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11 Awesome Things To See And Do In Cyprus

Things to do in Cyprus - Historic building with ornate facade in Nicosia.

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Did you know that Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea? This sunny paradise has been a hotspot for people for over 10,000 years. That’s a really long time!

Today, Cyprus is a great place for all kinds of travelers. Whether you like old stuff, beaches, yummy food, or outdoor fun, Cyprus has got you covered. Let me share with you all the cool things you can see and do on this amazing island!

First, let’s take a quick look at some of the top activities in Cyprus:

ActivityBest TimeDuration
Soak Up the Sun on Cyprus’ BeachesMay-OctHalf or full day
Step Back in Time at Ancient RuinsYear-round2-4 hours
Explore the Troodos MountainsApr-NovFull day
Taste Cypriot Food and WineYear-roundVaries
Join in Cyprus’ Fun FestivalsAug-Sep, year-roundVaries
Visit Cyprus’ Charming Old VillagesYear-roundHalf or full day
Relax with Special Wellness ExperiencesYear-roundVaries
Have Fun with Ayia Napa’s NightlifeJun-AugEvenings
Explore the Divided Capital of NicosiaSpring/fallFull day
Adventure in Akamas PeninsulaApr-NovFull day
Experience Cyprus’ Natural WondersNov-Mar, year-round2-3 hours
Activities You Can Do in Cyprus

Now, let’s get into the details of all the fun things you can do in Cyprus!

1. Soak Up the Sun on Cyprus’ Beautiful Beaches

Cyprus is a paradise for beach lovers and water enthusiasts. With over 400 miles of coastline, the island offers a wide variety of beaches and coastal activities. From popular sandy shores to hidden coves and from snorkeling in crystal-clear waters to exploring underwater wrecks, Cyprus has something for everyone who loves the sea.

Palm trees by the sea on Cyprus beach create a picturesque beach scene.

Beautiful Beaches of Cyprus

Here’s a quick overview of some of Cyprus’ most popular beaches:

Beach NameLocationBest Known For
Nissi BeachAyia NapaWhite sand, water sports, parties
Lara BayAkamas PeninsulaSea turtles, unspoiled nature
Fig Tree BayProtarasFamily-friendly, clear waters
Coral BayPaphosSoft sand, calm waters
Konnos BayCape GrecoScenic beauty, snorkeling
Popular Beaches in Cyprus

Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa is one of the most famous beaches in Cyprus. Its soft white sand and turquoise waters make it a favorite among tourists. The beach gets its name from the small islet (nissi in Greek) just offshore, which you can walk to when the tide is low.

During the day, Nissi Beach is a hub of activity. You can try various water sports or enjoy the inflatable water park. As the sun sets, the beach transforms into a lively party scene.

For a different experience, visit Lara Bay on the Akamas Peninsula. This protected beach is a nesting site for sea turtles. You might see baby turtles making their way to the sea between June and September.

Underwater Adventures

Cyprus offers fantastic opportunities for diving and snorkeling. The warm, clear waters around the island are home to various marine life, making it great for both beginners and experienced divers.

One of the most famous dive sites is the Zenobia wreck off the coast of Larnaca. This massive ferry sank in 1980 and is now home to diverse marine life. For snorkeling enthusiasts, the Blue Lagoon in the Akamas Peninsula is a paradise with its crystal-clear waters.

Coastal Activities and Water Sports

Cyprus offers a wide range of coastal activities and water sports. Here are some popular options:

  • Jet skiing
  • Parasailing
  • Kayaking
  • Stand-up paddleboarding
  • Banana boat rides
  • Deep-sea fishing trips

These activities are available at many beaches across the island. Always follow safety guidelines and respect the marine environment.

