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Outside the city of Lemesos, in the island's far south, the Kolossi Castle towers over a landscape of vineyards. The castle was built by the Hospitallers (the Order of St John of Jerusalem), who were granted land here in 1210, and for a while this was their headquarters. The castle was restored in 1933 by the British. Close by is a sugar factory, also built by the Hospitallers - until the British started shipping slaves to the Carribean, Cyprus was one of the world's largest producers of sugar. There are also plenty of citrus orchards in the area, and you can pick up some of country's juiciest oranges in the markets here. The best way to get to Kolossi is by bus from Lemesos.

Polis & the Akamas Peninsula

The Akamas Peninsula, on the west coast, is one of the last wild and unspoilt places on the Cypriot coast. The landscape is a patchwork of barren rock and lush vegetation, with a wide variety of flora and fauna, including some rare species. It's a great destination for walkers, with a network of paths criss-crossing the peninsula. The Baths of Aphrodite are at the start of these trails. According to legend, this is where Aphrodite regularly did a Madonna, making herself like a virgin after a night on the town.Polis itself is about the only southern beach resort that caters to independent travellers. Set among citrus orchards and surrounded by spectacular scenery, Polis is a charming and serene base for exploring the surrounding area. It's also a great place to hire a mountain bike, motorbike or car. There's nothing much to see here, but it's a great place to stare out to sea and knock back a brandy sour or six.


Nine km (5.6mi) north of Famagusta, this was Cyprus' most important pre-Christian city, and it's still the country's best archaeological site. You could easily spend a day here, checking out the fully restored Roman amphitheatre, the gymnasium with marble baths, and the mosaics. Most of the ruins are Byzantine or Roman, and they're scattered over 8km (5mi). A very pleasant beach fringes the site, so bring your swimmers. There are camping sites south of the ruins, plus a few slightly luxurious hotels to the north.

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