Cyprus in winter - The best travel tips for the cold season

There is still a general belief that Cyprus is not suitable as a winter destination. However, a few tourists have now realized that the season is not limited to the summer months. If you would like to learn what makes a vacation in Cyprus so attractive even in winter, then let the following tips convince you.

Come and visit Cyprus in the winter

As Cyprus has the warmest winter in the Mediterranean part of the EU, it is also worth taking a vacation at this time of year. When the first rain falls in winter and nature comes to life, this is a sign to put on your shoes, pack your camera and start exploring the island. 

On the days when it rains (often it is not more than 15 to 20 days in winter in Cyprus) you do not have to think that your vacation is now ruined. Cyprus offers activities even for rainy days, so you can enjoy this time as well. 

To bring you a little closer to winter in Cyprus, I would like to introduce you to some activities that will delight you even during the winter months. You will learn more details about winter in Cyprus, what clothes are suitable and what should be in your suitcase. Learn more about the beautiful routes that make Cyprus so interesting even in winter.

snow between trees in the troodos mountains

Tours and tips for your winter vacation in Cyprus

The most beautiful tours and excursions, for the months of December to February:

  • Get to know the city of Limassol on a walking tour. On this guided tour you will discover parts of Limassol that even many locals are not familiar with. You will learn interesting facts about Cyprus and get many tips and suggestions for sightseeing and restaurant visits. Get to know the old town, the old harbor, the marina and other places worth seeing. Click here for the walking tour.
  • Do you love good food and good wines and all this in a picture-perfect setting, then take a trip to the Troodos Mountains and visit one of the wineries or do a wine tour.
  • Paphos Tour: On a tour of about 8 to 10 hours you will get to know Paphos. You will get an insight into culture and history and discover the picturesque landscape around Paphos.
  • Wine Village Tour: Enjoy a drive in the rural surroundings. Be impressed by the beauty of the wine villages and try some Cypriot wine on the side.
  • The 11th century church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will delight you on an excursion, as will a walk through the old part of Kakopetria.

Welcome to Cyprus

If you want to discover Cyprus on your own and travel the island completely independently of groups and tour offers, you should rent a car directly. However, you must be in possession of a valid driving license and be aware that driving in Cyprus is on the left. https://www.discovercars.com/?a_aid=roadiscalling

In order to get to your accommodation in the easiest way, you can order a cab in advance, which will pick you up either from Larnaca airport or from Paphos airport. One provider for this is Holidaytaxis.

Is it worth going on vacation in Cyprus in winter?

Come Christmas, visit the many Christmas markets in the towns and villages and marvel at many a firework display over the sea. December is also the time when oranges and lemons hang ripe from the trees. 

At the end of December, beginning of January the first snow falls in the Troodos Mountains. If you are lucky, there is so much snow that the first cross-country ski trails are opened. It's hard to imagine skiing for breakfast and then lying in the sun by the sea in the afternoon. 

But winter in Cyprus is not only popular with many nature and sun lovers, also thousands of graceful flamingos arrive to settle on the salt lake in Larnaca and Limassol. Seeing all these birds gathered in one place is also a reason why more and more people come to Cyprus even in winter.

What awaits you in Cyprus in winter?

  • A beautiful sea, shimmering in the sunlight in the colors of green, blue, dark blue and gray. The colors have a very special saturation in winter and do good to the soul.
  • The sunbeds are deserted and no one will mind if you take a break. So you will not have to face the fact that someone will demand money from you. 
  • Even in winter, there is plenty of sun to replenish your vitamin D. If you have sensitive skin, don't forget sunscreen. The mostly sunny winter in Cyprus is especially good for people living in the north and east of Europe. 
  • Serenity, rest and relaxation. In the winter months there are few tourists in Cyprus, women with children, or families who want to escape the cold, wet winter to spend winter vacations in Cyprus.
    What you should not expect are parties until the next morning. If that should be the reason why you come to Cyprus in winter, you are wrong. All party fans are welcome during the main season, the summer months. 
  • Early sunset. Since Cyprus is located more south, the sun sets here in winter already at 16:30. After sunset, the temperature drops and the streets quickly become emptier. After 10pm almost everyone is home and the streets and restaurants are empty. So if you still want to do something in the evening, you should think about it early. 
  • Winter in Cyprus is the ideal season to go hiking. In the Troodos Mountains you will find many hiking routes for beginners and advanced hikers. The especially beautiful light in winter will help you to take many beautiful photos.

