When August comes to an end summer is officially over and everyone gets back into their usual routines of work and starts to get their winter wardrobes out. Luckily for me, the end of summer came later than usual…
I had not been to Cyprus before, but the thought of going away in October was the ultimate dream, and flying out the day after my birthday made it even better!
G and I jetted off with his parents to the gorgeous Anassa resort, situated to the west of the island. Taking an early flight from London we arrived in Cypriot territory just after midday with enough time to explore what the hotel had to offer. We were greeted with a refreshing local drink of tonic water, rosemary and lemon juice before being escorted to our rooms for the week.
Ours was situated in the main hotel and we had a pretty little balcony with beautiful views, a huge bed that you sank into and an impressive bathroom with bath and shower – I knew we would be quite comfortable. Once unpacked and settled out of our travelling clothes we popped on our swimsuits and went for a wonder.
Winding paths through mazes of greenery, the glistening sea set against a backdrop of bright blue skies set and stunning Cypriot mountains surrounding us, the Anassa had absolutely everything you would want from a relaxing break away. With plenty of sun loungers to go around we always found our spot next to the pool, with waiters on hand to offer anything from iced lattes to a glass of prosecco. The refreshingly cool pool had a waterfall, in-pool bar seating and a gorgeous view out to sea.
The beach itself was also stunning and the sea was not too cold for a dip in-between sunbathing sessions. I tried to spend as much time tanning as possible as I knew I’d be coming back to the UK faced with cold weather and a lack of sunshine!
On our second night of the holiday we had signed up to wine tasting with the bar manager. Feeling a little tired from travelling the day before, we were soon in full swing tasting white, rose, red and dessert wines as well as a local spirit shot! It definitely woke us up and got us in the mood for our beach BBQ. It was fascinating hearing about all of the wines, in addition to the local history. I’ve never done anything like it before but would recommend if its something that your hotel offers whilst you’re away.
The Anassa also boasts a world leading spa amongst its facilities and Julia and I enjoyed a body scrub in the first couple of days. Local salts and oil left our skin feeling soft, refreshed and ready for tanning. Post treatments you can enjoy the hot salt water hydrotherapy pool, the outdoor Jacuzzi and the grand indoor swimming pool (which nobody else seemed to use!) We would quite often come to this hideaway late afternoon to have a bit of peace and tranquillity. It’s amazing how tired you get sitting on a sunbed!
This all was absolutely fantastic but I haven’t quite done the holiday justice until I mention the food.
As with most holidays this is always the highlight but the spread on offer at the Anassa was just incredible.
Breakfast had more choices than you could imagine from freshly baked pastries, sliced fruit, homemade cheeses, cold meats, yoghurt with home-baked granola, squeezed juices, cereals, baked treats, banana waffles, wheat panckaes and eggs any style made freshly in front of your eyes. A personal favourite was the local flavoured honey – rosemary, thyme, lemon and lavender were among them and paired with the homemade breads it really couldn’t be resisted.
We ate our lunch by the pool most days and tended to go for a lighter option due to the incredible breakfast we’d had only hours before. The pool bar had sandwiches and wraps, salads, fresh dips and pittas and sharing platters. The hummus, aubergine and feta and tzatziki dips were my favourite. Plus, I didn’t want to be too full to miss out on an afternoon icecream!
For dinner there were multiple options to choose from, which we tried over the course of the week. The beach BBQ had a tasting menu to share, Helios was a French-Mediterrean inspired restaurant which hosted a fine dining experience, Pelagos was an al fresco spot overlooking the pool and gardens offering tapas sharing plates ranging from fish, meat, salad and local dishes and…the main restaurant, Amphora, had different themed nights with a massive buffet to indulge in. Every meal we had was exquisite and I perhaps ate a little too much over the course of the week, but no regrets at all!
Our week was topped off in style when we took the hotel speed boat out for a spin to the Blue Lagoon. We stopped at multiple bays on the way but the destination was just stunning – the clearest water you can imagine, of the brightest turquoise. We snorkelled around the area, swam into the black beaches and jumped on and off the boat many times before heading back to the hotel. Although G and I were quite happy reading our books in the sunshine, listening to music whilst soaking up the rays and not moving for hours on end, it was nice to escape the hotel for the morning to see what else we could discover on the island.
A week was over too quickly and after relaxing on the beach and having one last dip in the pool it was time to come back to London. The Anassa was a beautiful resort and really was a holiday to remember. The staff were unbelievably friendly and accommodating, the weather was perfect for the whole week and the whole trip left me feeling recharged. Visit the Anassa website here to find out more about the resort. And until next year…goodbye sunshine, sand and sea!