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Green Monday and kite flying in Paphos, Cyprus

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Green Monday is a bank holiday in Cyprus and one the Cypriots all celebrate in a unique way, by going outside and having a picnic on the beach or in the fields.

If I am in the office in London on Green Monday, I always look forward to hearing what our Representative Nicole and Manager Neoptolemos are up to on this day. So instead of giving them a day off, I pester them to find out where they are, and what they are eating.

Nicole in Paphos has kindly told us here what Green Monday means to her:

Kathara Devtera in Greek or Green Monday has been my favourite day in Cyprus for many years. Getting out to the fields with friends and family, having a vegetarian picnic and flying kites is really something special. Already on the way to “our” place at St. George beach we can see people from early morning putting their BBQ, table and chairs up, and the whole sky is  already full of kites! Kites have been promoted for sale for many weeks in the shops.
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As Green Monday is the first day of Lent only vegetables, fruit, octopus or shellfish together with a special sesame bread called “Lagana” only available on this day in the bakery, is served, together with some dips and obviously a glass of beer or wine.

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My favourite on this day is the beetroot salad with spring onion, garlic and coriander which I usually only do on this occasion together with some calamari, prawns and avocado dip. For desert we have fruit or semolina pudding with honey, nuts, raisins or as well daktila, syrupy, crunchy finger shaped cookies.

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On bigger beaches the municipalities usually organize music and dance and some games to entertain the people.

I personally prefer though the area around St. George (without any itinerary) as my sons enjoy fishing on that day and the area there is suitable to do this.  After finishing the BBQ, the men in the party may play some cards or Backgammon, and the ladies are off for a walk and a catch up chat.

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According to weather conditions we may spend the whole day outside and only return in the evening, or we may get together at someones house, as we did this year, to finish the day off with a glass of wine. I really like this wine, look out for it when you visit Cyprus!

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And from Neoptolemos in Lysos village: Green Monday, the first day of Lent, the day that all Cypriots are looking forward to, to spend in the nature at the countryside and wishing to have sunny weather to enjoy it at the maximum.
It’s the Monday that Cypriots and Greeks abstain from eating meat.
When I think back  to my childhood the more I realise that those years were more genuine, using only the products we had available,  to prepare the picnic in the countryside in a vegetarian way.
I remember sometimes we used to go to the playground of the school in Lysos,  as more people were there for the children to have more options to play with other children.
The fresh broadbeans were my favourite together with fresh artichokes. Most of the times we were eating them raw uncooked! Sometimes we put them in aluminium paper in charcoal and served them with oil and lemon.
Playing football or volley ball without having any net was a must! Sometimes while we were at playground we were organising competitions of running and fighting.
Nowadays more products are available  as well more seafood, and a picnic could include olives, legumes, fruits, kalamari, octopus, shrimps, oysters, cuttlefish, mussels, the traditional Green Monday bread called “Lagana” and “Halvas” a sweet made with tahini sesame paste).

Paphos Carnival video to celebrate Green Monday 

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Here is a link to the next Green Monday dates as it is a great time to enjoy the festivities alongside the Cypriots, so why not include the date in your villa holiday?

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August villa with pool availability Paphos Cyprus

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We still have some August holiday availability in our Cyprus villas with pools in Paphos.

Here is our mid July to end August 2018 availability with the daily rate for the villa, not per person.

Updated 23/7/18.

So for example 4 bedroom Vineyard View with 8 sharing in August at £136, is just £17 ppp day.

Changeover days apply.

Villas and Cottages with private swimming pools, July August prices and availability:

1 bedroom

The Cottage
25 July to 1 August £85

2 bedroom

Villa Katerina
25 July to 3 August £99

3 bedroom

Villa Argaka Bay
22 August onwards £170

Villa Hera
To 29  July.  From 25  August and 10% discount for 2 adults, £140 to £169

Villa Quardia

8 – 15 August £142 (£995 week reduced)

10 Villa Quardia, Paphos, Cyprus. 3 bedrooms, mountain sea views, own pool (2)

Villa Rosa
From 20 August £142 REDUCED

4 bedroom

Villa Vineyard View
23 August onwards £136

How to book/provisionally book/check changeover days:

  1. Changeover days apply. Please email requested dates to me to check that they fit with bookings and are therefore available to book. I can then provisionally reserve a villa for you for up to 48 hours, with no payment or obligation. I will email a reply to you.
  1. After this, to proceed with a Request, click on the link above/Sundance Villas webpage and select the turquoise link toPrices, Availability and Booking.Select your dates/complete the Booking Request.

