Cyprus Guide

So, you’re looking for heaven on Earth? A honeymooner’s favorite, a not-too-busy Mediterranean destination, a treasure trove of fabulous beaches. Well, look no further, because we’re pretty sure we’ve got just the perfect place. Cyprus is often overlooked in favor of nearby Turkey and Greece but is nowadays so well-connected and tourist-friendly. Therefore, the excuses for not coming here are running out.

This fantastic island country is luring vacationers in with its idyllic temperatures and dry, sunny weather year-round. The hospitable population of Cyprus stands at just under 1.2 million and is divided into Greek and Turkish. The country’s capital, Nicosia, is a tasteful blend of these two cultures, from language and food to architecture. Did you know that the so-called Green Line passes straight through Nicosia, “dividing” the island into southern and northern territories? And both have their fair share of amazing sights. To help you with your itinerary, we bring a detailed guide below!

Getting to Cyprus

To reach Southern Cyprus, flying in is currently the only option. A ferry line connecting Greece and Cyprus is expected to be launched, although the exact date has yet to be confirmed. Northern Cyprus can be reached via several ferry lines and flights from Turkey.

By plane

The two main airports in the Republic of Cyprus are Larnaca International Airport (LCA) and Paphos International Airport (PFO). Larnaca is the largest Cypriot airport, a hub for Cyprus Airways and low-cost airlines such as Wizz Air and EasyJet. Paphos airport is the most convenient for reaching popular spots like Ayia Napa or Limassol. There are regular shuttle bus and city bus services from the airports to the cities of Paphos, Larnaca and Nicosia. Flights from Turkey land at Ercan International Airport. This airport is not recognized internationally, so entering the country through Larnaca or Paphos airport is highly recommended.

By ferry

Two year-round ferry routes exist between the island and the Turkish mainland, operated by Akgünler Denizcilik. They connect the Turkish city of Taşucu and Kyrenia in Northern Cyprus, or Mersin in Turkey and Famagusta in Northern Cyprus. The third ferry line is only active during the summer months, connecting Antalya and Kyrenia.

The Greece-Cyprus ferry line currently awaits the EU green light. This service will establish a connection between the Greek port city of Piraeus and the popular Limassol through 30-hour journeys. Additionally, many cruise ships dock at Limassol.

NOTE: Flying in remains the safest and most convenient option to get to Cyprus. The sea is reported to be quite rough in the area, and the ferry journeys are long. Furthermore, the ferry ports in Northern Cyprus are considered illegal ports of entry.

Visa requirements

The Republic of Cyprus has been a member of the EU since 2004. It is not part of the Schengen area. EU citizens do not require a visa to enter the country, only a valid passport or national identity card. Non-EU nationals need to hold a passport valid for three months after the return date, or six months for Northern Cyprus. Visas are not required for visitors from the EU, USA, UK, Canada, or Australia if the duration of stay does not exceed 90 days.

Check here whether a visa is required for citizens of your country.

Getting around Cyprus

To get from one place to another in Cyprus, there are several options to consider. Motorways and main roads of Cyprus are well-maintained, with the driving side being the left.

Public transport

Buses are considered the cheapest way to get around the island. The intercity, local, and rural bus networks are well-organized, with prices starting at approximately €1.50. Buses run frequently between the main points on the island, both north and south. You can find routes and timetables here.

NOTE: When purchasing your public transport tickets, keep track of the local currency. The official currency of the Republic of Cyprus is the euro. Northern Cyprus, or TRNC, uses the Turkish lira.


Taxis are available around the clock in the Republic of Cyprus. This mode of transport is affordable, quick, and hassle-free if and when crossing the border into Northern Cyprus. Shared taxis are used for intercity journeys. In Northern Cyprus, taxis are only available in the main cities.

Renting a car

For a more flexible means of getting around the island, try car hire. If you wish to drive to Northern Cyprus, remember that additional insurance might have to be purchased at the border crossing.

Parking in Cyprus

There can be a lot of traffic on main city roads on workdays, but parking in Cyprus is rather informal. Parking is allowed and free almost anywhere, as long as it’s not obstructive or dangerous. There are paid car parks in crowded areas.


