Cyprus is an island rich in heritage and culture. It sits at an almost equal distance from the Levantine and Anatolian coasts, making it a challenging location to colonize. Like many islands, it has evolved naturally with influences from geology, geography, flora, fauna, and its unique attributes, eventually forming its own distinct identity. Notably, the Pharaohs of Egypt to the south, the Mesopotamian kingdoms to the east, the Hittite empire to the north, and the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures of the west have all left their mark on the island.
Cyprus’s wealth of history is evident in the many famous archaeological sites that are frequently visited by tourists and locals alike. Paphos, awarded European Capital of Culture in 2017, is home to an abundance of ancient ruins, officially classified as a UNESCO world heritage site. It is also home to many well-known sites, such as the Tomb of the Kings, The House of Dionysus, and the Paphos Mosaics, to name just a few. There are many more archaeological treasures to explore, along with a variety of other attractions and activities, making Cyprus an ideal destination for travelers of all kinds.
The Akamas Peninsula: A Natural Wonder in Cyprus
Located on the western tip of Cyprus, the Akamas Peninsula spans an area of around 230sqkm and is famous in Greek mythology as the place where Aphrodite met her lover Adonis. The area boasts breathtakingly picturesque valleys, gorges, and wide sandy bays, including the famous Blue Lagoon, a popular spot for visitors seeking a cool, refreshing swim. The Akamas Peninsula is heavily embedded in Greek mythology, and is an area of great natural beauty, untouched and unaffected by development. The diversity of flora and fauna inhabiting this area is impressive and is an absolute must-visit for nature lovers.
Lara Bay: A Haven for Sea Turtles
If you’re looking for conservation in action, head to the white sands of Lara Bay, a safe haven for the Greek population of Green and Loggerhead Turtles. At the protected beach, you can witness conservationists at work in the research center and hatchery, where turtle eggs are looked after in a bid to boost populations. If you time your visit right, you may even get to witness the little hatchlings making their way back home to the sea!
The Troodos Mountains in Cyprus are a natural wonder located in the heart of the island. This majestic mountain range boasts the highest peak on the island, Mount Olympus, which towers over the range at 1,952 metres. With its impressive peaks and stunning scenery, the Troodos Mountains are a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Explore the range and discover hidden byzantine monasteries and churches, nature trails, and traditional wineries where you can taste the exquisite Cypriot wine. Stay in one of the charming hotels or guesthouses and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the mountainous landscape.
In winter, the higher elevations of the mountains are covered in a thick blanket of snow, providing the perfect opportunity for skiing down the varied ski slopes. After a day of skiing, warm up with a mug of hot chocolate in front of a toasty fire. Whether you visit during winter or summer, the Troodos Mountains are an unforgettable experience.
As the third largest island on the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is home to over 64 stunning blue-flag beaches, which continually rank among the cleanest in Europe. In 2020, the island was voted as having the cleanest bathing waters in Europe, making it the perfect destination for those seeking sun, sea, and sand.
From long stretches of white sand perfect for beachgoers, to small, secluded coves ideal for a peaceful escape, Cyprus has a diverse range of beaches to suit every taste.
One of the best is Coral Bay, located in the Paphos region. This medium-sized cove boasts golden sands and is protected from strong currents by surrounding cliffs. It’s perfect for families, with plenty of umbrellas, sun loungers, and water sports available.
Plus, the controlled development of the area ensures the resort has maintained its charm despite its popularity with tourists. A variety of international restaurants and bars are just steps away, so you’ll never have to go far for a bite to eat or a refreshing drink.
But there’s more to the beaches of Cyprus than just sunbathing and swimming. With crystal-clear waters, they’re also ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving, offering a chance to discover the vibrant underwater world. And with over 300 days of sunshine each year, there’s no shortage of time to explore them all.
Cyprus is renowned for the warmth and hospitality of its locals, who welcome visitors from all over the world with open arms. They love to share information about their beautiful island and learn about the cultures of their guests. Cypriots are known for their generosity and love of hosting, taking pride in sharing their mouth-watering local dishes and home-cooking with anyone who wants to try.