Winter weather in Cyprus

Before you learn even more about leisure and experiences that you can expect in Cyprus in winter, I would like to add a few words about the winter weather. To help you plan your trip, here is a brief overview of the weather - in December, January and February. 

December weather in Cyprus

The weather in December is warm. You can expect temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius during the day and 10 degrees Celsius at night. Whether the temperature is enough for a swim in the sea is up to you. While some people go swimming all winter, others go for a walk on the beach in a winter jacket and woolen hat. 

Of course, in December they also have to expect one or two rain showers. The wind can also show its stormy side. On average, temperatures are the same all over the island. The coldest place in Cyprus in December is Nicosia. While Agia Napa is rather boring in winter, because almost all seasonal establishments are closed, the cities of Larnaca, Paphos and Limassol offer much more life.

What to do in Cyprus in December

Many people wonder: is it a good idea to take a vacation in Cyprus just in December? 

Yes, if you visit Cyprus this month, you will most likely be able to go skiing and hiking in the Troodos Mountains, excursions that are not suitable for the hot summer months. 

Just spend a few days in nature and discover the panoramic path in Akamas Peninsula National Park. It is located near Paphos. Kykkos Monastery and Kolossi Castle are also worth a trip.

kykkos monastary

In summary, in Cyprus, as in all other European countries, there is also the anticipation of Christmas and New Year. 

The vacations begin on December 23, but preparations for Christmas start as early as November. Houses are decorated with olive branches and garlands. In many public places there are large brightly lit fir trees and the streets are festively decorated with many lights.

January weather in Cyprus

The weather forecast for January is usually not very optimistic. Daytime temperatures are around 15 degrees Celsius and at night the temperature goes down to 6 to 8 degrees Celsius. Since the water temperature is around 15 to 17 degrees Celsius, many people avoid swimming in the sea. You also have to expect sudden rain showers every now and then in January. The days are more cloudy than sunny. So you do not need to hope to get a tan. Since January is the coldest month in winter in Cyprus, you should spend your vacation in December or February.

However, if you compare Cyprus with the rest of European countries, January is still warm. However, you should remain somewhat flexible in your leisure activities and adapt to the daily weather.

What to do in Cyprus in January

The weather in January is not as bad as it seems at first glance. Beaches invite you for a walk and in the cities many cafes and restaurants offer you a breather. Visit the many beautiful typical Cypriot villages and taste one or the other typical Cypriot wine.  

In January, the fewest tourists are in Cyprus, so you do not need to stand in line anywhere. Take a long walk around the salt lake in Larnaca. Dry in summer, the lake provides a perfect winter home for thousands of flamingos.

Cyprus in January is a perfect destination to ski or snowboard in the Troodos Mountains. The snow is deep and the sun requires sun protection even in January.

February weather in Cyprus

February is the month in Cyprus when nature awakens. Spring begins and everything changes. Everywhere the first flowers appear, you see more and more tourists, the temperatures rise and invite you to extensive hiking. 

On the snow-covered peaks you will see blooming snowdrops and blossoms of jasmine and lemon trees. In February, however, it can rain again and again. Up to 7 rainy days are not uncommon. The water temperature is 16 degrees Celsius, which is still too cold for many. 

According to legend, it is said that Aphrodite rose from the sea. Couples who go into the sea on February 14 are said to have a long and happy life together. This is also the reason why you see so many people venturing into the cold sea on this day. Even though the sun doesn't show itself often, it does rise to between 17 and 20 degrees Celsius during the month.

What to do in Cyprus in February

If you want to celebrate Valentine's Day with your partner, February 14 is the perfect day to start your love with a swim in the sea. Spend a few days in one of the luxury hotels in Paphos and enjoy a mostly breathtaking sunset every evening.

Pamper yourself in one of the many spa hotels. From the all-inclusive hotel to the hotel, "only for adults", you will definitely find your personal place of well-being. The weather in February is quite warm, with more or less rain showers and strong winds. Since many hotels have an indoor pool, you can swim indoors or sunbathe outdoors, depending on the weather, should the weather permit. 

