Last October we spent 6 nights in Cyprus at two beautiful family friendly Hotels. Hotels that you could walk into and not leave until it was time to go home. They both had multiple restaurants, kids clubs, activities, swimming pools and slides and excellent customer service. For all those reasons I could highly recommend both the Amathus and Four Seasons Cyprus. However when I’m going on holiday I feel like I’ve let myself down if we haven’t done some exploring. I also don’t feel like you can say you love a country if you’ve only seen the inside of a 5 * Hotel. So off exploring Cyprus with kids we go!
We could have done some of the sites we saw in Cyprus without a hire car, but to get the best from a place I think a hire car is well worth an investment. Often it doesn’t cost much more than taxi transfers from the airport and back anyway.
We chose to use Manos Cars in Cyprus. We cannot thank the service we received from Manos Cars enough – very personal and attentive and highly recommended. They were very patient with us in the airport, car seats were provided and changed around to fit, and clear instructions were given as to how to get out of the airport. The car was spotless and there was even water in the car for us too.
You got the distinct impression from Marios (the owner of Manos Cars) that nothing was too much trouble and he was there to genuinely make sure we had a nice trip rather than simply to record scratches on the car!
So whilst in Cyprus, what did we do? The very helpful team at Visit Cyprus had suggested quite a few things to do to keep us busy and had been kind enough to provide us with a letter giving us free entry to the archaeological sites.
From our base in Limassol we visited
The Archaeological Site of Kourion
The majority of the archaeological remains within the Kourion Archaeological site date to the Roman and Late Roman/Early Byzantine periods. The acropolis and all archaeological remains are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not specifically child friendly you might say, however my three loved wandering around and making up stories about who might have lived in which ruin and what they might have been like. With no ropes to really keep you from going anywhere the kids loved the freedom to run about, where in the UK, there might have been signs to say don’t go there! We happily spent a couple of hours there until it got too hot and we returned to the swimming pool to cool off! Take water and snacks whatever the time of year!
We also visited Apeshia Hills Donkey Sanctuary and you can see our full review here. The whole experience probably lasts just about an hour including the stop at the top of the hill and the drink at the end. The views however were pretty spectacular and had you wanted to you could have spent a little more time in the restaurant, the pool or the playground.
On our third day we decided to head off to the Fassouri Waterpark on the other side of Limassol. Having been to Disney earlier in the year and loved Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach we were a little concerned that the Cyprus waterpark with clearly a lot less cash than Disney just wouldn’t live up to our expectations of water parks. However whilst it is fair to say that the theming of the waterpark was not in the same league, we actually felt that there was more actual waterslides at the Fassouri park and we had a ball. A particular favourite was the wet bubble and I loved climbing up it and splashing back in, as did our eldest. You can see one of our water slide videos here! Taken with the My Doodles Action Camera.
Ancient City of Amathus
Another archaeological site but this time a short wander down the beach front, to the Ancient City of Amathus. We’d seen reference to this site in the ‘Moments’ book that the Four Seasons publish every week with their activities in and whilst we didn’t feel brave enough to take the kids on the advertised tour that left the hotel at 9am, we did want to take them ourselves. The walk took literally 15 minutes from the hotel and was well worth the trip. Snacks and drinks packed to bribe the kids up the hill was obligatory but it was definitely worth the hike up the hill to see the city which archaeologists tell us existed from the earliest Iron Age, circa. 1100 BC.
We decided to eat out of the hotel on the second evening and drove down into Limassol to a restaurant recommended by Visit Cyprus, Dasoudi, run by the very friendly Bambos. Bambos actually invited us to order anything we liked off the menu and was thrilled we had chosen to visit his restaurant as he told us less and less people are leaving their hotels when visiting Cyprus. Through out the evening little treats kept arriving at the table as they were actually cooking up a feast in the kitchen for a wedding so we got to taste all manner of different foods. We left at the end of the evening completely and utterly full of delightful fresh Greek food. This restaurant (right on the beach) with a playground next door and an ice cream parlour is definitely recommended for families.
NB: Some of these activities were covered by Visit Cyprus but all views and opinions are our own.