Under and over occupancy adjustments: Ignore the webrate, I will adjust the Costing.

You can find Flight Links from UK and Europe here

Read more about Changeover days here

Kindest regards

Irene Hare

Sundance Villas

email: irene@sundancevillas.co.uk

Tel. 020 84406219   London

Top reasons why renting a holiday villa is better than staying in a hotel

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Reasons why renting a villa is better for you than staying in a hotel?

Well, you do not have to get up at the crack of dawn to put towels on your sun loungers for starters!

Seriously though, it is so much more relaxing having a pool to yourselves. This swan came all the way from Stafford in order that my daughter and friend could try and copy a photo of Calvin Harris and Taylor Swift. It was much more difficult than they thought as the impact of the second woman landing on the swan meant the other one shot off. So they decided to film it and after about 70 attempts they got this screenshot! I can tell you they would not have even attempted this in a hotel pool with people watching…

Swan Yes

Turn off the alarm clock. Eat what you like whenever you like, and enjoy lay-ins knowing you have not missed breakfast! It has simply changed to brunch!

Free Wi-Fi! All our villas have free Wi-Fi, whereas Hotels usually charge for it or it is only available in the lobby or bar.

Free TV streaming via a media box or Satellite TV at most of our villas. We also have a DVD or CD player at many villas

Your pool is open 24 hours at a villa whereas hotel pools have opening and closing times. Enjoy a cooling midnight swim under the stars at your villa or an early pre breakfast wake up swim! With the pool all to yourself!

Quality time! Why make chit chat with strangers in a hotel, when you could be spending precious quality time with your family in a villa: spending time outdoors and at your own private pool, reading a book undisturbed, (my favourite),  cooking on the BBQ, (Cyprus is perfect for this), trying new foods together, playing games, walking on the beach or taking a stroll around the villa lanes, trying the local tavernas for delicious Cyprus food and local Cypriot wines, (my favourite again)

More Space: No comparison, a villa rental wins hands down. There is a fair amount of “down time” on a holiday and a hotel room can feel like a box, so where do you go, the bar? The poolside? If the poolside, are there any spare sun loungers?

Privacy: As you may know, privacy is high on my list when selecting villas for my Portfolio. It is something I always look for on my holidays too. Find our “Romantic and Secluded” villas here.
Many villas are “all over tan” locations, and also perfect for those of us who prefer poolside privacy.

Choose a villa to suit the needs of your party. There are times when you may like to bring the family, so you may choose to be close to the sea, or in the Coral Bay area with lots going on. Other times it may be just the 2 of you, and you can have a 2 person discount

Choose the flights from the airport you prefer, and the dates. Here at Sundance Villas we provisionally reserve the dates whilst you book your own flights from your local airport. Often the Hotels can only be booked as packages via the main airports. With a villa holiday you CAN fly from Bournemouth, Exeter, Cardiff, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Aberdeen etc. 

Villa rentals are great value for money! For example our 4 bed 4 bath Vineyard Villas in Kathikas are only £78 per person per week in October, based on 8 sharing, and the rate includes a hamper and Wi-Fi! Find them in our Budget Villas

Feeling of being at home. Wear what you like, no dress code at the villas. (I have stayed at a hotel where they even “dressed” for breakfast.)

Pack light and save money on luggage! Our villas all have washing machines, so you have the freedom to do your own laundry. This means you can pack lighter. Some clients just bring a small carry on case

Happy children: Children love to say in villas as it often means they can have their own room. You can also request toys, as many of our clients leave their inflatables behind for later guests. We really appreciate this. If you book a secluded villa like Villa Ampelitis,  Villa Aurora,  Villa Zephirine or Villa Quardia, then you have no immediate neighbours, so the children can make lots of noise, ask me

Local tavern will collect you and take you back free of charge, when you go there for a meal. This happens at Gerania taverna in the next village to Villa AmpelitisThe food is good and you will be eating with the locals.  Not having to drive means you can really enjoy the evening with some drinks. This is unique, ask me for more info

Villa rentals put you in a better location than a hotel, to enjoy the local culture.
Of course Hotels are touristy, but our villa rentals are not located in the touristy parts of Cyprus, so you can really experience true Cyprus. Find our Rural and Villages villas here

No plastic wrist bands… do they still exist?

