Familiar faces & places. Cyprus calling

Our next look at familiar faces and places takes us east from Portugal’s Atlantic coastline across the Mediterranean to Paphos on the west coast of Cyprus.

For over a decade, Preferred Travel Services customers to Cyprus have enjoyed the fortunate set of characteristics that Paphos offers to its visitors.  It’s wonderfully mild climate, particularly during our winter months, affords ideal conditions to take a shirt-sleeved stroll around a town which is a UNESCO World Heritage listed site due to its remains of ancient villas, palaces, theatres, fortresses and wonderful mosaics, all whilst the UK shivers through the depths of our winter.  It isn’t just the sunshine, beaches and historical sites that can be enjoyed from a stay in Paphos. In just a short drive north along the coast you can explore the verdant landscapes of the stunning Akamas Peninsula or head inland to the peaks of the Troodos Mountains and discover the traditional villages and monasteries nestling in picturesque valleys or clinging to it’s the terraced hills.

Importantly, we know from experience that what really knits all these individual highlights together to make a great holiday in Paphos is its greatest asset – its people. Cypriots are famed for their warm hospitality, friendly service and great pride in showcasing their home to visitors from other countries. Our customers who have taken guided walks from Paphos will have witnessed this first hand in the company of Panicos Neophytou. Born and raised in Paphos, Panicos has lead the walks for our groups on the island since 2008 and has kindly supplied some information on his life in Paphos and a set of images taken with Preferred Travel Services clients during some of these walks.

My name is Panicos Neophytou and I am born and raised in Paphos, Cyprus. My family and I live in the house I was born, in the lovely, picturesque village of Anavargos, which is situated about 6 kilometres from the coast, with an altitude of around 200 metres above sea level.

After having lived for four years in Holland, my wife and I came back to rebuild my family home in 1994 and start our family in Cyprus. In 1999 I decided to join the Cyprus Tourist Organisation School to become a licenced Tourguide. Since then I am always improving on my knowledge and love reading and studying the flora, fauna, ancient and modern history and geology of my country. This I can incorporate in my guided tours and people get away with a rich and complete knowledge and appreciation of Cyprus. Although I do all sort of guided tours, over the years I developed a speciality/liking for private, small groups and nature hikes.

My main hobbies are marathon running and hiking. I am always looking for the next run or walk. Cyprus` climate is ideal for hiking most of the year, but in summer I find it to be a bit too warm for the walks in the lower regions. In spring, you can swim in the ocean in the morning and go up to the Troodos Mountains to ski, which is a pretty unique thing.

There are many activities you can enjoy in Cyprus. Any sport you can think of (Golfing, cycling, horseriding, watersports, climbing, scuba diving etc.) Cyprus and especially Paphos has a large number of expatriates, mostly from the UK and there are a lot of social activities going on amongst them all year round. If you visit Cyprus you should get to know the culture, the civilisation, the tradition, the taste of Cyprus gastronomy, but especially the warm and authentic hospitality of Cypriot people.

We have two holidays that stay in fabulous Paphos both of which feature departures at NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: our escorted tour ‘Cyprus – Aphrodite’s Ancient Isle’ and a walking holiday lead by Panicos ‘Walking in Cyprus – the Akamas Peninsula & the Troodos Mountains’.

To see a full set of images from Panicos taken during his walks with Preferred Travel Services please use this link.