The easy on the eye eastern Mediterranean island is most famous for its rich archaeological sites, its sun-drenched beaches, mosaic-adorned villas and for being the birthplace of Aphrodite – the ancient Greek goddess of beauty. Separated into a Greek south and Turkish north, its an intriguingly beautiful place with many areas of unspoiled natural beauty if you know where to look. Here are 10 of the most beautiful places to visit in Cyprus…
Blue Lagoon Akamas – one of Cyprus’s most beautiful highlights
If you intend on finding a beautiful place in Cyprus, but prefer to stay out of the tourist areas, Blue Lagoon Akamas is the place to do it. Arriving at this remote and breathtaking area is not as easy as one might think. The easiest way to see the pristine blue waters of Blue Lagoon Akamas is by boat. Should you decide to arrive via road, you will have to rent or own a 4-wheel drive vehicle. The road to the lagoon is long and treacherous, so always use extreme caution, but once you arrive, you will enjoy a variety of water activities including snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of this remarkably beautiful out of the way place in Cyprus.
The Blue Lagoon in Cyprus captured on film…
Nissi Beach – a popular beach with a blue flag designation
If you intend on going to Nissi Beach, be prepared to see a lot of other beachgoers. It is among the most popular beaches in Cyprus, but that does not mean it is not beautiful. Nissi Beach is easily accessible and always has something to do. From foam parties and nightly entertainment, you will always find something to enjoy at Nissi Beach. When the tide is right, there is even a small island that appears where visitors can walk out and get a unique look at the Nissi shore. Water sports, boat rentals, bars, and small cafes make this location the place to be at any time of the year. Remember to bring a few euros for the umbrella and sunbed rentals, you will be thankful to have them during the height of the busy season.
Ayia Napa and Protaras/Fig Tree Beach – golden beach in a popular resort area
Cyprus is famous for its beaches and rightly so. Some of the best beaches are found in the Eastern part of the country, near the holiday resorts of Ayia Napa and Protaras. Ayia Napa is particularly popular amongst clubbers and party animals alike. The resort town of Protaras, just 10km away from Ayia Napa, is quieter and caters more towards families and locals. Both have stunning beaches with crystal clear waters and golden sand.
Caledonia Falls – one of the highest waterfalls in Cyprus
If you are not a fan of the sea, then you might want to visit some of the country’s mountain resorts. Cyprus is not particularly famous as a ski destination as the country only gets small amounts of snow, if any at all, during the winter months.
The mountains, however, provide a great opportunity to go hiking and escape the heat. Caledonia falls is the country’s most famous waterfall. It is located in the middle of the Caledonia nature trail, which runs along the ‘Kryos Potamos’ river. The trail joins the village of Platres with Troodos Square. If you start the trail at Troodos Square, you will be walking downhill amongst some beautiful scenery and the sweet sound of birds and running water. You can then visit the Mountain resort of Platres, which provides several options for dining and relaxation.
Cape Greco – a stunning natural reserve which offers some amazing views
Cape Greco is considered one of the country’s most beautiful areas. This is an area of sea caves with crystal clear waters to swim in. There is a small, white chapel built on the edge of the cliff, which is a great place to practice your photography skills. For those looking to get married, it is worth noting that this is also a very popular marriage location.
Konnos Beach – considered to be one of the most scenic beaches on Cyprus
This beach deserves to be on this list. In fact, many Cypriots consider it as the most beautiful beach in the country. Personally, though, I have a love-hate relationship with it. Due to its reputation, tens of people flock there during the summer months. The beach becomes overcrowded, it is nearly impossible to find a place to lay one’s colourful and stylish beach towel, let alone find an umbrella. I’d recommend you visit this beach on a weekday. That way you can enjoy it without having to push your way into the water.
Nicosia City and The Green Line – a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city with many beautiful landmarks
The capital city of Nicosia often referred to as the ‘Last Divided Capital city of Europe’. This is because the northern part of the city, along with the northern part of the island, is under military occupation by Turkey. Visitors can walk up to the UN Buffer zone, known as the ‘Green Line’ which runs through the city and divides the island. It is possible to cross over to the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ (unrecognized by any Nation except for Turkey) for those who wish to do so.
Makronissos Beach – a family-friendly beach with fine sand and clear waters
Beach activities in Cyprus abound, but not all areas are created the same. Beaches can be crowded, dirty, and even inconvenient, but that is not what you will find at Makronissos Beach. This area of Cyprus is a family-friendly, clean, accessible beach location. Its crystal clear waters invite you and your friends and family to enjoy a dip or snorkel while looking at local marine life. Visitors to Makronissos Beach enjoy free public parking along with a variety of snack and food items along the coast. If your family wants to find their ideal place to relax and enjoy life together Makronissos Beach is the place to do it.
Aphrodite’s Rock – a place that combines beauty and mythology
No visit to Cyprus is complete without a visit to Aphrodite’s Rock. This is a rock formation off the western coast of the island, near the city of Paphos. This is a must-see sight and a nice place for a swim. There are ample parking spaces and a no-frills café nearby whilst the site is well signposted. There is a direct bus from Paphos’ harbour to the Rock and it is worth combining it with a visit to the city of Paphos.
