Cyprus Travel Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before You Go

by EvanBEdler
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Tucked away into the furthest corner of the Mediterranean, seemingly hiding from the rest of its European relatives, is Cyprus. Cyprus is a small and unsuspecting island, but any traveler wise enough to visit will be rewarded with beautiful views, rich culture, and historical sites to rival Greece and Rome.

Are you a traveler planning your next trip? If you’re looking for one to remember, you can’t go wrong with Cyprus. The country has so much to offer that you’ll want to go back for more. Plus, Cyprus is relatively underrated in the travel community – so you’ll have a great story to tell your friends when you return!

My favorite parts of visiting Cyprus included finding gorgeous vistas at every turn, exploring untouched ruins alongside lively cities, and uncovering the country’s culture and history. Yours might be tasting Cypriot spins on Greek delicacies, talking to welcoming locals eager to meet tourists, or lounging on the endless beaches. You’ll have to go to find out for yourself!

This Cyprus travel guide covers the A-Z on visiting this Mediterranean country.
This Cyprus travel guide covers the A-Z on visiting this Mediterranean country.

Guest Post by Evan Edler

Where is Cyprus?

Cyprus is a small island that lies in the far eastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea. Its closest neighbors are Turkey and Syria. Because of this location it is geographically considered part of the Middle East – but Cyprus is culturally much more European, and is a member of the European Union. 

Why should you go to Cyprus?

Even the most adventurous of tourists might overlook Cyprus. This is probably because of its remote location in comparison with other spots such as the Greek Islands. It also has a reputation as a mecca for clubbing and partying in the summer, attracting fun-seeking tourists from far and wide. But Cyprus deserves a trip for many more reasons than its bars. 

Want to learn more about other hidden gems in Europe?

Culture!

First of all, the island has a friendly and welcoming nature and a culture ideal for travelers. Its tourism infrastructure is strong, without sacrificing authenticity. The Cypriot people are proud of their home, and like to greet tourists who are interested in learning. Whether you’re looking for adventurous hikes or just to relax with a drink on the beach, you can find it all with a Cypriot twist.

But what is Cypriot culture? The island’s culture is incredibly interesting, as a sort of amalgamation of the peoples that have ruled over it in the past. The food and language are mostly Greek, the roads and infrastructure have lots of English influence, and there are ruins of Ottoman mosques all around the cities. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also the Turkish north, and (for some reason I couldn’t figure out) an abundance of signs catering to Russian tourists. Cyprus blends these cultures smoothly. Rather than exaggerating these influences as a tourist gimmick, it comes together into one cohesive and unique culture. 

History of Cyprus

The best way to understand the history of Cyprus is to interact with it. Cyprus has tons of archaeological sites ranging from prehistoric to Ottoman times and everywhere in between. These ancient sites are among the most remarkable I’ve seen in Europe, largely because of their accessibility. The most famous archaeological sites are in Paphos, on the southern coast. For just a small entrance fee, tourists are free to explore to their heart’s content – seriously! At the Tombs of the Kings in Paphos, there are practically no barriers at all. You can climb and crawl around tombs from as far back as the 4th century BC without hindrance. Where else can you treat an UNESCO World Heritage Site like a playground? All of the sites I visited in Cyprus were far less built up than comparable attractions in other European nations, giving them an incredibly unique and untouched feel. 

Ruins at the Paphos Archaeological Site.
Every city in Cyprus has plenty of ruins to remind you of its historic past.

Beaches in Cyprus

Picture the beaches you’ve seen on Pinterest in Greek or Italian islands. Now imagine them without the tourists. That’s pretty much what you’ll find in Cyprus. Cypriots made the most of their location in the mediterranean, and any coast you can find a beautiful beach. One of the most famous beaches (with good reason) is the beautiful Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa. Explore to your heart’s content! Cities like Paphos and Ayia Napa have plenty of resorts to fit any relaxing vacation you want. Or if you’re looking for quieter natural beauty, head to the southern coast for a glimpse of Aphrodite’s Rock.

What country is Cyprus?

