Capital City: Nicosia
Official Language: Greek and Turkish are the two official languages in Cyprus with English being widely understood
Welcome to the birthplace of Aphrodite!
It has seduced and it has inspired, and Cyprus is set to steal your heart from the day you set foot there. With a multilayered past, beach paradises, seemingly endless summers and meze platters accompanied by sweet chilled wine, the country of Cyprus might well have been where the Greek gods established their first ideal of the heavens. There’s an interesting lure to Cyprus, and it can either mean heaven or hell: cheap flights, cheaper drinks, affordable accommodation and food that is as tantalizing as the atmosphere. Cyprus has a lot to offer the avid traveler: from Venetian castles to Islamic Minarets, cool mountain villages and the intrigue of the Cypriots themselves, who seem to be some of the friendliest people on earth. Though it might be relatively small in size, Cyprus has an abundance of sights and experience which are bound to captivate and mesmerize travelers from all walks of life. Step inside and be in awe with the wonder of the Greek world…
Must see places in Cyprus
Kourion in Limassol
On offer here is the impressive Greco-Roman theatre, the bustling marketplace, remains of an old cathedral, and the House of Eustolios among the many attractions in the ancient kingdom of Kourion with its fine archeological sites.
If you’re keen in discovering Cyprus’ top archeological collections, the Museum would be the place to head to. Ancient relics and figurines, religious artifacts and tomb facts are all part of the magnificent scenery on show inside of the museum located in Nicosia.
The quaint little village situated between Limassol and Larnaca is well known for silver filigree and its lace. It’s a stunning little town that’s definitely bound to leave you breathless.
Also known as Curium, this site lies just west of Limassol and makes for one hell of a lookout point over the ocean. The sight has been restored (but just at ground level) fractionally to save the floor mosaics after the earthquake in 365AD. The inscriptions, geometrics patterns and the head of Ktisis in the Eustolios house are some of the key focus points that are set to take your breath away.
If you’re a love of unspoiled landscaped, the rugged and untouched Akamas Peninsula is right up your alley. With its woodlands of pine trees and the pristine sandy beaches, it’s a great place to head to for escaping the fast pace of life in general and just get back to nature. Stretching from the harbor at Agios Georgios north to Paphos and then to Chrysochou Bay, its abundant in wildlife and rare plant life.
What used to be the hedonistic capital of Cyprus is now the home of some of the country’s best nightlife entertainment venues, restaurants and cultural hotspots. Also on offer here are some stunning beaches that boasts amazing diving and snorkeling opportunities.
Phoinikoudes in Larnaca
Phoinikoudes is known as one of the most scenic esplanades in Cyprus. Stretching 3 kilometers long and lined with palm trees, it’s the perfect place to soak up the beach atmosphere and sample some fresh local seafood while enjoying the stunning Mediterranean view.
Petra tou Romiou
This is one of Cyprus’ great landmarks and rumored to be the birthplace of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. The Rock of Aphrodite is one of the country’s most magnificent sights with the turquoise seas that surround the area. You might also want to consider stopping by the Temple of Aphrodite situated nearby in the city of Palaipafos.
Saint Hilarion Castle
The ruins of the Saint Hilarion Castle with its limestone rock surroundings are a stunning sight to set eyes on. This is arguably one of the most noteworthy sightseeing spots in northern Cyprus with star spots such as the chapel, royal apartments, banqueting hall, courtyards and the stables.
The sight of one of the most picturesque harbors in the entire Mediterranean, Kyrenia used to be an important port for the Romans and Venetians. Nearby is the stunning Kyrenia Castle that houses the Shipwreck Museum.
The Baths of Aphrodite
Situated on the edge of the Akamas Peninsula, the Baths of Aphrodite is the place believed to have been the bathing place of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. The grotto itself might be hugely popular, but the natural surroundings here are just as much of an attraction.
Hala Sultan Tekke
The impressive 19th sacred century mosque with its idyllic palm tree surroundings can be viewed near the Larnaca International Airport. Get your timing right, and you might be able to see the migratory flamingos that call Larnaca’s Salt Lake home in the winter months.
Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
Discovered by accident in 1902, this ancient underground complex of halls, chambers, passages and carvings date back 3600 BC. You can explore this wonderland of pottery, ornaments, carvings and entombed corpses near Paola, but just remember to book well in advance for this special tour.
It’s one of the deepest natural harbors in the world, and the sheer size of this ancient harbor is enough to take your breath away. With restaurants, bars and the Barrakka Gardens in the backdrop, once you’re done soaking up the atmosphere you can head over to the venues for some lunch and a lively atmosphere.
Best known for its medieval fort overlooking the beautiful harbor, Paphos is great to explore any time of the year. The summer festival sees the most amazing operatic sounds echoing through the walls of the ancient city and nearby attractions includes the impressive Paphos mosaics depicting scenes from Greek mythology.
Things to do in Cyprus
Explore the Tombs of the Kings
The rock cut tombs in Paphos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and date back to the Hellenistic and Roman period. Noblemen were buried here, rather than kings, and these tombs are especially important in the history of Cyprus thanks to their unique design.
Be amazed by the painted churches in Troodos
The 10 vibrantly painted churches and small monasteries in Troodos date back to Byzantine times and are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Agios Nikolaso tis Stegis at Kakopetria and Panagia tou Araka are two of the most impressive sights to explore.
Taste the fine chocolatier samples
At the slopes of the Troodos Mountains you can indulge at the Platres Chocolate Workshop. All chocolate is imported from Venezuela, and the workshop is where you’ll find the (Guinness Book of World Record’s) most expensive Easter egg.
Hike up the Troodos Mountains
The Troodos Mountains is renowned for its spectacular scenery that includes forests, hiking trails, nature reserves, churches and the famous Kykkos Monastery. Some resorts offer skiing as a winter time activity.
Best time to visit
Tourists visit Cyprus from April to October
The high tourist season runs from April to October in Cyprus. This is the time when things might seem a little overcrowded and very overpriced. August is the hottest time of the year, with autumn (September and October) being just as hot and humid. Spring is probably the best time to visit Cyprus because the temperature is just right and the natural fauna and flora are thriving.
Did you know?
Cyprus is famous for being the birthplace of the Greek goddess Aphrodite and also being the “Republic of Greece”
- Afelia is a slow cooked pork dish with red wine and coriander
- Kleftiko is a dish of slow cooked lamb with herbs
- Imam bavildi is eggplant stuffed with tomato and onions
- Adana is skewered minced lamb and red peppers
- Dolmades are vine leaves stuffed with meat and/ or rice
- Tava is a baked stew of lamb with herbs, onions and potatoes
- Stifado is a beef casserole cooked with wine, vinegar, onions and spices
- Taking pictures inside most churches and monasteries is forbidden
- The North of Cyprus is the Turkish speaking zone and the South is the Greek zone, that’s all you need to know, so don’t talk about the why’s and when’s of this with the locals
- Cypriots are fast and often dangerous drivers so take the precautionary measures