25 Best Places to Visit in Cyprus
Cyprus is at the crossroads between Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa, and is easily accessible in the eastern Mediterranean from any of these three regions. The island nation is known for its beautiful beaches, regional wines, rugged mountainous interior, and the coastal city of Paphos - archaeological sites related to Aphrodite. Photo: kirill_makarov/Fotolia
Agios Georgios is an archaeological site near the village of Pegeia. This 6th-century Christian settlement was partially unearthed in the 1950s with the discovery of three basilicas and a bath. In the 1990s, further excavations brought forth an unwalled settlement, possibly a port city along a transportation path from Egypt to Constantinople. Settlement discoveries include Basilica A with a baptistery and a smaller basilica, Basilica B, as well as the remains of Basilica C, a sacristy, guest house, courtyard, well, and oil press. Agios Georgios is a famous destination for pilgrimage in this region, and is situated between the basilica sites and the necropolis (graveyard). The entrance fee is nominal.
Address: Pegeia Village, 11km North of Paphos, Cyprus, Phone: +357-26-812-301 Photo: efesenko/Fotolia
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Agros Village was built at an elevation of 1,100 meters in the Troodos mountains. The village has a distinctive amphitheater-style shape and grew up around the Monastery of Great Agros, built by 40 monks who were fleeing Asia Minor. The monastery was destroyed by a fire in 1894, and the Church of Panayia of Agros was built in its place. The scenic mountainous area offers panoramic forested views and an opportunity for traditional agrotourism. Villagers grow fruits, vegetables, and roses; they make homemade marmalades, distill rose oil, and produce cured meats. A small monument to Nearhos Clerides, a local scholar who left a legacy of folklore and literature, may be of some interest.
Address: 4872 Agros Village, Limassol, Cyprus, Phone: +357-25-521-961 Photo: kirill makarov/Fotolia
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Ayia Napa is consistently ranked among the best beaches in the world. Visitors will find no fewer than a dozen sandy beaches here, many of which have earned Blue Flag status for their facilities and cleanliness. Nissi Beach is 3 km of golden sand and is hugely popular with tourists, Sandy Bay is protected from the wind and is a great place for swimming with small children, and Pantahou is a popular fishing harbor. Many beaches offer a plethora of water sports, including sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, paragliding, boating, and jet skiing. Fishing and diving excursions as well as boating daytrips are also available. Landlubbers will enjoy horseback riding, hiking, and jeep safaris into the island's interior.
Address: Yuri Gagarin, Shop 3, Ayia Napa, Cyprus, Phone: +357-70-009-797 Photo: abayuka10/Fotolia
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Deryneia Village is a small town in the Famagusta district known for being the likely arrival point of settlers following the Trojan War. One of the region's “red soil” villages, it is the island's primary strawberry producer. Lucky visitors may be able to join in the biennial Strawberry Festival, where they'll get complimentary fresh strawberry products like ice-cream, jam, and juice. Among the other points of interest in Deryneia is the open-air Museum of Traditional Crafts, which displays tools of traditional tradesmen like shoemaker, blacksmith, fisherman, farmer, carpenter, and others. Across the street is the Folk Art Museum, displaying tools and implements used by farming families.
Address: Leoforos Lemesou 19, Nicosia, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-691-100 Photo: Deryneia
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Episkopi is a must-see destination for outdoorsy travelers. The biodiverse area includes everything from the Episkopi cliffs, where peregrine falcons nest, to the wetlands of the lower Ezousa river valley with its black francolins - the only place in Europe where they live. There are also colorful bee-eaters and black-headed buntings, red fox, and Cyprus chameleons, among many others. Visitors will find walking trails, botanical gardens, old churches, stone channels and water mills, dense vineyards, and orchards, which all contribute to the area's serene and natural ambiance. Saint Hilarion the Great was a significant local religious figure, whose hermit cell can be visited together with the church built in his honor.
