20 Amazing Things To Do In Cyprus

Attractions | Updated: 25. Apr 2023

Cyprus is an island country located in the Eastern Mediterranean, and it is known for its stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and delicious food. With a rich history and culture, there is no shortage of things to see and do on this beautiful island. Whether you're an experienced traveller or a first-time visitor, there is something for everyone to enjoy here. Before planning your next trip, let’s take a moment to explore 20 amazing things to do in Cyprus. 

1. Visit Paphos

Paphos is a picturesque coastal town located on the southwest coast of Cyprus. It is a great destination for history buffs, beach lovers and nature enthusiasts. When visiting Paphos, some must-see sights include the famous mosaics at the House of Dionysos, the Tombs of the Kings, and the Paphos Lighthouse. Visitors can also take a stroll along the promenade, have a drink at one of the many seaside cafes and watch the sunset over the Mediterranean.

Paphos is also a great spot for swimming and sunbathing, with many beaches to choose from, such as Coral Bay, Paphos Harbour and Kato Paphos.

2. Explore the Akamas Peninsula

The Akamas Peninsula is a beautiful natural reserve known for its rugged landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and diverse wildlife. The peninsula is home to several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the sea and the surrounding countryside. 

Visitors can traverse the many hidden coves and bays that dot the coastline, such as Lara Bay and the Baths of Aphrodite, where the ancient Greek goddess of love is said to have bathed. 

The peninsula is also home to several endangered species of plants and animals, such as the Cyprus mouflon and the Cypriot warbler, making it a great destination for nature lovers. You may also explore protected areas such as the Lara Bay Turtle Conservation Station, where you can watch the loggerhead turtles nesting and hatching during the summer months. 

3. Hike in the Troodos Mountains

The Troodos Mountains are the highest range on the island and offer a great escape from the summer heat. The mountains offer a wide range of hiking trails that vary in difficulty, from easy nature trails to more challenging mountain paths. 

The area is cherished for its stunning landscapes, including pine forests, rocky peaks, and traditional villages. Some popular trails include the Caledonia Waterfall trail, which provides a chance to see the beautiful Caledonia waterfall, the Omodos village trail, which takes you through the charming village of Omodos, and the Troodos summit trail, which offers panoramic views of the entire island. 

The mountains are a great opportunity to explore the island's rich cultural heritage, with many traditional churches and monasteries to visit along the way. Visitors should be prepared with appropriate clothing and footwear, as well as enough water and snacks.

Troodos Mountains from Mt Tripylos

4. Check out the Divided City of Nicosia

Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus and the only divided city in the European Union. Visitors can explore the old town, which is surrounded by a well-preserved mediaeval city wall. The Ledra Street crossing point, which separates the Greek and Turkish side of the city, is a must-see spot. 

The Nicosia Municipal Garden is a beautiful park in the heart of the city, known for its peaceful surroundings and beautiful flowers and trees. The St. John's Cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace and the Selimiye Mosque are also worth visiting. In addition, Nicosia is a great destination for shopping and dining, with a wide variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants to choose from.

5. Swim at Aphrodite's Rock

Also known as Petra tou Romiou, Aphrodite's Rock is a famous coastal rock formation located in Paphos. It is believed to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. 

Visitors can take a boat tour to the rock and even swim around it, as it's said that doing so will bring good luck and eternal youth. The rock also offers a great spot for swimming, sunbathing and taking in the beautiful scenery. 

The area is also home to the Aphrodite's Cultural Route, which includes several ancient sites such as the Temple of Aphrodite and the Sanctuary of Aphrodite. Visitors should be aware that the rock is a natural reserve, and it is closed off from swimming from October to April. If you’re visiting during high season, be prepared for large crowds. 

6. Visit the Limassol Castle and Museum

The Limassol Castle and Museum, located in the heart of Limassol, is a must-see destination for history buffs. The ancient castle, which dates back to the 14th century, was originally built by the Franks and later rebuilt by the Venetians. 

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Visitors can explore the castle's ancient prison and torture chamber, as well as the beautiful gardens. The castle also houses the Limassol Medieval Museum, which features a wide variety of artefacts and exhibits that tell the story of Limassol's rich history and culture. Furthermore, the museum houses a collection of ancient weapons, ceramics, and jewellery. 

