Tourism in Cyprus
Millions of tourists visit Cyprus every year. Most of them come to Larnaca, Limassol, Protaras, Paphos, and Ayia Napa. These resort areas are always in demand, but especially during the summer months. The best time of the year for a beach holiday is from July to the end of September.
Not just for the Mediterranean and beaches, many tourists visit Cyprus at other times of the year as well, making the island a year-round destination. They come to see its historical and cultural attractions. Cyprus has seen many civilizations – the Mycenaean Greeks, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Venetians, Ottomans, and others. These civilizations have all left their mark in the ancient ruins, cities, theaters, and castles.
Cyprus is the 3rd largest island on the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily and Sardinia. It is also the 3rd most populous Mediterranean island. Cyprus with a total area of 9,251 square kilometers is surrounded by Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Crete, Lebanon, and Israel.
The Cyprus coastline is 640 kilometers or 400 miles long. However, the island’s interior is hilly. There are dense forests and waterfalls. The Kyrenia ridge stretches along the coastline in the northeast. The main peak of the ridge is Mount Arkomanda. You can climb to the top, which is 1023 meters. There is an even larger mountain range in the west – The Troodos. Its top Mount Olympus reaches up to 6,401 feet or 1,951 meters. This is the highest peak of Cyprus.
So not just the Mediterranean Sea and its beaches, you should see most of the island to appreciate its beauty, landscape, adventures, history, and diversity.
Top 5 Beaches of Cyprus
Here are the most popular beaches in Cyprus:
- Coral Bay
- Nissi beach
- Fig Tree Bay
- Lara Bay
- Mackenzie Beach
Most tourists visit Cyprus for a beach holiday. They like to rent a lounger and sunbathe, as the island gets more than 300 days of sunshine in a year. The island has a total of 160 beaches, out of which, 15 are Blue Flag beaches, which shows that they are clean and environmentally safe. Most of them are extremely picturesque. Many beaches have soft golden or white sand, while the others have pebbles.
The water is calm and shallow in most places. The beach slopes gently into the sea. Many beaches also have lifeguards, so even the kids can swim in the water safely. All beach areas are municipal and are thus free.
You will find many amenities and facilities – you can rent a sun lounger and umbrella, there are changing rooms, toilets, shower facilities, and you will also find many taverns and cafes along the beaches. Many of them also have watersports – speed boats, banana boats, parasailing, and others.
Top 5 Attractions in Cyprus
While planning a trip to Cyprus, make sure you include visit to the beaches and also the island’s cultural, historical, and natural attractions. You will find many ancient ruins, castles, monasteries, museums, religious buildings, natural gorges, sea caves, and a lot more.
You should definitely visit:
- Ancient Kourion
- The Karpas Peninsula
- Temple of Apollo Hylates, close to Limassol
- The Ayia Napa monastery
- Aphrodite's Rock – Petra tou Romiou
There are many things to see in the capital of Cyprus – Nicosia. Admire the magnificent Old Town, which is surrounded by a fortified wall. Get acquainted with antiquities in the Archaeological Museum. You will need at least half a day for the museum. And also be sure to visit the Archbishop’s Palace. It is a recent construction, but is beautifully stylized with Renaissance architecture.
Luckily, you will find many luxury villas for rent close to these tourist attractions. Stay as a group together in a villa, enjoying your privacy. A villa offers all the comforts and luxuries of a star-category hotel. You will find many such properties in the CyprusVillas website.
Cyprus for an Active Holiday and Entertainment
Many visiting Cyprus want to just relax and get a tan. But, of course, there are others who want to see the tourist attractions and do the many activities.
- You can go on a hiking trip in the Akamas Peninsula
- Walk through the Avakas Gorge and see the beautiful rock formations, wildlife, and the unique flora of the region
- Help the endangered loggerhead turtles in Lara Bay
- Hike through the Camel Trail in the Troodos mountains
- Visit the medieval villages in the Troodos and see the traditional lifestyle of the locals, appreciate their food
- Hike, bike, or camp in Cape Greco, get fascinating sea views
- Enjoy water sports – speed boats, banana boats, surfing, water skiing, etc.