Beach Safety Tips

When enjoying Cyprus’ beaches and coastal activities, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Always swim where there are lifeguards
  • Use sunscreen and stay hydrated
  • Be aware of currents, especially near rocks or cliffs
  • Don’t dive into water if you don’t know how deep it is
  • Respect marine life and don’t touch coral or sea creatures

2. Step Back in Time at Cyprus’ Old Ruins

Did you know that Cyprus has been around for a really long time? People have lived on this island for over 10,000 years! Because of this, Cyprus is a travel destination that has lots of cool old places to see. Let’s take a trip through time and explore some of the most amazing ancient ruins in Cyprus!

Ancient Kourion ruins with columns, a popular archaeological site in Cyprus.

Wander Through the Ancient City of Kourion

Kourion is one of the coolest old places in Cyprus. It’s on a hill looking out at the sea, and people first lived here way back in the 12th century BC. That’s over 3,000 years ago!

When you visit Kourion, you’ll see:

  • Pretty floor mosaics (pictures made of tiny colored stones)
  • A big Roman theater
  • Old Roman houses

One of the most interesting parts is the House of Eustolios. It has floor mosaics that show what life was like a long time ago. You can see pictures of people, animals, and even some of the games they used to play!

In summer, they still use the theater for shows. Imagine watching a concert or a play in the same place where people watched shows 2,000 years ago!

Remember to bring water and sunscreen when you visit Kourion. There’s not much shade, so it can get hot. It’s best to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it’s cooler.

Discover the Tombs of the Kings in Paphos

Not far from Kourion, you can visit a place called the Tombs of the Kings. But don’t be fooled by the name – no kings were actually buried here! It was a burial place for important people who lived in Paphos from about 300 BC to 300 AD.

Here are some cool facts about the Tombs of the Kings:

FactWhat It Means
AgeAbout 2300 years old
Number of tombs8 big tomb areas found so far
UNESCO statusVery important world site since 1980
Tomb styleLooks a bit like old Egyptian tombs
Interesting partSome tombs have an open courtyard
Facts About Tombs of the Kings in Cyprus

The tombs are underground and cut out of rock. Some of them look like houses with pillars and rooms. People think the ancient Cypriots made them look like houses because they thought life after death would be like real life.

You can go down into many of the tombs. It might feel a bit spooky, but it’s also very interesting! As you look around, try to imagine what the tombs looked like when they were new, with painted walls and full of treasures for the afterlife.

Look at the Mosaics in Paphos

In the same area as the Tombs of the Kings, you can find some amazing old floor pictures called mosaics. These aren’t regular pictures – they’re made of tiny colored stones! Even though they’re about 2000 years old, they still look bright and beautiful.

The best place to see these mosaics is in the Paphos Archaeological Park. There are several old Roman houses with mosaics, but the most famous is the House of Dionysos. Here’s what you’ll find there:

  • Big floor pictures: These cover almost all the floors. They show stories from old Greek tales and what life was like a long time ago.
  • The Dionysos picture: This shows a baby god named Dionysos. It has lots of tiny details and colors.
  • Animal pictures: You can see lots of different animals in the mosaics, even some that don’t live in Cyprus anymore, like tigers!
  • Funny patterns: Some of the pictures aren’t of people or animals but just patterns. If you look at them too long, they might make your eyes feel funny!

Near the House of Dionysos, you can also see two other houses with pretty mosaics: the House of Theseus and the House of Aion.

When you walk around these old houses, try to imagine what it was like to live there long ago. The pictures show you what clothes people wore, what animals lived nearby, and even what games people played!

Tips for Visiting Cyprus’ Ancient Sites

Here are some things to remember when you visit these old places:

  • Wear comfy shoes: There’s lots of walking, and the ground can be uneven.
  • Bring water and a hat: It can get really hot, especially in summer.
  • Use sunscreen: There’s not much shade at these sites.
  • Bring a camera: You’ll want to take lots of pictures!
  • Listen to the guides: They can tell you interesting stories about the ruins.

Seeing these old places helps you understand how old and important Cyprus is. People from many different cultures have lived on the island for thousands of years. When you visit these places, it’s like walking through the pages of a history book, but much more exciting!