Address: Episkopi Village, 11km northeast of Paphos, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-691-100 Photo: Leonid Andronov/Fotolia
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Kakopetria, situated in the northern foothills of the Troodos Mountains, has a cool climate and amazing landscapes, making it a desirable tourist destination. It is abundant with fruit trees of every variety, but is well known for its apples. Vegetables - especially tomatoes and potatoes - some grains, and vineyards for wine-making are prominent. There are a number of must-see attractions in the area, including Old Kakopetria, which was designated an ancient monument by the Department of Antiquities. There are also the Kakopetria Forest and the Trail of Atalanti, the Milos tis Gonias water mill, Central Square, and the Heroes' Monument. Travelers may also want to see the Olive Mill Museum, or Linos Museum, dedicated to wine, bread, and olive oil; both are in Old Kakopetria.
Address: Arch. Makariou III, 20, Kakopetria, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-922-999 Photo: fazeful/Fotolia
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Kato Polemidia is just northwest of Limassol in Cyprus' wine country. This is the place to be for visitors interested in touring vineyards and attending wine tastings. Some wine tours include watching the manufacture and bottling of wines. There are a number of biking and hiking paths in the area. One of the most popular climbs is a 5-hour (one way) trek into the mountains to Alhetona - the heart of stone. Legend has it that lovers visiting Alhetona at sunset will never part. Visitors will also want to check out guided tours of the tea plantation, or enjoy an afternoon tea from a bed and breakfast with mountain views.
Address: 128 Panayias Evagelistrias Street, Kato Polemidia, Cyprus, Phone: +357-25-821-382 Photo: Kato Polemidia
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Larnaca is the self-described old soul of Cyprus, since it's the longest continually inhabited region. Visitors will love strolling the palm tree-lined Foinikoudes promenade separating the beach from the eateries and shops. An adjoining sea walkway passes old neighborhoods and fish taverns. Famous Salt Lake is home to migrating pink flamingos during winter, making for a gorgeous sight. The town's two most important attractions are the Christian Church of Agios Lazaros and the Muslim Mosque of Hala Sultan. Travelers will also find opportunities for wine tasting, walking tours, mini cruises, walking nature trails, diving and, of course, bird watching.
Address: 12 Gr. Afxentiou Avenue, Skouros Court, Larnaka, Cyprus, Phone: +357-24-657-070 Photo: Leonid Andronov/Fotolia
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Pano Lefkara Village is nestled at the foot of the Troodos Mountains. It became one of the first rural municipalities of Cyprus in 1883, and gets its name from the surrounding white calcareous rocks. Lefkara is most famous as the birthplace of Cypriot folk needlecraft, which became well-known across Europe, bringing rapid economic development to the small town, and many women are now economically independent because of it. Visitors will find the embroideries everywhere. Other attractions are the village's many silvercraft workshops, where silversmiths make jewelry, cherubim, crosses, and other religious symbols. Wander the alleys and take in the white stone architecture of the houses.
Address: 12 Gr. Afxentiou Avenue, Skouros Court, Larnaka, Cyprus, Phone: +357-24-657-070 Photo: Michalis Palis/Fotolia
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Limassol is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cyprus, both for its fabulous beaches and its cultural offerings. Lady's Mile Beach has soft white sand and shallow water, perfect for families with small children. Governor's Beach is best for snorkelers and couples wanting to watch the sunrise or stop by a Greek Cypriot taverna. Kourion Beach is the place to be for swimming and water sports, but gets a little crowded at times. Pissouri and Flo Café beaches are uncrowded and serene. Local attractions include the Amathus Archaeological Site, Kolossi Castle, the ancient city of Kourion, Limassol Zoo, Old Town and the Castle of Limassol, and Limassol District Archaeological Museum. The Limassol Wine Festival happens each fall.
Address: Franklin Roosevelt 170 Limassol, Chamber House, Limassol, Cyprus, Phone: +357-25-877-350 Photo: katatonia/Fotolia
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Nicosia is the capital city of Cyprus, a cultural epicenter with a history dating back to the Bronze Age, and perhaps the only place in the country that has been consistently occupied since the Chalcolithic Era. The city seamlessly blends the old with the new through their architecture with Byzantine, Roman, Ottoman, Venetian, and the modern urban influences of the Laiki Geitonia area. Surrounded by Venetian walls, the prominent area of Old Nicosia is a place where visitors can discover the rich history of Cyprus though their old churches, museums, and medieval buildings. Nicosia is also home to the iconic Cyprus Museum, which showcases its long history through its archaeological discoveries.