7. Explore the Kourion Amphitheatre

This site is an ancient Roman amphitheatre located in the coastal town of Episkopi, in the Limassol district. It dates back to the 2nd century AD and was once able to seat up to 3,500 spectators. The Kourion theatre is revered for its well-preserved state and its stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. 

Visitors can explore the ruins of the theatre and learn about the history and culture of ancient Cyprus. The site also includes the remains of a Roman villa, an early Christian basilica, and a Byzantine church. 

kourion theater with visitors inside

8. See the Wildlife at Larnaca Salt Lake

Located in the city of Larnaca is the Larnaca Salt Lake natural reserve. Travellers flock here to take in its unique ecosystem and diverse wildlife, including various species of migratory birds such as flamingos, pelicans, and storks. It's a great spot for birdwatching and nature photography. The lake is home to many species of fish and crustaceans, as well as many reptiles such as the green sea turtle and the vulnerable spur-thighed tortoise

Visitors can opt to take a guided tour of the lake or explore it on their own by taking a walk around the lake and observing the different types of birds and animals. It’s also a great place to have a picnic and enjoy the beautiful sunset. Take note that the lake is closed during the summer months due to high temperatures, and it's best to visit during the winter or early spring.

A flamingo sticks his head into the ground at salt lake in larnaca

9. Take a Moment Of Silence at Bellapais Monastery

Also known as the Abbey of Our Lady of the Bells, the Bellapais Monastery, is a Gothic-style monastery located in the village of Bellapais, in the Kyrenia district. It dates back to the 13th century and is known for its stunning architecture and beautiful setting. 

Visitors can explore the monastery's stunning cloisters, chapels, and refectory, as well as the beautiful gardens that surround the building. If you want to learn about its history and architecture we recommend taking a guided tour. 

The village of Bellapais, where the monastery is located, is also a charming destination in itself, known for its traditional houses, narrow streets, and scenic views. If you have some extra time, it’s well worth a visit. 

10. Check Out Kyrenia Castle

If you’re in the North of Cyprus, we recommend stopping off at Kyrenia Castle in the picturesque coastal town of Kyrenia near the old harbour. You will be impressed by its well-preserved state and its stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. Visitors can explore the castle's ancient prison, as well as the beautiful gardens. 

The castle also houses the Kyrenia Ship Museum, which features a replica of an ancient shipwreck that was discovered off the coast. If you’re able, we suggest taking a stroll along the castle's ramparts to soak in the views of the town and the sea.

11. Pay Respects at the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque

The Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque is a historical mosque located in Larnaca. It is considered one of the most important Islamic shrines in Cyprus, and it is believed to be the tomb of Umm Haram, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad. 

The beautiful architecture and peaceful atmosphere are part of its charm. Visitors can explore the mosque's courtyards and minarets, as well as the tomb of Umm Haram and the nearby Islamic Cemetery. 

The mosque is also a fantastic segway to learn about Islamic culture and history. If visiting, please be mindful that the mosque is a sacred place of worship, and dress and behaviour should be respectful. 

12. Experience History at the Tombs of the Kings

The Tombs of the Kings is an ancient necropolis located in Paphos. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is known for its well-preserved tombs dating back to the 4th century BC. The tombs are carved into the rock and decorated with Doric columns and frescoes. 

The site also includes the remains of an early Christian basilica, which is also worth visiting. Please be aware that the tombs are located in an open-air site, and it is best to visit in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat of the day. When walking around, it’s important to look out for loose stones and uneven surfaces.

tomb of the kings in nea paphos

13. Make a Visit to Kolossi Castle

Kolossi Castle is located in the village of Kolossi, in the Limassol district. The castle has origins in the 14th century and is known for its well-preserved state and beautiful architecture. Visitors can explore the castle's courtyards, towers, and ramparts, as well as the castle's beautiful gardens. The castle also houses a small museum that tells the story of the castle and its history.

14. Visit the St. Nicholas of the Cats Monastery

The St. Nicholas of the Cats Monastery is a historic monastery located in the Troodos Mountains. The monastery is known for its unique history and its association with the legend of cats. According to the legend, the monastery was saved from a plague of snakes by a group of cats. Visitors can soak in the monastery's beautiful architecture and learn about the legends associated with the site. 

15. Learn about Island’s History at the Cyprus Museum

The Cyprus Museum, also known as the Cyprus Archaeological Museum, is the island's main archaeological museum and is located in Nicosia. It houses a collection of artefacts from various historical periods, including the Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Roman periods. 

