So I just got back from the PR trip of a small-time blogger’s dreams, a villa stay on the island of Cyprus… aaaaand I’m totally feeling the wanderlust again. I completely blame photo-editing because I really just want to be jumping in that pool, but alas it’s back to work.
I stayed in an apartment at the Armonia Resort near Protaras with Clickstay and explored the alluring island around me. In short – it was better than I could have expected. The apartment, the location, the facilities, and the island itself completely made my holiday and I don’t think it could have gone more smoothly. I’d never visited Cyprus before, so it was important to have a good home base to stay at and the Armonia Resort left me smitten.
Get £50 off any booking of over £500 on the Clickstay Website with my discount code: “KittyCyprus” – Just make sure to add the code when you submit your booking request!
There was plenty of room for 5 people as advertised on the Clickstay listing, with a generously sized kitchen/living space area with plenty of room to dine or relax at your leisure. Not only is there a super comfy leather sofa, but there’s also a dining table indoors and even some stools at a breakfast bar in the kitchen area. You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to where to get settled and comfy. I was very much of the opinion that you shouldn’t be watching tv if you’re on a good holiday, however we actually got together for an evening of beer-drinking and wii-playing after a long walk along the national park of Cape Greco on the Thursday, so it totally came in handy!
The kitchen was so well equipped that I was pretty shocked, they even have a cafetiere in the apartment so we treated ourselves to some local Cyprus coffee to make at home. Everything in the kitchen was modern and worked a treat, with plenty of fridge space if you do enjoy preparing food in the apartment. It’s worth mentioning that there are 3 individual air conditioning units throughout the apartment which can be controlled separately for different cooling needs, with the one in the living space placed perfectly between the kitchen and the sofa allowing both areas to be as cool as you like.
Well guys, I fell head-over-heels for the master bedroom, which was impeccably clean and modern in-style. There were little touches that I really did appreciate, like an extension lead to allow you to charge your phone, camera, etc, on either side of the bed and two bedside lamps to allow for bedtime reading (or photo editing which is how I spent my nights before bed!). There was also a giant mirror and vanity shelf for optimum makeup (or sunscreen) application before a day out n’ about. The pin safe is located in the wardrobe space, of which there is plenty. I managed to find beach mats and a beach parasol umbrella in there too, which is fab to throw in the boot of any hire car for the duration of your stay for any beach trips. Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that there are also full duvets for those who wish to use them, although it was so warm that a sheet and air con did me fine.
The smaller twin bedroom is really well decorated (modern, simplistic) and well lit considering it faces the inside area of the complex. The bed themselves are really comfortable, and there’s still plenty of room even though two beds were in there! Even though we didn’t end up using the extra bed, you can definitely fit another person in comfortably using the fold-up bed provided. It’s advertised as a 5 bed apartment, and you definitely have that many stay with ease.
This is actually the only room with a full length mirror, weirdly enough, so I have to keep badgering my guests to have a look at my outfit. But alas, what can you expect from a blogger bestie, right?
Even though checking that the bathroom is “up to scratch” isn’t usually at the top of people’s lists in terms of accommodation, it’s up there for me – & I thought it was fab in the apartment. Although there’s no natural light in the bathroom (sorry for very yellow-toned photos!) it’s modern, clean, and everything you need in an apartment bathroom.
The weird thing that I always forget about countries like Cyprus & Greece is that you don’t flush toilet paper! It always seems to slip my mind and then I feel like a right ninny.
The balcony was much bigger than expected and it was lovely to sit outside and enjoy breakfast with a coffee in the morning, and a candlelit dinner with beers in the evening. The furniture is very instagrammable (this became the word of the holiday) with dark woven exteriors and cream & glass details. Also, the sun lounger is amaaaaaze – I need one in my home.
There isn’t a “sea view” as advertised…It’s a small section on the far left where you can *maybe* make out a hazy blue ocean view. However, I am totally not fussed about it. The sea is literally a 5 minute drive, and I swam in the sea (and saw it up close in all it’s glory) everyday! The trees on the other hand, were host to a whole variety of animals and insects and I got to experience quite a few firsts here! I saw my first Praying Mantis, my first Field Cricket, and … plenty of cat spotting from the balcony. We spent every morning having coffee and brekkie at the outdoor dining table and finished every evening with a beer, chillaxing to tunes on the balcony sofas.
The apartment also has a Bose speaker which we found incredibly handy for playing music and creating an ambience on the balcony, and we actually stayed in to play the Wii on the TV with a few homemade cocktails on one evening.
We actually booked a transfer to the apartment as our flight arrived in Larnaca quite late (around 11pm) and weren’t quite sure about navigating to the Paralimni area in the dark. The transfer took a nifty 50 minutes tops and only cost €12 each for the transfer – bargain!
Upon arriving at Armonia Resort, you can tell where it got the name “Armonia” (translates to “harmony”) from. Tucked away in a corner in the area of Paralimni, the Armonia Resort is nestled within local houses, hidden away from the busy areas. The location of the apartment was excellent for those looking for a more private, secluded holiday experience. It’s close enough to drive to all the places of interest locally, yet is well out of the way of the hustle and bustle of areas like the main area of Protaras Town and Ayia Napa.
The gorgeous design of the building gets an A+ from me, with the signature white walls and deep brown balcony details. Plus, you’re never too far from the shade of a palm either. The apartment is located in the B block, at the far end of the building away from the main road which is lush. Unfortunately this means that there’s no pool view, as mentioned before, but this really doesn’t matter to someone like me who’s out & exploring at every opportunity.
The entrance to the resort pool is through the front of the building, but it’s definitely accessible to everyone via a sloped path. It’s also worth mentioning here that the apartment may be on the first floor, but… there’s a good quality lift which is essential for wheelchair users or those with buggies.
