Welcome to Cyprus, a Mediterranean paradise where history, nature, and culture collide in an unforgettable adventure! Prepare to be captivated by ancient ruins, sun-soaked beaches, and charming villages. Are you ready to explore the wonders that await you on this beautiful island?
Table of Contents
- Explore Northern Cyprus and discover its captivating beauty & historical wealth!
- Dive into magical sea caves, relax at Coral Bay, and explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites!
- Party at Nissi Beach, hike the Troodos Mountains, marvel at ancient ruins & more for an unforgettable adventure in Cyprus!
Things to Do in Cyprus
1. Discover Northern Cyprus
Northern Cyprus, a realm of unmatched beauty and historical wealth, beckons you to unlock its treasures. From the charming town of Girne (Kyrenia) with its stunning harbor and majestic Venetian castle to the breathtaking beaches and incredible archaeological sites, North Cyprus is a dream destination for any traveler, including those seeking to explore a captivating capital city.
Girne (Kyrenia) showcases a variety of captivating cultural landmarks, such as:
- The awe-inspiring Anglican Church
- The magnificent Cafer Paşa Camii
- The captivating Ottoman Cemetery
- The stunning Chrysopolitissa Church
- The charming Folk Art Museum
Journey past the town boundaries to uncover the best beaches in Cyprus sprinkled along the northern coast and Karpaz Peninsula, where you’ll find several UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Your journey to Northern Cyprus isn’t complete without a tour of the age-old sites scattered across the landscape. Discover the fascinating history of:
- Bellapais Abbey
- Buffavento Castle
- Saint Hilarion Castle
- Kyrenia Castle
- Salamis Ancient City
- Othello Castle
- Soli Ancient City
- Vouni Palace
- Famagusta Walls
- Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque
- Apostolos Andreas Monastery
- Kantara Castle
- The Ghost Town of Varosha
- The Royal Tombs of Salamis
These captivating locations offer a unique journey through time, providing a glimpse into the island’s rich past.
2. Dive into Sea Caves
Imagine probing the captivating sea caves hidden under the Mediterranean’s crystal clear waters. In Cape Greko and Paphos, you’ll find some of Cyprus’s most awe-inspiring sea caves. Dive into the enchanting underwater world, teeming with incredible creatures, mysterious caves, and fronds of sea plants.
Relish the excitement of snorkeling in Ayia Napa’s sea caves, swimming with curious fish, and capturing photos against the magnificent ocean backdrop. Or, embark on a sea kayaking adventure, exploring Lover’s Bridge, the Blue Lagoon in Protaras, and the exciting sea caves along the rocky coastline.
For an extraordinary adventure, plunge into Green Bay for a nocturnal or cave dive, submerging yourself into Cyprus’s enchanting underwater realm. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a first-timer, the sea caves of Cyprus promise an unforgettable experience that will leave you yearning for more.
3. Relax at Coral Bay
Retreat to Coral Bay, a favored beach spot on the island, renowned for its golden sands, pristine waters, and many water sports and activities. This idyllic paradise is perfect for families, offering a tranquil retreat with plenty of accommodation options to suit your needs.
At Coral Bay, you can indulge in exciting water sports and discover the wonders of the underwater world through scuba diving. Or, venture to Cape Greco National Forest Park, where you can hike along the sea cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean below, taking in the breathtaking views and exploring the captivating sea caves.
For a distinctive experience, set off on a beach or mountain buggy tour at Akamas National Park, jostling along the shore or uphill, enjoying the sensation of starring in your adventure film. No matter how you spend time at Coral Bay, you will leave with unforgettable memories of Cyprus’s incredible beauty.
4. Delve into History at the Cyprus Museum
Step back in time and dive into Cyprus’ rich history at the Cyprus Museum in Lefkosia. This fascinating museum showcases an impressive collection of archaeological treasures spanning various cultures and periods, providing a glimpse into the island’s storied past.
