Nestled into the eastern Mediterranean sea, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, easily accessed via a direct flight from Belfast or Dublin. An island steeped in history, today Cyprus offers visitors a blend of modern luxury and ancient heritage. Lavish five star hotels sit alongside imposing archaeological ruins, infinity pools appear to fall away into crystal clear sea and the year round sunshine bathes everything in a warm glow. As a honeymoon destination Cyprus has it all – beautiful beaches, great food, fabulous shopping and an abundance of sites and attractions, but as a wedding destination it’s even better thanks to the relatively simple legalities, low costs and ease of access.
The island of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, Cyprus is captivating
hearts across Ireland and fast gaining a reputation as the place to say ‘I do’ abroad… for love, romance
Cyprus has numerous beautiful beaches and bays
UNCOVERING THE ISLAND
Although it takes only 2.5 hours to travel from the furthermost east to west coast of the island, Cyprus offers an amazing diversity of landscape, scenery and atmosphere. This means you could get married in one resort, then escape to another area for your honeymoon and you’d think you’d gone to a completely different island. From the hedonistic clubbing atmosphere of Agia Napa, to the bustling shopping streets of Nicosia and Limassol and the calm tranquility of Pafos, Cyprus has something for everyone.
Along the island's sun-kissed coastline, from Agia Napa in the east to Pafos in the west, world-class beach resorts alternate with settings untouched since ancient times. Between the port city of Limassol and Pafos,
the roadway opens up to reveal a magnificent stretch of coastline where chalky white cliffs stand watch over a dazzling aquamarine sea. Here sun worshippers make detours for a picnic and a swim at Petra tou
Romiou, a boulder that marks the spot where Aphrodite emerged from the sea foam in ancient times.
Venture away from the shoreline and explore the old wine-producing villages with their atmospheric winding streets and terraced vineyards. Explore churches and monasteries nestled in the hills whose walls conceal vibrantly painted Byzantine frescoes and wander through the pine-covered peaks of the Troodos Mountains.
Throughout Cyprus, the typically Mediterranean landscape is still blessed with the timeless beauty of antiquity. There are crusader fortresses framed by tall cypress trees, Greco- Roman theatres carved out of cliffs and Byzantine monasteries perched improbably on mountaintops. Sophisticated cities successfully
balance the ancient and modern. The capital, Nicosia, is surrounded by Venetian walls with heart-shaped bastions; Larnaka, site of the major international airport, is also home to St. Lazarus Church and the crypt of the eponymous saint resurrected by Christ. Near the animated harbour at Pafos are the Roman floor mosaics of the Houses of Aion, Achilles and Dionysus, whose depictions of mythological scenes are
amazingly well preserved.
PLANNING YOUR WEDDING
Once you have decided on the area of Cyprus which best suits your personality you can begin the fun part of planning your wedding and honeymoon. One of the big attractions of marrying abroad is that you can have a wonderfully personalized wedding with very little hassle, thanks to the help of the wedding specialists and organizers who are there to assist you every step of the way. From specialized wedding travel agents and tour operators, to wedding co-ordinators in the hotel, there’ll be a team of experienced
professionals dedicated to ensuring that your day is everything you dreamt it would be. The native language of Cyprus is Greek, however English is widely spoken which makes communicating with people on the ground that much easier. Even if you know the island well, you still might find planning your wedding much less stressful if you organise the details through a specialist travel
One of the big attractions of marrying abroad is that you can have a wonderfully personalized wedding with very little hassle, thanks to the help of the wedding specialists and organizers who are there to assist you every step of the way agent or tour operator. Tour operators have experience in dealing with weddings in Cyprus and often have their own experienced wedding planners that they work with. Travel agents will also be able to provide good discounts for group bookings if you have friends and family travelling with you.
