- Travel and Places
Top 10 Things to do in Cyprus
See the best Cyprus has to offer!
Cyprus is known as the year-round island, and indeed it is. Whether you are looking for a family trip, seeking adventure, an archaeological buff or looking for one of the hottest spots for clubbing in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is the answer.
As Europe meets the Middle East, Cyprus exceeds expectations when it comes to a beach vacation, a skiing holiday, an adventure weekend or a memorable honeymoon.
Have a look at the 10 most interesting things to do in Cyprus. We bet that you had no idea that you could ski in Cyprus! Did you know that Cyprus is a very popular cycling and diving destination? Go through our list and see what the island of love has to offer. There is no particular order to this list, however you are free to try them all!
Photo Credit: Cyprus Tourism Organisation
The Essential Travel Companion - I recommend this guide book for travelling in Cyprus.
The Rough Guide to Cyprus explores every corner of Cyprus, from the fine, sandy beaches and wooded hillsides to the ancient churches and buzzing bars. It offers a guide to Cyprus’s hearty traditional cuisine and its rich artistic and religious architecture. There are dozens of reviews from the best restaurants, nightlife and hotels in Cyprus to the top shopping spots, entertainment and outdoor activities, as well as all the essential information you need for the trip of a lifetime. It covers both North and South of this divided country with an insider’s eye.
I chose this book to keep as a travel companion since it gives detailed yet practical tips and information about everything you need in Cyprus. It also provides a history of the island's cultural and politics which sets the first time traveller in the scene.
Where on earth is Cyprus?
1. Weddings and Honeymoons
Exchange Wedding vows or Spend a Blissful Honeymon on the island of love, Cyprus
It is no wonder that Cyprus is known as the island of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty. Cyprus has been connected with romance since ancient times. Today, Cyprus is one of the most sought after destinations for weddings and honeymoons.
There are various reasons why Cyprus is so popular with couples who would like to exchange vows or spend the first days of their married life together. One of the main reasons is the superb climate since the island enjoys warm sunny days throughout most of the year. This complements the exquisite wedding venues, the picturesque sandy beaches and the different types of activities available throughout the island such as water sports, cycling and even skiing.
Love Cyprus! - Around Cyprus in 1 mins
2. Skiing and Snowboarding
Skiing and Snowboarding on Mount Olympus in the Troodos Mountains
Yes you read right, skiing and snowboarding in Cyprus. On the island of Cyprus, it is literally possible to ski in the morning and enjoy a swim in the afternoon. The Troodos Skiing Resort is situated on Mount Olympus. Mount Olympus is the highest point of the Troodos Mountains.
Skiing season is usually open between January and March. There are 4 slopes which include ski lifts and an equipment rental station. These slopes cater for all levels and ages. You can also find cross country tracks or opt for snowboarding instead. Lessons are also available for both skiing and snowboarding.
Battle of the Snow Sports!
Skiing or Snowboarding?
Skiing! Two planks are better than one!
3. Cycling and Hiking
Take advantage of the various Nature Trails Cyprus has to offer
With sunshine almost all the year round, Cyprus is an ideal location to plan a cycling or a trekking trip. The island has been described as a biker’s paradise because of year round excellent weather conditions and the low prevalence of strong headwinds. Cyprus offers to the cyclist frequent changes of terrain and scenery even on the shortest of cycling trails.
Troodos Mountains is a cooler alternative to the coast during the hot summer months. Its highest peak reaches 2,000 metres. During the winter the mountain tops are covered in snow. Various walking and cycling trails take you through scented pine forests, waterfalls and panoramic views of the whole island. If you are really lucky, you may get to spot the shy Cyprus mouflon. The mouflon is a kind of wild sheep particular to Cyprus which roams free in the Troodos forests. For a romantic setting, why not try the 2km countryside ramble in Platres to reach the breathtaking Caledonian Waterfall.