Marvel at the stunning artifacts on display at the museum, including:
- stone vessels
- clay items of worship from the Neolithic and Chalcolithic eras
- pottery from the Bronze Age
- limestone statues from the Classical age
- clay tablets that trace the evolution of writing in Cyprus
The museum’s exhibits transport you back, offering a captivating journey through the island’s rich history.
Seize the opportunity to tour the myriad historical landmarks scattered around Nicosia. These include:
- The Cyprus Museum
- Makarios Cultural Foundation Byzantine Museum
- Agios Ioannis Church
- Famagusta, Kyrenia, and Paphos gates
- Faneromeni Church
These incredible sites offer a fascinating glimpse into the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Byzantine eras that shaped the island’s cultural identity.
5. Soak Up the Sun at Fig Tree Bay
Imagine sunbathing on the unspoiled white sands of Fig Tree Bay, one of Cyprus’ most scenic beaches. Located in Protaras, this stunning oasis boasts turquoise waters, inviting you to explore the underwater marvels beneath the surface.
Fig Tree Bay is not just a feast for the eyes; it’s also a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Dive into the crystal-clear waters and swim to the small island off the shore, or snorkel alongside the vibrant marine life that calls this paradise home.
As you soak up the sun at Fig Tree Bay, don’t forget to venture beyond the beach and explore the surrounding area. Discover the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, a small temple near the Birthplace of Aphrodite that celebrates the myth of the Greek goddess of love. Or, challenge yourself to swim around the enchanting Aphrodite’s Rock, rumored to bestow beauty, fertility, and good luck to those who complete the journey.
6. Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Cyprus houses several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, providing a memorable pilgrimage through the island’s rich history and cultural legacy. Explore the Paphos Archaeological Park, the Tombs of the Kings, and the painted churches of Troodos, each site boasting unique treasures and captivating stories.
At the Paphos Archaeological Park, wander through the remains of important monuments, including the Asklepieion, the theater, the Agora, the forty columns of Saranta Kolones Castle, the remains of an Early Christian Basilica, and the Tombs of the Kings. These ancient sites provide a fascinating glimpse into those who once inhabited this captivating island.
Further afield, the painted churches of Troodos offer a different perspective on Cyprus’ rich history. These magnificent Byzantine churches and monasteries, nestled in the Troodos Mountains, are adorned with gorgeous frescoes and mosaics, showcasing the island’s artistic heritage and religious devotion.
Cyprus’s UNESCO World Heritage site locations, from ancient ruins to sacred spaces, are a testament to the island’s enduring allure.
7. Party at Nissi Beach
If you’re pursuing a livelier holiday encounter, Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa is your destination. Known for its vibrant atmosphere, bustling nightlife, and beautiful sandy beaches, Nissi Beach is a haven for those who crave excitement and entertainment.
As the sun sets, Ayia Napa truly comes alive. Dance the night away at one of the island’s best beach clubs, such as:
- Columbia Beach
- Escape Beach Club
- Nissi Bay Beach Bar
- Guaba Beach Bar
- Paradisos Beach Venue
For a daytime adrenaline rush, don’t miss Parko Paliatso, the largest amusement park in Cyprus, boasting over 40 thrilling rides and games, including Europe’s highest ejection seat ride, the Sling Shot.
Whether you are seeking a wild party or a laid-back beach retreat, Nissi Beach offers something for everyone. With golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and a vibrant atmosphere, this popular destination will surely leave you with unforgettable memories of your time in Cyprus.
8. Hike the Troodos Mountains
Evade the coastal heat and reach the Troodos Mountains, Cyprus’ most expansive mountain range in the eastern Mediterranean. Offering a variety of trails, cooler temperatures, and breathtaking views of the island’s diverse landscapes, the Troodos Mountains provide a refreshing change of scenery for those seeking adventure.
Choose from over 72 nature trails spanning 322 km, with options for all skill levels and interests. For a truly memorable hike, tackle the Artemis Trail, a 7.2 km loop that offers fantastic views and thrilling walks. According to legend, Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, devoted herself to the wildlands of the Troodos Mountains, blessing those who pass through them.