- Go on a sailing trip
- Enjoy snorkeling and diving
- You can also do skiing in the Troodos in the winter
Biking is very popular in Cyprus. Biking is a very convenient means of transport on the island. There are separate bike paths in large cities. You can also choose from many scenic and interesting biking routes.
You can easily rent a bike, and you will find many parking lots too. Just be careful not to go beyond the road boundaries because drivers may not notice always. There can be an unpleasant injury.
The Ghost Town of Varosha
Varosha in Famagusta was once a booming resort town. It had some of the best beaches on the island, sky-scrapping hotels, and glamorous shopping malls. Extremely popular with the rich and famous, Varosha was often called “The French Riviera of Cyprus”. The BBC says Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, and Richard Burton used to holiday here often.
Varosha has now turned into a ghost town as its inhabitants fled when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974. It has remained abandoned ever since. The buildings are decaying and the streets have overgrown vegetation. You cannot visit Varosha, but you can see the ghost town with a telescope from an observation deck near the village of Deryneia.
Cyprus has a rich history of wine making, which goes back 6,000 years. There are seven wine routes on the island where you can visit 41 modern wineries and see how they work. You can even taste the wine.
September is the traditional grape harvesting month at the vineyards. March is a busy month because this is when the vines are pruned. The harvest season is from August to the middle of November. You can visit –
- Vlassides Winery – Koilani Village in Limassol
- Zambartas Winery – Agios Amvrosios Village in Limassol
- Vouni Panayia Winery - Pano Panayia Village in Paphos
- Ktima Dafermou Winery – Lefkara Village Larnaca
- Tsiakkas Winery – Pelendri Village in Limassol
Who Should Visit Cyprus
Cyprus offers something for everyone.
- Beach lovers - 160 beaches, 15 Blue Flag beaches
- Adventure – hiking, biking, camping, skiing
- Nature lovers – Avakas gorge, Akamas, Cape Greco
- History –Kourion, Salamis, Hilarion Castle, Kolossi, House of Dionysus
- Water sports – Snorkeling, diving, sailing, boating
- Monasteries – Kykkos, Church of Saint Lazarus
- Kids – Waterparks, zoo, horse riding
- Food – Traditional tavernas, wineries
For Lovers of Antiquity
There are many exciting trips for those who love history and culture. See the ancient Kourion and Salamis, the Paphos Archeological Park, museums and monasteries. Nicosia, the capital, has many interesting museums.
Cyprus for Seniors
It is a wonderful destination even for the seniors. The aged can just relax in their luxury villa or hotel. The tourist infrastructure is well developed. You will find many cafes and local restaurants in the resort areas within a scenic landscape.
Invest in your peace of mind choosing travel insurance for seniors with Covid-19 cover including an extensive range of medical conditions. With Annual policy you can take as many holidays as you wish all year long and even safe money on travel insurance.
What to Avoid Doing in Cyprus
Information for photographers – There are many landmarks and scenic attractions. But you should know that photography is not free everywhere. You may be charged for taking a photo in many of these places. There are also restrictions in museums.
Also, do not photograph military structures. This is prohibited by law. You may be severely penalized if you take pictures.
Stay healthy – There are a lot of mosquitoes on the island. So protect yourself from these annoying insects.
Where to Stay in Cyprus
You will find many accommodation options on the island – hotels, apartments, resorts, and luxury villas for rent. The price, however, may not match the quality.
For an apartment, you may have to pay 50-70 euros. But many of them may not have hot water. Many also have old furniture and a balcony with a dull view. Many apartments are also far away from a good beach.
With tourism booming, there is a growing demand for housing on the island. The supply, sadly, is sometimes inadequate. The price can be too high too, especially during the peak season.
Why You Should Stay in a Villa
A private villa will always give you better value for money. The bedrooms will be much bigger compared to the cramped hotel spaces. You will get a living room, a well-equipped kitchen with appliances, a chef who prepares meals just like you want, and both outdoor and indoor dining areas.
You will also have your own private pool, Jacuzzi, private terrace overlooking the Mediterranean and hills, games room for the kids, tropical garden, and lawn with barbecue. Stay together as a group in your own property in complete privacy. Most private villas are located in sophisticated residential areas.
You will find the villas throughout the island, close to the top beaches and tourist attractions. You will also find villas away from the touristy areas, which are perfect if you just want a relaxing vacation in Cyprus.