The Akamas Peninsula is an area of natural wilderness on the north-western side of the island. The stunning views in this area alternate between rocky shores and sandy beaches. The sandy beaches are important breeding grounds for the green turtle and the loggerhead turtle. The nature trails in this area are ideal to experience the various species of trees and plants found on this island. During spring and autumn, one can also notice the different kinds of migrating birds passing by. Akamas also boasts interesting geological formation within its region. The Avakas gorge is a definite must-see when in the area.
The Perfect Travel Buddy for any Cycling Trip
The Edge 800 is a touch screen GPS bike computer. helps you make the most out of every cycling trip. It provides navigation and performance monitoring. It is ideal for any kind of cycling you want to do, whether it is commuting or mountain biking. It tracks distance, speed, location and ascent/descent.
4. Swimming and Diving
Cyprus is most renowned for golden sandy beaches and the Zenobia dive site
Warm sea temperatures, crystal clear waters and sandy beaches makes Cyprus ideal for swimming and diving for a major part of the year. The eastern coast is popular for its white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Here you can find lively resorts and enjoy water sports. On the other hand, the secluded coves of the western coast set the perfect setting for a peaceful swim with few people around.
While diving in Cyprus you can experience underwater coastal reefs, a variety of colourful fish, sponges, octopus and if you are lucky even a sea turtle! Spotting a sea turtle is not so rare nowadays thanks to turtle conservations projects around the island. In several dive sites you can also find remains of ancient amphorae and stone anchors.There are numerous diving schools all around the island. Diving sites like Green Bay in Protaras are excellent for beginner divers.
In Larnaca, you will find one of the most popular dive sites in the Mediterranean. The Zenobia dive site consists in the wreck of the ferry M.S. Zenobia which sank during its maiden voyage from Sweden to Syria. The Zenobia lies on her port side at 42 metres but the starboard side lies at only 18 metres. The ferry is still intact save from some internal structural damage. The lorry decks holding over 100 lorries, industrial machinery as well as the accommodation and restaurant area make this an incredible site to visit. In addition, plenty of marine life can be seen in this dive site. The enchanting Zenobia will capture your heart no matter how many times you visit it.
Dive into the Zenobia wreck!
Detailed footage about diving in itself and going down into the Zenobia. Very interesting to watch for both beginners and professionals. Especially if you have never been on this dive site!
5. Indulge in a Meze
Taste Cypriot cuisine as its best in a local taverna
Cypriot food is largely Mediterranean with influences from Greece and the Middle East. The meze is a multi-plate platter excellent for having a taste of the widest range possible of Cypriot cuisine. The meze consists of a lot of dishes containing a small helping of one of Cyprus’s delicacies. One sitting can include up to 30 different dishes served with warm pitta bread and fresh salad.
Food is traditionally accompanied by wine or Zivania, a strong grape spirit. Finally, for a sweet aftertaste, glyko (traditionally preserved fruit) is served together with a glass of water and Cypriot coffee.
Bring Mediterranean Cuisine to your Table!
In Olives & Oranges, Jenkins shares the simple, striking dishes she learned at the source. Many, like Peppery Braised Short Ribs and Classic Tuscan Eggplant Parmesan, are favorites from childhood. Others, like Short Pasta with Mushrooms and Mint and Spicy Lemon–Chocolate Ganache Tart, have a contemporary sensibility. Jenkins shows how understanding the Mediterranean “language of flavor” can help you follow your instincts and make your own great meals based on what you have, too. You’ll see how salt and lemon juice bring out the natural sugar in Carrot Salad with Lemon, Sea Salt, Parsley, and Olive Oil, and how to use the same technique with lime, salt, and a Moroccan condiment called harissa for a completely different effect in Tunisian Raw Turnip Salad.
The taste of culture is perhaps what shapes our society today with ethnic food continuously tingling our taste buds, but how well do you really know Mediterranean food? Does it stop with the occasional visit to a restaurant in order to try something new? Yes, I thought so... and with the help of my book you can bring these restaurant visits to your fingertips, making your kitchen the ultimate chefs playground whilst discovering the Turkish Cypriot taste. Are you always making that typical barbecue food in order to play it safe? I say that being adventurous and creative is the new playing it safe and with Cypriot barbecue delights and side dishes you can also experience a slice of the Mediterranean.
