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Whatever you place at the top of your holiday wish list, whether it's great food and cultural attractions or soft sandy beaches and exciting nightlife, the island of Cyprus is sure to deliver. Holidays in the resort of Pissouri appeal to those seeking a serene, relaxing location with an away-from-it-all feel. Combining the laid back allure of a relaxed beach resort with the traditional unhurried rhythms of a charming hill town, it's the perfect getaway for couples and families alike.
Pissouri is located on the island's south-west coast, mid-way between Limassol and Paphos, making for an easy transfer whichever airport you choose to fly to. Until fairly recently this was a very traditional village where Greek and Turkish Cypriots lived side by side, either self-sufficiently or making a living from farming. The main method of transport was by donkey and electricity did not arrive here until 1968. Times may now have changed and Pissouri may have grown dramatically, but it still basks in the unhurried pace of life of an island whose five hundred miles of coastline attract sun-worshippers all year round. The settlement is now very much divided between two distinct areas, Pissouri Village on the hill and Pissouri Beach that lies below.
Aphrodite may well have risen from the waves just a few miles from here at Petra Tou Romiou, but today the gentle Aegean hides nothing but soft sand, a few shoals of fish and the turtles that nest here in the summer months. Flanked by a curving, sheltered bay, the mile-long beach at Pissouri is one of the most beautiful on the island, having won the prestigious blue flag award for safety and cleanliness. The fresh catch of the day is still brought ashore at the fishing jetty and served in a number of tavernas that line the beachfront, alongside traditional Greek Cypriot restaurants. Despite its popularity with families, the beach area maintains a relaxed, tranquil feel, whilst the energetic can take advantage of the excellent water sports facilities. If you decide you need a quiet spot away from it all, a short stroll will reveal a wild and unspoilt coastline with plenty of hidden coves.
A short ten minute walk separates Pissouri Beach from the main village, with its Gothic style church, fountain and old stone houses. Its vibrant heart centres around the colourful cobbled square, lined with traditional tavernas and shops and bursting with the friendly character of the local people. Each week during the summer months, evenings light up with Cypriot-inspired family entertainment where the local wine flows amidst plenty of music and dancing. The local tavernas and their pavement terraces are the perfect place for the adults to relax whilst the youngsters play safely nearby. At any time of day, the local amphitheatre, set on the mountain ridge high above the bay, offers far-reaching views out to sea and across the mountains and the highlight of your stay has to be a live theatrical performance here.
If you are choosing self-catering accommodation, plenty of shops and supermarkets provide all the essentials for your stay and you will find the local butcher has everything you need for those family barbecues.
The beauty of Pissouri lies in its stunning position at the foothills of the Troodos Mountains, which form a magnificent backdrop to the south coast of the island. Beyond the village, the rolling hills are dotted with vineyards and carob and almond trees that bask in year-round sunshine. If you are energetic enough to enjoy rambles in the rural interior, be sure to head out and discover the island's peaceful villages and striking pine-scented landscapes. Alternatively, if the accent is on relaxation, Pissouri is ideally located for golfers, who can enjoy a quiet day on the picturesque courses at Aphrodite Hills and Secret Valley, just a short drive away. If the sea is more your scene, there are plenty of diving sites in the vicinity and you will find the warm waters teeming with colourful fish, sea urchins and sponges.
Memorable holidays in Pissouri are just as much about heading off and exploring and if you opt to hire a car, Cyprus offers a wealth of attractions and interesting sights. Whilst petrol stations on the island are few and far between, there's always the chance to fill the tank at the services on the main road to Pissouri and the main four-lane motorway is also close by, giving easy access to the mountains and other beach resorts. The city of Limassol, just a 30 minute drive to the east, is a thriving, cosmopolitan centre where plush bars and clubs add up to a nightlife scene that is legendary. Head west to the resort of Paphos and you will enjoy hours of family fun at Aphrodite Water Park, or alternatively, visit the roman ruins and the ancient fort, or simply relax in picturesque surroundings at Kato Paphos Harbour.