Cyprus has three hundred and forty sunny days per year. Of course you can ski from Mount Olympus in the morning then swim in the sea in the afternoon in winter and you can walk through carpets of poppies and cornflowers in the spring and bask in sizzling temperatures in the summer. But it is when the summer temperatures have dropped to more tolerable degrees that the island takes on a more relaxed mantle.
In peaceful villages the only sound in the autumn afternoons is the slap of counters as old men play backgammon in the inky-dark bars or sit in village squares sipping strong black coffee and gossiping with friends. Energetic football games start up between towns, and old bicycles come out to be dusted down and put to use. There’s time for visitors and locals alike to stop and look at the autumn croci, anemones and lilies that are brightening up the fields; there’s time to stop and smell the air, redolent with the scents of herbs, fruits and honey, and there’s time to take in all those activities that were impossible in the heat of summer.
The flowers that covered the hillsides and acted as a magnet for the bees during the summer, the pink oleander, the yellow broom, the jasmine and lilies may have gone, but the exquisite honey that is a result of the bees hard work is on sale at virtually every house and café in the mountains.