A few months back, I wrote to say that, whilst we were originally planning to return to Malta again this year, our local First Choice travel agent suggested we might try Cyprus, as there are some obvious similarities.
Well, we have now returned from a week's break on the island, and have to say how very much we enjoyed every aspect of it! We flew locally from Exeter, and whilst this was an early morning flight, and we had to leave the house at 4am, we used the excellent services of Tony Sibley, (Airport Travel) was no problem at all. Tony was there to pick us up on our return and frankly, what he charges is very little more than what you'd pay to drive yourself, and pay for a week's parking!
We were recommended a lovely hotel, the Pioneer Beach Hotel, which more than exceeded our expectations! Even if our room at Malta's Hilton was superior, every other aspect of the Pioneer left it standing. The meals were excellent and the staff always so helpful and friendly. In particular I'd like to thank Kristina on Reception, who seemed to be working there everyday hour of every day, and the waitresses we met in the Odysseus Restaurant. They were all so willing to chat, even though they were always kept very busy! In particular, we enjoyed meeting Mirka, from Slovakia, who was really interesting to talk to. Rather than upset any of the others, whom we also liked very much, we include one from Italy, from former East Germany, another from Wuppertal, and one from Cyprus itself.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and on our last day, when we were in the capital, Nicosia, the digital thermometer showed 39 degrees - not bad for early September, I'd say! Whilst we loved Paphos, where we were staying, we made the wise decision to hire a car for the week. This was a lovely little Kia Picanto which coped admirably with all the twists and turns in the Troodos Mountains, whilst keeping us nicely cool with its excellent air-conditioning. We drove up to Polis, and the Atacama Peninsula, and along the coast to Limassol. We were going to drive to Nicosia, but decided to book a scheduled coach trip, especially as they would know exactly where to park.
We couldn't fault our holiday, and would thoroughly recommend it - as long as you've got no kids, as our hotel won't take them!
As to whether we ultimately preferred our week in Malta to this one in Cyprus, shall we say: The jury's still out!