The Mediterranean island of Cyprus is perhaps best known for its beaches and heritage sites. However, there are a wide variety of events and festivals that international travelers of all tastes and ages are invited to attend. You can indulge in delicious local foods, try to strut your funky stuff to the traditional Cypriot tunes during these celebrations, or just sit back and enjoy the festivities.
Limassol Wine Festival
The streets of Limassol come alive with sounds of funky jazz and folk music, which the local people dance to during this annual wine festival in September. Of course there is also the opportunity to sample red and white vintages from regions such as Commandaria and Akamas Laona. The festival got its start in 1961. Since then it has become an annual event that everyone in Cyprus looks forward to.
What’s more, the festival has gained quite an international following, with thousands of tourists attending each year. It is advisable to book a place at one of the many local hotels within the area so you have a place to stumble back to after a wild night of celebration.
Paphos Aphrodite Festival
If you have a passion for dramatic musical performances then it is worth including a trip to this festival as part of your holidays in Cyprus. The Paphos Aphrodite Festival is held in celebration of the goddess of love and beauty. You will have the chance to see one of the top European opera groups showcase their vocal talents in well-recognized shows at the medieval castle in Paphos. The festival has been running annually since 1999 and has showcased a number of famous opera singers throughout the years.
This carnival takes place over the course of 11 days from the end of February to the beginning of March. As one of the most important events in Cyprus, the Lemesos (also known as Limassol) Carnival is related to the Dionysian Festivals of classical antiquity. The local people dress up in colorful costumes and parade their way through Lemesos and Paphos. Visitors come to watch the large floats, which are transported along the ancient city streets.
Cyprus International Film Festival
A number of talented film producers showcase their latest creations at this film festival in Nicosia each year. The festival allows young aspiring directors from all over the world to present their work in front of a Jury Committee. Visitors come to watch screenings of their favorite emerging filmmakers.
A unique destination with stunning landscapes, a rich cultural heritage, and friendly locals, the tiny island of Cyprus offers an array of wonderful things to see and do that are bound to keep you busy throughout your stay.
Limassol Wine Festival photo by Ivan Con Flickr