Our business analyst Victoria reveals the charms of the Spring season in Cyprus – rest assured, at least a couple of these will come to you as a pleasant surprise! ;)
If you think that nothing ever happens on this Mediterranean island, you’re pretty much mistaken.
Sure, our office life might stay the same:
The work gets done, the coffee machines continue to hum.
The scenery inside the office doesn’t really change much.
However, once you step outside, there’s always a chance that you’ll find something interesting. For example, you can greet the arrival of Spring and find out how to do that in a true Cypriot style.
Here’s a handy checklist prepared specially for the occasion, so feel free to take notes!
1. Admire almond trees in bloom
Amongst all fruit trees, almonds are some of the first trees to bloom – they start coming back to life as early as the end of February. What’s peculiar about them, is that their flowers appear before the leaves, which means that, for a while, the trees seem as if they’re completely covered with white and light-pink blossoms.
The most famous place for admiring flowering almonds is a village called Limnatis, some 20 km away from Limassol. The road to the village is nothing short of a “scenic route” – passing through green mountains, it takes you to the gorgeous almond gardens:
It’s worth mentioning that all of those gardens are actually someone’s property – but you can still take a stroll there whenever you like!
2. Have fun at a carnival
For Cypriots, the true harbinger of Spring is a big carnival.
Carnivals take place in many different cities and countries: we’ve all heard of the carnivals in Rio de Janeiro, Venice, New Orleans, Nice – and all those other famous places around the world. In this sense, Cyprus might not be as well-known as Brazil, but its carnival week in Limassol is definitely worth checking out at least once in your life.
Traditionally, the carnival includes brightly-coloured floats, people parading in eye-catching costumes, cheerful music and dancing; however, due to the Covid restrictions, the festivities in Cyprus have been cancelled for two years in a row – but as it turns out, it was only on paper. Of course, there are no more moving platforms or mass gatherings nowadays, but it doesn’t prevent people from getting together, starting spontaneous processions, dressing up in crazy costumes and walking along the promenade with their friends and family.
Cypriots can’t wait for the pandemic to be over, so that the carnival can return in full force – or even bigger and stronger than before!
3. Fly a kite and have a rooftop BBQ party
The last day of the carnival is Sunday – this is when the festivities reach their peak magnitude. And even though “It’s Monday tomorrow”, no one ever bothers to tone down the excitement – because post-carnival Monday is a day off here!
People call it Holy Monday, or Green Monday, and this day signifies the beginning of the Kite festival in Cyprus. The biggest festival takes place in the city of Larnaca, but it’s not uncommon to see hundreds of people flooding the Limassol promenade and trying their luck at flying a kite as well.
As for the barbecue part, saying that almost every household in Cyprus has a charcoal grill won’t be that much of an exaggeration but rather a true statement. If you have even a tiniest bit of lawn in front of your house, a charcoal grill automatically becomes a must-have.
The grill is usually associated with another Green Monday tradition – enjoying charcoal grilled fish and vegetables, and sipping on blue wine.
Blue wine, a novelty of Cyprus winemaking, is actually white wine “filtered” through the skin of specific red wine grapes, which gives the drink its unexpectedly vibrant azure colour.
Having a barbecue party in the front garden is fun, but having it on the rooftop of your house is even more so! Roofs of apartment buildings in Cyprus are rarely closed, so the locals take full advantage of that fact and organise BBQ parties there – and when the gathering’s over, the grill, skewers, and prongs often get left on the roof, waiting for their time to shine again. By the way, rooftops of the two- and three-story buildings are also a great place for plant lovers, who use that space to grow all sorts of bright greenery.
4. Have a dune picnic
The three key elements making up the West coast of Limassol are its sandy hills, thorny thyme shrubs along with their unmistakable scent and, of course, the blue sea.
It gets really windy in Winter, but once the Spring comes around, the weather gets calmer, the air slowly warms up, and sitting on the beach becomes a once again pleasant and lovely pastime.
With all these endless dunes, the coastal landscape could easily pass for the surface of Mars:
If the weather is nice, you’re sure to encounter a lot of cyclists as well as dog owners and their pets here, enjoying the nature and warm sun together.
And now, having experienced a proper Spring weekend, you can get back to work.
Fast forward to evening time, don’t forget to take a walk in the twilight and watch the sea turn mysterious crimson as the sun goes down.