Cyprus is the third biggest island in the Mediterranean. If you plan your trip right, you will not miss out on anything.


The capital with a border down its middle, Nicosia has a long and winding story to tell. Uncover the story yourself by touring the city, starting with the Cyprus Museum, one of several intriguing museums in the city. You can walk the Venetian Walls around the Old Town. The most well-known part of the old district is Ledra Street that will keep you occupied with its plethora of cafés, restaurants, and shops. Pay a visit to the beautiful Büyük Han, the island’s largest caravanserai, a type of roadside inn found along the Silk Road. Climb up the Shacolas Tower Museum and Observatory to view the whole of Nicosia from above. 

Nicosia, Cyprus
Nicosia, Cyprus


Home to the Greek goddess Aphrodite, Paphos rests on the western coast of Cyprus. In addition to top-notch beaches and buzzing bars, the history of the city is remarkable. See for yourself, at the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, where you’ll find some of the best-preserved floor mosaics in the world. Do not miss the Tombs of the Kings either, a site as cool as its name, although no kings were actually buried there. Stroll the recently rejuvenated Old Town to get acquainted with the city, stopping by the Paphos Town Market for delicious local groceries. The medieval Paphos Castle is one of the city’s main attractions. A trip to the majestic Peyia Sea Caves north of Paphos will be worth your while.


On the eastern side of the island, you will find Larnaca, one of the world’s oldest cities. Unsurprisingly, sandy beaches and historical sites abound. The cherished Church of Saint Lazarus is the heart of the city, while the much older Kition Archaeological Site provides evidence of ancient settlements. Admire the vastness of the Larnaca Salt Lake, and the bright pink flamingos. Get lost in the Turkish quarter Skala or walk along the promenade ending with the Larnaca Castle. Take some time out to visit the Stavrovouni Monastery atop a hill outside Larnaca for gorgeous views, or the British area Dhekelia if you’re interested in army bases.




The first thing that catches the eye in Limassol is the spectacular Molos Promenade, a beachfront of the extremely original design. Now, what would a Cypriot town be without remnants of times past? In Limassol, there’s the impressive ancient city of Kourion. The view from its amphitheatre will leave you speechless. The 16th century Limassol Castle houses a rather informative medieval museum. Visit the magnificent Kolossi castle where Richard the Lionheart and his Spanish bride tied the knot, or the Akrotiri peninsula if you’re a military buff. Explore the Cypriot wine tradition in the charming villages of Limassol’s hinterland.


Northern Cyprus is not without its extraordinary cities. Kyrenia is where you’ll spot the most imposing of the island’s seaside castles. The Kyrenia Castle houses the Shipwreck Museum, a wondrous display of centuries-old maritime remains. Kyrenia Harbour, to the west of the castle, is perfect for a romantic stroll. Not far from the city, many wonders await. The glorious Bellapais Abbey is a strong contender for the most exquisite place on the island, while the St Hilarion Castle is like something straight out of a fairytale, built into the mountain. For something entirely different, check out the Alagadi Turtle Beach, or go horseback riding at Çatalköy.


The history of events at Famagusta is a sad one. Varosha, or what used to be a booming resort of the hottest Hollywood stars is now a ghost town. You may not enter it, but you can gaze upon it from the beach. What remains of the Gothic-style Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque is a must-see as well. Not all of Famagusta is abandoned though, and the town is quite charming and vivacious. In its vicinity, there’s the ancient city of Salamis and the increasingly popular Paralimni area.



Ayia Napa

Yes, Ayia Napa is a party zone to which hordes of youngsters flock every year. But it is also a breathtaking area with some of the best beaches around (especially Capo Greco area). Use your break from the adrenaline-fueled water activities to tour the city’s landmarks, like the Ayia Napa Monastery, or the astonishing and ever-changing Sculpture Park. 

Akamas National Park

Unspoiled nature lies on the west of Cyprus. The area is of huge ecological significance thanks to its diverse flora and fauna. Visitors can explore this outstanding natural area using the trails, just make sure you arrive well-prepared and well-equipped.

