that it’s simply brimming with underwater life. Granadella Cove, near Javea, has notoriously clear waters. Not only that, it’s quite sheltered so younger snorkellers can see the bay’s treasures, too.

The Algarve, Portugal

Portugal’s Algarve coast comprises playful Atlantic waters and warming sands. It’s also home to the famed Ria Formosa lagoon, one of the country’s many natural wonders. Here you’ll find one of the largest populations of seahorses in the world – wipe down your face mask and prepare to dive amongst them.

Cyprus

If you visit Cyprus during summertime, you might encounter beautiful green and loggerhead turtles on the island’s western coast. The island’s Cape Greco National Park is well worth a visit, too, complete with some of the clearest waters in the region and picturesque in every sense of the word.

Corfu, Greece

The Greek island of Corfu has plenty of spots for a good snorkelling holiday. Its pebbly beaches tend to have clearer waters, but you might want to wear a wetsuit or flippers to protect your feet from the jaggier rocks! Keep your eyes peeled for a diverse range of silverside fish, alongside flathead mullet and painted combers.

Pula, Croatia


Image by Christoph Sammer, used under CC License (CC by 2.0)

Croatia’s idyllic Adriatic coastlines are the envy of the world. Pula houses some of its finest and along with these renowned views, it has a number of great snorkelling spots.

Take Brijuni National Park, a short boat journey from Pula. The waters of these 14 small, protected islands are alive with flora, fauna and old Roman artefacts. In Verige Bay, on the western coast of the park, you can get a guided tour to explore submerged archaeological sites. Take full advantage and get excited for a day of underwater education.

Whether you’re travelling as a family, with friends or with your partner or spouse, a snorkelling holiday provides an unrivalled way to get to know a country’s ins and outs. Uncover exotic species of fish or simply paddle around and let the waves wash over you – underwater getaways are always ones to remember.

Have a look at some of the Villa Plus offerings in these hotspots and let your snorkelling dreams come to life.

By Isabella Perkins, a freelance travel writer best known for writing about self-catering holidays. Her writing tends to have a family focus, and she is in the middle of writing a new travel guide due to be published next year.

Culture in Cyprus and how to bring it home to your villa

As the third largest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is poised with plenty of idyllic sunspots and a rich and insightful past. Scenery and history aside, you’ll quickly find that Cypriots embody a vibrant culture which you’ll never forget.

Culture in Cyprus is often based around strong family values and a mixture of regional traditions. Live like a local and immerse yourself in the customs of the Cypriots, that way you can bring a few home on your return.

Whether at the dinner table or on a makeshift dancefloor, here’s how you can enjoy Cyprus’ culture from your holiday rental’s living room.

Adopt Cypriot values

In Cyprus, social structures centre on the direct and extended family. Grandparents and grandchildren develop strong bonds and spend a lot of time together – usually at mealtimes or weekends.

For the ultimate getaway, bring your extended family with you on your villa holiday and share a larger property together. That way you can spend some real quality time with each other, sharing the secrets of this magical island with your loved ones.

Elders are treated with a great deal of respect in Cyprus and the oldest person in a group is usually served first at a meal. Honour this custom to make parents and grandparents feel extra special and add a real loving touch to dinner times.

Enjoy local delicacies

Heavily influenced by Greek, Turkish and recipes from the Middle East, Cyprus is famed for its succulent cuisine. Households can be found sitting under the burning Mediterranean sun enjoying platters of mezes and sharing a few cold drinks. Trying local food is one of the best ways to experience any culture, but to develop a true understanding, have a shot at cooking dishes yourself.

To bring Cypriot culture to your villa, whip up a variety of meze platters. Similar to tapas, meze is a popular aspect of Cypriot and Greek culture, with groups of locals tending to order a large collection of small, meze plates to share.

Prepare a simple green salad with some plain yogurt on the side, make your own hummus, grill a tasty fish and some halloumi to nibble on the side. Go meatier and serve up homemade kebabs or pork ball keftedes. For a sure-fire addition to the table that everyone will love, buy a loaf of bread and dip slices into olive oil.

…then have a good song and dance!

Thanks to the country’s flourishing arts scene, enjoying traditional Cypriot music and dance is an easy and enjoyable way to bring the country’s culture back to your villa. There’s a huge amount of talented Cypriot musicians – why not buy a compilation album and give it a spin one evening when you’re there?

Better yet, get everybody up and dancing. Learn some new moves to accompany Cypriot dances like the syrtos, ballos and tatsia, or gather everyone in a circle and do your own rendition of the sousta dance.

Ready to embark on your own Cypriot adventure? Have a look at some of the Villa Plus properties in the country.

By Isabella Perkins, a freelance travel writer best known for writing about self-catering holidays. Her writing tends to have a family focus, and she is in the middle of writing a new travel guide due to be published next year.

