When thinking of visiting Cyprus, Nicosia is most likely not the first place on tourist minds for one thing – no beaches. It lacks ocean water and sand due to its central location, the capital, and the largest city in Cyprus makes up for it in a rich, great blend of culture, history, historical landmarks, impressive facilities, and many more.
The first habitation of Nicosia dates as far back as over 4500 years ago. It took a while for the Kingdom of Ledra as it was known then, to become significant commercially and politically. Its inner location seemingly a disadvantage compared to cities situated on the coastal lines.
During the 6th century, the small inner-city grew in statures as it was a much safer habitation than the coastal kingdoms or cities, susceptible to constant attacks from the Arabs. By the end of the 10th century, Nicosia had flourished in commerce and grown politically to become the Island nation’s capital. Besides a deep-rooted history, Nicosia packs a load of fascinations that is quite different from seaside adventures offered by coastline resorts. Let’s explore a few of the memorable places you don’t want to miss visiting Nicosia.
Not many Islands archaeological history and wealth compare to this relatively small island. It is one of the ancient civilizations with an intriguing treasure chest. Where else to find the excavated archeological exhibition than the Nicosia museum.
Established in 1882, following the Cypriot people’s petitions to curb the illegal excavation and smuggling of the artifacts from the island. Thankfully, many artifacts from the expeditions by the British and European made it to the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia. The collections tell stories about different periods with chronological and themetical progression from the Neolithic period to the Roman period. Want to learn about the island’s history and some of the earliest civilizations? A visit to Nicosia Museum is bound to be entertaining and educational.
The Green Haven of Nicosia
A few minutes’ walks from the center of the city is a peaceful green Oasis that gives tourists a taste of paradise. Athalassa National Forest Park offers everything you need for a unique, out of the world experience. In addition to visually appealing greenery and preserved nature, the 840-hectare park has several recreational facilities that add to its unique experience.
There are varieties of activities and fun for tourists. Botanic gardens provide a unique learning experience while the pathway extending to 20km distance makes it a fun place for outdoor adventure seekers. Everyday recreational activities in the park include dog walking, walking, and cycling while enjoying the garden’s fantastic view and atmosphere.
The Medieval Walls of Nicosia
As a way of protecting regions, fortifications were common in most ancient kingdoms. In Cyprus, the first fortification went as far back as the 1200s. Though that built in the Lusignan period has given way or demolished for much stronger walled protection. After Cyprus became a Venice republic, the Venetians built a bigger, stronger, and circular wall with a circumference of 5 km to hold back the Ottoman invasions.
The wall surrounding the city of Nicosia has three entrances, which are the Kyrenia Gate (Porta del Proveditore), the Paphos Gate (Porta San Domenico), and the Famagusta Gate (Porta Guiliana). Apart from the fascination of this gigantic, the surroundings are fun spots for locals and visitors. On these spots, you can experience the best of Cypriot foods from the restaurants, art and sculpture exhibitions, bars, and more while you walk around the ancient walled capital.
Visit Melios Zoo
The zoo is a common destination for a family vacation. Melio Zoo, in particular, is a pleasure to visit with diverse and wide varieties of animals from the king of the jungle, zebras, peacocks, kangaroos, lemurs, donkeys to ostriches, and more. Opened in 2000, the zoo has grown admirably, with well-fed and healthy-looking mammals and birds.
The whole area is well covered with trees and aromatic shrubs, providing plenty of shade. Melios zoo surroundings are set up for picnics with chairs and benches and playgrounds for a great family or lovers’ vacation. Nearby the zoo is a Paintball arena where you get dirty, having fun. Whether you are for an engaging or relaxing vacation, Melios Zoo is the place to be for a family or lover or a lone time.
Getting to and around in Nicosia
A visit to sandy beaches in Cyprus is a great experience on its own. However, the itinerary is not detailed without being part of the deep-rooted culture, vibrant history of the Cypriots, and the island. No better place to feel the mark of different civilizations than the capital. Your best bet to making most of your trip is to take advantage of trip packages with the right blend of the ancient ruins and antiquity seeing, buzzing nightlife, locale restaurants, medieval castles, fortifications, great wines, and alluring ocean views from nearby cities.