Travellers can explore the museum's exhibits, which include pottery, jewellery, sculptures, and mosaics. It also includes a section dedicated to the history of Cyprus during the British colonial period. The museum provides a great insight into the island's rich history and culture.

16. Spend a Day at Nissi Beach

Nissi Beach is a popular beach located in Ayia Napa, a resort town in the Famagusta district. The beach is known for its crystal-clear waters and its white sandy beaches. Visitors can spend the day swimming, sunbathing, or participating in water sports such as jet skiing, parasailing, and windsurfing. The beach also offers a variety of dining and shopping options, as well as a number of beach bars and clubs that stay open late into the night. In addition, Nissi beach is a great spot for families, as the water is shallow and safe for kids to play.

17. Connect with Nature at Cape Greco

Cape Greco is a beautiful natural reserve on the southeast coast of the island. The reserve is characterised by the rugged landscapes, crystal-clear waters and diverse flora and fauna. Visitors can hike the various trails that run through the park, explore the caves and cliffs, and take in the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean sea. 

The park is also a popular spot for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving, as the crystal clear waters are home to a diverse array of marine life. Cape Greco is an ideal destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, as it offers an opportunity to connect with nature and escape the hustle and bustle of the tourist areas. 

18. Get Lost at Famagusta Ghost Town

The Famagusta Ghost Town is an abandoned town located in the Famagusta district. It was once a thriving resort destination, but was abandoned in 1974 when Turkey invaded the island. 

Explorers can investigate the abandoned buildings and streets, and get a sense of what life was like before the town was vacated. 

The ghost town is known for its eerie atmosphere and its crumbling buildings and it's a popular spot for photography enthusiasts. Visitors should be aware that the ghost town is a sensitive area and that it is important to respect the site and its history. 

Empty hotels at the beachfront of ghost town Varosha

19. Go Fishing at the Ayia Napa Marina

The marina offers a variety of fishing opportunities for both experienced and novice anglers. Visitors can rent a boat and set out to sea for a day of fishing or join a guided fishing excursion. 

The marina also has a variety of seafood restaurants where visitors can enjoy their catch of the day. It is a great spot to watch the sunset or to take a romantic walk along the water. If you’re planning on fishing, it’s important to note that fishing licences are required. They can be obtained at the marina office or online before your trip.

20. Experience The Majesty of Kato Paphos Archaeological Park

The Kato Paphos Archaeological Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Paphos. The park features a number of ancient ruins, including the Roman Odeon, the Agora, and the House of Dionysus. Guests can explore the sites, learn about the history of Paphos and the island, and see some of the best-preserved Roman mosaics in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

Cyprus Pro Travel Tips

While planning out which things to do in Cyprus, it is crucial to be aware of some important information. Here are some travel tips to consider:

  1. Carry sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
  2. Bring comfortable walking shoes for exploring ancient ruins and hiking in the mountains.
  3. Learn a few basic phrases in Greek or Turkish, as many Cypriots speak both languages.
  4. Be mindful of the cultural differences between the Greek and Turkish sides of the island.
  5. Try the local food, such as Souvlaki, Meze and Halloumi cheese.
  6. Be respectful of local customs and traditions, particularly when visiting religious sites.
  7. Carry cash as not all places accept credit cards.
  8. Do your research on the best beaches and plan your trip accordingly.
  9. Keep an eye on your belongings, especially when in crowded areas.
  10. Make sure to have travel insurance, in case of any unexpected events.

Travel Visa Information for Cyprus

Before planning your Mediterran trip, it is important to check the visa requirements for your country of origin. Citizens of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland do not need a visa to enter Cyprus, and can stay for up to 90 days.

Citizens of other countries may be required to obtain a visa before arrival. The type of visa required will depend on the purpose and duration of your stay. There are different types of visas available, including:

  • Tourist visa: For stays of up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.
  • Short-term visa: For stays of up to 90 days for other purposes, such as study, work or medical treatment.
  • Long-term visa: For stays of more than 90 days, such as for work, study or family reunification.

It is important to apply for a visa well in advance of your intended travel date, as processing times can vary. You will typically be required to provide documents such as a valid passport, proof of sufficient funds, and a return or onward ticket.

It is also important to note that for some countries, including the United States, a visa is not required for stays of up to 90 days but it's always best to check with the embassy or consular office of Cyprus in your country prior to travelling to confirm the latest requirements.