5 of the best beach holidays for families in Europe

Europe is blessed with many of the world’s most stunning coastal destinations. Take advantage of shorter flights and jet off to explore the best of them with your loved ones. Here’s the continent’s five best beach holidays, made for families who want something extra special for their next getaway…

Spain

Viva Espagna! Spain is a great holiday destination for families. Take the time to unwind on beautiful strips of sand – the Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca and the Balearic Islands pack them in abundance. On the Costa del Sol, you can explore Marbella’s lush harbours before parking up on nearby beaches, or head to Estepona for buoyant waves and dreamy Mediterranean sunsets. With over 200km of Mediterranean coastline, the Costa Blanca is a beach lover’s gem. Enjoy the beaches, popular with both locals and tourists, at Javea, Moraira and Calpe.

The island of Majorca, one of Spain’s Balearic Islands, is known for its glistening waters and pure sands. Head to Alcudia for relaxed beaches – usually within the backdrop of Alcudia Bay – well suited for young families set on making unforgettable holiday memories.

Portugal

Portugal’s Algarve has all the right ingredients for a great beach holiday – wide coastlines, entertainment facilities and tranquil views. Located in the southeast, one of the region’s vibrant hotspots Lagos is flanked by turquoise coves and sun-kissed strips, particularly the Blue Flag Meia Praia Beach.

Head here and take your pick from over 5km of prime lounging spots. The waves are top-tier, so why not embark on some bodyboarding or a few hours of splashing about with the little ones?

Greece

Some of Greece’s beaches arguably rival that of the Caribbean. Factor in the rich history, cuisine and culture, and you’ve got everything you need for the ultimate family getaway. The country’s rich selection of islands give it an edge over many other countries, many thanks to the luscious coastlines of Corfu and Rhodes…

Both islands boast unreal views over the Aegean Sea, which sits at a temperature ideal for a spot of swimming. Agios Gordios beach and the bays of Sidari and Paleokastritsa beach are some of Corfu’s best family hangouts. In Rhodes, you can’t go wrong by visiting either Ladiko, Lindos or Stegna.

Croatia

Croatia has some of the greatest landscapes, beaches and architecture in Eastern Europe. The waters are crystal clear and the history is ripe with Roman amphitheatres and medieval castles.

Try heading to Pula, the largest city in the district of Istria, with your family. It’s a fantastic location to stay during your holiday and it has stunning coastlines for whenever you want to take a dip. For a secluded couple of hours away from the city, head south to Kamenjak Cape, a sheltered pebbled beach complete with unbeatable views of the Adriatic Sea.

Cyprus

As the third biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is a treasure trove of fine beaches. On top of that, there’s three breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The best beach for a family holiday in Cyprus is without a doubt Coral Bay. It’s got all the amenities you could ask for – think snorkelling, boat trips, and quad biking tours. Not only that, it’s also safe for swimming, after which you can dry off on any number of prime Mediterranean sand spots. If you get a chance, then both Makronissos and Nissi beach are also worth a visit.

Ready to put the wheels in motion for your own family beach retreat? Take a look at some Villa Plus properties near beaches.

By Lara Scott. A former executive at a major hotel chain, Lara Scott is a freelance travel writer and journalist. She says her previous career gives her extra insight into both sides of the tourism industry.

Hidden gems: most beautiful parts of Cyprus for a self-catering holiday

Cyprus is a trove of hidden gems. Beyond the private pools of the luxury villas, sits a quaint collection of historic, unsung towns and villages. When it comes to holidaying here, you’re simply spoilt for choice for things to do and places to visit. On your next trip to the Mediterranean island, why not explore the vast wealth of culture and scenery unique to the area of Paphos and beyond?

Beautiful Cypriot Villas

Towns near Paphos

Just a short drive from Coral Bay, the village of Tala offers visitors an exclusive insight into traditional Cypriot culture. Don’t fancy cooking up a storm from the comfort of your villa? Why not sample some delicious local cuisine from one of its many welcoming taverns? Here you’ll taste Greek dishes like kleftiko and beef stifado, or you might even be fortunate enough to sample some flavoursome rabbit. Best served under gleaming Mediterranean architecture, this leaves visitors with an unrivalled taste of Tala.

Stunning Cyprus
Image by somiz, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Views of the Mediterranean

Eight kilometres north of Coral Bay, you’ll find the charming village of Kissonerga. It’s home to an elegant selection of coastal restaurants – so now you know where to eat before your stroll along the Cypriot cliff lines. Thirsty? Enjoy a well earned drink from any of the town’s sophisticated bars. From here, visitors are rewarded with a dramatic view of the area from more than a hundred metres above sea level – the ultimate way to unwind.