Address: Aristokiprou 11, Laiki Yeitonia Nicosia, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-674-264 Photo: photo stella/Fotolia
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Omodos is located within the wine-making villages near the Chapotami River's west bank. Tall mountaintops surround the village, the tallest of which are Kremmos of Laona and Afames. A varied amount of fruit trees and vines are also cultivated in this area, including plum, apple, peach, pear, and apricot. There are also various areas that have not been cultivated and present a diverse collection of natural vegetation, giving the landscape an organic beauty. In the north part of Omodos there is a small portion of the state forest Paphos, one of the most attractive and varied regions of the island.
Address: Odomos 4760, Limassol, Cyprus, Phone: +357-25-422-453 Photo: windu/Fotolia
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The Paphos region has a beautiful countryside with a tranquil harbor; it is both a cosmopolitan resort city and a historic and culturally rich area. Visitors to this part of Cyprus can enjoy both the majestic Mediterranean Sea and the tremendous Troodos Mountains. One day they can be snorkeling or scuba diving and the next they can be hiking various mountain trails while bird watching. Paphos also has an array of ancient sites to explore, such as Geroskipou, the Sacred Garden, and Pegeia, a picturesque square of Byzantine marvels. The area also offers a variety of recreational activities like golfing, wine tasting, swimming in saltwater pools, and exploring exotic gardens.
Address: Posidonos Avenue 63, Kato Paphos, Cyprus, Phone: +357-26-930-521 Photo: Leonid Andronov/Fotolia
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The village of Lofou is just 25 minutes northwest of Limassol. It's built in a circular pattern along the hills, surrounded by mountains and divided by two rivers - the canals of Kouris and Kyros. This tiny village is said to have been around since the Bronze Age and has served many purposes throughout the centuries, such as a refuge from the Arab raids, a place where shepherds stopped to rest, and a vineyard. Today, Lofou works hard to preserve and restore the historic architectural gems that showcase its rich history, such as a neoclassical school and a traditional flour and olive mill.
Address: Route F617, Lofou, Cyprus, Phone: +357-24-813-755 Photo: kirill_makarov/Fotolia
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Panagia is a picturesque mountainous village on the outskirts of the Paphos forest. It got its name from the multitude of monasteries and churches that are within or near the village dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The ancient church of Panagia Elousa resides within the village, with four more places of worship surrounding the area, including the chapels of Panagia of Sarkas and Panagia of Karyon, and monasteries Pangia Chrysorroyiatissa and Pangia of Kykkos. The village is also well known for its agriculture zone, Vouni Panagias, which is famous for both delectable wine and unique wildlife.
Address: Panagia, Posidonos Avenue 63, Kato Paphos, Cyprus, Phone: +357-26-930-521 Photo: Leonid Andronov/Fotolia
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Paralimini is a quaint town just outside Ayia Napa and Protaras known for having a relaxed historical atmosphere. This city has several architectural and cultural sights, many of which are located within the prominent church square, the largest center in Cyprus. The square features four churches, one built in the 19th century, one built in 1965, and two that have been blessed in honor of Saint George. There is also an ancient 13th-century Byzantine church built outside the center named The Most Holy Mother of God, which is popular among visitors. Paralimni showcases its rich history, providing examples of the way Cypriots live everyday life through their folklore museum.
Address: 5310 Paralimni, Cyprus, Phone: +357-23-819-300 Photo: efesenko/Fotolia
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Pissouri is a hillside village with a beautiful beach just 3 minutes down from its main square and just 30 minutes away from prominent cities of Limassol and Paphos. The quaint village has managed to keep its traditional Cypriot style while adapting to the demands of the modern world. Pissouri provides a lively yet relaxed atmosphere with its village and beach attractions. Visitors will enjoy “Cyprus Nights” in the town's square, cultural performances at the amphitheater, swims to the iconic Aphrodite's Rock, and a visit to a secret beach. The highlight of this city is its picturesque views from atop the ridge that overlooks the Troodos Mountains, countryside, and shoreline.
