Cyprus never ceases to surprise and delight… with its long stretch of sandy beaches, hills with virgin forests and medieval villages, beautiful coastal towns, a rich history and culture, seafood, water sports, sunsets over the Mediterranean. Cyprus is a small island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, located just south of Turkey and west of Syria. Cyprus is small in size, but there is plenty to see and do on the island. You can easily spend a week or more here touring the top sites in Cyprus.
The island has a craggy and scenic shoreline that impresses everyone. You can spend a relaxing vacation here at one of the secluded beaches or hidden coves. You can go on a long leisurely walk along a nature trail or cobblestoned alley. You can party. Or you can discover the historical side of the island. You can spend a vacation in Cyprus just like you want. Once a part of ancient Greece, the influence can still be seen in its food, history, lifestyle, and culture.
Let’s take a look are the top places to visit in Cyprus
A city in the southwestern part of the island, Paphos is the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, love, passion, and pleasure. The modern-day town is split into two levels. Most of the archeological landmarks and hotels are in lower Paphos. The town’s upper level is the commercial district. Most of the shops and restaurants are located here. The main attraction of Paphos is its historical sites and ruins.
See the Paphos Fort, Roman Odeon, House of Dionysus, castle, Villa of Theseus, Ottoman Baths, and Tombs of the Kings. The impressive Aphrodite’s Rock is also close. The sea around the rock is a popular place for swimming.
Ayia Napa is at the other end of Cyprus, on the island’s southeastern coast. The main landmark of this coastal town is the Venetian-era monastery that stands in the Plateia Seferi central square. However, most tourists visit Aiya Napa for its nightlife. It is the party capital of the island. There are many clubs and bars, especially in the central square, which is the hub of all activity. Fresh seafood is served in the restaurants. The atmosphere is vibrant and youthful. You will also find many taverns in the busy harbor area. The Ayia Napa promenade connects the marina and a couple of other beaches.
Nissi is the top beach in Aiya Napa. Many loungers are placed on the beach for you to relax. There are many cafes, bars, and restaurants. Walk to a small islet just off this white sandy beach in low tide. There are water sports too. Stay within the city of Ayia Napa or in one of the top beaches. You will find many hotels, resorts, and private villas for rent in Aiya Napa.
Head to the Troodos for outdoor recreation. There are miles of pristine trails to explore on a mountain bike. There are beautiful waterfalls to see. Discover small medieval villages with charming village squares and cobblestoned streets. See the traditional homes and meet the villagers who follow their traditional lifestyles to this day. Many of these villages also have churches, which are on the UNESCO Heritage list.
Only 30 minutes from Paphos town, this gorge is a great place to enjoy the hilly natural landscapes of the island. A river used to flow through this area once. It gradually ate away the limestone rocks, creating this stunning 100-foot gorge. The best way to explore the gorge is by walking through a 2.5-kilometer trail. You will see unique rock formations and crevices. There are wild buckthorn bushes and juniper trees. Discover the centaurea akamantis flower, only found in Cyprus.
Most tourists visit the southern, eastern, and western parts of the island. North Cyprus, which is controlled by Turkey, sees far fewer tourists. But there are some wonderful tourist attractions here as well, like the harbor town of Kyrenia, which is also known as Girne. It’s a modern town, but with a long history. Kyrenia goes back more than 1,300 years. The backdrop of the Pentadaktylos Mountains makes this a particularly scenic city. Sea turtles also come to nest in the beaches around Kyrenia. For sports, enjoy some golfing action or watersports while you are visiting the town.
See the ancient, mountain top Saint Hilarion Castle that offers panoramic views and the Kyrenia Castle, which is a former crusader fortress. Also, see the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Shipwreck Museum.
Want a relaxing vacation in Cyprus? Head to Protaras in the east. Close to Aiya Napa, Protaras has perhaps the most famous of all Cypriot beaches – the Fig Tree Bay. The beach is dotted with many loungers and sunbeds. Just relax and sip a cocktail or drink. Or you can walk up to the nearby islet in low tide. History and archeology enthusiasts might want to visit the excavated Hellenistic tombs above the bay.
The Cape Greco National Park nearby is a cliff area with many stunning viewpoints. There are many nature trails here.