Inland beauty spots

Venturing further inland, the scenery continues to mesmerise. The town of Armou boasts panoramic views over Paphos, stretching far across the white buildings and beaches which make the region so special. For the golfer in you, it’s just a short jaunt to the stunning Minthis Hills Golf Club. Over 500 metres high, the course boasts refreshing breezes ensuring you’re kept cool even in the searing heat of the summer months.

Family friendly towns

For a succinct blend of Greek, European, and Middle Eastern culture, visit the coastal village of Chloraka. Just south of Coral Bay and St Georges, it combines traditional Cypriot buildings with modern architecture, bars, and elegant restaurants. Cool off in the clear blue waters, or relax in the excellent facilities aimed at the 3 f’s of your holiday – fun, food, and family. The town is also home to Akritas Chlorakas, a second division Cypriot football team. If you’re lucky enough to be in the area during match season, why not cheer them on at their next game?

Experience historic cultures

For a real history lesson, venture north to Lempa. The village boasts a remarkably long history dating all the way back to 2500 BC! Mediterranean in every sense of the word, Lempa accommodates citrus, olive and tomato farming. It is also a rare European location as it can grow bananas, what’s not to love?

Self-catering holidays give you a freedom unlike any other holiday – use it to explore these enriching towns and Cypriot hidden gems!

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By Isabella Perkins, a freelance travel writer best known for writing about self-catering holidays. Her writing tends to have a family focus, and she is in the middle of writing a new travel guide due to be published next year.

Best drinks for your self-catering holiday to Cyprus

Staying in a Cypriot villa with a private pool while sipping a cocktail is a dream come true, and one which you can realise by choosing a self-catering holiday. Choosing to rent a villa in Cyprus means that you can enjoy Cyprus’ best drinks the way the Cypriots do – from the comfort of a warm, sunny terrace. Prepare for your holiday indulgence with our list of Cyprus’ best alcoholic drinks.

Cypriot Beer
Image by George M. Groutas, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Brandy sour

Cyprus is most famous for its brandy sour, said to have been created in the 1930s as a secretive way for King Farouk of Egypt to enjoy an alcoholic drink without drawing attention. The drink was disguised as iced tea and the recipe quickly spread from the Troodos mountains to coastal resorts in Paphos and beyond.

To make a traditional Cypriot brandy sour, mix together locally distilled brandy, fresh lemons (or lemon squash) and a few drops of Angostura bitters to taste. Add ice to a highball glass and pour the brandy mixture over the top before topping up with soda water or lemonade if you prefer a sweeter drink. Test out your cocktail skills during your self-catering Cyprus holiday and you’ll soon perfect your very own version of a Cypriot brandy sour. Return home with the ideal gift for your friends – a bottle of Cypriot brandy followed by a cocktail masterclass taught by yours truly.

Cypriot Commandaria
Image by Greencolander, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Zivania

Your first taste of the island’s lovingly nicknamed ‘firewater’ isn’t easily forgotten! Zivania is a strong local spirit which is made by distilling the grape skin and pulp that’s left over from making white and red wine. The spirit is best served as a chilled shot before a meal, so treat yourself to a shot at your rented villa before leaving for an evening of meze dishes.

Commandaria

Fans of sweet wine will love Cyprus’ commandaria. This dessert wine is made from local red and white grapes which are picked late in the harvest cycle and left to dry in the sun to enhance their sweetness. The wine is thought to have been produced since 800 BC, so it’s certainly stood the test of time. Indulge in a late-night glass of lightly chilled commandaria accompanied by a platter of cheese and fresh fruit for the ultimate taste of Cyprus.

Beer in Cyprus

KEO beer is described as “the taste of Cyprus”, and as the most popular Cypriot beer on the island it’s an essential stop on any tour of the island’s best alcoholic drinks. The beer is golden in colour and is the only beer brewed in Cyprus that’s bottled unpasteurised. This means that KEO can protect the naturally wonderful taste and aroma of their distinct beer.

Save your wallet from the high prices of hotel bars by taking a self-catering holiday and picking up some local beers from the supermarket to enjoy in your villa. Plus, if you leave some bottles to chill in the fridge of your holiday rental then you’ll have an ice cold lager to return to after a day of island exploration.

By Shaun Fraser, a former drinks rep, who now focuses on writing about his favourite tipples from Europe and beyond. He credits his good nose to a previous life as a sommelier.

Paphos, Cyprus – the 2017 European Capital of Culture

At Villa Plus villa we make sure that you love it more, with dedicated in-resort staff, hand-picked villa locations, private pools and more extras than anyone else!  But this year, your holiday could be an even greater experience if you choose Cyprus. 2017 is the year that Paphos is crowned the European Capital of Culture with plenty of extra events to keep you entertained during your visit.

There is a wide range of activties on offer from cinema, to art, from literature to gastronomy!  There really is something for everyone.  The organisers have even put an app together to help you get the most out of this unique programme of events.

To find out more visit the official website here