Akamas National Park

Akamas National Park

Cyprus, the Island of Aphrodite

Even the birds in the trees have heard myths about the beautiful goddess Aphrodite. Greek mythology has deeply influenced Cypriot culture and the whole island is associated with the goddess of beauty and procreation. Therefore, one should be remiss to skip such an opportunity to visit the Sanctuary of Aphrodite (Palea Paphos) or Aphrodite’s rock known as Petra tou Romiou. According to the legend, that is the place of her birth, where she rose from the sea which surrounds the rock. What is more, do not forget the check the fairytale-like Baths of Aphrodite, a peaceful oasis where she met Adonis, the Greek god of beauty and attraction.

Troodos mountains

The largest mountain range in Cyprus, the Troodos mountains, are proudly displaying its rich cultural heritage. This was a prosperous area during the Byzantine period, and it abounds with churches, resorts, and monasteries.  Should you be so lucky to visit this splendid nature, make sure not to skip a visit to villages Omodos and Kakopetria.


It goes without saying that there’s a ton of things to do in Cyprus, so we grouped them to allow easier navigation.

Water activities

Of course, anything sea-related is what first comes to mind. The beautiful Cyprus coast is ideal for sailing. You can charter a boat for any occasion in one of several marinas on Cyprus.

To explore the magical underwater world, try scuba diving. The sea around Cyprus is clear and warm, offering ideal conditions to explore the sea depths.

Adrenaline seekers can try windsurfing and kitesurfing. Thanks to the climate conditions, windsurfing can be practiced throughout the whole year, but kitesurfing is even more exciting when the winds are strong.

In the end, Cyprus has some awesome waterparks where the entire family can relax and enjoy, especially small children. Visit Ayia Napa Waterworld, Fasouri Watermania or Aphrodite Waterpark for a truly adventurous experience.

Activities in nature

The basic activity such as hiking can let you explore Cyprus to the fullest. There is a good number of trails within the forests all over Cyprus. You can enjoy the untouched nature and meet the incredible flora and fauna.

Animal lovers can go a step further and visit one of many island’s zoos. Besides meeting a bunch of interesting animals, many zoos offer additional activities for the entire family such as amusement parks, camel rides, and more.

If looking for a more intense activity while enjoying the nature of Cyprus, go cycling. The island is truly a cycling paradise since it has many various bike trails. Once again, those who love the adrenaline rush can even try mountain biking.

Although Cyprus is the last place where one would look for skiing, that is also an option on certain mountains such as Troodos Mountain. The ski season in Cyprus lasts from January till April.

Spa and wellness

Although more of a relaxation than activity, Cyprus offers a great spa and wellness experience to its visitors. So, when you get tired of all the activities mentioned above, treat yourself with a spa day and enjoy the wide offer of massages, hammams, baths etc.

Beaches of Cyprus

What else to expect of a Mediterranean island than the extensive list of most gorgeous beaches. Assuming that your trip will most probably take place in the warm period, here is a short guide through Cyprus beaches you might want to consider while visiting.

Paphos beaches

Lara bay – Located on the Akamas Peninsula, this golden sandy beach is a true natural wonder and home of loggerhead and green turtles. The beach is remote and not that easily accessible, but totally worth it.

Blue Lagoon  – Also placed on the Akamas Peninsula, the beach is made of golden sand and crystal-clear sea. Due to its inaccessibility, there are no crowds, and the area is a paradise for divers. However, there are no facilities on the beach, so arriving well-prepared is a must.

Aphrodite’s Rock – Also called Petra Tou Romiou, the beach is located near the Aphrodite Hills. Many myths are associated with this place such as the one in which the goddess Aphrodite arose from the sea and came to this shore.

A resort in paphos

A resort in Paphos

Ayia Napa beaches

Nissi beach – Located about 3 km from the city, this beach is among the most popular ones and one of the most photographed among the visitors. The beach is awarded a Blue Flag and is very easily accessible.

Makronissos beach – Turquoise water surrounding this sandy beach justifies all the heavenly nicknames that this beach gets. When compared to the Nissi beach, it is surely less crowded, but they share the same Blue Flag award.

