Spring is the time for herbs and there are so many in Cyprus.
Spring is the season of renewal, with nature discarding the cloak of winter decay and putting on its colourful garments of fragrant new growth. The fields are green and abundant with wild herbs and flowers, most of which can be used as food or as medicine. What a wonderfully abundant part of the world is our precious island, giving us all we need for health and wellbeing. As soon as the citrus trees have been harvested of their delicious fruit, they start to come into flower, spreading their amazing aroma all over the countryside. Bees love orange blossom and make a fantastic honey from its pollen, but the delicate white flowers of the bitter orange tree (citrus aurantium) also produce a highly aromatic essential oil: neroli. This is the oil the famous Eau de Cologne was made of. It is still a component in many expensive perfumes. The essential oil has many healing properties and is a favourite in aromatherapy treatments. The intoxicating aroma is a powerful antidepressant, aphrodisiac, tonic, digestive and cytophylactic, promoting the generation of new cells, which makes it a useful ingredient in anti-aging products.
Calendula, also known as pot marigold, is another bright example of a spring herb which does wonders for the skin, it is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids. The bright yellow flowers, once dried, are infused in almond oil for a month, extracting all the soothing and healing properties of the plant. This precious golden oil can then be used as is or made into salve, healing all kinds of skin problems, such as eczema, psoriasis, rashes, burns, wounds and scars, as well as inflammations and fungal infections. I have seen amazing results with calendula clearing up nasty rashes in just a few days. Used over time, it also reduces scars. The dried flowers make an excellent anti-inflammatory tea, which is soothing to the stomach, effectively fights internal fungal and viral infections and also relieves menstrual cramps. The fresh petals can be added to salads, butter or cakes.
The ultimate queen of spring flowers is undoubtedly the wild rose, Rosa Damascena. Rose yields one of the most exquisite and expensive essential oils. The oil is produced by steam distillation and is used in perfumery, cosmetics and aromatherapy. Vast quantities of freshly picked flowers are necessary for even a small quantity of oil, as many as sixty thousand roses make one ounce, which means sixty roses make just one drop! feminine and sensual, the aroma is truly breathtaking and lifts the spirits. It is rich in antioxidants and has an anti-aging effect on the skin, as it stimulates new cell growth and restores moisture balance. The dried flowers can be brewed as a relaxing and uplifting tea. Rose water, which is often used in confectionary, is also an excellent skin tonic. The village of Agros in Cyprus is known for its production of rose products and hosts an annual Rose Festival in early May, which is well worth a visit.
By Miranda Tringis, Herbalist at www.cyherbia.com
Cyprus isn't just about sun and sea - there is a wealth to explore in the villages, mountains, wineries and all over the island.
Cyprus enjoys an enviable worldwide sun and sea holiday destination with year-round sunshine, blue skies and warm waters. However, this fascinating island has much more to offer. Away from the tourist areas, the Cyprus countryside has a diverse wealth of its own with traditional villages, vineyards and wineries, tiny fresco-painted churches, remote forests.
Enjoy a different kind of holiday in Cyprus off the beaten track in peace and tranquillity by staying in a restored traditional house in one of the island’s many picturesque villages.
Awaken to the sound of a cock crowing, or a donkey braying, take your breakfast in the shade of a vine with the smell of jasmine or wild thyme in the air, go for a long walk in the pine-scented forest, watch how the local bread and ‘halloumi’ cheese are made and experience rural living at first hand. And when the sun goes down, just lie back and enjoy Cyprus’ magical evenings gazing at one of the starriest skies you will ever see, lulled by the gentle sounds of the night crickets.
You will be given the warmest of welcomes, as Cypriots have a reputation for being hospitable, and you will certainly end up making many good friends before you leave. Don’t be surprised if your hosts go out of their way to treat you as one of the family, lavishing a veritable feast of local delicacies upon you.
Try everything by ordering ‘mezedes’ and wash it all down with one of the local beers or wines. Cyprus’ sweet Commandaria wine is one of the oldest in the world, and if you’re brave enough, have a shot of ‘zivania’, which is almost pure alcohol and packs a neat punch.
More than just for summer, Cyprus is perfect at any time of year. Blessed with an abundance of sunshine and warm year-round temperatures, it is a great place to enjoy winter sun, to avoid the crowds in the autumn and to marvel at nature’s springtime tapestry of colour. With rugged coasts and mountain peaks, sunny vineyards and cool pine forests, flat expanses of wheat fields and lush citrus orchards, the island has something for everyone.
And when you’ve had your fill of relaxing, you’ll find that in Cyprus there’s much to see and do. Play a round of golf, go cycling, or hiking round the countryside, or take up a new sport. Or wonder at spectacular Greek temples, opulent Byzantine churches and ancient artefacts that are the remnants of a civilisation going back 10,000 years.
The properties we offer are a great base from where to explore the island. Carefully renovated to maintain their distinctive character, while including all modern conveniences, they are ideal for those seeking comfort and privacy in friendly and attractive surroundings.
Main image: Vavla Rustic Retreat
An Interview with Jochen Niemann, General Manager of Londa Beach Hotel, a boutique hotel in Limassol, Cyprus.The Londa Beach Hotel is a unique boutique hotel located in Limassol. It's a gorgeous hotel with a design and character that makes for a fantastic getaway.
An interview with Miranda Tringis - the powerhouse behind CYHERBIA HERB GARDEN & MAZE!!Miranda Tringis is an amazing woman to speak with. Her story is one about the perseverance in establishing a sustainable business like CyHerbia and a testament to how with a lot of patience and creative foresight, just about anything is possible. Even an environmental park consisting of 9 different herb gardens, a maze and a woodland.
We had bought that piece of land as an investment, not with the intention to do anything with it initially. About nine months after we'd purchased it, my husband said: 'It's not good to have that land just sitting there doing nothing. We should cultivate it. You're good with herbs, let's make a herb garden!'
I recently went on a road trip. Through Cyprus.Well, in all fairness, it wasn’t through Cyprus per se. It was more like a discovery of Limassol. And then Paphos and its surrounds.
Visitors to Cyprus beware!The island is a magical place of myth and legend; the birthplace of the goddess of love; the battleground of the Venetians; the place where Richard the Lionheart married his queen Berengaria; the stopping off point for the crusaders on their way to fight the Saracens in the Middle East. Ever stone and ancient column has a story to tell – who knows what secrets they may reveal, what enchanting mysteries of past eras?
Hilton Cyprus has been recognised as Cyprus’s leading business hotel for the second consecutive time at the European final of the renowned World Travel Awards 2014, voted for by travel agents worldwide.At the Europe Gala Ceremony, which took place in Athens, Greece, on Saturday 2 August, Hilton Cyprus was one of 24 Hilton Worldwide properties in Europe to receive an accolade. Cyprus’s leading business hotel. Hilton Worldwide flagship brand, Hilton Hotels & Resorts was also awarded Europe’s Leading Hotel Brand, reflecting its presence in 34 countries across the region.
It would appear pruning has taken on a new definition in Cyprus.There are various ways to describe what pruning means.
We asked Charis Michael, Manager of the only 5 Star Hotel in Nicosia, The Hilton Cyprus, 5 questions. This is what he had to say.1. What is the best feature of your hotel?
Congratulations must be extended to Antara Palace Wellness & Destination Spa located in Polis Chrysochous, Cyprus, which has been awarded theCongratulations must be extended to Antara Palace Wellness & Destination Spa located in Polis Chrysochous, Cyprus, which has been awarded the "Best Luxury Destination Spa" at the 2014 World Luxury Spa Awards!!!