Introduction to Limassol (half day)
A short drive along Limassol's coastal road takes you to the Sea Sponge Exhibition Centre where you'll be able to see how the natural sea sponges and loofahs are cleaned and prepared. Handmade natural soaps and beauty products made from olive oil will also be available, making great souvenirs.
From here you'll walk by Limassol's Castle, where Richard the Lionheart is said to have married Princess Berengaria. You'll also visit an old mosque and the beautiful Ayia Napa church. There's plenty of handicraft shops in the local area too, in case you're looking for some traditional mementos. Before you return to the hotel, you'll have time to enjoy coffee in the local square.
Country Life (half day)
Today you'll head west towards Paphos, and arrive in the quaint village of Anoyira. Here you can visit the Mauros Chrysos Carob Museum, which recounts the history of the carob in Cyprus. Carob trees are abundant in Cyprus, and their ripened black pods are used to create a sweet syrup or powder.
These are useful ingredients in baking - often providing a replacement to chocolate. During your visit to the museum you'll be able to taste pastelli toffee, which is made from carob. Next, you'll head to an olive park where the museum and visitors centre will shed light on the production of top quality organic olive oil - from tree to bottle. There will be some time to enjoy some refreshments before returning to your hotel.
Plus on holidays of 14 nights or longer:
Larnaca & Ayia Napa (full day)
The first stop on this excursion takes you to Larnaca and its magnificent church of St Lazarus. The current building stands on the site of the original 9th century church, which was built over the tomb of Lazarus whom Jesus resurrected. Inside, the church features icons, silver furnishings and carved woodwork.
During your time here, you may like to take a stroll along the palm tree-lined promenade or spend time in one of the many cafés. Today's trip continues through the red-soil village of Achna - its main road runs parallel to the divisional line between the Turks and the Cypriots.
Your next stop will be Dherynia, where you'll have the opportunity to see the 'ghost town' of Famagusta, which has been deserted since the invasions of the Turks in 1974. You'll continue to Ayia Napa to see its medieval monastery in the village square and stroll around the harbour. There are plenty of little restaurants here - ideal for an authentic Cypriot lunch. As you head back to the hotel, there may be time to stop in charming Liopetri - a picture-perfect fishing village.
Cyprus Sweets (half day)
If you have a sweet tooth, then this excursion is sure to make your mouth water! You'll first travel into the foothills of the Troodos Mountains, where you can enjoy wonderful panoramic views as you make your way to the village of Doros, home of the Katerina Cyprus Sweets Factory
You'll be able to watch the sweets being made from behind the glass before being let loose to sample some of the many varieties made here! You can also enjoy coffee in the coffee shop and perhaps pop into the gift shop to buy a traditional Glika tou Koutaliou or 'spoon sweet', which consist of fruits gently boiled with sugar (in some cases for days) until the syrup sets - a real Cypriot delicacy.
Be sure not to over indulge though, as your next stop will be the Platres Chocolate Workshop, situated in the pine-clad village of Pano Platres. Opened in 2008, the workshop specialises in creating delicious handmade chocolates using the local produce of Cyprus - such as almond, citrus, grape and rosewater.
The owner, John, will give you a demonstration on how he creates these chocolates and infuses them with the flavours, and you'll have the opportunity to buy some as a souvenir (just try not to eat them all on the coach ride home). You can enjoy the fresh mountain air during a stroll around this lovely village before heading back to Limassol.