Remember, these ancient sites are very special and need to be protected. Always follow the rules, don’t climb on the ruins, and don’t take anything home with you (except pictures and memories). This way, people can continue to enjoy these amazing places for many more years to come!

3. Explore and Go Hiking in the Beautiful Troodos Mountains

The Troodos Mountains are like the heart of Cyprus. They run through the middle of the island and offer a cool escape from the hot beaches. These mountains are special because they have beautiful nature and important old churches. Let’s discover what makes the Troodos Mountains so amazing!

Mountain picnic spot with panoramic views in Troodos, Cyprus.

Hiking Adventures in Troodos

The Troodos Mountains are perfect for people who love to walk in nature. There are many trails for all kinds of hikers, from beginners to experts.

One of the most popular hikes is to the Caledonia Waterfalls. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The trail starts in a village called Platres
  • It’s about 3 km (1.9 miles) there and back
  • You walk through a pretty forest next to a small stream
  • The waterfall is 13 meters (about 43 feet) high

When you get to the waterfall, you’ll hear the rushing water and feel the cool mist. It’s very refreshing, especially on a hot day!

For more experienced hikers, climbing Mount Olympus is a big adventure. It’s the highest point in Cyprus at 1,952 meters (about 6,404 feet). On a clear day, you can see the whole island from the top! The hike takes about 4-5 hours round trip.

The Painted Churches of Troodos

The Troodos Mountains are also home to some of Cyprus’ most beautiful and important old churches. In fact, ten of these churches are so special that they’re on the UNESCO World Heritage list!

These churches are called “painted churches” because their walls are covered with colorful paintings called frescoes. These paintings tell stories from the Bible and show what life was like hundreds of years ago.

Here are some of the most famous painted churches:

  • Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis (St. Nicholas of the Roof): This church is near Kakopetria village. Its walls are covered with paintings made between the 11th and 17th centuries. That means some of these paintings are almost 1000 years old!
  • Panagia tou Araka: This church has some of the best-preserved paintings from the 12th century. The colors are still bright and beautiful.
  • Stavros tou Agiasmati: This church is in a forest and has paintings that show how people lived in the 15th century.

Kykkos Monastery: A Troodos Treasure

While not one of the painted churches, Kykkos Monastery is another important place in the Troodos Mountains. It’s the most famous monastery in Cyprus. Here’s why it’s special:

  • It has a very old icon (religious painting) of the Virgin Mary
  • The walls are covered with beautiful frescoes
  • There’s a museum with old religious objects and books
  • It’s where the first president of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III, started his religious career

Even if you’re not religious, Kykkos Monastery is amazing to see. The art and buildings are very beautiful and interesting.

4. Taste Yummy Cypriot Food and Wine

When you visit Cyprus, you’re in for a real treat! The island’s food and drinks are super yummy. Cypriot cuisine is a tasty mix of Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern flavors. Let’s explore the delicious world of Cypriot food and wine!

Woman eating Cyprus food on a sunny day in Cyprus, a popular vacation activity.

Enjoy a Meze Feast

One of the best ways to eat in Cyprus is to try meze. Meze isn’t just one dish – it’s lots of small dishes that you share with your friends and family. It’s like a big, fun food adventure on your table!

Here are some yummy meze dishes you might try:

Dish NameWhat It IsWhat’s In It
HalloumiGrilled cheeseGoat’s and sheep’s milk
KoupepiaStuffed grape leavesRice, meat, herbs
SouvlakiaMeat on sticksPork or chicken
LoukanikoCypriot sausagePork, spices, red wine
TaramosalataFish egg dipFish eggs, olive oil, lemon juice
TzatzikiYogurt dipYogurt, cucumber, garlic
LouviBean dishBlack-eyed peas, chard
Famous Meze Dishes to Try

When you order meze at a taverna (that’s like a traditional restaurant), the waiter keeps bringing dishes until you’re full. It’s a great way to try lots of different Cypriot foods in one meal!