Most travel agents nationwide are able to arrange special ‘wedding’ packages, but there are tour operators that specialize in Cyprus that offer wedding and honeymoons packages such as Cyplon Holidays, Gerry McMahon Travel, Argo Holidays, Sunway Holidays, Amathus Holidays, and Topflight. They have dedicated wedding brochures and are able to assist with wedding extras such as photography, flowers, video and the legalities of marrying abroad. They usually offer a range of special offers, upgrades and complimentary services for couples getting married, helping you to save money too. A basic package for a 5 star hotel in Pafos, Cyprus starts from about €895 per person, this includes flights and one week accommodation, a candlelight dinner, champagne and welcome basket. Another alternative is to tie in with a wedding planner, either in Cyprus or at home, who specializes in Cypriot weddings.
Their knowledge of the area and the wedding services available can save you a lot of time, effort and money. For a handling fee the wedding planners are able to make all relevant arrangements on the ground such:
10 TOP HOTELS
1. Columbia Beach Resort, Pissouri,
2. Azia Resort and Spa, Pafos, HHHHH
This recently refurbished hotel is a cool and contemporary choice for couples looking for a taste of luxury. Built as three different hotels on adjacent grounds, this 3-in1 boutique style hotel is beautifully
decorated and exceptionally well finished with a fabulous spa completing the experience. Customized furniture, hand painted fabrics and commissioned pieces of art act as constant reminders that this is
a five-star hotel with a difference, while the coastal setting, manicured gardens and magnificent pool ensure every sense is pleasured. A religious blessing can be held in the hotel’s Byzantine style church or a
wedding blessing in the Gardens. For your reception the hotel offers a number of location choices including the Venetian style Akamas Restaurant, the colonial themed Cipro Restaurant or the outdoor Amphitheatre overlooking the pool and sea.
3. Elysium Beach Hotel, Pafos, HHHHH
4. St. George Hotel, Pafos, HHHH
5. Kefalos Beach Tourist Village, Pafos
(Class A), www.kefalos.com.cy
6. Aliathon Tourist Village, Pafos (Class A)
A wonderful choice if the budget is tight, the Aliathon Tourist Village in Kato Paphos offers a selection of tastefully furnished studios and one bedroom accommodation units built around a magnificent central
pool. The recent addition of a wedding chapel means you can now also have a religious ceremony on site.
7. Le Meridien Limassol Spa and Resort,
8. Palm Beach Hotel, Larnaka, HHHH
9. Adams Beach Hotel, Agia Napa, HHHH
10. Grecian Park Hotel, Protaras, HHHHH
Many luxury hotels, such as the Azia Resort & Spa have a chapel on site
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The Caribbean offers some of the most romantic and exotic locations to be found anywhere in the world for that special day and Caribbean Collection ‘Irelands only Caribbean Specialist’ offers more choice and variety than any other company when organising this trip of a lifetime. We offer both Catholic and civil weddings as well as spectacular honeymoons through out the region catering for many tastes and
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Why marry at home when you can marry in paradise.
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214 Caribbean Collection Advert.qxp 5/4/07 7:31 pm Page 1
www.weddingjournalonline.com WJ 215
as booking churches/priests, flowers, photographers, food, etc. They will work with their own, or your preferred travel agent in order to book suitable accommodation and flights.
SAYING ‘I DO’
Cyprus offers a great deal of choice when it comes to the getting married with a selection of church or civil venues in a variety of settings. For religious weddings there are over 15 non- Greek Orthodox churches around the island, including Catholic and
Anglican churches in Pafos, Limassol, Larnaka and Agia Napa.
Alternatively you can get married at a local civil office in a set location such as a traditional mountain village; or in a picturesque chapel at a hotel. Superb hotels that specialize in weddings and have an on
site chapel are found in Pafos, Pissouri, Polis, Agia Napa and Protaras. These hotels also have spas and are able to assist with the relevant arrangements.
CATHOLIC CHURCH WEDDINGS: There are many beautiful Catholic Churches scattered on the island. In Limassol there is St. Catherine’s, a big beautiful Church in Limassol town. It has roman-type architecture with high arched ceilings, frescos, and most of all - a kind, caring Priest. In Pafos is the Agia Kyriaki
Chrysopolitissa Church. This is a smaller church made of stone, situated in its own grounds and surrounded by ancient ruins. In Larnaka there is the Terra Santa Catholic Church. In Agia Napa, depending on the availability of a priest, a Catholic ceremony can be arranged at the Ecumenical Centre of the beautiful Agia Napa Monastery, while Nicosia has the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Cross.
