Cyprus is a very small in size, but there is plenty to see and do in this island country on the Mediterranean. Cyprus has a diverse landscape. The island has long stretches of sunny beaches, secluded coves and bays, sailing and fishing adventures, and a rich history. Go inland, and you will find dense forests and the Troodos Mountains. There is the Akrotiri Salt Lake on the southern side, the Eastern Mediterranean’s most important wetlands. There are 52 walking trails and cycling routes.
Visit Cyprus for its historical attractions, seafood, nightlife, water sports, or just spend a few relaxing days in this Mediterranean paradise.
Here are the top Places to Visit in Cyprus
Kourion is an old city-state located in the southwestern end of the island. It goes back hundreds of years when the Greeks arrived from Argos and settled here. It is a vast site full of many archeological remains. See the Hellenistic and the late Cypro-Classical remains, aqueducts, ancient theater, house of the gladiators, the forum, baths, and the amphitheater. Look out for the wonderful mosaic flooring and tumbled flooring at many sites. You can easily spend half a day or more at ancient Kourion. You can also spend some time at the beautiful beach nearby.
2. Hilarion Castle
Ruins of a castle close to Nicosia. It is an old crusader bastion with many myths and legends. It is believed that a fairy queen who lived with shepherds built this castle. A rocky path leads to the top, from where you will get a stunning view of the sea and the island. It is very popular with hikers and photographers. Visit St. Hilarion if you have time to see only one castle.
A port city in the south, Larnaca is a wonderful choice for a laid-back holiday in Cyprus. It has the wonderful Finikoudes Beach with a palm-lined seaside promenade, a crumbling Turkish quarter, the ornate St. Lazarus church, and buzzing bars lining the waterfront. There is even the shipwreck of MS Zenobia for diving enthusiasts. It is now a modern city, but has managed to maintain its old-world charm and local soul.
4. Aphrodite’s Rock
he Rock, a famous landmark of this island-country, is close to the city of Paphos. The myth of the Greek goddess of beauty and love attracts many visitors here. Spend a summer afternoon here. Visitors enjoy swimming in the cool waters, with some of them even hoping to regain their youth. In any case, you will enjoy the natural beauty. Also visit the nearby Aphrodite Hills and the golf course here, and also the Tombs of the Kings, a famous historical landmark.
Stay in a private villa for rent in Cyprus. There are many luxury villas in the cities of Protaras and Proteras, in the buzzing south of the island, and close to major tourist attractions. A villa vacation can be the best way to enjoy the island. A villa offers complete privacy and safety. Choose from a clifftop retreat, beachside location, or stay in a picturesque village.
5. Tombs of the Kings
This UNESCO World Heritage site in only 2 kilometers north of Paphos. This underground monument was carved from solid rock and used to the burial ground of the high officials. It goes back to the 4th century BC. Admire how the ancient workers carved the hills to create the tombs and the beauty of the wide columns. You will get beautiful views from the top. There are snack and souvenir shops.
6. Avakas Gorge
Drive north from the Tombs of the Kings and you will reach the Avakas Gorge in only a few minutes. See some of the island’s most stunning landscapes here. A river used to flow through the gorge once. It has created spectacular limestone formations. There is a 2.5 kilometer trail that takes you deep into the crevices. In some places the canyon becomes very narrow. Hikers will see wild buckthorn bushes, juniper trees, and the rare centaurea akamantis flower, which grows only in Cyprus. Wear good shoes and carry enough water.
7. Mount Olympus
The island’s highest point, Mount Olympus, stands at 6,404 feet or 1,950 meters. It is close to the Paphos Forest. Olympus looks over huge rugged lands and the sea at a distance. Hike up to the top for a stunning panoramic view. But be careful as there can be snakes in the summer. There is mountain skiing in the winter.
8. Cape Greco
Cape Greco is the south-eastern most point of Cyprus. It ends at a rocky headland with a picturesque lagoon. The south of the island is buzzing. But you will still find serene places here to relax and appreciate the beauty of nature. The National Forest Park has many walking trails where you can spot many endemic wild orchids, especially if you are visiting in early spring. Most of the trails have many viewpoints of the coastal scenery. Nearby is The Blue Lagoon, a stunning rocky beachside location with a turquoise lagoon. There is a lighthouse too close to the rocky headland.
9. Troodos Villages
The Troodos Mountains where Mount Olympus is located, also has several pretty villages where you can see cobblestone alleys and stone-cut traditional houses. You can also see some of the most amazing monasteries and churches here with beautiful wall paintings and frescos that go back to the medieval times. Nine of these churches are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Church of Archangelos Michail in the village of Pedoulas is the most beautiful. There are pottery centers and many taverns. Hike up to the Caledonia Waterfall, which is inside a thick forest.
10. Larnaca Salt Lake
Close to the city of Larnaca and Cape Greco. There are four salt lakes here that are home to many migrating birds, including flamingos in the winter. The water evaporates in the summer, leaving salt crusts. The salt used to be harvested and exported once. Larnaca has a small harbor. You can take a sail boat from here. The Finikoudes Beach in the city center has a palm-lined seaside promenade.
Almost 4 million tourists visited Cyprus in 2019. This Mediterranean island country is offering a strong competition to Greece.