Explore the World From Cyprus by:Jane Wilkinson
Cyprus is famed for her rugged coastline and pleasant summer climate. However, most people don't realise that she is also a gateway to the world. Frequent ferry services coupled with a central location make Cyprus holidays the perfect base to explore a whole new world.
The concept of booking a luxury holiday in Cyprus and then spending half of it in a completely different country may sound a little strange. But it shouldn't, Cyprus has some reasonably priced ferries that run regularly and many operators are taking advantage of this fact and running trips between luxury hotels in Cyprus and unique and evocative destinations, like Israel, that you wouldn't always have the opportunity to explore.
Here are our pick of some of the best destinations that can be reached by ferry from Cyprus.
There is a regular ferry service during the summer season between the ports of Limassol and Port Said. So what is there to do in Port Said? Well actually not a lot, but a large number of companies make use of this ferry and run 1/3 day excursions around the sites of Egypt. You can spend time in the Egyptian capital of Cairo and from here arranging an excursion to the pyramids of Giza is relatively simple. Many excursion companies pick up from luxury hotels in Cyprus and will drop you back there the next day. There are a wide range of different excursions available in Egypt from day trips to the pyramids of Giza to week long river cruises around ancient Egyptian temples.
There is so much to see in Israel, the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Nativity, the Mount of Olives, The Garden of Gethsemane.but let's face it, it isn't somewhere that you'd consider holidaying in at the present time.
However Israel's close location to Cyprus means that you can take some time out to explore this incredible country whilst on your Cyprus holidays. The ferry service runs between Limassol and Port Haifa, but companies such as Cruise Cyprus offer day long excursions, around the Holy Land. Most itineraries include visits to the Wailing Wall and the Church of the Nativity. But, be warned it isn't always possible to get permission to enter Bethlehem and in those circumstances tour itineraries are changed accordingly.
The beautiful Greek island of Rhodes is reachable by ferry from Limassol and although the Greek and Cypriot cultures are largely the same, it is still worth visiting Rhodes on your Cyprus holidays. Rhodes has a chequered history and her strategic position on the Mediterranean in the past opened her up to many invaders. Nowadays, she is better known for her beautiful beaches and party atmosphere. The resort of Faliraki is housed here, but if you're not really a party animal, then you may want to stick to the historic old town resort, which was declared a UNESCO site in the 1980's.
You may have caught the odd documentary on Lebanon and wistfully gazed at sites such as the incredible Jeita Grotto, a cavern sculpted by water and time. However, again it probably isn't that high on your holiday priority list. But most luxury hotels in Cyprus will offer excursions to Lebanon, and there are plenty of reasons that you should visit this destination. As well as the hearty Lebanon cuisine, the country has some incredible sites. The fabled town of Byblos is worth a visit, as is the historic Church of the Lady of Harissa. So why not get the most out of your Cyprus holidays and book yourself a quick fix trip to one of the surrounding countries.
About the author
Jane Wilkinson is head of Marketing for Cadogan Holidays. This multi award winning travel company offers bookings for luxury holidays in Cyprus (http://www.cadoganholidays.com/destination.aspx?type=country&Id=10E60B86-6834-455C-AB6D-FCE7068F120C&show-tips=false) as well as a wealth of other inspirational experiences in a host of other top destinations.