As you explore the Troodos Mountains, don’t miss the opportunity to visit charming villages such as Omodos, Lefkara, and Fikardou, where you can experience traditional Cypriot architecture, culture, and local crafts. With its stunning views, diverse landscapes, and cooler temperatures, the Troodos Mountains offer a unique and unforgettable experience in Cyprus.
9. Experience Traditional Wine Tasting
Uncover Cyprus’ rich wine palette as you start a conventional wine-tasting expedition. With six wine-tasting routes, a wine museum, and the Lemesos Wine Festival, there’s no shortage of opportunities to sample the island’s finest vintages.
Follow the wine routes through the picturesque Troodos Mountains, where you’ll visit award-winning wineries, taste various grapes, and learn about the island’s rich wine-making traditions. For a more immersive experience, explore the fascinating Cyprus Wine Museum, which traces the history of wine production on the island and offers tastings and talks by local wine producers.
If you’re visiting Cyprus in September, don’t miss the vibrant Lemesos Wine Festival, a tent city event held over two weekends that celebrates the island’s wine culture. With dozens of Cypriot wine producers offering tastings, talks, and information on the island’s wine routes, this inclusive and fun affair is a must for wine enthusiasts and curious travelers alike.
10. Marvel at Ancient Ruins
Reveal Cyprus’s ancient mysteries as you admire the island’s awe-inspiring ruins, including the Roman Pafos Mosaics, Salamis Ancient City, and the Kourion Archaeological Site. These captivating sites offer a unique window into the island’s rich history, showcasing the civilizations that once called Cyprus home.
At the Roman Pafos Mosaics, marvel at the incredibly lifelike mosaics. These stunning works of art offer an insight into the life of the affluent Roman dwellers on the island. Meanwhile, the Salamis Ancient City transports you back in time, with remains of statues of worship, historic baths, and massive marble columns.
Venture to the Kourion Archaeological Site, where you’ll discover a small temple, ancient bathhouses, and several stunning floor mosaics. Each old site offers a fascinating glimpse into the island’s storied past, providing a captivating journey through time that will leave a lasting impression.
11. Swim in the Blue Lagoon
Submerge into the mesmerizing waters of the Blue Lagoon, a secluded cove in the Paphos region, luring visitors with its crystal-clear waters and stunning beauty. This natural pool of bright and clear water is the perfect spot for snorkeling, swimming, and relaxing, offering a serene escape from the bustling tourist destinations.
The Blue Lagoon is accessible by boat tour or as part of a guided excursion. It allows you to immerse yourself in its tranquil depths and explore the captivating underwater world it conceals. Swim alongside vibrant marine life, uncover hidden caves, and marvel at the fronds of sea plants that sway gently with the current.
As you swim in the Blue Lagoon, take a moment to appreciate the stunning surroundings that make this remote cove a true gem of Cyprus. With its crystal-clear waters, secluded location, and mesmerizing underwater world, the Blue Lagoon promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you longing to return.
12. Visit Charming Villages
Stray from the usual routes and uncover the allure of Cyprus’ quaint villages, including Omodos, Lefkara, and Fikardou. These quaint villages offer a glimpse into traditional Cypriot life, showcasing the island’s unique architecture, culture, and local crafts.
Nestled in the Troodos Mountains, Omodos is known as the epitome of a wine village, with its cobblestone streets, rustic taverns, and local wineries waiting to be explored. In Lefkara, admire the village’s traditional lace and silverware, handcrafted by skilled artisans who continue the centuries-old techniques passed down through generations.
Step back in time in the preserved village of Fikardou, where traditional architecture and local crafts transport you to a bygone era. As you wander the narrow streets of these enchanting villages, immerse yourself in the island’s rich history and culture and experience the warmth and hospitality of the Cypriot people.
13. Unwind at Cape Greco National Park
Flee from the hubbub of Cyprus’ popular tourist destinations and relax at the Cape Greco National Park on the island’s southeastern edge. Offering a variety of hiking trails, stunning sea cliffs, and mesmerizing sea caves, the park provides an idyllic setting for those seeking adventure and tranquility.
