The festive season is full of them: gala dinners, office parties, and other celebratory events. In this hectic time of the year, how do you arrive for that big event feeling unstressed and looking your best? Ingrid Price, manager of Almyraspa, offers some words of advice: ‘Start by considering your outfit. The cut of the garments or their colourways will shape your approach.’ A woman wearing a strapless gown, for example, may want to have a purifying exfoliation of the neck and shoulders. A good first step is a gentle, moisturising facial: the QMS Pure Oxygen Facial, for example, tightens and revitalises the skin with a collagen-based product and a boost of oxygen. Similarly, the Men’s Restorative Face and Back Treatment invigorates and destresses. Raise your glass and toast in confidence with beautifully manicured nails! Women’s shoes are often shaped to expose the beauty of the feet; a pedicure lets you put your best foot forward with a smooth heel and impeccably red nails. A simple shampoo and blow dry can be augmented with a nourishing hair mask that adds lustre to your hair’s appearance. A spa beautician can also apply bespoke make-up attuned to your complexion and outfit. Undergoing a treatment not only enhances your appearance—it relaxes and refreshes you, setting you on course for a joyous celebration with friends and family.
‘Kundalini’ is a term from the Sanskrit language that refers to latent energy thought to be coiled at the base of the spine. Practitioners of yoga seek to release this energy, moving it through energy points they call chakras, to provoke a sense of enlightenment and wellbeing. At Almyraspa, we have partnered with cosmetics company Ila to offer the Kundalini Massage by Ila. Ila spa products are sourced with the finest plant and mineral ingredients, which are culled from remote wildlands by artisan producers dedicated to traditional, sustainable practices. The sixty-minute massage treatment focuses on the back of the torso and legs. It is a multi-sensual experience that features aromatic essential oils to stimulate the sense of smell and recorded musical chants to relax the mind. The therapist gently massages the back, making movements parallel to the spine with the aims of activating the nerve centre between brain and spine and releasing energy. Then the therapist applies warm poultices—muslin bags filled with Himalayan salt, marigold petals, and lemon peels—to the chakras on the back. You will then rest in a meditative state as you listen to chants, take in the scent of essential oils, and enjoy the warmth of the poultices. The treatment is meant to nurture and re-balance your sense of wellbeing; it is especially welcome during times of emotional distress. Those who hold their tension in their back or whose shoulders are tight from too much time in front of a computer stand to benefit as well.
While much of Pafos can be explored on foot, those wanting to go a bit farther afield should consider a tour by bicycle. Almyra can arrange a bicycle rental for you: just give us your height and weight and specify your preferred type of equipment (trekking or road) and we’ll provide the bicycle, helmet, chain, lock, and pedal clips. We’ll also give you a map showing the bike routes in the Pafos region. A popular journey starts just in front of the hotel on the promenade. Head in a south-easterly direction down the promenade, passing the many resorts lining the shore. When the promenade ends, continue on the paved road next to the beach whilst enjoying the view of the surf and the breezes off the sea. Eventually you will reach Geroskipou Tourist Beach. Turn left and head inland a short bit until you reach the main road, which has a bicycle path running parallel to it. Now you are connected to a network of routes running through Pafos and beyond. If you don’t mind cycling in heavy traffic, you might consider heading further down the coast to Petra tou Romiou—the rock formation fabled to be the birthplace of Aphrodite. Some of our more experienced guests have ventured as far as the Troodos Mountains! If you’re up for a special adventure, we can arrange for a cycling guide or a cycling camp with our supplier. That way you can chart a journey that includes all you want to see.
Though there are many opportunities to purchase souvenirs of your visit to Pafos, it can be difficult to find items that were made in Cyprus following traditional methods. Fortunately, there are several centres devoted to promoting Cypriot crafts. The Cyprus Handicraft Service is a government agency formed to revive traditional folk art and to find new applications for it. It shelters experimental workshops in Nicosia and sponsors retail outlets across the island. In Pafos, the Cyprus Handicraft Centre is found near the Kings Avenue Mall. At the centre, you can purchase lace, metalwork, woodwork, and pottery made by local artisans. Another venue for exploring Cypriot arts in Pafos is called The Place. Located adjacent to the covered municipal market, it houses a retail shop featuring local wines and dried herbs, handmade baskets, woven textiles, fused glass, and pottery. Here, you can observe a range of artists at work and join in a family-friendly crafts workshop. Located nearby in the Old Town district is a new facility with an ancient past. Ibrahim’s Khan was originally built as an inn surrounding a courtyard where traveling traders would exchange wares. After extensive renovation, Ibrahim’s Khan reopened in 2018 as a crafts centre with sixteen stalls and a restaurant. The architects preserved the beautiful stonework of the building while adding a modern flair. You will find jewellery, carved wood, mosaics, and products made with local olives and carobs. Take some time to explore and you’ll find a suitable memento of your visit to Pafos.
Reflexology is a technique for applying pressure to a part of the body—usually the feet—to relieve tension and release blocked energy. Practitioners believe that the major organs and parts of the human body can be mapped on the feet; stimulation of a neurological point sends a message to the brain, they say, that then provokes self-healing in the corresponding organ or body part. The therapy derives from several ancient medical traditions. A sixty-minute foot massage with a reflexologist usually starts with a gentle rubbing of the legs and the top of the feet. Then the therapist applies pressure to zones on the soles of both feet. Occasionally the reflexologist finds an area where it feels like gritty sand is under the surface of the skin; this is taken as an indication that the corresponding area is out of balance, so additional pressure is applied there until the feeling dissipates. In the end your feet will feel relaxed. Almyraspa also offers reflexology for the face. The concept is similar: the body is mapped on the face, with different zones on the face corresponding to areas and functions of the body. The therapist makes a slow, investigative stroke in each zone before applying more pressure to areas that feel out of balance. The treatment concludes with a slow, rhythmic massage of the face that soothes and relaxes. A reflexologist can create a bespoke treatment plan based on the initial findings and your goals. Often a course of several treatments is recommended for maximum effect.
For about a year now, the town of Pafos has enjoyed a new performing arts facility—the Markideo Theatre. Originally a movie theatre, the building was renovated and expanded by the municipality into a 420-seat theatre for plays and live music. The November 2017 debut performance featured British actress Charlotte Rampling in the play Moon and Stars; the performance was part of the Pafos 2017: European Capital of Culture programme. Since then, the venue has hosted performances of classical music, a festival of Cypriot composers, and an historical drama—to name just a few of the professional productions offered. The complex is located near the town centre, within walking distance of Kennedy Square. Its façade is contemporary and urbane and adjoins outdoor green spaces. Inside the theatre, a sophisticated system of moving panels allows technicians to adjust the acoustics for maximum effect, accommodating everything from the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra to a one-man play. National touring companies such as Nicosia’s Alpha Square and The Children's Stage of Doros Kyriakides regularly bring their productions here. Indeed, many of the performances, such as the upcoming Cinderella and the Sword of Wishes, are family-friendly. Search online ticket vendors for a survey of the latest offerings. Each listing indicates which languages are used. The Markideo Theatre is an exciting new resource for expanding your cultural horizons whilst you are in Pafos.