Beat the cold-weather blues with a balmy break in Cyprus
With 64 Blue Flag beaches and the warmest winters in Europe, Cyprus is the perfect destination for an October half-term break.
The island is a great choice for UK families, thanks to its climate, delicious food, fantastic beaches and warm Greek hospitality. Add in top-class family resorts, ne spas, golf courses, marinas, agro-tourism, food and wine trails, trekking and bird-watching tours, and you can see why so many people return year after year.
Cyprus boasts the cleanest bathing waters in Europe and in mid-October the temperature is around 29C, so it’s a great destination to relax with some winter sun, without being too hot for little ones. The seawater is shallow, making it safe for children to paddle, and many towns have invested in wide seaside promenades to stroll along. By the coast, there’s a range of watersports centres for adventurous families to try out waterskiing, parasailing, wakeboarding, banana-boat rides and more.
From Ayia Napa, take a glass-bottomed boat trip on the Yellow Submarine, or clamber aboard the Black Pearl pirate ship, which o ers daily cruises that include lunch, entertainment and swimming stops. Kids love Cyprus’ waterparks, such as WaterWorld in Ayia Napa – Europe’s largest themed waterpark – which has a wave pool, lazy river, water playground and go-karting.
Cyprus offers endless options for kids that need to let o steam: biking adventures with Bikin’Cyprus; go-karting, amusement arcades and a rollercoaster at the Lucky Star Park in Larnaca; bouncy castles, and a climbing wall at the Wow Action Park in Larnaca; rollercoasters and more at the Paliatso adventure park in Ayia Napa, and ice-skating, paintballing, archery and rock-climbing at Adventure Mountain Park.
Animal-lovers have plenty of entertainment options, too: camel-riding and feeding the animals at the Camel Park Farm in Mazotos; Riverland Bio Farm, where visitors can see how a sustainable farm is run; Ocean Aquarium Park, Protaras, where guests learn about marine life; or donkey-riding (and tasting donkey-milk frozen yoghurt!) at Golden Donkeys Farm in Skarinou.
Active families can hike the 3km Caledonia Falls Trail, Troodos, which ends with an impressive waterfall, take part in a range of outdoor activities at the Kids Adventure Camp by One Step Further, or play minigolf at Star Leisure Mini Golf in Protara.
Culture-vultures can visit Thalassa Museum in Ayia Napa, which features a replica of the 4th-century Kyrenia shipwreck, where kids can try ‘excavating’ some of the wreck; see the Palaeontology Museum in Larnaca; or learn about astronomy at Larnaca’s Kition Planetarium.
What’s more, Cypriots drive on the left, making the island a great choice for a stress-free family road trip!
Where to stay: Cyplon offers a 7-night holiday at the 5-star St Raphael Resort in Limassol for 2 adults and 2 children from £1,652, B&B, including return flights from London to Larnaca, private taxi transfers, and an executive inland-view room.