Landa beach – On the other hand, Landa beach is far more crowded, but definitvely for a reason. This sandy paradise is the perfect destination for your city escape and is convenient for all types of tourists.  

Sandy beach, Cyprus

Other beaches

Coral Bay – Located 11km away from the Paphos lies Coral Bay, a famous tourist resort. This beach, as most of these previously mentioned ones, also carries the Blue Flag award.

Fig Tree beach – This sandy, Cypriot beach with crystal clear water, was declared as the third most beautiful beach in Europe for 2011 by TripAdvisor. As the name itself says, fig trees are located closely to it. You can test your courage by enjoying one of many available water sports which remain at your disposal in this area.

Mackenzie beach – We are not talking about another sandy beach that has many bars and restaurants at your disposal. Okay, if your ideal vacation means sipping up cocktails and soaking up the sun, well you are at the perfect place. But, what about if you are feeling a bit adventurous? Good news! Zenobia shipwreck is closely positioned to this area and you can scuba dive and enjoy the majestic underwater views.

Mackenzy Beach, Larnaca

Mackenzy Beach, Larnaca

Nightlife in Cyprus

Clearly, Ayia Napa is a synonym for the nightlife in Cyprus. Since it has over 80 clubs and bars, it is a top party destination. It is mostly directed at tourists, and it reaches its peaks during the summer season. Little party never killed nobody, therefore make sure to visit the area while staying in Cyprus. Castle Club is the most famous, luxurious place for a perfect night out. It contains five separate halls and three music arenas. Girls, good news. The admission is free for the ladies. Along with this one, we also advise you to check Blue Moon bar, Senior Frog’s, Red Square Bar, Xo Club, Pirates Inn.

Limassol, on the other hand, has a great nightlife scene all year round. Quite a few bars, clubs, and restaurants are located on Saripolou Square, and you can visit several venues to spice up your evening. Here are some of our suggestions: VIP Room, Hookah place, 7 Seas, and Guaba Beach Bar.

Nicosia or Paphos won’t let you down as well. You can also find nightclubs and bars in these areas and have a great time. It is not as wild or crowded as Ayia Napa, but it certainly has its charm. Paphos nightlife scene is highly influenced by British tourists and the only instructions we can give you for a great night out is to head to Agiou Antoniou Street. In order to diversify your evening, you can visit several bars in one night.   

Lost+Found Drinkery, Patio cocktail bar, Brewfellas Beer Bar, Sarah’s Jazz Club, and Silver Star Wine Bar are just some of the great places in Nicosia. This city offers a diversity of venues, ranging from traditional to modern and surely everyone will find something for themselves here.

Events in Cyprus

Mesmerizing Cypriot culture showcases its rich heritage in numerous festivals around the island. There are many events worth mentioning, but we had to pick only a few, so here it goes.

International Pharos Chamber Music Festival

The annual International Pharos Chamber Music Festival is quite famous for its exciting programs and high-level performances. The festival was established in order to make chamber music more accessible to the general public in Cyprus. The event also offers a variety of educational concerts for students and master courses for young instrumentalists.

Wine Festival in Limassol

A two-week Wine Festival takes place from the end of August until the beginning of September. The festival, which attracts over 15,000 guests, features cultural events that celebrate the tradition of Cypriot wine. Local singers (the members of Limassol’s folklore club) perform and entertain their guests with traditional dances and playing Greek music. The festival offers the opportunity to see grape treading and visitors are allowed to sample a variety of free traditional foods and wines. While in Limassol, do not miss the opportunity to watch at least one play at the Kourion amphitheater. Summer months are full of buzzing events, and it would be a pity not to visit this attraction.

The Medieval Festival in Ayia Napa

The Medieval festival is a great event for everyone who wants to learn more about the Medieval period. The monastery of Ayia Napa is the home of this historically accurate festival which tries to re-live the basic activities as they used to be back then. Therefore, you can enjoy many exhibitions, traditional street theater, music concerts, medieval workshops, markets, and more.

