So much to do in Cypriot paradise

Fasouri Watermania waterpark
Fasouri Watermania waterpark
0
Have your say

While slowly digesting the mountains of meat meze that had been arriving at our table for the last hour, a smartly dressed Cypriot man approached our table on the patio:

“The parents of the baby girl would be delighted if you joined them for a drink and a dance after your dinner,” he said.

Despite not knowing the man from Adam, or even his family’s name, we obliged for a few minutes so our daughters Isla and Evelyn could strut their stuff on the dancefloor and we could congratulate the family on their little girl’s Christening.

Far from being gatecrashers at this 250-strong knees up, the four of us felt right at home – which was typical of our week at Paradisos Hills in western Cyprus.

We were guests of co-owner Soulla Charalambous and her family, who built their 15-room (with another 12 on the way) boutique hotel in memory of their father Andreas near Lysos, the home of his wife Theodosia.

Paradisos Hills is a kind of retreat, with its breathtaking mountainside location providing stunning views of Chrysochou Bay, Paphos Forest and the Akamas Peninsula all amidst an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.

Also, thanks to the warm, welcoming nature of Soulla and her clan, it often felt like we had been invited as guests to stay over at the luxury home of an extended Cypriot family.

Throughout the week, there is a lot going on at the hotel.

Different cuisine is served each evening in the restaurant, with Soulla and her sister Niki also running cookery classes demonstrating how to recreate their mouthwatering Cypriot and Mediterranean dishes.

In fact, considering Paradisos Hills’ relatively small size and the constant calm at the place, each day there seems slightly different.

Hikers and cyclists regularly call by for a bite to eat or glass of wine, with Niki’s Sunday lunch and Friday night Indian buffet particularly popular.

There are also regular functions taking place - with the entire hotel available for hire to groups large or small who want to spend a romantic break, family holiday or get married in western Cyprus.

Paradisos Hills is fully equipped and licensed to stage wedding ceremonies or receptions – should the happy couple opt to tie the knot at one of the many nearby churches instead.

If you’re one of those holidaymakers who believes that when you’re abroad you should do as the locals do, then Paradisos Hills ticks that box too.

During our days out and about on the island, we were asked by Cypriots and British ex-pats where we were staying, and the mere mention of Paradisos had them green with envy, such is the place’s outstanding reputation.

Another strength of the hotel is its location just a 15-minute drive south of Polis and 40 minutes north-west of Paphos, making it the perfect base for a holiday on the largest island in the Med.

Public transport is available in Cyprus, but unfortunately, as with many Mediterranean destinations, it is not the most reliable.

Therefore, the best way to get around is by renting a car - we did this through the friendly folks at Petrides Car Rentals in Polis who delivered a people carrier to the airport ready for our arrival so we could begin our Cypriot adventure as soon as we stepped off the plane.

Driving around the island is pretty relaxed and straightforward, and as most conventions and road markings are exactly the same as the UK’s, it will seem like a doddle to most British motorists.

Throughout our week, most of our time was spent lapping up the warm sunshine, building sandcastles and swimming in the sparkling blue warm waters at Latchi, Coral Bay and Pomos, as well as days out in the cosmopolitan coastal city of Paphos.

Here Romantica is perfect place for a spot of lunch or early evening meal, with owner Bambos and the Phillipou family serving mouthwatering locally sourced dishes, within a stone’s throw of the municipal beach adjacent to the port’s big hotels.

Another half an hour or so down the road from Paphos is the city of Limassol, and just on the outskirts lies the famous Fasouri Watermania Waterpark.

Here Evelyn splashed around in the kids’ pool, while her older sister Isla and I climbed the steps to the high-octane rides such as the Black Cannon, Pro Bowl and the Extreme Black Hole slides.​

As with every part of Cypriot culture, the attractions around the island are completely geared towards families so they can make the most of the great outdoors and sun-kissed climate.

Nevertheless, the home is very important to people in this part of the world, and after a long day at the beach, waterpark or exploring the island, Soulla and her clan were always on hand to welcome us back into theirs at Paradisos Hills.

Of course, there weren’t always 250 partygoers singing and dancing all night every night, but even so, every day seemed like another day in paradise.