Address: 4607, Pissouri, Limassol, Cyprus, Phone: +357-25-222-292 Photo: RUZANNA ARUTYUNYAN/Fotolia
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Platres is a village within the Limassol district located on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains. It is the largest Troodos resort, and is one of the villages that makes up the wine villages known as krasochoria. Platres' extensive history dates back to the Venetian and Lusignan eras and is split into two distinct parts, Kato Platres and Pano Platres. There are several natural and cultural attractions within the city, including cycling and nature trails, the most popular being the Kalidona Trail, which passes the Kalidona Waterfall. The Millomeri Waterfall, Krios River, and Milia Bridge are a few additional natural attractions worth visiting while in Platres.
Address: 4820, Platres, Limassol, Cyprus, Phone: +357-25-421-316 Photo: Iurii Sokolov/Fotolia
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Polis is a city in the northwest region of Cyprus, 30 minutes from the town of Paphos; it is the ideal destination for visitors who want an authentic experience in a tranquil environment. The area is a beautiful blend of plains, mountains, and the sea, offering guests the opportunity to participate in a variety of outdoor and nature activities, such as cycling, hiking, and horseback riding. The picturesque fishing port of Latsi is another highlight surrounded by fish taverns as well as a sea-sport facility that provides boat rides up the Akamas peninsula. The excellent Tsada Golf Course is just 25 minutes away.
Address: Basileos Stasiikou A2, Polis, Chrysochous, Paphos, Cyprus, Phone: +357-26-322-468 Photo: Marcin Krzyzak/Fotolia
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Protaras is a family-oriented beachside village on the easternmost coast of southern Cyprus. One of its most appealing characteristics is its weather, this seaside town typically has around 340 days of clear skies, gentle breezes, and sunshine. The city has nine glorious and distinct beaches with many of them achieving Blue Flag status due to their cleanliness and superb water quality. Fig Tree Bay is the most popular, Green Bay is the most tranquil, Kapparis is the most untouched, Konnos is the most secluded, Sirena Bay is the smallest, and Louma, Pernera, and Protaras are the closest to the main strip.
Address: 5296, Protaras, Famagusta, Cyprus, Phone: +357-23-832-865 Photo: frimufilms/Fotolia
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Salamis is located on the Mediterranean's gorgeous golden sands, north of Famagusta. This city's remains were originally discovered by Teucer, a hero from the Trojan War in 1100 BC, and were quickly deemed the most significant ancient metropolis in the country. It is known as one of the finest historical sites on Cyprus, with a diverse collection of ancient architecture that allows visitors the chance to see how past civilizations lived. Salamis features stunning Roman baths, theatres, mosaics, reservoirs, Greek architecture, and a gymnasium, among other attractions. One of the most revered sites in Salamis is the spot where St. Paul prayed.
Address: Salamis, 5, Fevzi Cakmak Bulvari, Famagusta, Cyprus, Phone: +392-36-62864 Photo: fotofritz16/Fotolia
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In the Paphos district of Cyprus is the quaint village of Tala, a magical natural oasis with an average altitude of 918 feet. While it's not known for certain, many believe that this town has been around since the era of Frank domination. The prominent historical monuments in the village are the 15th or 16th-century church of Agia Ekaterini and the monastery of Agios Neofytos. Tala is also an agricultural area full of orange, lemon, walnut, almond, olive, and banana trees as well as grains, vegetables, forage plants, and grapevines for both wine and fruit, taking its natural beauty to the next level.