You may notice that Cypriots tend to speak passionately, often using a louder tone and hand gestures. Don’t be alarmed if friendly conversations seem like arguments – this is simply part of the lively Cypriot communication style. Even if they seem to be shouting, rest assured that their intentions are good.
One phrase you’re likely to hear in Cyprus is “Siga Siga” (pronounced “see-ga see-ga”), which means “slowly, slowly.” This reflects the relaxed pace of life in Cyprus, where punctuality is not always a top priority. If you’re invited to a social engagement, it’s not uncommon to arrive 30-45 minutes late – in fact, it’s often expected! But don’t worry – you’ll soon find yourself adjusting to the laid-back approach, and may even come to embrace it.
Experience the ultimate in relaxation and luxury by sailing the Mediterranean ocean along the stunning coastline of Cyprus. Breathe in the fresh sea air and take in the awe-inspiring views of the island’s picturesque shores. With calm seas and stable winds, Cyprus is the perfect destination for a serene day on an organized boat tour, exploring secluded coves and crystal-clear lagoons that can only be accessed by water.
For a truly special occasion or added touch of extravagance, consider chartering a private yacht with a full crew to sail at your leisure. Alternatively, spend a fun-filled day with friends on a rented speedboat. With so many options, there’s no better way to experience the beauty of Cyprus’s coastline.
If you’re interested in seeing the range of luxury yachts available, head to one of the newly built harbours and marinas around the island. Here, tourists and locals alike gather to indulge in delicious local cuisine and marvel at the stunning vessels. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a first-time explorer, Cyprus’s waters offer endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.
Biking & Hiking
If you’re an adventurous nature lover, Cyprus is the perfect destination for exploration on foot or by bike. Get up close and personal with the island’s stunning scenery and enjoy an exhilarating ride or leisurely stroll through its diverse terrain.
For experienced cyclists seeking a challenge, the island’s naturally fast-flowing yet bumpy surfaces provide a wide range of cross-country biking trails. Cyclists from all over the world come to perfect their skills and test their limits. If you prefer a more leisurely pace, there are also plenty of scenic routes for a relaxing ride.
If walking is more your style, there are countless nature trails waiting to be explored. Follow a well-marked path through lush forests and natural landscapes, or discover hidden waterfalls and other breathtaking natural wonders. With so much variety to explore, there’s something for every type of nature enthusiast in Cyprus.
If you’re a keen golfer, Cyprus provides the perfect canvas to improve your skills. The island boasts a wide range of professionally designed golf resorts that are open all year round, including the award-winning Aphrodite Hills Golf Resort, which was designed by acclaimed architect Cabell Robinson. Golfers of all levels can enjoy a round on the 18-hole championship golf courses, set in beautiful surroundings with stunning views. Many of the resorts also have golf houses and restaurants, making it a fun-filled family day out.
Cyprus is a world-renowned diving destination, attracting divers from all corners of the globe. The island’s warm, crystal-clear waters offer fantastic visibility, and with year-round consistent temperatures, it’s the perfect place to explore the underwater world. Divers can discover a range of natural wonders, including underwater caves, amphitheatres, and secret tunnels, and may even be joined by a friendly sea turtle, thanks to the island’s turtle conservation efforts. With an abundance of coastal reefs teeming with diverse marine life, every dive is an adventure. For experienced divers, Cyprus also boasts several exciting wreck sites, including the world-famous Zenobia Wreck, ranked as the tenth best wreck dive in the world.
If you prefer to stay above water, there are licensed operators offering a range of water sports along the coastlines of Cyprus. From banana boats and tube rides to water skiing, wakeboarding, and parasailing, there’s something for every level of experience and courage. You can also try your hand at bodyboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, jet skiing, windsurfing, canoeing, and kayaking.
Indulge in an unforgettable experience on the stunning island of Cyprus by embarking on a coastal horseback ride while soaking in the heavenly sunsets. Whether you are a seasoned rider or a beginner, there is something for everyone to relish. From relaxed hacks to expertly guided lessons by a qualified instructor, the options are endless. Discover the island’s breathtaking landscapes as you ride through forest tracks, deserted villages, and along mountain and coastline paths, all providing a serene escape into the heart of nature.