Some people can do a whole trip to Cyprus and go home still unsure of which country they were in. Although as a hub for partying and nightlife among Europeans, maybe most people’s priority isn’t understanding the island’s politics. The short answer is that Cyprus is its own country. The Republic of Cyprus is an independent nation, and is a member state of the European Union. The northern portion of the island, however, is currently occupied by Turkey. The Turkish call this land “The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” but it is not recognized internationally. Because it isn’t technically acknowledged by international bodies, Northern Cyprus is frequently referred to as a disputed territory.

But let’s be clear – there isn’t much dispute. When I went across the border into Northern Cyprus, I was surprised at how Turkish the city felt almost immediately. The locals use the Turkish language and currency, and there’s a separate flag for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Originally occupied in 1974, the area’s status is very stable. Heck, even my Vodafone plan told me that I had entered Turkey

Postcard map of the world pointing to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
The difference between the two sides of Nicosia/Lefkosa are clear – even on postcards!

How to cross the border

The easiest place to cross from the Republic of Cyprus to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is in the city of Nicosia (or Lefkosa in the north). No matter where you cross, the formula is essentially the same.

First you go to Cypriot customs, allowing you to leave the Republic of Cyprus. Then you walk through a UN buffer zone, the area between the two regions. Then you’ll reach the border patrol of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, where you can enter the occupied territory.

The size of the buffer zone varies depending on crossing points, and one we used in Nicosia was about a 10 minute walk. However, in recent years a new pedestrian border crossing has opened up in the center of Nicosia. This is convenient for locals and tourists alike, and the distance between customs stations is just a few meters. 

Logistics in Cyprus: Currency, language, etc.

Due to its tumultuous history of being occupied by foreign powers, the logistics of traveling through Cyprus can be confusing. Let’s break it down:

Currency in Cyprus

Like many other nations in the EU, the Republic of Cyprus uses the Euro. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus uses the Turkish Lira, but many shops in touristy areas accept Euros as well (similar to Switzerland). If you need cash, use the Bank of Cyprus ATMs. Others, such as Euronet, will charge much higher conversion rates. 

A note on the Cypriot economy

Like Greece and many other European countries, Cyprus faced an economic crisis beginning in 2012. Though the economy is now growing again, you will still see some abandoned shops and businesses.

Language in Cyprus

Cyprus has two official languages, Greek and Turkish. Greek (a dialect specifically known as Cypriot Greek) is spoken in the south, and Turkish is spoken in the north. Though not official, due to its past British rule, pretty much everyone speaks English fluently. A majority of road signs will be in the local language as well as English. Additionally, nearly everyone I encountered spoke perfect English. 

Cyprus mailbox with address written in Greek alphabet.
In Cyprus you’ll see almost all signs in Greek and English (as well as Turkish on the northern side).

Power outlets in Cyprus

Also due to British rule, Cyprus uses type G outlets – the same ones you’ll find in the UK and Ireland. 

Driving in Cyprus

Cars drive on the left here as well! Always look both ways before crossing, because Cypriot drivers are infamously aggressive. 

Time

Cyprus is in the Eastern European Time zone, and uses Eastern European Summer Time in the summer. This puts the Cypriot clock two hours ahead of Ireland and the UK, and one hour ahead of most of mainland Europe.

What’s the weather like in Cyprus?

Cyprus’s climate is similar to that of other Mediterranean nations such as Italy and the Greek Islands. The island experiences short, mild winters and long, hot summers. Even in the winter months the sun is almost always out, so the days are long and bright. The vast majority of tourists travel to Cyprus in the summer, so plan for heat. In some areas on the coast and by the mountains however, the sun is moderated by some breeze. If you visit in the autumn or spring, be prepared for heat as well. Though rest assured – the temperatures always drop after dark. Even the winter is similar to autumn in other countries though, so leave your winter jackets at home. 

What’s the history of Cyprus?

I’ll give you a hint – it’s a wild ride. 

Cyprus’ ancient origins

Cyprus is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, with ruins dating over 10,000 years back to the Stone Age. It was continuously inhabited for thousands of years. Many of the museums in Cyprus feature pottery from the prolific Copper and Bronze Ages. The island evolved similarly to its Greek peers such as b. Greek was the prominent language, and the Greek began to settle and build cities by the year 1200AD. Parts of the island were also controlled by Phoenicians and some indigenous groups.