Sip on Cypriot Wines

Did you know that people have been making wine in Cyprus for over 5,000 years? That’s a really long time! Cyprus has special kinds of grapes that make really good wine.

Here are some Cypriot wines that grown-ups might like to try:

  • Commandaria: This is a sweet wine that tastes a bit like honey. It might be the oldest type of wine in the world! A long time ago, a king named Richard the Lionheart called it “the wine of kings and the king of wines.”
  • Xinisteri: This is a white wine that’s light and fresh. It’s good to drink on hot days.
  • Maratheftiko: This is a red wine that only grows in Cyprus. It goes well with meat dishes.
  • Zivania: This isn’t wine, but a strong drink made from grape skins. It’s very popular in Cyprus.

Go Wine Tasting in the Troodos Foothills

One of the best places to try Cypriot wine is in the villages near the Troodos Mountains. The village of Omodos is especially famous for its wineries. You can visit several in one day, try different wines, and learn how they make it.

When you go wine tasting, you can:

  • See how they make wine
  • Learn about different types of grapes
  • Try small amounts of different wines (if you’re a grown-up)
  • Buy some wine to take home as a souvenir

Remember, only grown-ups can taste the wine. But everyone can enjoy the beautiful views of the vineyards and learn about how wine is made!

Try Other Cypriot Specialties

Besides meze and wine, Cyprus has lots of other yummy foods to try. Here are a few more:

  • Sheftalia: A type of sausage made with pork or lamb
  • Kleftiko: Lamb cooked slowly with lots of herbs
  • Koupes: Fried bulgur wheat stuffed with meat and spices
  • Loukoumades: Sweet dough balls covered in honey and cinnamon

Don’t forget to try some strong Cypriot coffee after your meal. It’s served in a small cup and is perfect with a sweet treat like baklava (a pastry with nuts and honey).

Eating and drinking in Cyprus is a big part of Cypriot culture. People love to gather with friends and family, share good food, and talk for hours. So when you’re in Cyprus, take your time, enjoy your food, and eat like a local!

5. Join in Cyprus’ Fun Festivals and Traditions

Cyprus is also a place with lots of fun traditions and festivals. Taking part in these is a great way to really feel like you’re in Cyprus.

Watch a traditional folklore dance performance in Cyprus.

Have Fun at a Cypriot Festival

If you’re lucky, you might be in Cyprus during one of its many festivals. These are big parties where you can see how Cypriots celebrate.

One of the biggest is the Limassol Wine Festival. It happens every year in late August or early September. For about ten days, the city’s parks turn into a big party all about wine. You can:

  • Try wines from different parts of Cyprus
  • Watch traditional music and dance shows
  • Eat lots of local food

Another important celebration is Greek Orthodox Easter, usually in April or May. Even if you’re not religious, it’s really interesting to see. The most exciting part is the midnight church service on Easter Saturday. After that, there are fireworks and lots of food!

Learn Old Crafts in Lefkara Village

To see what life is like in a traditional Cypriot village, go to Lefkara. It’s a pretty village famous for its handmade lace and silver things.

In Lefkara, you can:

  • Watch local women make beautiful lace designs
  • Visit workshops to see how they make silver jewelry
  • Try making lace or silver things yourself
  • Walk through narrow streets with old stone houses
  • Buy unique souvenirs to take home

There’s a story that Leonardo da Vinci (a famous artist) came to Lefkara in the 15th century and bought some lace for a big church in Italy!

6. Visit Cyprus’ Charming Old Villages

The beach towns in Cyprus are fun, but the island’s real heart is in its old villages. These pretty little towns show you what real Cypriot life is like.

Stroll through the cobblestone streets of Omodos Village in Cyprus.

Walk Around Omodos

Omodos is in the Troodos Mountains. Many people think it’s one of the prettiest villages in Cyprus. It has narrow streets made of cobblestones and old houses made of stone.