The pool itself is the perfect size and depth for pool-fun, and even though I’m more of a beach-gal I really enjoyed the pool here. There’s even a smaller jacuzzi pool for smaller children or even adults who don’t want to take a plunge in the deeper 2m pool. Love a good lounge? There are sun loungers for dayyys, plus they are actually comfy ones & there are parasols to go round if you’re more sensitive to sun exposure.
As it can be quite expensive for under 24’s to rent cars (and we are all just finishing university) we decided to trial the local bus system. We were told many times that the bus service is a bit rubbish, but we 100% would recommend it to anyone wanting to save some money. It’s definitely an option for younger people – as the bus stop is a 20 minute walk from the apartment. However, the ticket is only €20 each for an entire week of travel – for the whole Famagusta area. Insanely good value, and they arrive on time every 20 or so minutes. The buses stop at every beach you could wish to see, and all the main attractions like Protaras Town, Ayia Napa, Cape Greco, and Waterworld.
I’ve actually never tried Greek food, but my fellow travellers said that it’s very similar. All in all, you can spend very little and get very good quality food in this area. What surprised me most was the sheer amount of resturants in the area of Protaras! The main road in Protaras is literally a mile long strip of resturants and bars, the choice is yours – plus it’s only a 5/10 minute drive from the apartment!
My traveller tip would be to take the time to walk the strip and have a real foodie browse before settling on a restaurant, as the food prices do vary by quite a bit from place to place. There’s such mix of different food cuisines, from street food like Gyros, to traditional Meze, or even Italian or Asian fusion resturants. Just remember that you don’t need to pay that much for a great meal, most of my meals came to under €10 with a drink! Plus if you like traditional food, there are plenty of “Tavernas” which serve all the Cypriot Meze you could ask for. Oh, and the drink deals in areas like Protaras are fab, where you can grab happy hour cocktails for less than €4 each with your meal.
Big tip – pork is the cheapest and yummiest meat here, so if you want to/can eat it, do! The bigs are reared underground on the island as they can’t survive for long above ground in the harsh, hot temperatures. This makes for some seriously tender meat! Veggie? Totally cool – order Moussaka, you wont be disappointed.
We even utilized the big kitchen/dining space in the apartment on three evenings to cook homemade meals, and used the fast wifi to google different traditional cypriot recipes, which lead to us creating our very own mini Meze in the apartment! Throw in some chilled wine/beer & tea lights (provided in the apartment!) and you can create some seriously unique ambiance on the balcony.
We found cooking and eating at the apartment so enjoyable, as there are all the utensils you could need to create any meal you fancy! The nearest supermarket is a 20 minute walk (opposite the bus stop, however if you have a car it would only be a 5 minute drive at most) called the Metro which has pretty much anything you can ask for. They weirdly even stocked Waitrose ice cream and Jacobs crackers?
THINGS TO DO
When you ask anyone who’s been about Protaras, 9/10 times they’ll say “the beaches” – the other 1/10 times they’ll probably say “the food” FYI. By far my favourite Protaras beaches were Sirena Bay, Green Bay, and Loumbardi Beach, in no particular order, they’re all absolutely stunning. These beaches are impeccably clean with crystal clear waters, we were all very taken aback by how beautiful and unique they were.
The nearest beaches to the apartment are Sirena Bay or Firemans Beach in Kapparis – both of which are about 5/10 minutes drive. On the bus it took us the 20 minute walk plus 5 minutes on the bus to get to Sirena. So either way, very accessible, and totally worth the journey. I was so taken aback by the vibes at Sirena Bay – there’s a bar/restaurant sitting on top of the beach and although it’s a little pricey, it’s worth the splurge for the views. Once you’re done having a nom at the bar, you can enter the beach through a small gate, and the views are phenomenal. We walked 5 minutes down the coast to the smallest beach in the area and had the strip of sand all to ourselves for hours.
If you are a total mer-baby, Loumbardi Beach was especially great for snorkelling as there are plenty of reefs to explore and the water isn’t too deep. There was barely anyone around during our visit, and as there’s so much coastline to explore, you can always find a private spot along the shore. We strolled up the coastline and found a secluded little spot with a small deck to ease into the water with, which is so needed as the coral is much pricklier than you would expect here!
Even though we were told by Clickstay & locals in Protaras that the local bus service just isn’t up to standard, there was absolutely no problem with using it for the whole duration of our stay. I would definitely recommend the apartment to young travellers like us who are more likely to want to save money and utilize local transport (it can 100% be done in this area) however older travellers or families would definitely want to rent a car for ease of access, or for travelling to Cape Greco. We didn’t find walking 20 minutes to the bus stop and back a problem, but myself & my guests are all pretty fit 23 year olds!
The service of booking, arriving, and leaving the apartment with Clickstay was so swift, smooth, and simple – we had absolutely no issues. Okay… so I may have managed to lock the safe without setting a combination code. But not to fear! The owner of this apartment, Stephen, has emergency numbers to contact in case of an incident like this one. The agents, Jacky & William were available immediately to help me open the safe up and correctly set it up – phew!
I had an amazing time at the Clickstay apartment in Cyprus, and would 100% book to stay again. Everything went *excuse the pun* swimmingly, and IMO it’s down to the combination between the running of the apartment itself, and the booking service through Clickstay which allows you to ensure that your money is safe, and your stay goes as smoothly as possible. Clickstay allows you to book properties through their website which means that you’re covered by their Renter Protection Policy, the safe way to pay for villa rentals.
If you’re looking for a flexible Summer getaway at a competitive price, have a peek at what Clickstay has to offer and get £50 off any booking of over £500 on the Clickstay Website with my discount code: “KittyCyprus” – Just make sure to add the code when you submit your booking request!