Explore the breathtaking hiking trails that wind through Cape Greco National Park, taking in the stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea as you traverse the rugged coastline. Venture off the beaten path to discover hidden sea caves and craggy cliffs that reveal the island’s dramatic geological landscape.
For a truly unique experience, visit the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque, a holy site in Islamic culture built over the grave of Umm Haram, who was believed to be a follower or relative of the prophet Mohammed. With its towering domes and gorgeous designs, the mosque is a testament to the island’s diverse cultural heritage.
14. Taste Authentic Cypriot Cuisine
Relish the flavors of Cyprus as you undertake a gastronomic adventure through the island’s delicious cuisine. Sample local dishes, sweets, and coffee on a food tour that will introduce you to the island’s rich culinary traditions and tantalize your taste buds. Indulge in iconic Cypriot dishes such as Halloumi and meze, a selection of small plates that include vine leaves (dolmades), sheftalia (minced meat sausages with mint and parsley), and souvlaki (grilled meats). Visit traditional taverns, cafes, and bakeries to taste the island’s mouthwatering sweets and experience the unique flavors of Cypriot coffee.
As you explore the island’s culinary delights, learn about the history and techniques behind each dish, deepening your appreciation for the island’s vibrant food culture. From the savory to the sweet, Cyprus’ authentic cuisine will leave a lasting impression on your palate.
15. Experience Local Festivals and Celebrations
Plunge into Cyprus’s vivid culture and customs by participating in the island’s local festivities and celebrations. Some of the notable events include:
- Orthodox Easter: Experience the religious fervor and traditions of this important holiday.
- Limassol Carnival: Join the lively atmosphere of this carnival, known for its colorful parades and parties.
- Kataklysmos Festival: Celebrate the festival of the flood with water-related activities and cultural events.
These events showcase the unique heritage of Cyprus and offer a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture.
Orthodox Easter is the biggest event in the Greek Orthodox calendar, with a procession on Good Friday, midnight Mass on Easter Saturday, and feasting, drinking, and games on Easter Sunday and Monday. The Limassol Carnival, on the other hand, is a colorful celebration filled with music, dancing, and elaborate costumes, bringing the streets of Limassol to life.
Another popular event is the Kataklysmos Festival, a unique Cypriot celebration that combines religious, mythological, and cultural elements in a joyous occasion marked by water-based games and festivities.
No matter when you visit Cyprus, be sure to immerse yourself in the island’s local festivals and celebrations to experience its vibrant culture and traditions.
From the sun-kissed shores of Coral Bay and Fig Tree Bay to the majestic Troodos Mountains and the ancient ruins of Paphos, Cyprus is an island that offers something for everyone. Immerse yourself in this Mediterranean paradise’s vibrant culture, rich history, and stunning natural beauty, and create lasting memories that will make you long to return. Experience the magic of Cyprus, and let the island’s charm and allure captivate your heart.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there much to do in Cyprus?
There’s plenty to do in Cyprus, from soaking up the sun on some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean to exploring the historic city of Paphos.
With its stunning coastline and abundance of things to do, there’s something for everyone in Cyprus!
What is Cyprus best known for?
Cyprus is renowned for its unique cultural heritage, from the annual Limassol carnival to the sweet dessert wine Commandaria. Visitors also come for wreck diving (Zenobia wreck) and the delicious Haloumi cheese.
What is the most excellent part of Cyprus to visit?
If you’re looking for the best beach holiday in Cyprus, head to Ayia Napa, Larnaca, Paphos, Limassol, or Protaras.
These areas offer plenty of sun-soaked stretches of sand, water sports, and family-friendly activities, making them some of the most excellent places to visit in Cyprus.
How many days should I spend in Cyprus?
For the best experience of Cyprus, spend one week there! This will give you enough time to explore all the attractions and soak up the sunny seaside vibes.
What is the best time of year to visit Cyprus?
Experience the beauty of Cyprus with its sunny, mild weather and minimal tourist crowds in spring or autumn – April to May and September to October!