Come for the coastline and three millennia of history — but head to the interior to find the island’s soul
Located in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is an island covered in olive trees, figs, and carob trees; miles of beaches; and unspoiled views around every corner. The island has long been a honeypot for holidaymakers lured by the irresistible promise of sea, sand, and sun all year round. The mythological birthplace of Aphrodite is rich with history and Roman ruins, has lots of UNESCO World Heritage monuments and vibrant nightlife. Only a few miles away from the coastline, the Cyprus countryside is a diverse pattern of traditional villages, rustic vineyards and wineries, fresco-painted churches and lush forests teeming with native flora and fauna. This is the Cyprus of imagination, engendered by the warmth and welcome of a people.
From glittering, sun-kissed coasts and rolling mountains, to fragrant forests and rugged headlands, this Mediterranean island is ideal for any adventure
Map out a walk in Avakas gorge in the west which is not only stunning but also home to several rare wildlife species including wild goats and donkeys. On the other hand, is the Troodos Mountains, an easy escape into the cool heart of the island. The Greek poet George Seferis said of the high village of Platres that 'you cannot sleep for the songsmith nightingales'. But in fact, the tranquillity on the southern slopes was total - and you will slept like a hibernating bear.
Agrotourism is for those who want to experience the Cyprus countryside, the culture, and the traditional side of the island
Since 1996, government subsidies and incentives have allowed native villagers to renovate their old houses, (dating back between 100 to 300 years old) and convert them into traditional lodgings for visitors around the globe. Agrotourism also allows tourists to experience the heart of Cyprus, to meet the locals, learn from their stories and enjoy authentic food at local taverns.
Oenophiles will love the variety of these interesting wineries
Explore the mountainous side of Cyprus and plan your wine trip around awarded wineries. Don’t forget to try Commandaria, the famous dessert wine made from over-ripened Xinisteri grapes and red Mavro, picked and left to shrivel and sweeten in the sun before being crushed. Richard the Lionheart served it at his wedding and is said to have declared it the 'wine of kings and the king of wines'. It is officially the oldest named wine in the world. You can try it in one of the fourteen villages that produce it in Limassol.
The blissful climate makes Cyprus the perfect autumn beach destination
The island has some of the finest beaches in Mediterranean, with the tree-lined, turquoise-watered Akamas in the northwest. Those in the north of the island, like Pissouri between Limassol and Paphos, with its crystal-clear sea and rickety wooden taverna, is like stepping into a little slice of paradise. Don’t forget to dive in Protaras or Ayia Napa with the endless blue seas.
Explore the island's countryside for an unforgettable cycling experience
Cyprus is host to sportspeople and teams of all genres. Sunny, with a hint of mild weather and just a dash of rainfall, cyclists, runners, footballers and golfers come from all over the world to take advantage of a training ground open year-round.
Check out a roster of places considered to be of outstanding value to humanity
Immerse yourself in the history of Cyprus through the numerous routes dedicated to exploring the culture of the island. Follow in the footsteps of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Beauty and Love who is said to have been born from the seas of Pafos itself. This island it's the perfect cultural pairing.
Food is so inseparable from experience and place
All the swimming and lounging and napping will make you hungry, and Cyprus shines with its mix of rustic, simple, and hearty cuisine. Many tavernas are set in restored traditional stone houses and serve up seafood caught that very day and hip lively restaurants with an urban touch serve inspired Mediterranean dishes and recipes from all around the world.
One of the most important and impressive archaeological sites in Cyprus
This magnificent Greco-Roman amphitheatre is fully restored and one of the most famous landmarks of Cyprus. Dating back to the second century BC and extended in the 2nd century AD, it can seat up to 3,500 spectators. Romantically situated across a coastal cliff with tumbling views of the countryside and Mediterranean below, Kourion is a magical place. Also, see House of Eustolios, which holds a clutch of fine, well-preserved mosaics. For those with more time up their sleeves, the large Byzantine basilica area is wonderfully picturesque with its tumbled columns and scraps of mosaic floor. Musical and theatrical events are regularly held here.
The ideal spot for hikers and adventurous swimmers
Even along Cyprus' buzzing south coast there are regions where you can escape the crowds. Cape Greco is an impossibly pretty coastal national park with a variety of walking trails that start just east of Ayia Napa. There is a wonderful variety of local flora here, particularly many of Cyprus' endemic wild orchids that bloom in early spring but the real highlight is the absolutely gorgeous coastal scenery with azure blue sea beyond.
Unspoilt Cypriot naturalness
The mountainous village of Lefkara is split into Pano Lefkara and Kato Lefkara (higher and lower Lefkara), and is world-renowned for its traditional handicrafts of lace embroidery and filigree silver. The crafts of lace and silver have been practiced in the village since Venetian times, and visitors can learn all about them, and watch the lace and silver being made at the Lefkara Handicraft Centre, the Museum of Traditional Embroidery and Silversmithing, and various workshops. Legend has it that the famous painter, Leonardo da Vinci himself visited the village in 1481 and bought a lace altar cloth, which he donated to Milan cathedral. The character of the village is very picturesque with its narrow, winding streets and traditional architecture of old, terracotta-roofed houses.
One of the best-known monasteries on the island
Take a trip to the Troodos mountains in the centre of the island to see some impressive Byzantine monasteries and churches forming a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kykkos Monastery is one of the best of Cyprus tourist attractions, with colourful, ornate murals. The original monastery was established in the 11th century but devastated by fires, with the current building dating from 1831. You’ll be lent purple robes for your visit to the monastery and museum.
A reminder of Cyprus’s crusading history
This tiny but perfectly formed castle just outside of Limassol is an old Crusader stronghold and a reminder of Cyprus' importance for the Europeans during the Holy Land Crusades. First held by the Knights of St. John, the castle was used as a commandery for the area, with an excellent location looking out over the coastline.
Spend a perfect day surrounded by the magical sounds and colours of nature
Visit the Pafos Zoo for an enriching wildlife experience! Meet birds and animals from all over the world in this lush and unspoiled natural environment. What is now one of Cyprus’ top tourist attractions, used to be the owner’s home for his extensive bird collection. Now, you’ll find monkeys, kangaroos, albino wallabies, white lions, giraffes, mouflon, tigers and more! Enjoy interacting with the animals while surrounded by the captivating gardens, lakes, and ponds.