Cyprus is the jewel of the eastern Mediterranean. Just a hop away from Turkey, Israel, Egypt, and Greece, Cyprus will give you much more than golden or white sandy beaches. You will get it all here – the most complete island vacation on the Med… an island with a rich history, culture, ancient monuments and archeology sites, hilltop castles offering panoramic views, UNESCO World Heritage-listed monasteries, hills with lush forests, waterfalls, an adventure gorge worth exploring on foot, and even skiing in the winter.
The island is small in size, but packed with attractions and activities. You can go on a sailing trip, try snorkeling, and scuba diving. There are shipwreck sites to dive. The seafood rocks. The nature trails are stunning. Catch a new view at every turn.
Or simply, you can relax and get that gorgeous tan to make everyone jealous. Relax in your holiday villa for rent in Cyprus or lay down at a lounger on one of the 160 Cypriot beaches for a vacation to remember. Your choice!
Here are some of the best places to visit in Cyprus.
Located in the island’s southwestern coast on a limestone promontory, it used to be a key city-state once. Ancient Kourion is close to city of Limassol and the scenic village of Episkopi. The area is vast, but you should definitely visit the theater and the House of Eustolios. See the impressive Byzantine basilica for some of the most beautiful mosaics. You will also get picturesque views of the countryside. Ancient Kourion was finally brought down by a series of earthquakes in the 17th century.
Historic Paphos is in the west coast. A large city by Cypriot standards, it offers you both a modern city with many restaurants, cafes, bars, a beachfront, hotels, villas for rent in Paphos, and an ancient side with the Tombs of the Kings and other attractions.
Visit the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park first and see the Roman ruins that go back to the 3 rd century. You will find some of the most well-preserved mosaics here. Also visit the underground mazes and tombs and see the Doric columns. The entire city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. According to legend, Paphos is the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of beauty, love, and procreation.
Larnaca, the island’s oldest city, is in the southern coast. The top reason to visit Larnaca is for the Mackenzie Beach, which many consider to be Europe’s finest city beach. The nearby Finikoudes Beach is also impressive. It has a palm-lined seaside promenade. This is a buzzing area with many bars, cafes, shops, and restaurants. Go away on a serene getaway away from the beach region – visit the Larnaca Salt Lake to see flamingoes. You can also visit the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque.
St. Hilarion Castle
The St. Hilarion Castle is located on the Kyrenia Mountains. Hike up and get a panoramic view from the top of the countryside and further out into the sea. There are many interesting stories and myths behind this castle. Local folklore claims it was built by a fairy queen. Others say an old saint lived here, but fled after a conquest. The trail leading to the castle is beautiful. Sweat it out for the stunning views. It will be totally worth it in the end.
The Karpas Peninsula
The peninsula sticks out like a finger in the northeastern part of the island. This is a very remote and the least visited part of Cyprus, often ignored by most tourists. But you can see here picturesque stretches of beaches with rugged hills as a backdrop. The Karpas Peninsula is hilly with many great beaches, hidden coves, and small bays. The Golden Beach is a favorite. But you will find many places where you will be all alone. Have the entire beach to yourself for complete privacy. Go on a hiking adventure or visit the nearby Agia Triada and Agios Filon.
A waterfall up in the hill close to the city of Paphos. Close to the village of Koili. As per Greek mythology, Adonis Baths was a favorite place of God Adonis and Goddess Aphrodite. Swim at the natural pool beneath the waterfall. Tall trees and green landscape make this very serene. You can also get mud therapy. There are many hiking trails all around.
The ancient city-state of Salamis is in the east coast, close to modern-day Famagusta. The city was founded by the Trojan Legend Teucer. It is a huge archaeological site where you can see many marble ruins. See the Grand Hellenistic Statuary with heads that were cut off subsequently. See the royal tombs and the ruins of old Byzantine churches. The ancient city of Engomi, which is also in ruins, is nearby.
It is an old crusader base that goes back 700 years. Located on a hilltop, the castle is only 14 kilometers from Limassol. There was a time when the castle was very important, but it was eventually brought down by the Knights Templars. Now, you can see the dungeons and the murals. The castle has also featured in many works of fiction.
A headland, peninsula, and national park, Greco is close to Aiya Napa and Protaras, both very popular with tourists. Visit the Blue Lagoon and drive up to the Lighthouse at the very edge of the Mediterranean. The shoreline is craggy offering you stunning views from the clifftops. But the biggest attraction is the national park area. there are many scenic walking trails where you can see a variety of local flora, including some rare species.
The Fig Tree beach consistently ranks among the best beaches in Europe. Of course, that’s not the only stretch of sand that attracts tourists to Cyprus. There is the Nissi beach, Coral Bay, Mackenzie, Lara Bay, Kourion, Makronissos, and many more. In fact, Cyprus has 160 beaches, many of which can get crowded during the peak season. but you are also sure to find secluded stretches of sand as well.
Many beaches have loungers, bars, restaurants, water sports, and marinas close by. Rent a boat from there for a day of sailing on the Mediterranean. You can also go on a fishing expedition, try snorkeling, or deep-sea diving.
This small village is tucked away in the Troodos Mountains at the center of the island. This is a very picturesque village with many traditional thatched houses with red roofs and stone brick walls. Cobblestoned streets go off in all directions from the village center. There are many open-air cafes, hidden in the narrow lanes and on the main roads. The village also has a monastery and a small museum.
Most tourists visit Omodos for its homemade wines and breads. A wine festival is held in the village once a year. You can also buy traditional art and crafts, including the famous Arkatena pretzels, lace works, glass objects, and silver jewelry.
Close to Paphos, Avakas is a narrow gorge with a stunning 2.5-kilometer long trail. Walk through the narrow canyon and see unique rock formations and crevices. The limestone walls around you are 30-feet tall. See the wild buckthorn bushes and juniper trees. Discover the centaurea akamantis flower, which you will find only in Cyprus.
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