In the middle of Omodos is the Timios Stavros Monastery. Inside, there’s a piece of the rope that was used to tie Jesus to the cross. Even if you’re not religious, the monastery is really interesting to see.

Omodos is also famous for making wine. You can visit local wineries to taste some of Cyprus’ best wines. Don’t forget to try Zivania, a strong drink made from grape skins!

See Rural Life in Kakopetria

Kakopetria is another pretty village in the Troodos Mountains. Its name means “evil stone” in Greek. There’s an old story about a big rock that fell on a newly married couple!

Despite its scary name, Kakopetria is a lovely place to visit. The old part of the village has houses that have been fixed up. Now people can stay in them when they visit.

Make sure to try the local food in Kakopetria. They’re famous for:

  • Loukoumades (honey doughnuts)
  • Walnut preserve (a sweet treat made from walnuts)

7. Relax with Special Wellness Experiences

After all that exploring, you might want to relax. Cyprus has some special ways to help you feel refreshed and happy.

Swim in the emerald green waters of Adonis Baths Waterfalls in Cyprus.

Swim in the Adonis Baths

Near Paphos, there’s a pretty natural pool and waterfall called the Adonis Baths. There’s an old story that says Aphrodite (the goddess of love) and her boyfriend Adonis used to bathe here.

People say the water here can heal you. Many visitors like to take a cool dip. You can also go for a short walk or have a picnic nearby.

Try Thalassotherapy

Thalassotherapy uses seawater and things from the sea to make you feel better. It’s popular in Cyprus. Many fancy hotels offer thalassotherapy treatments, which can include:

  • Wraps made from seaweed
  • Scrubs made from salt
  • Special baths

The Anassa Hotel near Polis is famous for its thalassotherapy spa. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, you can pay to use the spa for a day.

8. Have Fun with Ayia Napa’s Nightlife

We can’t talk about things to do in Cyprus without mentioning Ayia Napa. It’s famous for its parties, but there’s more to do here than just go to clubs.

Explore the vibrant streets of Nissi Avenue in Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

Dance All Night on Nissi Avenue

Nissi Avenue is the main street in Ayia Napa. It’s full of bars, clubs, and restaurants. In summer (June to August), it’s really busy at night. There’s music, lights, and people from all over the world having fun.

Some popular clubs are:

  • Castle Club, which looks like an old castle
  • Soho Club, known for its foam parties

Remember, people in Ayia Napa start partying late and keep going until early in the morning!

Have a Quiet Evening at the Harbor

If you don’t like loud parties, you can still enjoy Ayia Napa. The harbor is a quieter place to spend the evening. You can:

  • Watch the sunset
  • Eat at a nice seafood restaurant
  • Take a walk along the water

It’s a great way to see a different side of Ayia Napa.

9. Explore Nicosia: Cyprus’ Unique Divided Capital

There are many things to do in Nicosia, also called Lefkosia by locals. It’s the last divided capital in the world, split between the Republic of Cyprus and Northern Cyprus. This makes it a fascinating place to visit in Cyprus!

Things to do in Cyprus - Admire the cityscape view of Nicosia.

Cross the Green Line and See Two Worlds

The Green Line is the border that cuts through Nicosia. It’s been there since 1974 when Turkey invaded Cyprus. You can cross this line at checkpoints like Ledra Palace or Ledra Street. Don’t forget your passport!

When you walk across, it feels like you’re stepping into a different country. The buildings, the language, and the feel of the place all change. It’s a powerful way to see how Cyprus’ complicated history has shaped the island.

Discover Ancient Treasures at the Cyprus Museum

After crossing the Green Line, why not visit the Cyprus Museum? It’s the biggest archaeology museum in Cyprus and it’s full of cool old stuff.

Here, you’ll see things from the Stone Age, like old tools and pots. There’s also jewelry and weapons from the Bronze Age, statues from Roman times, and religious items from the Byzantine period.

