The Enchanting Cyprus

Protaras skyline

This is always a fascinating time. Get together with my teammates, collaborate in person, and play board games. Work hard and play harder XD
This was the first team meetup that was just the 8 of us (we have been to a Division meetup together- in Vienna – and also a Woo Mobile meetup – in Montreal – with the broader team (~26 people)

This year our team meetup happened in Cyprus.

Located in the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus is a captivating island with a rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes.

A Historical Tapestry

Cyprus is a place where ancient civilizations have left their indelible mark. From ancient Greeks and Romans to Byzantines and Ottomans, the island’s history is an intricate tapestry waiting to be explored. The UNESCO-listed archaeological site of Paphos, the ancient city of Salamis, and the stunning Byzantine frescoes of the Troodos Mountains all witness Cyprus’ fascinating past.

Sun-Kissed Beaches

With its crystal-clear waters and golden sandy beaches, Cyprus attracts sun-seekers from around the globe. The coastal city of Ayia Napa is renowned for its lively nightlife and beautiful beaches, while the serene and picturesque town of Protaras is perfect for families looking for a relaxing getaway. For a touch of luxury, head to the upscale resorts of Limassol or Paphos, where you can bask in the Mediterranean sun in style.

Delicious Cuisine

Cypriot cuisine is a delectable fusion of Greek, Middle Eastern, and Turkish flavours. Indulge in meze, an amazing assortment of small dishes featuring everything from hummus and tzatziki to grilled halloumi cheese and succulent souvlaki (it’s A LOT of food). Don’t miss the opportunity to sample traditional Cypriot desserts like loukoumades, small honey-soaked doughnuts, or the famous flaounes, savoury Easter pastries filled with cheese and aromatic herbs.

We have tried a few restaurants, but we also cooked and ordered food (There’s no Uber in Cyprus but Bolt and CabCy work well).

I found it really easy to communicate there. Even in grocery stores, several items have the ingredients listed in English. Some restaurants have a separate Gluten-free menu. Here I found a list of the Celiac-friendly restaurants in Larnaca.

I was able to keep eating keto the whole week without any issues. That said, I brought with me a bag of keto bread and a few whey protein portions. Got some nice Greek plain yogurt and frozen berries from the grocery store, cheese, meat and things for salads.

A Hiker’s Paradise

Nature enthusiasts will be captivated by Cyprus’ diverse landscapes. The Troodos Mountains offer a playground for hikers, with its winding trails leading through dense forests, awe-inspiring waterfalls, and picturesque villages. Mount Olympus, the highest peak on the island, rewards climbers with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Akamas Peninsula, a protected nature reserve, invites visitors to explore its rugged coastline and experience the tranquillity of its unspoiled beauty.

We stayed in Larnaca and rented two AirBnBs. Both amazing. Big houses, with a BBQ grill, and swimming pool, A/C in every room (extremely needed) close to the beach.

The idea of these meetups is to create stronger team bonds, collaborate in person and have fun. We had several learning sessions throughout the week led by different team members (myself included).

We cooked together, played Pictionary, and Munchkin, went on walks by the beach, barbequed and also went on an amazing walking tour.

We also went on another tour that was an interesting situation.

We bought this Tour from Get Your Guide, which I have used several times and always had a really good experience. The thing is, when we booked it, we didn’t realize it was leaving from Protaras, and not Larnaca. Protaras is approximately 1-hour drive from Larnaca.

We checked the time it would take us to get there, only we checked the Office’s address as opposed to the meeting point address.

When we realized the mistake there was NO WAY we would get there in time. So we called them and explained the situation. They told us to go any way that they would find a way.

We drove as fast as we could within the limits and got there 25 minutes after the time we were supposed to be there. But they put us in a speedy boat that took us all the way to the big boat in the middle of the way and we were able to enjoy the tour in the end.

1000 stars to the Dolphin Submarine’s staff who went above and beyond so we could enjoy our tour.

Cyprus is a hidden gem in the Mediterranean, offering visitors a harmonious blend of history, natural beauty, mouthwatering cuisine, and warm hospitality. Everyone we came across on this trip was really nice and welcoming. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on idyllic beaches, exploring ancient ruins, or embarking on thrilling outdoor adventures, this great island has something for everyone. Plan your journey and get ready to be captivated by the magic of Cyprus.

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