BEAT THE WINTER BLUES AND CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS, CYPRUS STYLE

  • Special deals and offers available now for the Festive period (see below)
  • Experience Christmas in the sun, with temperatures hovering at 20 degrees even in December
  • WIN a free seven-night stay with The Biggest Holiday Competition in the World! 50 holidays to be won via www.summeriscyprus.com

With daily temperatures in December hovering at 20 degrees, more Blue Flag beaches per kilometre of coastline than anywhere else, cuisine that takes its inspiration from three continents and traditional Greek Orthodox festivities to enjoy, Cyprus offers the perfect destination for a last-minute Christmas getaway. At only a four-hour flight from the UK and with operators and hotels offering fantastic deals at this time of year [see specific packages, along with savings below], it’s worth extending your stay for New Year’s Eve too. 

Magical processions, usually accompanied by carols - or "kalanda" - handed down from generation to generation since Byzantine times, weave their way across the island with the main Christmas day procession held in Nicosia in Eleftheria (Freedom) Square. Most hotels will lay-on entertainment, music and activities to get guests into the spirit of Christmas; whether it’s traditional festivities or a quick spa treatment before Christmas lunch, there is something for everyone’s idea of a perfect Christmas.

Of course, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without food taking centre stage and Cypriots take this very seriously. Christmas (Christouyenna in Greek) starts on Christmas Eve when loaves of Christopsomo (Christ Bread), are accompanied by dried figs, nuts and honey. Traditionalists need not fear, as familiar dishes such as stuffed roast turkey, chicken or lamb are served on Christmas day, often with all the trimmings. Pudding lovers can indulge in local cakes such as ‘kourabiedes’, a delicious small almond cake coated in icing sugar, icing sugar and  ‘melomakarona’, a honey cake.

New Year is an even more important date for families in Cyprus, with 1 January marking the Feast of St Basil, the region’s equivalent to St Nicholas, and it’s on this day that presents are exchanged. Some of the best New Year’s Eve parties on the island are to be found around the Town Hall in downtown Limassol but there is never a shortage of celebrations, with most big hotels hosting parties.  A must for New Year in Cyprus is yet more cake - Vassilopitta, or Saint Basil’s cake, is baked with a silver or gold coin and promises to bring good luck to the person who finds it.  

A selection of breaks on offer over the Festive period include:

1) Sovereign Luxury Travel (0843 770 4526, www.sovereign.com), is offering a saving of up to £322 on a week at the five star InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort Hotel in Cyprus with prices from £2,779 per family of three. The price includes a free night, a Christmas Eve Gala Dinner, return flights from London Gatwick with Easyjet, airport lounge access, private transfers and seven nights B&B in a Deluxe Pool/Garden View Room. Based on departures 19 December 2013. The Aphrodite Hills Resort includes a five-star InterContinental Hotel, an 18-hole championship golf course with a Golf Academy, the award-winning Retreat Spa, Annabel Croft Tennis Academy, The Pirates Village kids club, Zias and Cove Beach Club, nature and bike trails and a total of 14 bars and restaurants.

2) Cyplon Holidays (0800 050 9632; www.cyplon.co.uk) is offering seven night stays at the newly renovated five-star Royal Apollonia Hotel, Limassol, for £999 per person on a bed and breakfast basis, departing 22 December. The price includes flights from London to Paphs, a Christmas Eve gala dinner and private resort transfers.

3) Olympic Holidays (0844 499 4433; www.olympicholidays.com) is offering a seven-night stay at the four-star Constantinou Bros Athena Royal Beach Hotel, Paphos, for £725 per person on a bed and breakfast basis, departing 19 December. The price includes return flights from London Gatwick and private resort transfers.

Classic Collection Holidays, (0800 008 7288, www.classic-collection.co.uk) is offering a saving of £280 per couple at 5*Le Meridien Limassol Spa & Resort, with packages from £979 per person, based on two adults sharing a twin/double garden room for seven nights, on a bed and breakfast basis and include private transfers and return flights from London Gatwick departing 22 December 2013. The includes the Gala dinner on Christmas eve and Christmas Day Lunch.

WIN A HOLIDAY IN CYPRUS EVERY WEEK FOR 50 WEEKS!

In conjunction with the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, Cyprus’ two main Hotel Associations launched ‘The Biggest Holiday Competition in the World at World Travel Market 2013, offering sun-starved Brits the chance to win a stay on the island every week for 50 weeks.

Highlighting the quality of the island’s accommodation, four- and five-star properties located across Cyprus will be taking part in the competition, which offers a seven-night stay for two people in a sea-view room, including breakfast (prize does not include flights). Subject to availability, holidays can be taken any time between now and April 2015.

To enter, wannabe holiday-makers should visit www.summeriscyprus.com, follow the links to the competition’s Facebook page and then simply guess which of the three hotels listed is the one pictured for that week. The winning entry will be picked at random once a week, for 50 weeks.

Visit www.summeriscyprus.com for further information.

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors
For high resolution images and more information on Cyprus and forthcoming press trips contact the Kallaway Travel team:
Email: visitcyprus@kallaway.com Tel: 020 7313 6274
Media centre: http://mediacentre.kallaway.co.uk/cyprus-tourism.htm

About Cyprus
www.visitcyprus.com
Cyprus – the third largest island in the Mediterranean – attracts over 2m tourists annually, lured by its legendary hospitality, glorious coastline and stunning mountain villages. There is something to suit every traveller: family resorts, world class spas, golf courses, marinas, a booming agrotourism scene, unique food and new wine trails celebrating the 40 new wineries which have developed on the island in recent years. For the active; the warm waters of Cyprus are perfect for diving and waterskiing. Adventure seekers can explore the beauty of Cyprus with trekking or birdwatching tours, while golfing enthusiasts play on award-winning courses designed by golfing legends

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