The star of the show is a famous statue of Aphrodite from a place called Soli. It’s really beautiful and shows how skilled ancient artists were.

10. Adventure in the Wild Akamas Peninsula

If you love nature and want to see the wilder side of Cyprus, the Akamas Peninsula is the place to go. It’s an area that hasn’t been changed much by people, so it’s great for outdoor adventures.

Discover the turquoise waters of Akamas Peninsula, a must-visit spot in Cyprus.

Bump Along on a Jeep Safari

One of the most fun ways to see Akamas is on a jeep safari. You get to ride in a big, tough car that can handle bumpy roads. This means you can reach beautiful beaches and viewpoints that regular cars can’t get to.

Local guides often lead these trips. They know all sorts of interesting facts about the plants, animals, and history of the area. Some tours even let you taste local wine or learn how to make traditional Cypriot coffee. It’s a great way to see and do lots of different things in one day!

Hike Through the Amazing Avakas Gorge

For a real nature adventure, try hiking the Avakas Gorge. It’s a big crack in the rocks that goes on for about 2.5 kilometers (that’s about 1.5 miles). The walls of the gorge can be up to 30 meters high – that’s taller than a 7-story building!

As you walk through, you’ll see all sorts of plants growing in the rocks. Some of these are rare and only grow in this area. You might also spot some wildlife. Remember to wear good shoes because you’ll need to climb over some rocks. It can be a bit tricky, but the amazing views make it worth it!

11. Experience Cyprus’ Amazing Natural Wonders

Cyprus isn’t just about old buildings and beaches. It also has some incredible natural sights that will take your breath away!

See flamingos at Larnaca Salt Lake, a popular attraction in Cyprus.

Watch Flamingos at Larnaca Salt Lake

Did you know that flamingos visit Cyprus? In winter, thousands of these pretty pink birds come to Larnaca Salt Lake. It’s an amazing sight to see.

The best time to see the flamingos is from November to March. If you can, bring binoculars so you can get a closer look at the birds. Even without binoculars, you’ll be able to see the lake turn pink as thousands of flamingos feed and rest there.

While you’re in the area, you should also visit the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque. It’s right next to the lake and it’s one of the most important Muslim sites in Cyprus. The mosque is beautiful, with a dome and a tall minaret (that’s the tower where they call people to prayer).

Meet the Mouflon: Cyprus’ Wild Sheep

Cyprus has its own kind of wild sheep called the mouflon. These animals are shy and hard to spot in the wild, but there are a couple of places where you can see them up close.

One place is Stavros tis Psokas, a forest station in the Paphos Forest. There’s a fenced area here where mouflon live. Another good spot is the Cyprus Mouflon Enclosure near the village of Agros.

Mouflon are beautiful animals. The males have big, curly horns and both males and females have reddish-brown fur with white patches. Seeing these native animals is a special experience that you can only have in Cyprus!

What Is the Nicest Part of Cyprus to Visit?

The nicest part of Cyprus to visit is Paphos. This coastal city boasts ancient ruins, beautiful beaches, and a lively harbor area. Explore the Paphos Archaeological Park, relax at Coral Bay, and enjoy the vibrant local culture. Paphos combines history, relaxation, and scenic beauty.

Where Do Most People Go in Cyprus?

Most visitors to Cyprus head to the southern coast, especially Limassol, Paphos, and Ayia Napa. Limassol is known for its beaches and marina, Paphos for its ancient ruins and Ayia Napa for its nightlife and Nissi Beach​.

How Safe Is Cyprus for Tourists?

Cyprus is generally safe for tourists, with low crime rates and rare violent crime. Petty crimes like pickpocketing can occur, so stay vigilant. The political division between Greek and Turkish Cypriots doesn’t significantly impact tourists but avoid the UN buffer zone except at designated crossings. The island also has excellent healthcare and modern infrastructure.

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