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From warm temperatures to the delights of a Greek Orthodox Christmas, there are as many factors to lure holidaymakers Cyprus during the festive season as there are during the summer months.

The average winter daytime temperature across Cyprus hardly ever ventures below a balmy 20*C and the island boasts a massive 340 days of sunshine per year. The seas are still warm enough to take a refreshing dip in December and January, and the stunning beaches are likely to be far quieter than at the height of the summer season.

Christmas is marked in villages and towns across the island with a series of charming processions known ‘kalanda’ which date back to Byzantine times. Cyprus has a wonderful cultural scene all year round, and the winter months are packed with a calendar of quintessentially Cypriot events and concerts. If you love a traditional British Christmas, you will find that most of the main hotels on the island will be like a home from home - offering turkey and all the trimmings, and plenty of festive decorations.

New Year is a key date for Cypriot families. January 1st is St Basil’s day (the island’s St. Nicholas) and is the date where the main exchange of presents takes place. Some wonderful parties are held in the main towns on this date - particularly in the centre of Limassol.

During the winter, the cost of accommodation are far lower than during the warmer months, and there are plenty of cheap flights available too, especially if you are able to offer some flexibility with your dates. Many of the restaurant sand bars in the main tourist hubs offer lower rates outside of the main season, but the facilities and services are off the ]same high standard all year round.

Wine lovers will appreciate the six super wine routes on the island, offering the chance to sample around forty of the excellent boutique wines that are produced by Cyprus vineyards.

Another great reason to visit Cyprus during the winter is to sample one of many the ‘wellbeing holidays’ that are on offer. The island is becoming renowned for the quality of its luxury health farms and spas, many of which incorporate top end treatments that are indigenous to the island, including the opportunity to be completely immersed in the legendary health-giving waters at Ayii Anargyri.

Active holiday makers will be spoilt for choice when it comes to keeping fit in the great outdoors, with everything from cycling and hiking to yoga retreats and on offer at stunning locations across this friendly and welcoming island.

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