Spring, Summer, Autumn
March – May
September – November
LCY → NIC
Freedom of movement
Taxi: 27 £GBP (45 min)
Bus: 6 £GBP (60 min)
Travel insurance is recommended
Legend tells that Aphrodite – the Greek goddess of love – was born from waves on a Cyprus beach. And you are likely to fall with Aphrodite’s warm Mediterranean island on Cyprus holidays. Influenced by various cultures such as Greece, Turkey and the Middle East, Cyprus has 10,000 years of fascinating history just waiting to be discovered by visitors.
Head to Larnaca to see multicoloured fish in the clear blue water at the rugged Cape Greco and ogle the tanned bodies on Nissi Beach at the party resort Ayia Napa. Explore the ancient Venetian walls you will find in Cyprus’ capital, Nicosia, and at the resort of Paphos scrutinise Roman mosaics. Sit back relax and dine on fresh fish and seafood at the harbour side tavernas in Latchi.
Tourists are charmed by sun and the sea, the epic folklore and history, and the fantastic food on offer.
Cyprus climate is subtropical, Mediterranean, and semi-arid meaning very mild winters and warm to hot summers. Snow only falls in the Troodos Mountains at the island’s centre. Rain is mainly a winter phenomenon with summer generally being dry.
Cyprus possesses the warmest climate (and warmest winters) in the Mediterranean part of the European Union. That's why holidays in Cyprus are ideal if you want to escape from cold days. Average annual temperatures on the coast are about 24 degrees Celsius (75 Fahrenheit) by day and by night average 14 degrees Celsius (57 Fahrenheit). Summers in general last about eight months from April to November. Of all cities in the Mediterranean part of the European Union Limassol boasts the warmest winters with average temperatures in January and February being 17 to 18 degrees Celsius (63 to 64 Fahrenheit) by day and at night 8 to 9 degrees Celsius (46 to 48 Fahrenheit).
Ayia Napa are the Greek words for “Saint Napa”, the town’s patron saint and whose Venetian monastery is located in the centre, adjacent to the main square which also happens to be where all the city’s nightclubs happen to be. And Ayia Napa is known for its clubbing, in fact you could say it is the Cypriot version of Spain’s Ibiza. It become popular in the late 1990s with devotees of the London-based Garage music scene, with scores of young Brits descending on the island in summer. In the years since they have been joined by a swell in tourist numbers from Scandinavia, Russia, Eastern Europe and the rest of the world in smaller numbers all drawn by the hedonistic nightlife and the more-chilled sun, surf and sand of the beaches by day. Ayia Napa is perfect destination for active Cyprus holidays.
Be charmed by Larnaca, its palm tree-lined promenade, the traditional shops in the old Turkish quarter, historic monuments like the Church of St Lazarus and the impressive Salt Lake populated by flamingoes. It is typically the first stop for visitors to Cyprus as the city’s airport is the country’s largest. Laid back with a relaxed way of life it still can’t compete with nearby Limassol and Paphos.
Limassol is Cyprus’ second largest town after Nicosia, and is home to about 200,000. Apart from being a tourist destination, it is also an international business centre in Cyprus making it slightly more cosmopolitan than other destinations in Cyprus. Projects designed to revamp the old town and port area are making sightseeing during you holidays in Cyprus more interesting.
The world's last divided capital, the guard towers and barbed wire of what is known as the “Green Line” divides the town into two halves – north and south. The northern side of the line is the capital of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the south half serving as the capital of the Republic of Cyprus. Nicosia does not feature a lot of the archaeology and vibrant clubbing scene that draws so many visitors to Cyprus. The Old City surrounded by its Venetian walls is worth strolling through to take in its churches and museums with comparative lack of tourists.
Legend says that Paphos was the birthplace of Aphrodite, and it seems that the Goddess of Love continues to cast her spell over the city. For it is impossible not to fall for the charms of this ancient destination. Archeology, history and culture buffs will love the sheer number of ancient archaeological sites around Paphos including the incredible Tombs of the Kings and the amazing Odeon amphitheatre which regularly hosts summer concerts. Handcrafted souvenirs are readily available in the maze that is the shopping district or relax on golden-sanded Coral Bay, enjoying your holidays to Cyprus.
Ayia Napa features incredible beaches with powder-white sand and crystal clear, blue-green water that is shallow and perfect for swimming or snorkelling. Nissi Beach about 4 kilmotres (2.5 miles) from the central square is the most famous of Ayia Napa’s beaches. It is a hang-out for beautiful beach goers at the height of summer, you need to get there early to reserve your patch. Internationally sponsored beach parties are often held here and there is also a beach bar pumping out sounds courtesy of DJs throughout the day. Makronisos Beach is equally idyllic but being a little further away is quieter and more family friendly. Grecian Bay is the closest to the centre but a less trendy destination than the two above. Finally Sandy Bay is well-sheltered, quiet and also popular for Cyprus holidays with families.
Hire a car to drive to Larnaca’s incredible Salt Lake or visit historic sites and monuments such as the famous Aphrodite’s Rock, the Church of Saint Lazarus or learn about ancient medical practice at the fascinating Kyriazis Medical Museum. Dive around the wreck of the Zenobia, which capsized and sank on her maiden voyage in 1980 – the wreck is credited as being one of the best dive sites in the world. Take the family for day out at Fasouri Watermania, Cyprus' biggest waterpark, it features the largest wave pool in Europe and was awarded Europe's Leading Waterpark Attraction at the World Travel Awards 2007. Active tourists can try rock climbing, cycling and kayaking with Zephyros Adventure Sports. Larnaca’s promenade is packed with bars and clubs to hit by night.
Visit Limassol’s recently renovated old town, especially Anexartisias Street which is a popular shopping destination for tourists and locals alike, and Limassol Castle. Stroll in Akti Olympion, a 7-kilometre (4.3 mile) beach-front park running from the Municipal Gardens to the Old Port or tread the wooden promenade along the sea opposite the archeological site of the Kingdom of Amathus. The Limassol Wine Festival held every September and the Limassol Carnival every February and March allows you to party with the locals. A trip 15 kilometres (9 miles) to the Kourion area offers two great historical sites for holidays to Cyprus – The Altar of Apollo and The House of Achilles.
Nicosia’s limited numbers of sights are all to be found in and around the old town which is walled off and where what once was a moat has been converted into a park. Visit a traditional Cypriot Café to mix and mingle with the locals over a Cypriot coffee. Greet the locals. The Green Line is worth seeing and you can get views of both sides of the city from one of the watch towers.
Explore the ancient constructions in the Paphos Archaeological Park from the subterranean necropolis – the Tombs of the Kings, to intricate mosaics decorating Roman villas the House of Theseus and the House of Dionysos. Also within the archeological park is The Odeon, a typical Greek amphitheatre which, in the summer, is home for plays and concerts. For a little adrenaline visit the Paphos Aphrodite Water Park which has slides, wave machines, river rides and more. The centre of Paphos’ nightlife is Agiou Antoniou while you will find the cafes and bars lining the harbor to be a little quieter.