One of the best ways to experience any destination is by attending some of the local festivals to really get to know the culture and people. Cyprus is no exception and, with a wealth of exciting events taking place on the Mediterranean island over the next few months, there’s no excuse for missing out on the fun if you’ve booked plane tickets to Cyprus for the summer!
Read on to find out which of the island’s festivals might coincide with your trip – or to choose an event to plan a future holiday around.
Commandaria Festival (early July)
This wine event in the Limassol region is rather unique, as instead of celebrating all kinds of wine (as is the case with the Limassol Wine Festival – see below), it honours a particular type of dessert wine called Commandaria.
The drink is said to be the world’s oldest wine still in production, with a heritage going all the way back to the 13th century. Each July, the villages in the Kouri and Xylourikou valley – where the wine is made – hold a host of tastings, performances and exhibitions in its honour.
Larnaka Festival (July 4th to 24th)
Every year, Larnaka organises three weeks of concerts, plays, dance performances and other cultural events as part of its summer festival, offering something for everyone during the month of July.
The festival is made even more special by the fact that the events are mainly held in a medieval fort and the open air Pattichion Municipal Amphitheatre.
Limassol Wine Festival (end of August to mid-September)
Love wine? You won’t want to miss the annual Limassol Wine Festival, which attracts thousands of locals and holidaymakers keen to sample the best of Cyprus’s tipples, as well as dance the nights away to traditional music and dine on authentic Cypriot cuisine.
The festival lasts for 12 days and usually begins at the end of August/start of September. You can expect to taste wines made by the island’s biggest producers, as well as a host of smaller wineries keen to carve out a niche in this burgeoning market.
Paphos Aphrodite Festival (September 6th to 8th)
This annual three-day opera festival takes place in the scenic surroundings of Paphos Castle and is the perfect event for anyone interested in the genre. The festival regularly attracts the cream of the world’s opera talent and this year is no exception, with Opera Futura Verona bringing Gaetano Donizetti’s L’Elisir D’Amore to the open air stage in collaboration with the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra.
The choice is an interesting one for the festival’s organisers, who usually opt for a lyrical drama but have this time chosen a comic opera that is sure to delight the audience.