And I shall end on this saying: “A Cypriot will treat a stranger with the same warmth that he treats a friend.
I have found this to be true.

So if you have never stayed in a villa with a private pool, give it a try, you won’t regret it!

Find more information about how to provisionally book a villa and changeover days here
Irene Hare
Updated 17/2/2018

Cyprus Sun Bargains

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Last minute Cyprus villas. Here are a few offers for low cost villa holidays in Cyprus. Weekly rates include a hamper, and all properties have free Wi-Fi. They are for the property, not per person. If you can go in mid or low season, please contact me, Irene, for offers. Or search like this if dates are flexible: http://www.sundancevillas.co.uk/filter.php?bd=&dt_type=flexible&fdp=01%2F10%2F2018&tdp=24%2F10%2F2018&non=10&rs=Y&bs=

Cyprus is beautiful in March and April, and quite green. Have you seen our April video here on About Us: http://www.sundancevillas.co.uk/about-us.php#video

March, April and November are generally the cheapest times to visit Cyprus.

Use this as a guide and contact us for up to date offers and changeover days

The Cottage. A unique cottage for 2 persons with a private garden and private pool. November £350 week, March £385 week

Villa Aphrodite.
28/10 – 5/11 £595. March £392 per week

Villa Filip.  22/10 – 5/11/17 14 nights, £595 week or £550 for 14 nights. March from just £315 week

Villa Katerina. March from £392

Villa Argaka Shore.   Winter from £623 week

Villa Athena.    Winter incl pool heating and house heating. Solar panels are weather dependent. £693 week

Villa Aurora.  21/3 – 28/3/18 £455

Villa Hera. 2 person Winter rate £440 per week. Winter rates here include 1 halogen heater

Villa Iris. March from £448 week

Villa Nicolas. November £595 week and pool is heatable. March from £525 week

Villa Quardia. March from £455 week. November £371 week

Villa Rosa.  March £665 incl pool heating and a pool boost

Villa Timily.  Accessible. Winter offer including air con hot or cold throughout from £595 week

Villa Amorosa.  4 bedrooms, private pool, baby pool. Big sea views! 1 – 17/3/18 £553 week. 8 sharing means £69 ppp wk!

Villa Vineyard View.   15% discount for 2 persons,  1 Sept to 13 July

Villa Alexandros. Low prices for small parties at this 5 bedroom villa,  when dates fit with current bookings.  (Not August.)

Villa Ampelitis. Pool heats to 30 degrees C. 5 nights 1 – 13 March, £763 per week. 12% discount 2 persons

Zypern mit Kindern

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Zypern mit Kindern ist eine wirklich gute Wahl, denn Zypern ist zum einen ein sehr sicheres, zum anderen aber auch ein sehr kinderfreundliches Land. Abends dürfen die Kinder lange aufbleiben, Zyprioten nehmen selbst die Kleinsten abends mit zum Essen und so sind auch Urlauberkinder in den Restaurants gern gesehene Gäste und Kinderstühle etc. gehören zur Standardausstattung. Auch das Angebot an Babynahrung und Windeln ist fast ebenso gross wie in Deutschland, Kindersitze gehören bei den Autovermietern www.cybreeze.com.cy zum Standard. Auch die Ferienhäuser von Sundance Villas www.sundancevillas.co.uk haben sich auf Familien mit Kindern eingestellt und so gehören Kinderbett und Hochstuhl zur Grundausstattung, etwas Spielzeug wird bereitgestellt und einige Häuser verfügen sogar über Spielplatz, Tischtennis oder Billardtisch sowie Fahrräder.
Neben den wunderschönen Stränden für Jung und Alt wo man neben Muschelsammeln auch ganz toll Angeln kann gibt es auch vielseitige Unterhalts- und Freizeitangebote, um gerade Familien ein zufriedenstellendes Programm anzubieten.

