Cyprus © Krzysztof Belczynski

There's a great deal packed onto the small island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean. It's most popular for its deep blue Mediterranean waters, seasideresorts, and silver beaches. In addition, it's riddled with relics of ancient history: beehive huts of primitive peoples, classical Greek and Roman ruins, and everything in between.

The charms of Cyprus are many and varied. For a start, the weather is sunny and dry for most of the year and the encircling sea is blue, clear, and enticing. There are modern luxury hotels in the coastal resort towns, historic restored city precincts to explore, taverns, and nightlife aplenty.

The country has remote and picturesque mountain villages and monasteries, beautiful churches, Crusader castles, and fascinating museums. The local people are extremely welcoming of tourists, happy to share their innate love of life and camaraderie.

In Cyprus, it's possible to mingle with the crowds or seek isolation off the beaten track, even in peak holiday season. For this reason, the island is also a favoured destination for honeymooners. It has the reputation for being where Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love, is said to have risen from the sea.