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Cyprus

CYPRUS TRAVEL GUIDE

Cyprus, an island set in the midst of the Mediterranean Sea, is a country of Gothic mosques and Byzantine architecture, white-sanded seashores and frescoed monasteries, winemaking villages, and much more. From a capital which has the unfortunate distinction of being the only divided city in the world to breathtaking beaches along the Mediterranean, Cyprus should not only prove a pleasant and enjoyable holiday, but also an education in itself.

 

The country, however, is slashed in two by a turbulent history and a troubled past. Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1960 and despite a constitution that guaranteed a degree of power-sharing between the Greek Cypriot majority and the Turkish Cypriot minority, the two populations – with backing from the governments of Greece and Turkey, respectively, clashed in 1974. The end result was a country divided into Northern Cyprus with a predominant Turkish population and South Cyprus – which houses the Greek Cypriotes. In 1983, the Turkish-held area declared independence as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Cyprus is yet to resolve its conflicts but still offers the visitor a moving and unique experience.

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As the two regions are virtually completely separate from a traveller's point of view, this page predominantly provides information on the southern territory governed by the Republic of Cyprus.

 

  • Capital: Nicosia

  • Currency: Euro (€)

  • Area: 9,250 km²

  • Population: 1,17 million (2018 estimate)

  • Language: Official: Greek, Turkish; English widely spoken.

  • Religion: Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, Maronite, Armenian Apostolic, and other 4%

  • Electricity: 240V, 50Hz (UK plug)

Quick Facts

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BEST TIME TO VISIT CYPRUS

Cyprus has an intense Mediterranean climate with the typical seasonal rhythm strongly marked in respect of temperature, rainfall. Hot and dry summers from mid-May to mid-October and mild, rainy, rather changeable, winters from November to mid-March.

 

Though Cyprus welcomes tourists throughout the year, it would be best if you plan your trip, during April – May or September - October. The months of July and August can be uncomfortably hot and dry. If you are price conscious then most hotels lower their prices between November and March, but be aware that it can get cold and wet at this time of the year.

Best Time To Go

CYPRUS WEATHER SYNOPSIS

Cyprus has an intense Mediterranean climate with the typical seasonal rhythm strongly marked in respect of temperature, rainfall and weather generally. Hot and dry summers from mid-May to mid October and mild, rainy, rather changeable, winters from November to mid-March.

Cyprus

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

Read more...

Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

JANUARY

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FEBRUARY

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MARCH

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APRIL

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MAY

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JUNE

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JULY

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AUGUST

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SEPTEMBER

HOT

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OCTOBER

HOT

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NOVEMBER

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DECEMBER

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BEST TIME FOR

SNOW SPORT IN CYPRUS

The snow sports season in Cyprus is from January to April, when you can go skiing on Mount Olympos in Troodos.

HIKING & CYCLING IN CYPRUS

You can enjoy outdoor activities in Cyprus throughout the year. This means that there is no need to visit during the peak tourist season!

BEACH OPTIONS IN CYPRUS

Cyprus has loads of beautiful beaches with a summer beach season stretching from April to November with June to August being the busiest months.

SURFING IN CYPRUS

Cyprus has pretty good surf all year round, but the waves are best in the months of March and November.

KITESURF IN CYPRUS

You can Kitesurfing in Cyprus pretty much all year long. If you want to ride nice big waves, the winter season is best, especially in Curium & Ladies Mile beach - just know that it will be cold!

BEST TIME FOR

The snow sports season in Cyprus is from January to April, when you can go skiing on Mount Olympos in Troodos.

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TRAVEL SAFETY IN CYPRUS

Always consider the current safety risk of each destination and do not travel without travel / medical insurance. For the latest travel health notices and recommended precautions click

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Travel Safety

HEALTH RISKS IN CYPRUS

Be aware of possible health risks in 

Cyprus

Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.

Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.

Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.

CYPRUS TRAVEL COSTS

A good way to travel within the country is by car. General road conditions between the bigger cities is good, although routes between the smaller places can be somewhat rough.

 

A shared taxi is a good option to use while travelling between cities. These taxis have to be booked in advance and run throughout the week with decreased services on Sundays. Buses, however, are by far the cheapest way to get around the cities as well as between cities. In Nicosia, buses run till 7 pm and in the tourist areas during the peak summer season till about midnight.

Cost & Spending

CYPRUS TRAVEL TIPS

Travel Tips

SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF CYPRUS

From the 16th century Venetian fortifications around southern Nicosia to the scenic sea cliffs and famous mosaics of Paphos, Cyprus is indeed a beautiful blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavour. Once you can get past the tension and the divide of the political atmosphere, you will find much to explore and enjoy in this land of ancient vineyards, frescoed monasteries, and endless citrus orchards.