Kataklysmos Festival

Surely Kataklysmos Festival is a one-of-a-kind flood festival. Sounds interesting right? Well, this traditional festival commemorates the events from the Old Testament (Great Flood and the story of Noah’s Ark), as well as some old pagan rituals connected with Greek mythology. Coastal towns are the hosts of this event, and the festival’s program usually features a variety of folk dance performances, swimming competitions, games, etc.

Food in Cyprus

When it comes to Cypriot cuisine, it should be regarded as a combination of numerous surrounding styles (Greek and Turkish cuisine especially). Spices are crucial when it comes to traditional dishes, especially wild thyme, mint (a famous herb widely used by locals), coriander, cinnamon, and cumin. Although often neglected, the Cypriot menu offers a variety of fit for a king meals and here are some of the traditional ones that you have to try!

What to eat

Halloumi cheese is one of the symbols of the island itself. The locals are quite proud of their cheese, and it can be served as an appetizer or perhaps a snack with the addition of almonds or dried apricots. You can eat this delicacy with watermelon and do not get surprised if the locals add mint to it, because they absolutely love it.

Souvlaki contains barbecued meat often served with grilled vegetables. It originates from Greek cuisine, but it differs when it comes to wrapping the filling. By the Cypriot recipe, the pitta bread is thinner and has pockets that actually hold the ingredients.

Tarhana is a dried mixture of fermented milk, wheat, and yogurt with a texture of uneven crumbs. It is used to make soup and is considered one of the healthiest Mediterranean foods.

Koupepia is a traditional dish consisting of grape leaves stuffed with minced meat. If you are not a fan of grape leaves, there is a substitute meal for you called gemista. Instead of grape leaves, cooks hollow out zucchinis or peppers and fill them out with meat and other ingredients.

Another traditional meat dish is Kleftiko, roasted lamb meat previously marinated in olive oil, lemon, onion, and garlic.

For all of you sweet tooths out there Loukoumades is a must. We are talking about dough balls or mini doughnuts which are soaked in honey and later on dipped in nuts, seeds, or cinnamon according to your preferences. Also, we recommend awarding your taste buds with Glyko tou koutaliou and baklava.

Where to eat

Believe it or not, the most important meal for Cypriots is dinner. Probably the climate played an important part in such a choice. When it comes to choosing the perfect place to eat, you have a lot of options at your disposal starting from street food and fast-food objects to taverns and luxury restaurants. Some of our top picks are The 3 Little Pigs Traditional Grill and Kebab House (Paphos), Piatsa Gourounaki (Nicosia), Sage (Ayia Napa), Captain’s Table (Zygi), Santa Marina Fish and chips (Paphos), Muse (Paphos), To Kazani (Larnaca).

Cyprus Shopping

If a shopping spree is one of your favorite holiday activities, then you shouldn’t be worried. There are plenty of options for all types of shoppers. Whether you are just scouting for souvenirs and looking for something authentic or you want to purchase regular, personal items, Cyprus has it all.

The most popular souvenirs are olive oil, Cypriot wine, carob, basketry products, filigree silver, jewelry, lace, and embroidery. Various towns have their own local markets where you can purchase handmade items. Municipal Market in Paphos old town contains many small tourist shops. It served as a traditional market where merchants used to sell meat, fish, and vegetables, but the area has recently been modified for tourists. Nicosia’s old town and Larnaca also have markets where you can purchase authentic crafts. Pano Lefkara is a village widely known for its lace craft and silver items.

If you feel like you need a bit of retail therapy, you can visit one of many shopping malls on the island. MyMall is the biggest complex and it offers over 150 shops, many cafes, restaurants, and other kinds of entertainment. Popular international brands are easy to be found in Kings Avenue Mall in Paphos. You can also visit The Mall Of Engomi, The Mall Of Cyprus, and City Mall in Farmagusta.

Limassol centre
Limassol centre

Cyprus Accommodation

Countless accommodation options exist on the island, from luxury hotels to cozy apartments for rent.

Useful contacts

Country dialing code: +357

Emergency (police, ambulance, fire brigade): 199, 112

24/7 pharmacies:

  •       Paphos +357 90 90 1416
  •       Larnaca +357 90 90 1414
  •       Nicosia +357 90 90 1412
  •       Limassol +357 90 90 1415

Map of Cyprus

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