Das bergige und gerade im Sommer nicht zu heisse Hinterland lädt zu Wanderungen und Fahrradtouren ein, auf einigen Farmen werde Pferde- und Eselreiten angeboten. Auch ein Besuch einer Weinkellerei sollte auf dem Ausflugsprogramm nicht fehlen, geniesst man doch in den traditionellen Bergdörfern der Weinroute noch die zypriotische Gastfreundschaft. Einzelheiten zu Aktivitäten im Troodos schreibe ich in einem gesonderten Beitrag.
Auch die archäologischen Stätten auf Zypern sind einen Besuch wert. Im archäolgischen Park und dem dazugehörigen Museum von Paphos, der Steinzeitsiedlung Choirokoitía in der Nähe von Larnaka und dem Kurium Amphitheater bei Limassol können sich Kinder (und Erwachsene) auf spannende Art und Weise über die Geschichte der Insel bilden. Vor allem die Königsgräber in Pafos, die eigentlich Grabstätten reicher Bürger waren oder die Mosaike, die Paphos zum UNESCO-Weltkulturerbe machten regen die Fantasie an sich vorzustellen, wie die reichen Römer vor vielen Jahren in ihren Villen gelebt haben. Spannend für die ganze Familie und das Klettern in den Ruinen macht auch viel Spass.
Wer seinen Kindern eine besondere Freude machen möchte, sollte beim Zypern Urlaub auch einen Besuch in einem der vielen Freizeit- und Wasserparks der Insel einplanen. Gerade Pafos hat einen sehr schönen Zoo, wo man für wenig Geld zB. die Giraffen füttern kann, tolle Fotos sind da garantiert.
Auch die Wasserparks in Pafos und Limassol versprechen einen tollen Familientag.

Für aktive Familien empfehle ich “Sparti Rope Park” im Troodosgebirge. Einzelzeiten zu diesen Freizeitmöglichkeiten folgen in meinem nächsten Beitrag.
Nicht verpassen sollte man einen Besuch im Akamas Naturschutzgebiet, dessen Flora und Fauna gerade im Frühjahr Jung und Alt den Atem rauben. Eine Kletterpartie in der Akamas-Schlucht und dann der Besuch der Lara Bucht, wo die Meeresschildkröten ihre Eier ablegen werden sicherlich einer der Höhepunkte eines Familienurlaubs werden.
Ich hoffe, dass diese generelle Information über einen Familienurlaub Interesse auf meine folgenden Beiträge gemacht hat, in denen ich Einzelheiten zu Freizeitaktivitäten gebe und Ausflüge ausführlicher beschreibe. Da ich mittlerweile seit 20 Jahren auf Zypern lebe, meine Kinder 13 und 16 Jahre alt sind kann ich hoffentlich zum Gelingen Ihres nächsten Familienurlaubs auf Zypern beitragen.

Christmas in Cyprus

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Even though Cyprus is often enjoying lovely sunny weather approaching mid December, often with temperatures around 22 degrees,  there is still Christmas Spirit in the air in Paphos! And yes the cheeky pelican is still at Paphos harbour!Paphos Harbour

Streets, shops and houses have been decorated and various Christmas fairs and Markets are held over the next weeks. Many tavernas and bars light their fireplaces for the evenings, making it really cosy.

Mall Christmas 2

In general Christmas is celebrated for around 12 days in Cyprus starting from the 24th of December until the feast of Epiphany on 6th of January.

After the long 40 days of fasting, Cypriots celebrate the birth of Christ in style with lovely food such as stuffed turkey, roast lamb, chicken and pork, not forgetting the nice sweets such as kourabiedes (small almond cakes coated in icing sugar) or Melomakarona (honey cookies with walnuts).

Children in Cyprus have to wait until News Year´s Day to receive their presents,  as this is the day of Agios Vasilis (St. Basil), the Greek Santa Claus. On New Year’s Eve the families get together, enjoy a lovely dinner and at midnight the VASILOPITA (cake with a coin inside) is cut and shared with all family members. The one who finds the coin will be lucky all year.