In the following centuries, Cyprus was under the control of the Assyrian Empire. When that empire broke up, it went to Egypt. Then Egypt fell to the Persian Empire, and Cyprus went with it. Though they had a rebellious population of Ionians, Cyprus remained Persian for a while. After a brief period of liberation by Alexander the Great, Egypt took over once again. The Roman Empire annexed the island, then lost it to Egypt again, and then took it back. And that’s all before the year 1AD.

Old church in Paphos with ancient Roman ruins in the foreground.
Remains of Cyprus’s ancient past can be seen in every corner of the country!

When Christianity began to spread across Europe, it became the primary religion in Cyprus quickly. At the fall of the Roman Empire, Cyprus went to the Byzantine Empire. They ruled over it in collaboration with the Caliphate (an Islamic state), and then took control completely. During a time under the newly formed Lusignan Dynasty, Cyprus enjoyed fame and wealth across Europe. This era ended when it was seized by the Genoese, and it was soon owned by Venice

Cyprus’ relatively recent history

The Ottoman Empire launched a siege on the island in 1570, and within a few years had claimed Cyprus as their own. It became remarkably Turkish, and gained a massive Muslim population. The Turkish shared power with the British Empire, until the British officially made Cyprus a crown colony in 1925. While under British rule, the colony grew divided between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. These tensions led to a compromise in 1960 making Cyprus its own independent republic. But Turkey was unsatisfied, and over the next decade sent over foreign troops to declare the northern sector of the island a Turkish state. To this day, no bodies other than Turkey itself officially recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Though the territory is technically disputed, and is moderated by a UN buffer zone, it is realistically a peaceful stalemate today. 

Did you keep up with all that? I definitely didn’t – and that was the short version. So why does that much history matter? First of all, it’s important to understand at least the basic history behind any place you visit. History informs the sights you see, the people you meet, and the culture you experience. And this is especially true in Cyprus. If you go to Cyprus, you will actually see all of the history mentioned above. The people speak English from their English rule, the ruins date back to various powers and rules, and in museums you’ll find remnants of pre-history. 

Mythology of Cyprus

All set learning about the history of Cyprus? I get it. Now, let’s talk about some of the mythology surrounding this island!

Statue of a Venus figure in Ayia Napa Sculpture Park.
You’ll see references to Aphrodite all over Cyprus – this one is in the sculpture park in Ayia Napa.

Did you know that Cyprus’s most common nickname is ‘the Island of Love’? Ever wondered why? If you’re familiar with the myth of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, this might ring a bell. Aphrodite is the goddess of beauty and love, one of the 12 most important Greek gods. The story of Aphrodite’s birth recounts that she emerged naked from the foam of the ocean. Well according to the tale, she did so right off the coast of Paphos, Cyprus! The spot is marked by Aphrodite’s Rock, which is said to have magical properties promising eternal beauty to anyone who swims around it. 

Other famous landmarks named after Aphrodite

The other famous landmark named for Aphrodite (in addition to scores of tourist shops) is the Baths of Aphrodite. This is where Aphrodite met her mythical lover, Adonis. If you want to learn more about mythology, you can take a day trip here from Paphos

Cyprus is very proud of this mythological past, and you’ll see Aphrodite’s figure plastered on souvenirs all around the island. What you might not know is that Aphrodite’s current character was partially derived from a local deity that was worshiped in Cyprus when the Greeks arrived! No matter where you go, you’re never too far from the goddess on the Island of Love. 

Where should you go in Cyprus?

Okay, so you want to go to Cyprus. Where you should you go on your first trip? Here are some of the best places to visit in Cyprus to make the most of any trip.