February is also the month of carnival events and parades. If you would like to participate in the colorful festivities in Paphos or Limassol, you should try to get tickets early.

Things to do in Cyprus in winter

Especially in winter, the mountains invite you to hike and climb. In impressive nature you will experience waterfalls full of water and places with fantastic landscapes. 

waterfall in a forest in cyprus

The most popular and scenic hiking trails 

  • Ayioi Anargigoi walking path - about 4 kilometers long walk of one and a half hours. While walking along the coast of Agia Napa, you will have a breathtaking view of the sparkling blue sea as well as the surrounding landscape. On your walk you will also pass by the famous bridge Kamara tou Koraka. 
  • Coastal Trail Larnaca - a hike that runs along the coast. The trail starts at the promenade at Finikoudes and ends at Mackenzie beach. You can do this trail either on foot, by scooter or by bike. 
  • Adonis Trail https://goo.gl/maps/96GmWEA5861Vb9M99 - from the starting point, the trail runs on the same level with the Aphrodite Trail. This trail is a bit more strenuous than the Aphrodite Trail, but you will have a better view.

Discover the island by car

Around Larnaca there are a few small but cute villages to discover. One of them is Lefkara. And this has its reason. Surrounded by mountains and lying on the hillside, Lefkara offers a breathtaking panoramic view. The old village of Lefkara is a maze of narrow streets, which you can see in the architecture of the houses, which has not changed for centuries. There are romantic buildings with balconies from the 19th and 20th centuries, old houses from the Ottoman period and at the same time buildings that date back to the 12th century. 

Lefkara has also become famous for its embroidery art and the production of filigree silver works. Even Leonardo da Vinci is said to have purchased an embroidered cloth here. The best time to visit is at the end of January and February, when the almond trees are in bloom.

view on lefkara from a nearby hill

A little further south are the wineries Ktima Christoudia (https://www.christoudia.com/) and Ktima Dafermou (https://www.facebook.com/dafermouwinery/) . Now, when the barrels are full of wine, it is the best time for wine tasting. 

No visit to Cyprus in winter without enjoying meze

Meze is not a main dish, it is a Cypriot food sequence. There is no set sequence, yet it includes more than 10 different dishes. From salads and sauces to meat or fish dishes. Each taverna offers its own dishes and thus meze is rarely the same. Prices range from 15 to 20 euros per person. 

Paphos a place with history

Located in the southwest of the island, it is popular with all travelers. Here you can find luxury hotels and high-priced restaurants. Almost every building in Paphos is a part of UNESCO cultural heritage. Monuments, tombs, columns and many houses have historical significance. In winter, when the beach life is over, there is much to see around Paphos: 

  • Villa of Theseus 
  • House of Orpheus 
  • House of Dionysus 
  • Odeon Amphitheater 
  • Catacombs of Soloman
  • War graves 

And there is Petra tou Romiou, a place where Aphrodite rose from the sea.

The snowy slopes in the Troodos Mountains

On Mount Olympus, the highest mountain on the island, the Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite and Hermes trails invite you to ski and snowboard. While the trail Zeus is predestined for experienced skiers, the other trails are also suitable for beginners. The ski season starts in December and goes until the end of March. 

people skiing in troodos mountains

Day trip to the north of Cyprus

Winter or spring is the perfect time to take a closer look at the north of the island. Few tourists and empty border crossings make your entry easy, the ruins of the ancient city of Salamis and the city of Famagusta are among the places you should definitely visit. 

For the city of Kyrenia, in the north of Cyprus, you should plan a few hours. Here you will discover the fortress, the promenade and the maritime museum, as well as nice restaurants and Turkish food.

Pack your bags for a winter in Cyprus

What is a real winter for the Cypriots, is an autumn with pleasant temperatures for European tourists. Even if it rains in between, the sun shines again and again. The exception is January, where you have to expect cloudy skies. 

  • waterproof jacket
  • Cap or hat
  • Umbrella
  • Boots or other sturdy shoes
  • windbreaker
  • warm clothes for skiing. Ski equipment can be rented 
  • from the end of February you need first shirts and a light jacket
  • swimwear
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