Cyprus may have been experiencing some bad press in the recent financial year, however it still remains a popular destination for tourists. Abundant with white beaches, crystal clear waters and beautiful rock formations, Cyprus is best visited in the summer when temperatures can reach a scorching 36 degrees and the blue skies guarantees no rainfall- but if you prefer cooler weather visit in the spring.
Getting to Cyprus is fairly simple; you can get direct flights to Paphos or Larnaca (South Coast) or to the capital Nicosia (mid North), avoid summer months for cheaper prices. Exploring the island by car is the easiest mode of transport due to the clear roads and beautiful views particularly through the Troodos Mountains. If you decide to hire a car rather than taxi it, you will need an International Driving Permit. Buses run frequently through the urban and rural areas and cycling is strongly encouraged. Make sure to pack lots of sun cream, lightweight clothes and plenty of cash; even though the country’s financial situation has improved since Easter there are some leftover withdrawal restrictions.
Sights & Activities
Depending on where you are staying in Cyprus, there are many activities to keep you occupied. From stunning beaches, museums full of Cypriot history, water sports and beautiful gardens there really is something for everyone. If you are looking to beach it- visit Nissi Beach. This is perhaps the most famous beach in the whole of Cyprus, situated in Ayia Napa it is popular with tourists and has plenty of water sports available such as windsurfing, pedal boating and even bungee jumping.
If you’re travelling with children then make sure you visit Ostrich Wonderland Theme Park in Nicosia. It is the largest Ostrich park in the whole of Europe and provides a day of cute, fluffy entertainment for the kids.
If you are anywhere near Limassol, visit Kolossi Castle. Built in the middle ages, this castle was used to help the export of sugar which was one of Cyprus’ money makers at the time.
Visit Paphos’ main tourist site- The Tomb of the Kings. The site showcases excavated tombs cut into the side of the cliff that were used to bury wealthy figures dating back to BCE. Carved completely out of rock, the tombs remains are well preserved and fees are a mere 4 euro.
Also in Paphos, the Byzantine Art Museum is a beautiful representation of Cypriot artefacts from jewellery, cloth and wood carvings ranging from the 5th century to the 19th. Entrance is only 2 euro.
Another museum which should be viewed is the Cyrus Museum. This museum holds the best archaeological finds from Cyprus- full of statues of ancient gods, warriors, mosaics and utensils made out of precious metals.
Food in Cyprus is Greek or Turkish, depending on what area you are dining in. Mediterranean food is full of fresh fish and meats and delicious vegetable medleys. Popular traditional dishes include Koupepia (mince and rice in leaves), Halloumi cheese, Tzatsiki and Moussaka (meat pasta with aubergine). In Paphos try Melana or Almond Tree, in Nicosia Mytilinios Fish Tavern and Kontosouvli are highly praised and in Larnaca visit Abu Dany or Vlachos Tavern are great value. For more information on dining in Cyprus check out lowcostholidays.
It’s definitely worth checking out reviews before you book your trip. If you have an endless budget then there are hundreds of high-class hotels around charging between £150-£300 per night, stay at the Four Seasons, Columbia Beach Hotel or Almyra for luxury suits, spas and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. If you are looking to spend a little less Cyprus Villages and Kapetanios Odyssia charge less than £100 a night.
One of the best areas to visit for nightlife is by far, Aiya Napa. The Square is a popular destination with party-goers looking for the hippest clubs and happening bars. Visit Aqua, Starskys and Club Ice for a mixture of chart and cheese. The east coast tends to be where the young ones go, including Larnaca- visit Deep for RnB or Caramel Disco for European hits.