Top Three Cypriot Cities

Paphos

Paphos (also spelled Pafos) is the heart of ancient Cyprus, and a must-see for visitors interested in historical sights. The most famous stop in this city is the aptly named ‘Paphos Archaeological Site,’ or Archaeological Site of Nea Paphos depending on translation. Home to the iconic Paphos Mosaics as well as a number of other ancient ruins scattered around a large and scenic area, this is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Cyprus. Another major sight is the Tombs of the Kings, a waterfront expanse of ancient tombs tourists can explore. Both of these sights can be seen in a day and are connected by a boardwalk along the coast. Other great stops to learn more about the history of Paphos and Cyprus as a whole are Paphos Castle, the Roman Theater, and the ruins surrounding the ​​Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa.

Bench looking out at the sea from the Paphos Archaeological Site.
A scenic walk along the coast connects all of Paphos’s main sights!

Don’t worry, a trip to Paphos isn’t only about the past! The city has a ton of modern bars and restaurants perfect for tourists. In fact, the streets bordering Paphos Harbor boast food and drink right next to the water, all delicious and for low prices. To get away from the other tourists, you can walk to some of the establishments on Tomb of the Kings Avenue, a bit more geared towards nightlife than families. On the other hand, if you need to entertain kids while in Paphos, take them to the nearby Aphrodite Waterpark!

Not to be confused with the much older archaeological sites, you should also make the trip to Paphos Old Town! It’s a bit further back from the water, and may be worth a taxi in the summer heat, but is worth a stop. This is also where the main bus station is, so it’s where you’ll find the easiest connections to other cities. The gateway to Old Town is a modern platform with shops and a view over the rest of the city. Venture further in and you’ll be rewarded with winding streets reminiscent of many European towns. This area is being modernized, so you’ll find cool shops and restaurants around every turn. 

Nicosia

Nicosia (sometimes called Lefkosa) is the capital of Cyprus. It is also the last divided capital in the world, due to its partial occupation by Turkey. Crossing the border from the Republic of Cyprus into the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is an incredibly unique experience, and a can’t-miss when in Cyprus! It’s entirely safe, easy, and quick – and super rewarding. When arriving from elsewhere in the Republic, you’ll land on the southern side of Nicosia. The city is quite compact, so in no time you’ll come onto the bustling Ledras Street. All main attractions lie just a block or so away from Ledras, including the beautiful Panayia Phaneromenis ​​church. There are also a number of shops and chain restaurants on the main street, most of which have prices much lower than their American counterparts. 

The easiest way to cross into the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is at the Ledra Street Checkpoint. This pedestrian-only walkway is built for tourists and locals alike, and is very clearly marked. You’ll walk up to a Cypriot border agent, show your passport, walk through the (very short) buffer zone, show your passport to the Turkish border agent, and be on the other side within 5 minutes! This will put you right in the heart of the old town of Nicosia – the perfect start to explore! 

Flags of Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus respectively, hanging on a building in Nicosia.
As the last divided capital in the world, you’ll see the flags of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus hang side-by-side.

There’s plenty to see in the old town. Visit the city’s main mosque, the Selimiye Mosque – housed in a former Catholic Church. From there you can easily walk to Atatürk Square, the seat of government and the supreme court. Another highlight is the Büyük Hamam, old Turkish baths that have been converted into an inviting market with tourist shops, bookstores, and cafes. On the streets in between these sights there are vendors offering goods and food at prices significantly lower than the rest of the Cypriot side – so get your shopping in here. Remember, they speak Turkish and use the Turkish lira!

Ayia Napa

Ayia Napa is famous as a resort town popular among Europeans for summer break. Here, you’ll find nightclubs with any theme you can dream up. Some of my favorites included facades modeled on the Flintstones, Moscow’s Red Square, and more! Many of these clubs are on Nissi Avenue, the main street following the coastline, while some are up in the older part of town just a few blocks away (also home to sites such as the I ♡ Ayia Napa statue and the Ayia Napa Monastery).

I spent a night between a bustling bar called Senior Frog’s and a karaoke bar nearby, both near the main strip. It’s easy to see why these places are so packed with locals and tourists, offering great atmospheres and cocktails at low prices. If you’re looking to spend a few nights hopping from bar to club and back, this is definitely the place for you. But Ayia Napa has tons to offer other than its party scene!