Address: Evagora Pallikaridi 2, 8577, Tala, Cyprus, Phone: +357-26-652-412 Photo: Igor Groshev/Fotolia
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Choulou is a quaint village northeast of Paphos. Its mountainous area borders the Paphos forest and is situated next to the Ezousas River, providing cool summers with no humidity and mild winters. This charming small village only has roughly 120 residents with one coffee shop, restaurant, and snack bar. The town also has three establishments that are available for guests who want to stay overnight and enjoy the village's natural beauty. Choulou has a remarkable number of beautiful sights, including several chapels, the lower fountain, the watermill, the mosque, two arched stone bridges, the Church of Pantanassas, Saint Theodoros Church, and Saint George Church.
Address: Choulou, Posidonos Avenue 63, Kato Paphos, Cyprus, Phone: +357-26-930-521 Photo: artur525/Fotolia
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Fiti is a small, traditional village just outside of Polis. The town has been around since medieval times and boasts an array of magnificent architecture. Though the town is tiny, it features a plethora of ancient sites, including the village square, the 200-year-old Phyti Village Tavern, the 19th-century Church of St. Dimitris, the Agia Marina Church, and the Agios Symeon chapel. Visitors can also explore the ruins of Forester's Mansion, visit the Fyti Museum of Weaving and Folkloric Art, and admire a beautiful garden showcasing the bronze bust of Constantinos Foitides, the village's benefactor.
Address: Fiti, Chrysochous, Paphos, Cyprus, Phone: +357-26-322-468 Photo: kaetana/Fotolia
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The Galata Village is located in the gorgeous valley of Solea just west of Nicosia. With the River Klarios crossing through it, the town has built up on both sides of the river's banks. It is best known for the surrounding lush greenery and the delicious fruits it produces, including a variety of apples, grapes, peaches, and apricots, among others. Galata features a unique blend of both traditional and modern houses as well as six 16th-century Byzantine churches. Their pyramid-style roofs with rectangular tiles provide excellent examples of the town's stunning cultural and architectural heritage. Galata is connected to its neighbor Kakopetria.
Address: Galata, Aristokiprou 11, Laiki Yeitonia Nicosia, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-674-264 Photo: kirill_makarov/Fotolia
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25 Best Places to Visit in Cyprus
- Agios Georgios, Photo: Courtesy of efesenko - Fotolia.com
- Agros, Photo: Courtesy of kirill makarov - Fotolia.com
- Ayia Napa, Photo: Courtesy of abayuka10 - Fotolia.com
- Deryneia, Photo: Deryneia
- Episkopi, Photo: Courtesy of Leonid Andronov - Fotolia.com
- Kakopetria, Photo: Courtesy of fazeful - Fotolia.com
- Kato Polemidia, Photo: Kato Polemidia
- Larnaca, Photo: Courtesy of Leonid Andronov - Fotolia.com
- Lefkara, Photo: Courtesy of Michalis Palis - Fotolia.com
- Limassol, Photo: Courtesy of katatonia - Fotolia.com
- Nicosia, Photo: Courtesy of photo stella - Fotolia.com
- Omodos, Photo: Courtesy of windu - Fotolia.com
- Paphos, Photo: Courtesy of Leonid Andronov - Fotolia.com
- Lofou, Photo: Courtesy of kirill_makarov - Fotolia.com
- Panagia, Photo: Courtesy of Leonid Andronov - Fotolia.com
- Paralimni, Photo: Courtesy of efesenko - Fotolia.com
- Pissouri, Photo: Courtesy of RUZANNA ARUTYUNYAN - Fotolia.com
- Platres, Photo: Courtesy of Iurii Sokolov - Fotolia.com
- Polis, Photo: Courtesy of Marcin Krzyzak - Fotolia.com
- Protaras, Photo: Courtesy of frimufilms - Fotolia.com
- Salamis, Photo: Courtesy of fotofritz16 - Fotolia.com
- Tala, Photo: Courtesy of Igor Groshev - Fotolia.com
- Choulou, Photo: Courtesy of artur525 - Fotolia.com
- Fiti, Photo: Courtesy of kaetana - Fotolia.com
- Galata, Photo: Courtesy of kirill_makarov - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of kirill_makarov - Fotolia.com
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