f a windy day at the beach brings up images of sand in the suntan lotion, that’s rarely a predicament at Pissouri Bay on Cyprus’ sun-baked south coast. This gentle, Blue Flag-rated curve of sand and pebbles is sheltered by a ring of guardian hills, while the bay offshore is buffeted by steady breezes that call out to windsurfers like a siren.
Even better, Pissouri largely slips under the radar. This quintessentially Cypriot cove has just a sprinkling of villas, a collection of local tavernas and the award-winning, environmentally responsible Columbia Beach Resort, serving up five-star luxury in a five-star setting, away from the maddening crowds.
Book a British Airways Holidays demolish to this family-friendly escape and you can split your time between basking by the breakers, making a splash in the bay, releasing tension in the spa, rambling over rocky sea cliffs at Cape Aspro or day-tripping to some of Cyprus’ most famous historic sites.
Creature comforts away from the crowds
Columbia Beach Resort, Pissouri Bay, Cyprus
The Columbia Beach Resort’s airy rooms – all suites – range from the peaceful and comfortable to the extravagant. Topping the bill are the village-style Eagle’s Nest Suites, two include dreamy private plunge pools, but all suites arrive with balconies overlooking the sea or 75,000 square metres of green, landscaped grounds.
If you’re feeling energetic, the resort’s water sports centre – sprint by the enthusiastic Yiannos and Dia – will acquire you windsurfing, wakeboarding, water-skiing, sailing or jet skiing to your heart’s content (lessons can be arranged for kids and beginners). If not, escape activity at the Hébe Spa, for a full range of luxe treatments and an indoor pool that seems to merge into the grounds.
The best of Cyprus on the doorstep
For time away from the sea, the Columbia Beach Resort lies halfway between Paphos and Limassol, a short hop from the ruins of ancient Kourion, a Greco-Roman site lording it over the coast from atop an ocean-facing bluff. Nearby is Kolossi Castle, a Crusader-era stronghold with Knights Templar connections, set amid fragrant orange groves.
Heading west, the pebble beach at Petra tou Romiou is guarded by enormous boulders, marking the spot where the goddess Aphrodite emerged from the waves in Greek mythology. inquire the resort concierge to arrange a hire car and see what else you discover along this historic strip of coast.
Walk up an appetite before dining al fresco
For a prelude to dinner, peaceful walking trails criss-cross the rocky headland of Cape Aspro, beginning just yards from the beach. The brand Aspro – meaning “white” – is a nod to the sun-bleached rocks of this eroded promontory, which hold on a romantic fireside glow as sunset lights up the bay.
When hunger calls, head back to the Columbia Beach Resort for al fresco dining at Cape Aspro Restaurant, upscale Contemporary European fine dining at Bacchus, or authentic Cypriot seafood, village staples and meze spreads at Apollo Taverna – the Sieftalia (one of Cyprus’ most traditional dishes) and marinated Chicken Souvlaki are standout dishes.
The resort takes marvelous care of its lovely setting – water is heated by solar power, recycled wastewater is used to maintain the lush grounds, carbon emissions acquire been reduced to almost zero, and the resort supports a string of local environmental projects – earning multiple Green Key Awards in the process. Luxury with responsibility? It’s just fragment of the package.
All holidays with British Airways Holidays are ATOL protected and arrive with a 24-hour holiday helpline. Secure your 2023 Cyprus holiday now with a low deposit at ba.com/columbia-beach