Ayia Napa beyond the bar

First, you can’t miss Ayia Napa’s beautiful coastline. A nice boardwalk follows much of it, while other parts are taken over by the private beaches of fancy hotels and resorts. After you’re done swimming, venture beyond the beaches. Those may look like distant cliffs from below, but well-marked and easy trails will lead you up the rocks to amazing views. I highly recommend taking the short walk out to Love Bridge. This unique rock formation forms a bridge over a beautiful cove, and earned its name as one of the most romantic spots in Cyprus. It offers excellent views of the coast, the ocean, and Ayia Napa’s harbor. Visit at sunset for an absolutely magical view. 

Statue of Aphrodite at the Ayia Napa Sculpture Park in Cyprus.
The Ayia Napa Sculpture Park is a can’t-miss destination in this beautiful coastal city! (source: Pixabay)

Near Love Bridge is another very unique attraction in Ayia Napa: the Ayia Napa Sculpture Park. As you approach this sculpture park, you’ll see how far it extends. It functions almost like a zoo, with various footpaths leading around beautiful sculptures from all over the world. The whole park rests on top of a hill right next to the beach, so there are unbelievable views the entire time. The sculptures represent more countries than I could keep track of, and it’s well worth meandering through them all. Then you’ll come across a bridge designed to look like an old ship, complete with sculpture passengers. This brings you to the other side of the park: the Ayia Napa Cactus Park! But don’t worry, there are still more sculptures here. 

Other places to visit in Cyprus

Those three cities are my top recommendations – but there are plenty of other options for any traveller’s interests!

Cypriot cities

Street art in Paphos, Cyprus - image of a woman dancing with ruins in the background.
Cyprus’s cities are bursting with culture and energy, and local art is one of the best ways to appreciate that!
Limassol

Cyprus’s second city, Limassol is another popular home base. If you fly in here, you’ll have no trouble finding hotels, shops, and restaurants. The most famous site in the city is its centuries-old castle, which should be your first stop! There’s also a number of museums about the history of the area, and plenty of seaside resorts. 

Colorful port of Limassol, Cyprus.
Limassol is a great seaside stay for your trip to Cyprus! (source: Pixabay)
Larnaca

Another gem on Cyprus’s southern coast, Larnaca is a convenient home base due to its size and prominence. Like Ayia Napa, it’s also famous for its nightlife, so if you land here you may not even want to leave! Other highlights include a famous monastery that’s open to visitors, as well as the waterfront. 

Monastery among palm trees on the shore of Larnaca, Cyprus.
From monasteries to nightclubs, Larnaca’s got it all! (source: Unsplash)
Famagusta

Once known around the world for its wealth and prominence, today Famagusta is often overlooked by tourists. If you have time to make the trip, you won’t regret it! The city’s most famous attraction is the well-preserved Venetian walls, as well as a historic mosque and the beachfront resorts that seem ubiquitous in Cyprus

Natural beauty

Baths of Aphrodite

Nestled on the Western side of the island, this is where the goddess Aphrodite is said to have met her lover. The Baths include a small grotto and waterfall, and are accessible by the Aphrodite trail. Follow the entire trail for exceptional views of the peninsula and the surrounding area. This is one of the most popular tourist stops in Cyprus, and you’ll see advertisements from many companies offering day trips from Paphos

Avakas Gorge

Easily done as a day trip from Paphos in a short drive, hike into the Avakas Gorge! This gorge has a unique look and is one of the most beautiful places in Cyprus. The hike will also lead you past an astonishing variety of unique wildlife. Make the trip to the gorge early in the morning to make sure you have enough time. Plus, you’ll get to avoid other tourists who had the same plan!

Troödos Mountains

The Troödos Mountains are another of the most beautiful places in Cyprus. Take the time to hike through them for amazing scenery. The area is also home to a number of authentic Cypriot villages, mostly isolated and spared many of the tourists. They offer local wine and other delicacies, so be sure to dig in! There are also a number of organized tours that will take you for a day trip into the Troödos, if you don’t want to drive up mountains on the left side of the road.