Highlights
What To See & Do
Travel Map

In southern Nicosia, the Old Town is perhaps the most alluring section. Enclosed by the ancient Venetian fortifications, this maze of municipal gardens and ancient architecture is the central part and attracts much of the tourist crowd. Be sure not to miss the 16th century Ayios Ioannis Cathedral which has a series of paintings depicting Cypriot history through the ages. The Cyprus Museum just outside the city holds archaeological remains from Neolithic and Roman times.

 

One of the stellar attractions of Cyprus is the many Mediterranean beach resorts along its coast, which are not only serene getaways but are also full of history and culture. Paphos, on the west coast, is perhaps one of the most popular locations. Apart from the natural beauty, such monuments as the Tomb of the Kings (a stunning lair of tombs carved onto the soft rock next to the shore) or the famous mosaics, which are dedicated to Dionysus and which the Romans laid down in the 3rd century BC.

 

The mountainous splendour of the Troodos mountains in south Cyprus is sure to take your breath away with its rocky landscape punctuated with pretty villages and vineyards and monasteries. Nature lovers, as well as adventure seekers, should both find relief in the Troodos Massif from the hustle and bustle of the packed beach resorts.

 

Home to the island's biggest airport, Larnaka is the inevitable starting point for many visitors to Cyprus. However, its elegant promenade, beautiful Agios Lazaros cathedral, ancient ruins, and a vibrant resort are reason to linger.

 

Cyprus's second city, Lemesos, has a reputation for great restaurants and transformed itself recently into the definition of laidback Mediterranean living.

 

The most beautiful harbour town on the island, Girne (Kyrenia), and a good introduction to life in North Cyprus has a stunning castle, a relaxed atmosphere and offers wonderful days out to St Hilarion Castle and Bellapais Abbey.

 

Gazimağusa (Famagusta) is an ancient port city defined by its elegantly ruined old town, pounded by the Ottomans in 1571. Nearby are the magnificent ruins of Ancient Salamis and also the unsettling sight of Varosha, derelict since 1974.

 

Once the archetypal 18–30 resort, Agia Napa has morphed into a more sophisticated destination with a surprising smattering of museums, street art and other attractions.

 

Explore the villages and small-scale sights of the Karpaz Peninsula. Look out for its wild donkeys, and press on to lonely Apostolos Andreas monastery, both the easternmost and the northernmost point on the island.

 

You could spend an entire day exploring the ancient city of Salamis, the nearby Royal Tombs, Monastery of St Barnabas and the ruins of Enkomi-Alasia – all within a couple of kilometres of each other.

In southern Nicosia, the Old Town is perhaps the most alluring section. Enclosed by the ancient Venetian fortifications, this maze of municipal gardens and ancient architecture is the central part and attracts much of the tourist crowd. Be sure not to miss the 16th century Ayios Ioannis Cathedral which has a series of paintings depicting Cypriot history through the ages. The Cyprus Museum just outside the city holds archaeological remains from Neolithic and Roman times.


One of the stellar attractions of Cyprus is the many Mediterranean beach resorts along its coast, which are not only serene getaways but are also full of history and culture. Paphos, on the west coast, is perhaps one of the most popular locations. Apart from the natural beauty, such monuments as the Tomb of the Kings (a stunning lair of tombs carved onto the soft rock next to the shore) or the famous mosaics, which are dedicated to Dionysus and which the Romans laid down in the 3rd century BC.

The mountainous splendor of the Troodos mountains in south Cyprus is sure to take your breath away with its rocky landscape punctuated with pretty villages and vineyards and monasteries. Nature lovers, as well as adventure seekers, should both find relief in the Troodos Massif from the hustle and bustle of the packed beach resorts.


Home to the island's biggest airport, Larnaka is the inevitable starting point for many visitors to Cyprus. However, its elegant promenade, beautiful Agios Lazaros cathedral, ancient ruins, and a vibrant resort are reason to linger.

Cyprus's second city, Lemesos, has a reputation for great restaurants and transformed itself recently into the definition of laidback Mediterranean living.

The most beautiful harbour town on the island, Girne (Kyrenia), and a good introduction to life in North Cyprus has a stunning castle, a relaxed atmosphere and offers wonderful days out to St Hilarion Castle and Bellapais Abbey.


Gazimağusa (Famagusta) is an ancient port city defined by its elegantly ruined old town, pounded by the Ottomans in 1571. Nearby are the magnificent ruins of Ancient Salamis and also the unsettling sight of Varosha, derelict since 1974.


Once the archetypal 18–30 resort, Agia Napa has morphed into a more sophisticated destination with a surprising smattering of museums, street art and other attractions.


Explore the villages and small-scale sights of the Karpaz Peninsula. Look out for its wild donkeys, and press on to lonely Apostolos Andreas monastery, both the easternmost and the northernmost point on the island.