Mall Christmas

Over the Christmas period pomegranates are eaten and also used for decoration. This fruit symbolizes joyous times, good fortune, fertility and prosperity.

In December there is often a  Christmas Farmers & Crafters Market Pano Akourdalia (near our Villa Quardia)  or the Christmas Street Fair on Makarios Avenue in Pafos, just to mention two of various Christmas events in the Pafos area.

If you are now interested in spending Christmas or New Year in Cyprus have a look at our Winter Villas . These selected villas are suitable for a comfortable stay during cooler winter months. Our 5 x Argaka Beach villas, Coral Bay beach villa Kingfisher, and Lysos village stone house villa Nicolas ALL have underfloor heating which is well worth the outlay. Villa Ampelitis has central heating available and pool heating, and some logs will be supplied too!  Read a Christmas Review here “Memorable Christmas at Villa Ampelitis with a heated pool and snow at Troodos mountains“. Ask Irene for more info.

Lounge to fireplace (9)

For more information of What’s On and bars and tavernas with fireplaces, please ask Nicole or Neoptolemos, your Representatives

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Last minute Paphos villa rentals

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Sundance Villas offer low cost last minute Paphos villa rental holidays.
It is impossible for me to keep this information and prices up to date. Just contact me with your requirements and always let me know if dates are fixed, ie you have booked your flights.

If your dates are flexible, I can offer you more options.

OFFER: April 2018,  secluded, not overlooked, wonderful sea and mountain views, Villa Quardia  last minute £79 per night

10 Villa Quardia, Paphos, Cyprus. 3 bedrooms, mountain sea views, own pool (2)

Search like this for April 2018: http://www.sundancevillas.co.uk/filter.php?bd=&dt_type=flexible&fdp=14%2F04%2F2018&tdp=30%2F04%2F2018&non=7&bs=

As I have done above, use our dates search (flexible or fixed dates)  to “get an idea” of what is vacant. Here is an example how to search   Edit this to suit your personal requirements.

Then check flights via our Cheap Flight blog link.  Don’t forget to check the Olympic Holidays Flight Only too, for departures, as their low prices may not be on other sites.

Contact me with dates and requirements, and number in party, adults and children.

If your dates are flexible this will help as I will be able to offer you more options, and advise on the Changeover Days.

I will then respond with possible villas and I will also ensure you get the lowest  last minute low rate. I would love to discuss your options, please call me on 02084406219 Irene (London)

Disabled friendly holidays in Cyprus

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Can you imagine arriving at your holiday villa and you cannot get in the front door as it is too narrow?  Or you can get in the front door, but not into your bedroom?  Or you can get in the bathroom, but not into the shower? Or even worse, you can sit on the loo, but you cannot get off?  The list goes on… No wonder disabled people are hesitant before they book.

With this in mind, after long discussions about the lack of Truly Disabled Friendly villa accommodation in Cyprus, and with encouragement from me, (Irene), Nikos and Nicole Kyriakides bought a beautiful plot in their home village of Statos – Agios Fotios in Paphos, and enlisted a top architect to build them, from scratch, a disabled friendly accessible villa, Ampelitis. It is not only unique in Cyprus, it is unique in Europe!

Villa Ampelitis with private heated pool, Cyprus

Of course anyone can book it, (many of our bookings are not from guests with a disability at all) it just has, on request, extra facilities if needed, ie the fantastic pool hoist, bed rail, profiling bed, height adjustable beds, grab rails and so much more. Ooh did I mention the beautiful indoor heated pool heats up to a warm 30 degrees Celsius? That’s jacuzzi warmth!

Heated private pool with hoist, Villa Ampelitis, Cyprus

Heated private pool with hoist, Villa Ampelitis, Cyprus

3 bedroom Villa Timily with pool hoist was also designed from scratch, by its disabled owner, so it has been well tried and tested before renting.Villa Timily, disabled friendly villa, private pool, Polis, Cyprus

Polis walkway to Latchi

and to the level beachside promenade that goes all the way to Latchi.           Villa Timily wetroom

You can read more about disabled holidays in Cyprus here

If you would like to discuss my villas with me for your future holiday, I would love to hear from you on 020 84406219 (London) or by e.mail.  Irene