Mountain village in the Troodos region of Cyprus.
The Troödos Mountains are full of natural beauty hiding scenic villages in the heart of Cyprus (source: Pixabay)

How to get around Cyprus

The best way to explore Cyprus is to rent a car. This will offer you the most flexibility in exploring and doing day trips around the country. Plus, if you’re hitting the beach, that extra space might come in handy.

If you can’t (or don’t want to) rent a car, don’t fret. Cyprus’s bus system is clean, safe, and comfortable. Buses connect all of the major cities multiple times a day. Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos, Nicosia, and Ayia Napa are all connected on the Intercity Buses. These cost around € 5-9 per person, and you can buy tickets in cash on board. They stop in multiple places in each city, and cover the distances quickly on long highways. The timetables are mostly self-explanatory, but always double check with the driver to make sure you’re going the right way. 

What to eat in Cyprus?

Cyprus’s cuisine is very similar to that of Greece, but many dishes may have a more local touch. Traditional dishes you’ll want to try include souvlakia (a type of kebab), halloumi (grilled or fried cheese), baklava (pastries), and tzatziki (dip). Order a meze dip for any restaurant’s collection of their proudest Cypriot specialties. The diet also includes an emphasis on fresh fruit and local ingredients. Plus, prices are typically lower than in most mainland European countries – so dig in! Here are some of our favorite restaurants in Cyprus if you need more specific inspiration!

Cyprus isn’t the only budget-friendly destination in Europe!

Zorbas is a chain bakery native to Cyprus, and is popular with locals and tourists alike. That’s with good reason – this place is heavenly. In addition to necessities and groceries, they have fresh bread and pastries galore. Most snacks only cost about a euro, so fill up a bag with as much as you want! They also make some common foods such as pizza, so here’s my motto: if you don’t recognize the name, get it! They have convenient locations in most major cities, so this can be a great one-stop-shop. 

stack of pastries
Some of Cyprus’s greatest culinary prides include pastries galore!

Like other European and Mediterranean nations, Cyprus is very specific about its wine. The most famous wines of Cyprus are its dry wines, and a dry Cypriot white wine is always a good bet. If you’re looking for something a little stronger, try the unofficial national beverage. The ‘Brandy Sour’ is a mix of brandy and lemon, and is very popular here. Finally, like in Greece, Ouzo is common!

Where to stay in Cyprus?

If you’re looking for the easiest access to the most important sites, I recommend staying in Paphos. The city has plenty of restaurants and hotels, and the airport makes it super convenient. Plus, due to its popularity among tourists, you can take day trips to much of the country. The Baths of Aphrodite, Aphrodite’s Rock, the Avakas Gorge, the Troödos Mountains, and more! It’s also easy to get to Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol, and Ayia Napa by bus. Here are some recommendations for where to stay in most cities mentioned here:

Paphos: Anemi Hotel & Suites

This hotel offers luxurious rooms and suites with kitchens and plenty of space to spread out. In addition, enjoy perks such as a pool, playground, and gym. But best of all is the location! This wonderful stay in Paphos is right in the heart of the action, and is a short walk from the main tourist attractions and countless bars and restaurants. 

Nicosia: TasEV Guesthouse

I highly recommend this hotel in the northern side of Nicosia. Not only is it gorgeous, with spacious rooms and high ceilings. It also offers complimentary breakfast selections of fresh fruit and traditional snacks. They also work with a local children’s charity, so your money goes to a good cause and you might see some of the kids’ art in the halls! Plus, how many people can say they slept in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus?

Mosque in the old town of Nicosia in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
There’s a Turkish mosque right across from the TasEV Guesthouse, which is sure to remind you that you’re in Turkey!

Ayia Napa: Alion Beach Hotel

Another top-notch hotel in Cyprus is the Alion Beach Hotel in Ayia Napa. They had me at the words ‘Beach Hotel.’ But if that wasn’t enough for you, check this out.

This hotel boasts luxurious rooms and a pool, restaurant, and spa to boot. But my favorite part is the location. It’s just a short walk in one direction to the heart of Ayia Napa and the harbor, and in the other to Love Bridge and the Sculpture Park. Perched on a slight hill, there’s nothing between you and the water but the beach. 