You could spend an entire day exploring the ancient city of Salamis, the nearby Royal Tombs, Monastery of St Barnabas and the ruins of Enkomi-Alasia – all within a couple of kilometres of each other.

Cyprus
What To Eat

WHAT TO EAT IN CYPRUS

WHAT TO EAT IN CYPRUS

Food in Cyprus reflects the division of the country as you would expect. In the north, you will find mostly Turkish cuisine, in the south Greek. But wherever you are in Cyprus you will come across kleftikó or küp kebab - lamb or goat barbecued with vegetables in an outdoor oven. Cyprus is also famous for its fruit: you will find juicy strawberries, stone fruit, melons, prickly pear, citrus, and grapes at the markets.

LGBTQ IN CYPRUS

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Cyprus may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Cyprus, and civil unions which grant several of the rights and benefits of marriage have been legal since December 2015. Attitudes towards members of the LGBT community are evolving and becoming increasingly more accepting and tolerant, with recent opinion polls showing that a majority of Cypriots support legal recognition of same-sex couples in the form of civil unions.

 

The LGBTQ scene continues to grow in Cyprus. Bars, clubs and other gay-friendly establishments are found in several cities, including Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca and Nicosia.

Cyprus

WHERE TO STAY IN CYPRUS

When visiting Cyprus for the first time, choosing the right area or region to stay in depends on your preferences for beach relaxation, historical exploration, or vibrant nightlife. Here are some recommendations along with accommodation suggestions for each category: budget, mid-range, and luxury.


Where to stay in Paphos:

Paphos is a coastal city rich in history, offering visitors a blend of ancient ruins, beautiful beaches, and lively waterfront restaurants and bars.

  • Budget: Axiothea Hotel - Affordable hotel located near the harbor, offering simple rooms, a swimming pool, and easy access to Paphos Archaeological Park and the medieval castle.

  • Mid-range: Avlida Hotel - A mid-range hotel featuring comfortable rooms, a pool area, and a restaurant serving Cypriot cuisine, situated within walking distance of the beach and Paphos town center.

  • Luxury: Amavi Hotel - A luxurious beachfront resort offering elegant rooms, gourmet dining options, a spa, and adult-only amenities, providing a romantic and indulgent retreat.

Tips: To find the best value accommodation in Paphos, consider visiting during the offseason (November to March) when prices are lower, and there are fewer tourists. Additionally, booking accommodation directly with hotels or guesthouses and exploring package deals or promotions can result in better rates.


Where to stay in Limassol:

Limassol is Cyprus's second-largest city, known for its vibrant nightlife, long sandy beaches, and cultural attractions like Limassol Castle and the Old Town.

  • Budget: Pefkos City Hotel - Affordable hotel located near the beach, offering basic rooms, a swimming pool, and a central location within walking distance of bars, restaurants, and shops.

  • Mid-range: The Royal Apollonia: Situated on a sandy beach in Limassol, The Royal Apollonia offers mid-range accommodations with stunning sea views. Guests can enjoy amenities such as outdoor and indoor pools, a spa, multiple dining options, and spacious rooms with balconies.

  • Luxury: Four Seasons Hotel Limassol: Located on a sandy beach east of Limassol, Four Seasons Hotel offers luxurious accommodations with Mediterranean-inspired decor. Guests can enjoy amenities such as outdoor and indoor pools, a spa, multiple restaurants and bars, and spacious rooms and suites with sea views.

Tips: To find the best value accommodation in Limassol, consider staying in accommodations located slightly away from the city center or beachfront, which may offer lower prices and a quieter atmosphere. Additionally, booking accommodation well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons like summer, is recommended to secure better rates.


Where to stay in Larnaca:

Larnaca is known for its beautiful Finikoudes Beach, charming seafront promenade, and cultural landmarks like the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque and Larnaca Salt Lake.

  • Budget: Frangiorgio Hotel - Affordable hotel located near Finikoudes Beach, offering simple rooms, a rooftop terrace, and a central location within walking distance of restaurants, bars, and attractions.

  • Mid-range: Sun Hall Hotel - A mid-range hotel featuring comfortable rooms, a swimming pool overlooking the sea, and a restaurant serving international cuisine, situated on the seafront promenade.

  • Luxury: Radisson Blu Hotel, Larnaca - A luxurious hotel offering modern rooms, gourmet dining options, a spa, and panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea, located near Larnaca Marina.

Tips: To find the best value accommodation in Larnaca, consider exploring accommodations in nearby villages or towns, such as Oroklini or Dhekelia, which may offer more affordable prices and a quieter atmosphere. Additionally, visiting during the shoulder seasons (April to May, September to October) can result in better deals and fewer crowds.


For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

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