Paphos – a popular known for its harbor, the ancient ruins of tombs and fortresses
Paphos is the smallest city in Cyprus. Situated on the South West coast of the island, it is also one of the most picturesque places on the island. The old town and harbour area are ideal for a romantic stroll during sunset. The tombs of the Kings, a UNESCO world heritage site, are only 2 miles away from Paphos.
Akamas Peninsula National Park – a unique natural reserve great for hiking, cycling and bird-watching
Akamas is an area in the Northwest extremity of Cyprus. The park supports a range of animals and plants, a lot of them endemic to Cyprus. It is one of the few untouched areas of the country and a must-see for those looking for more than just a ‘sun-sea-beach’ holiday.
Kalopanayiotis – a village home to cobbled streets, chapels and churches
Your visit to Cyprus will truly impress you and bring you to some amazing villages, but if you neglect to visit the village of Kalopanayiotis, you are missing out on a golden opportunity to see one of the most beautiful villages in the area. 45 traditional homes have been lovingly updated to accommodate modern needs, but still maintain their original charm. Along with their spectacular accommodations, the area maintains 2 natural springs frequented by locals and visitors alike.
Limassol – a lovely coastal town known for its sandy beaches and palm-coated surroundings
The seaside town of Limassol is not known for its beaches. Its residents will argue to the nail that their city ‘s beaches are equivalent to the beaches of the rest of the island. They are not. What makes Limassol though a fine holiday destination is that it’s a city. Hence, Limassol boasts a great range of entertainment, dining and sightseeing options unparalleled to anything available in holiday resorts. The city also hosts the country’s largest Carnival parade every spring with thousands of people attending.
Polemidia National Forest Park – great views of the city and a large spread of rich plantation of pine, cypress, eucalyptus, olive and carob trees
Natural beauty can be found throughout Cyprus, but if you want to truly be engulfed with the wonders of the natural world, Polemidia National Forest Park is the place to do it. This park is full of nature trails and photo ops around every turn. Kids can enjoy the children’s playground area while the adults enjoy time with the family at one of the many picnic areas throughout the park. Polemidia National Forest Park also has plenty of sports opportunities and even a museum of natural history on site. For an afternoon of fun with the family or an outdoor adventure with a few friends, Polemidia National Forest Park is the place to do it all.
Coral Bay – a popular beach with soft sands, rocky headlands and sea caves
A visit to Cyprus would not be complete without a trip to Coral Bay. Coral Bay is an excellent beach location with sandy shores and droves of tourists, but even during the high season, this beach maintains an uncrowded landscape. Visitors can easily access Coral Bay via car or public transportation and it is a hot spot for families with young kids as the bay’s location allows for some waves, but the current remains remarkably calm compared to other beach areas.
Cape Greko National Forest Park – a national park featuring numerous trails, cliffs and sea views
Few places hold as much alure as Cape Greko National Forest Park. If the beauty of the ample coastline were not enough to draw you in, the mythical history might just entice you to visit this spectacularly beautiful location. According to Greek Mythology, Aphrodite was born at Cape Greko National Park. The location still holds much allure to visitors with the church of Agoi Anargyroi. From this church, steps lead visitors down to an area known as Where Holy Water Runs. Other paths lead visitors to Cyclops cave and picnic areas to relax and enjoy the illustrious scenery.
Agios Ioannis Lampadistis Monastery – an incredible complex of three churches
Historic locations are always fun to visit when on holiday and finding the oldest places is an enjoyable experience, but at UNESCO Heritage Agios Ionnis Lampadistis Monastery, the actual date of its founding is unknown. Certain paintings in the monastery date back to the 11th century but scholars debate as to the exact inception of the site itself. However, visitors will be pleased to enjoy the myriad of photo opportunities and sheer beauty of this monastery.
Omodos – a pretty village in a wine-making region
Natural beauty abounds on Omodos. Throughout history, Omodos has had a varied population largely maintaining fewer than 1000 people. Currently, Omodos is home to just over 300 people, so you are likely to enjoy the small-town feel of the location. While strolling its winding streets and countryside, you will be presented with traditional crafts people and fruit trees such as apple, apricot, pear, and peach. Bring your camera and take your time exploring this unique and beautiful area of Cyprus.
Lara Bay – a near-deserted sandy strip that is home to turtles
Getting away from the high crowded areas of Cyprus is enjoyable and nowhere is it more enjoyable than Lara Bay. This area is a horseshoe-shaped bay that provides pristine coastal views and wildlife you cannot view anywhere else in the world. Wild goats and birds have found their paradise on Lara Bay, but uniquely, it is the breeding ground for green turtles, so be sure to watch where you choose to relax on
this beach. Due to its remote location and virtually deserted nature, it is recommended that you bring your own shade, food, and drink. With a little preparation and an adequate 4 wheel drive vehicle, you can enjoy a day at Lara Bay in Cyprus.
A meze dinner – anywhere in Cyprus
Admittedly, this is not a ‘place to see’ per se. Yet, food is such a big part of Cypriot culture that I couldn’t possibly leave it off this list. Cypriots love to eat. The country has its own cuisine combining elements of Greek, Turkish and Arab cuisines. The best way to sample Cypriot cuisine is to visit a Taverna; a restaurant serving local food and order ‘’Mezedes’’. Mezedes is a type of meal consisting of several small plates. Go with an empty stomach and leave the rest of your day free for eating and digesting.