Paphos and Larnaca airports are magnets for British visitors in summer. British Airways flies to both Heathrow and Gatwick; easyJet offers the same double act from Bristol, Gatwick and Luton while also serving Larnaca from Liverpool and Paphos from Edinburgh and Manchester. Jet2 offers Paphos and Larnaca from Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds-Bradford, Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle – and throws in a Belfast flight to Paphos. Tui Airways (020 3451 2716; tui.co.uk) serves both Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Gatwick, Manchester and Newcastle airports – and offers additional flights to Paphos from Bournemouth, Doncaster-Sheffield, Exeter, Glasgow, Stansted and Norwich. Ryanair flies to Paphos alone from Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle. Wizz Air (0330 977 0444; wizzair.com) flies to Larnaca from Cardiff, Gatwick and Luton only.
If Nicosia doesn’t quite have the barbed-wire vibe of Cold War Berlin, it is the most obvious display of the island’s divided status: the “Green Line” separating the Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognized only by Turkey) from the rest of the Republic country cuts across it. But on the south side of the schism there is much to cheer about. The Cyprus Museum (mcw.gov.cy) has archaeological wonders from the 9th millennium BC. For lunch near the ‘border’ visit To Anamma (toanamma.com), a classic Cypriot tavern with al fresco tables and meze platters.
It is located on Ledra Street, which is also the city’s main intersection to the north. You can pass through with a British passport (unvaccinated tourists need a negative PCR test result) to catch a glimpse of a Cyprus that is a decade or two behind the rest of the country. However, the Selimiye Mosque is magnificent and retains much of the soul of the Cathedral of St. Sophia – the building’s original identity (13th century). A four-night short break at the five-star Hilton Nicosia hotel – from Gatwick on 13 July – costs from £682 per person via Expedia (020 3024 8211; expedia.co.uk).