Limassol: Amathus Beach Hotel Limassol

You absolutely won’t want to leave this amazing resort. And with more pools and dining options than I can count, you won’t have to! However, if you do make it outside, you won’t regret it. You’re steps away from the beach, and a short walk to the Archaeological Site of Amathous along the water. Look no further than here for the luxury beach getaway of your dreams. 

Larnaca: Qbic City Hotel

A terrace, a pool, a restaurant, and more. These amenities should stand out, but even more attractive is the three-minute walk from the door to the beach. This hotel is located in Old Town of Larnaca, which means that if you do turn away from the ocean you’re promised the best views and the shortest walk. 

Itinerary ideas for a trip to Cyprus

Looking to spend a week in Cyprus? Here are a few sample itineraries for your trip. I’ll base these on a week for a few reasons. First, it’s well worth the time! Spending a week in Cyprus is just enough to do this gem justice. Also, when I flew to Paphos from Dublin on Ryanair, they only offered one flight per week. 

Big three!

For this itinerary, you’ll hit Paphos, Nicosia, and Ayia Napa in one week. I did this trip in six days, with two in each city. This offered me plenty of time to see all the sights! Start with two days in Paphos exploring the architectural ruins and the harbor. Then head to Nicosia to learn about the world’s last divided capital and take a trip to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Finish your trip in Ayia Napa to relax on the beach or party in the clubs – however you feel like unwinding!

Paphos and around

If you want to stay in one place, pick a home base in Paphos. This is a great location to explore the rest of the country. Spend two days in Paphos to explore the ancient sites as well as the modern parts of town. Then take day trips to any sites that interest you! For a city break and interesting history, head to Nicosia. To learn more about mythology, check out Aphrodite’s Rock or Baths. To hike deeper into the country, your best bet is the Avakas Gorge or the Troödos Mountains. And if you need a break (or the kids do), there’s always the waterpark!

Paphos lighthouse near the famous archaeological sites.
Paphos is a great home base to explore the rest of Cyprus!

Cities on the Southern coast

To ensure you never get too far from the sea and get a feel for a few more Cypriot cities, try this itinerary:

Spend two days each in Paphos, Limassol, and Larnaca – with a day trip to Ayia Napa if you’re feeling ambitious! This itinerary hugs the southern coast of Cyprus, and all these cities are connected on convenient bus routes. And, this route covers all of the island’s major airports. You can make this a relaxing trip by hopping from one beach resort to another. 

Fun facts about Cyprus!

Going on a trip to Cyprus and need some fun facts to impress your friends and family? Here are some great tidbits I bet you didn’t know!

  1. Cyprus is home to the world’s oldest wine manufacturer – it’s named Commandaria, after the region it is from. 
  2. There are more cats than people in Cyprus! That might be hard to believe, but after a trip to this feline-friendly island, you’ll definitely agree. Cats are everywhere! They won’t bother you, except maybe to ask for some food, but you shouldn’t pet them. 
  3. You can ski in Cyprus! This is one of the southernmost ski destinations, but in the Troödos Mountains there are a number of ski resorts – they’re named after Greek Gods!
  4. Cyprus is the only foreign nation that has hosted an English Royal Wedding. King Richard and Queen Joanna got married in Limassol in 1191.
  5. Cyprus gets over 300 days of sunshine every year! This makes it a great destination for summer getaways and beach vacations.
  6. Cyprus was the first country in the world to include an image of the nation’s geographical outline on its flag. To this day, the only other is Kosovo!

Not done living on island time?

Cyprus Travel Summary

You’ve just read everything you need to know about Cyprus before planning a trip. But the question is, why should you? Cyprus is one of the most unique destinations in Europe, and is a magical compromise between convenience and quiet. It has just enough tourists to ensure your every need is taken care of, but not so much that you can’t get that perfect picture you want. It’s easy to fall in love with the Island of Love, and no matter how you spend your time here, it will be a trip you won’t forget!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Evan B. Edler is a full-time student and part-time traveler born in Amsterdam, raised in Boston, and currently living in Dublin. A first-year in university, he explores Europe on the weekends and books flights during class. You can (try to) keep up with his adventures at @evanbedler.

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