6. Clubbing in Ayia Napa
Enjoy clubbing at one of the hottest nightspots of the Mediterranean
Ayia Napa, located in the far south-east of the island, is a Mediterranean clubbing destination second only to Ibiza. Thousands of clubbers arrive every year from all over the world. Stag and hen nights and weekends are becoming increasingly popular in this hot spot.
It is the most vivacious summer spot on the island. Clubbers simply cannot resist the vast array of nightclubs and parties held during the summer months coupled with idyllic sandy beaches to dip into during the day.
7. Volunteer with Sea Turtles
Experience one of the last nesting spots for sea turtles in the Mediterranean and help with their conservation
In Cyprus you will find a few of the last nesting grounds of green and loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean. In South Cyprus green and loggerhead turtles nest in the west coast of Paphos. In North Cyprus, loggerhead turtles nest in Alagadi beach and the Karpaz Peninsula. Here you can find a few green turtles as well.
Sea turtles in Cyprus nest between late May and mid-August. After hatchlings start emerging from their nest, there are numerous threats to the life of these majestic creatures. One such threat is light pollution since it disrupts the female sea turtle from laying her eggs and it also distracts the hatchlings from making their way to the water. Shockingly, only around one in a thousand hatchlings survives to adulthood.
Volunteers at the Lara Turtle Beach Conservation Project in Paphos locate nests and protect them from foxes and other predators. In North Cyprus, the Society for the Protection of Turtles (SPOT) was founded. They have managed to persuade builders not to remove sand from nesting beaches, tag turtles so that their movements can be followed and studied and protected nests from predators.
8. Fall in love with Kyrenia's old harbour
Go back in time in Kyrenia's Old Harbour in the North of Cyprus
Kyrenia Harbour is located in the historic town of Kyrenia in North Cyprus. The charming old harbour is small but it does not lack in character. The sea breeze and the cool mountain air make this also a welcoming respite in the hot summer months.
Amidst the stunning views, numerous yachts and fishing boats seek refuge in this harbour. The domineering Kyrenia Castle together with the breathtaking mountain backdrop make Kyrenia Harbour one of the most picturesque areas in all of Cyprus. You can also find a number of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants where you can sit and soak in the views while you eat. These alluring shops and eateries are housed in what were once carob storage warehouses. Cruise boats departing from the harbour are also available for trips to sandy beaches.
9. Wander in the exotic paradise of the Hala Sultan Tekke complex
Get lost in the spectacular garden of Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca with views of the Salt Lake
Hala Sultan Tekke is located next to the Salt Lake in Larnaca, just outside the old airport. Legend states that Islamic prophet Muhammed’s paternal aunt was attacked by Byzantine forces in Larnaca in 649. She was accompanying her husband on an Arab raid. She died on the spot and was buried in this location.
A mosque was built around her grave and it is the 4th most important holy place in the world for Muslims. The complex today consists of a mausoleum, a mosque, a minaret, a cemetery and living quarters. The complex is open to all and lies in a tranquil setting of the spectacular surrounding garden against the backdrop of the Salt Lake. During the winter months, thousands of flamingos decorate the Salt Lake with their romantic pink hues adding to the feel of an exotic paradise of the complex.
10. Amaze yourself at the spectacular Roman mosaic relics in Paphos
Go back to the second century A.D. in the House of Dionysius
The House of Dionysius in Paphos is a restored Roman villa. The main characteristics of this villa are the mosaic decorations and mythological compositions. The name of the house refers to the representations of Dionysius, the god of wine, within the house. The mosaics are excellently preserved and among the finest in the Mediterranean region.
The House of Dionysius is part of the Archaeological Park. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cyprus. Its elaborate floor is surrounded by eight Doric columns. Originally, it would have had an upper floor although today this has collapsed. The villa was built in a Greco-Roman style. It had been abandoned since the fourth century A.D. after a series of earthquakes.
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Some more travel guides to help you on your trip to Cyprus.