Getting Around Cyprus

There are several ways to get around Cyprus, depending on your preferences and budget. Whichever option you choose, be sure to plan your route in advance and familiarise yourself with the local traffic laws. Also, consider the distance and the time needed to reach your destination, as well as the road condition and traffic.

Here are a few options:

Public Transportation: Cyprus has a well-developed public transportation system that includes buses and trains. This is a budget-friendly option, but it can be less convenient than other options.

Taxi: Taxis are readily available in most cities and towns in Cyprus. This is a convenient option, but it can be more expensive than other options.

Car Rental: Renting a car is a good option if you prefer more flexibility and convenience. This allows you to explore the island at your own pace, but it can be a bit pricey.

Bicycle: Bicycling is a great way to explore the island, especially if you plan on visiting smaller villages and less-travelled areas. This option is eco-friendly and can be a good way to get some exercise.

Cycle and Electric Bicycle Rental: Some places offer these options for tourists to explore the island. They are faster and require less energy than riding a traditional bicycle. 

Local Food and Drink

When it comes to food, Cyprus offers a wide variety of delicious options that will satisfy any palate. With its rich history and culture, the island has a unique culinary scene that is heavily influenced by Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisines. From traditional Cypriot dishes to fresh seafood, there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

Here are a few local specialties to try while you're on the island:

Meze: Meze is a traditional Cypriot dish consisting of a variety of small plates, such as grilled meats, seafood, and vegetables. It is often served with bread and a variety of dips and sauces.

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Souvlaki: Souvlaki is a popular Greek dish consisting of grilled meat skewers, usually pork, chicken or lamb, that are often served with pita bread, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce.

Halloumi Cheese: Halloumi is a traditional Cypriot cheese made from sheep's milk or a combination of sheep and goat's milk. It's a semi-hard cheese that is usually grilled or fried, and is a must-try for cheese lovers.

Seafood: Cyprus is an island country and seafood is a staple in the local diet. Try dishes such as grilled octopus, squid, and fish as well as traditional seafood stews such as "Souvla"

Wine: Cyprus is known for its excellent wines. The island has a rich wine-making tradition dating back to ancient times, and there are many wineries that offer tastings and tours. Try local varieties such as Xynisteri and Commandaria.

Zivania: Zivania is a traditional spirit made from grape pomace and it is a popular drink among locals. It has a high alcohol content and is usually consumed as a digestif after a meal.

Cyprus Coffee: Cyprus coffee is a traditional drink that is made by brewing coffee with sugar and spices, usually cinnamon or cardamom, in a small pot called a briki. It is usually served in small cups, and it is a great way to end a meal.

When eating out in Cyprus, it's important to be aware that most restaurants include a service charge in the bill, so tipping is not necessary.

Conclusion

Cyprus is an island country with a rich history and culture that offers a wide variety of things to see and do. From the stunning beaches and ancient ruins to the delicious food and charming villages, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're an experienced traveller or a first-time visitor, make sure to add these 20 things to your list of things to do in Cyprus.

FAQ

What is Cyprus best known for?

Answer: Cyprus is best known for its beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and rich history and culture. The island is also famous for its delicious food and wine, which is influenced by Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisines. 

How can I get around Cyprus?

Answer: Cyprus has a well-developed public transportation system, which includes buses and trains. Taxis are also readily available. If you prefer more flexibility and convenience, renting a car is a good option.

What is the currency in Cyprus?

Answer: The currency in Cyprus is the Euro (EUR). Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, and ATMs are readily available throughout the island.

What kind of food should I expect in Cyprus?

Answer: Cypriot cuisine is a blend of Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern influences. Some popular dishes include Souvlaki, Meze, and Halloumi cheese. Fresh seafood and grilled meats are also commonly found on menus.

Do I need a visa to visit Cyprus?

Answer: Citizens of the European Union do not need a visa to visit Cyprus. However, other nationalities may require a visa. It's best to check with the Cyprus Embassy in your country for the most up-to-date information.

Are there any safety concerns in Cyprus?

Answer: Cyprus is generally a safe destination for tourists. However, as with any destination, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to protect your personal belongings.

Franz Langstein
Autor
Hi! Ich lebe seit 5 Jahren auf dem wunderschönen Zypern und hoffe, ich kann dir mit meinem Wissen vor Ort den Urlaub oder gar das Auswandern erleichtern :-)
Your travel blog all about Cyprus.
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