THE LEGAL STEPS TO GETTING MARRIED:
• To get married in Cyprus, in either a civil or religious wedding, you’ll need to make sure you have the correct paper work in place before you travel. For full details on what is required please contact:
Cyprus Tourism Organisation, (address below)
• Pre-book an appointment with the Marriage Officer in the municipality of the region in which you are going to get married (e.g. Pafos, Limassol, Germasogeia, Larnaka, Agia Napa) before you leave. Go to Cyprus at least 2 – 3 days before the wedding date. Have an appointment for as soon as you arrive.• At this appointment both the bride and groom to be must be present to make the application in person. Various
documentation is needed to fill in an application for a marriage license (application/paperwork cannot be done in advance).
• You can then get married in the next day or two either in a civil ceremony or have a religious wedding.
For full details on the rules and regulations accompanying a civil or religious wedding Cyprus please contact Cyprus Tourism Organisation, 71 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2. Tel: (01) 662 9269.
Cyprus offers a great deal of choice when it comes to the getting married with a selection of church or civil venues in a variety of settings Annabelle-Excurion Kyykos Monastery
Enjoy dinner for to on Pafos beach
ANGLICAN WEDDINGS: Anglican services are also held in the Ecumenical Centre of the picturesque Agia Napa Monastery and at Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa Church in Pafos.
There are also Churches in Limassol, Nicosia, and Larnaka. CIVIL WEDDINGS: There are special wedding facilities in the Civil Offices of the
Municipalities of Pafos, Limassol, Germasogeia (Limassol district), Larnaka and Agia Napa / Protaras. Weddings take place in a special room decorated with flowers. All the municipalities, with the exception of Pafos also have outdoor facilities. Limassol uses the Library Gardens; Germasogeia has a traditional courtyard made in stone; Larnaka has a special cottage along the promenade; Agia Napa boasts a splendid outdoor theatre, traditional farmhouse and the Agia Napa Monastery. BEACH WEDDINGS: Brides who dream of going bare footed will be delighted to hear that you can have a civil ceremony on the beach. Agia Napa will do beach weddings while Limassol and Larnaka will consider a beach wedding on a case by case basis. PRIVATE CEREMONIES
AT HOTELS: Many beach hotels and hotel resorts have special facilities for weddings, such as an on-site chapel situated in a quiet location with spectacular views. Anglican blessings are done in all hotels with chapels. Ceremonies at some hotels in Agia Napa and Pafos can be officiated on location by marriage officers for a small additional fee.
If you prefer the best of both worlds Catholic weddings are available in the Byzantine-style chapels of the Columbia Beach Resort in Pissouri (Pafos district); the St. George Hotel and Elysium Beach Resort in Pafos; and the secluded Anassa Hotel in Polis (Akamas Peninsula). AT SEA: If you’ve always wanted to get married at sea, nothing is better than a wedding over the crystal clear Mediterranean waters of Cyprus. There are no underwater currents or strong winds so getting married on board has never been easier or more comfortable. Weddings are available on cruise liners, catamarans, private yachts, or whatever boat takes your fancy. Alternatively, for those who wish to marry on dry land and also enjoy the sea, receptions are offered on all these boats where you can enjoy exquisite sunsets, sparkling waters and stunning coastlines.
Fly to Pafos and Larnaka from Dublin with Eurocypria Airlines, tel: 00 357 22 365 750, www.eurocypria.com
Fly via the UK with Cyprus Airways, www.cyprusairways.com
Other Useful Numbers:
Embassy of Cyprus in Dublin, Ireland, Mon-Fri
9am – 5pm, Tel: (01) 676 3060
For general information on Cyprus visit :
www.visitcyprus.com or contact Cyprus
Tourism Organisation, 71 Lower Leeson
Street, Dublin 2. Tel: (01) 662 9269.
If you’ve always wanted to get married at sea, nothing is better than a wedding over the crystal clear Mediterranean waters of Cyprus.