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One Hour From: Paphos

Have a go on Aphrodite's twister

There's much to love about Cyprus, home of Aphrodite and playground of the gods.

There's much to love about Cyprus, home of Aphrodite and playground of the gods.

Troodos Mountains

Get away for it all in the magnificent Troodos Mountains, where the air is filled with the fresh smell of pine. Expect dense forests, abundant wildlife and a great number of nature trails and hiking routes, and you won't be disappointed. Discover charming mountain villages where time has stood still for centuries, and look for handcrafted goods such as lace and silverware. Mount Olympus at an impressive 1,951m is the island's highest mountain and a winter- sports paradise.

By car: take the highway to Limassol and then follow the Erimi exit towards Platres and Troodos; journey time one hour plus.

Lara Beach

Head for Lara beach, home of the protected green loggerhead turtles. Visit during June and July to see these extraordinary creatures haul themselves out of the water to lay their eggs in the sand, and in August to see the hatching taking place. Find out all you need to know about turtles at the excellent Turtle Information Centre.

By car: take the Tombs of the Kings Avenue towards Agios Georgios and follow signs for Akamas peninsula; journey time about 30 minutes.

Aphrodite Water Park

For water-based activity, look no further than the Aphrodite Water Park. Adrenalin junkies of all ages should try the double-twist open slide, the black hole, the five-lane racer and the free-fall and kamikaze slides. The less intrepid can relax with a leisurely ride on the lazy river or by soaking up some rays in the landscaped gardens.

By car: take the coastal road from the harbour towards the CTO public beach and follow signs; journey time around 15 minutes.

Time Elevator

Get to grips with the rich and diverse history of Cyprus in an educational yet highly entertaining manner with the Time Elevator in the Carob Mill warehouse, behind the medieval castle at Limassol. This simulated ride covers everything from ancient battles and religion to the legend of Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love. The Carob Mill warehouse development offers a range of traditional Cypriot restaurants, bars, cafés and local craft shops.

By car: take the A6 east to Limassol and follow signs; journey time approximately 50 minutes.

Polis and Latchi

Situated on the rugged Akamas peninsula, the sleepy town of Polis is perfect for those looking for a little rest and relaxation. Take a leisurely stroll down the main street with its boutiques, bars and cafés, and stop off for a light al fresco lunch in one of the traditional restaurants. Fans of fresh seafood should make for the picturesque fishing village of Latchi, which has some of the best fish restaurants Cyprus has to offer. Tuck into delicious platefuls of sardines, swordfish and squid.

By car: take the road to Pano Paphos and follow signs; journey time approximately one hour.

Aphrodite's Bath and Akamas Trails

Legend has it that the goddess Aphrodite emerged from the sea, just as Cyprus did itself. Don't miss Aphrodite's Bath, a picturesque rock pool and waterfall where the goddess is believed to have bathed, which oozes with magic and mystery. Put your best foot forward on the Aphrodite and Adonis walking trails on the Akamas peninsula, which pass dramatic coastal areas and historical landmarks such as the ruins of a Byzantine monastery, where the dynamic duo were said to have met and made love. Pick up a Nature Trails of Akamas leaflet from the local tourist-information centre.

By car: take the road to Panos Paphos past Polis and follow signs; journey time approximately one hour.

Sunvil Holidays (020 8568 4499; www.sunvil.co.uk/cyprus) offers a seven-night b&b break at the four-star Alexander the Great Hotel in Paphos from £649 per person, including return flights from Gatwick, Stansted or Luton. Additional car hire costs from £131 a week in total. For further information, contact Cyprus Tourism Organisation (020 7569 8800; www.visitcyprus.org.cy).