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Insider Guides

Insider Guide To Cyprus With The Muzungu Sisters

Meet the Muzungu Sisters, a double act of friends Dana Alikhani and Tatiana Casiraghi. But this is more than an idea developed over a friendship, this is a brand that combines views on ​​fashion, fairness, and sustainability in a collection that not only looks good but also has a character.

Inspired by the desire for travel and adventure, the term ‘Muzungu’, which means ‘traveller’ or ‘wanderer’ in Swahili, is not far off. Since 2011, the company has been distributing artisan-made items that are produced under fair working conditions by local workers of various cultures – ethically handmade, handwoven and hand-embroidered in small ateliers. At the heart of the brand is cultural respect and social responsibility. Makers are taught their craft as a means of empowerment or income, or come from a line of artisanal roots. Each piece is made using only natural, sustainable, biodegradable materials.

Co-founder Dana Alikhani takes us through an insider guide of her home, Cyprus.


What makes Cyprus a great holiday destination and what do you look forward to most when visiting?

I was raised in Cyprus as my parents emigrated there before I was born. I grew up in Cyprus until I was almost 18 years old and still go back often. Cypriots are kind, warm, and hospitable. The warm sea (voted year after year the cleanest bathing water in Europe), the many shades of blue and the sunshine year-round are really what make Cyprus.

How would you describe the Muzungu Sisters aesthetic?

Worldly, artisanal, playful and fun. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We have been doing this since 2011 and our primary focus has always been to promote the work of artisans while curating beautiful collections. Our pieces are produced by artisanal communities around the world (from India to Peru spanning many countries in between), and where we design our own prints we take inspiration from the natural world around us.

 

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The best time to visit Cyprus is…

October and May, when it’s warm enough to enjoy the beautiful sea without the summer crowds, and go hiking in the mountains without getting too hot.

Our first pitstop should be…

Aphrodite’s Rock. Legend has it this is where the goddess Aphrodite was born. You’ll find it jutting out of the sea on the way from Limassol to Paphos.

Your favourite hotel to check-in at is…

Amara in Limassol or Anassa on the Akamas Peninsula.

For an early morning workout head…

For a jog along the beach road in Limassol or to T-Cycle, a spinning studio and barre studio in Nicosia.

Where should we go for breakfast?

The Boys at Number 5 in Nicosia has the best pancakes. And make sure you don’t miss the Cypriot staple Frappe or Freddo Cappuccino.

How about for a long, lazy lunch?

Bottega Amaro in Nicosia or Riva Beach House in Ayia Napa.

And for dinner with friends?

Aigaion House in Nicosia – make sure you don’t miss the tomato and purslane salad and courgette fritters. They also do the best cocktails.

 

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A must-try spot for date night?

La Petite Maison (LPM) in Limassol, and for traditional food, go for the lamb ‘kleftiko’ or ‘stolen meat’ – slow cooked lamb cooked in the ground for many hours is not to be missed! It’s only made during the months of May – September.

The culture spot to rave about…

The archaeological remains of Curium (Kourion) from the Neolithic period. If you’re lucky, you can catch a theatre festival performing in the remains of the ancient amphitheatre.

The best place to treat yourself is…

Wth an Anastasia Achilleos facial or a body treatment by Tata Harper in combination with natural Cypriot ingredients at the Anassa Spa.

 

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For great shopping head to…

Lefkara to buy beautiful traditional Cypriot lace and needlepoint. For magical bead jewellery, head to Retrovi in Nicosia. Or for a selection of international brands, head to Splash by the Beach or First Boutique in Limassol.

For the best views head to…

The rugged hinterland of the Akamas peninsula, the environmentally protected natural park which is part of the European Commission’s Natura 2000 project of the largest network of protected areas of wildlife and habitat around the world.

Great day trips include…

Taking a speed boat from Latchi around the Akamas Peninsula and exploring the turquoise water and secret caves, what locals refer to as Aphrodite’s bathing spot.

A book to read before we go (or while we’re there)…?

Bitter Lemons of Cyprus by Lawrence Durrell.

In a word, Cyprus is…

Warm and full of love.

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