For me that place is the sun-riddled Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Specifically Paphos, a popular town in the south western corner, whichthis year became my hat-trick holiday destination.So what’s so great about it?
Making the assumption you’ve gone on holiday to relax, switch off and be generally very lazy, picture yourself dressed down in your flip flops and holiday gear. Ladies, you’re makeup-free as you’ve already picked up a healthy glow from the deliciously hot sun. Your home for the week is the Avanti Hotel in Kato Paphos, the newer part of town in which the majority of tourist accommodation is based. The Avanti is big but not intimidatingly so, and small enough to maintain a warm and friendly atmosphere. You’ve spent the day stretched out on a sun-lounger around the huge freeform pool under the perma-blue sky. Your activities for the day might have included reading a bit of your book or magazine, or a casual swim over to the bar to try a Gin Fizz. You’re not wearing a watch because for one week, time doesn’t matter. The big glowing orangey-yellow blob in the sky is your only indication of whether you should be eating breakfast or lunch.
Suitably refreshed, you continue to wander along the walkway, passing some compact strips of sandy beach and luxurious all-inclusive hotels. As the leisurely walk is possibly the most exertion you’ve had all day, you may have worked up a bit of an appetite. Handy then that at the end of the seafront path is a pretty, buzzing harbour lined with restaurants offering delicious fish and Greek mezze.
Realistically, I could be describing any identikit sunny holiday resort, but this place has something unique. When it comes to delivering that much sought after feeling of instant relaxation, of being totally switched off and worry-free Paphos has it nailed. It’s that very feeling that keeps me coming back for more.
So until I find myself earmarking my own space by the hotel pool, eyeballing anyone daring to take my sunbathing spot, or with my own special reserved glass behind the bar, I will be booking in at my favourite Cypriot haunt in 2013.