Steeped in history, fascinating legends and natural beauty, Cyprus is the jewel of the Mediterranean. It is the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love – and the island’s stunning beauty does full justice to her! With its sparkling turquoise sea, warm people and stunning landscapes, there is no dearth of amazing things to do in Cyprus.
The third-largest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is located at the crossroads of three continents. Its prime location made it an important site for several civilizations throughout history leading to a mosaic of different civilisations and cultures on the island.
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20 epic things to do in Cyprus
Cyprus is a year-round destination with amazing things to do in every season – from swimming in the turquoise waters during the summer to hiking & cycling through the stunning wilderness and discovering the marvellous archaeological sites during the offseason.
Here’s a list of the best things to do in Cyprus,
Stunning natural landscapes
1. Cape Greco
Location of Cape Greco: East of Ayia Napa
About Cape Greco
This stunning peninsula is home to the most stunning rock formations and landscapes in Cyprus. A visit to the Cape Greco national park is one of the best things to do in Cyprus. Some of the most stunning natural landscapes in Cape Greco can be found at the following locations,
The star of the Cape Greco National Park, the Sea Caves are a spectacular sight, guaranteed to make your jaw drop in wonder! Electric blue water surrounded by the cavernous rocks are truly a wonder of nature!
Legend has it that this network of caves was once used by pirates to hide their loot, and themselves when required. While you will not find either during any explorations now – you can still have fun exploring the caves during low tide.
GPS coordinates of the Sea Caves: 34°58’06.9″N 34°03’16.2″E
You can park your car along the road leading into the sea caves or drive down on the dirt road and park on the right of the caves.
Kamara tou Koraka bridge
A natural bridge, Kamara tou Koraka is a beautiful spot to visit. While you are not allowed to walk on the bridge, taking in the view of the bridge over the stunningly blue waters (and with multiple cats milling around your feet!) makes for a fantastic experience.
GPS coordinates of the Kamara tou Koraka bridge: 34°58’18.8″N 34°04’32.6″E
There is a small parking lot located right next to the bridge.
Beautiful turquoise water and a small rocky alcove make up the picturesque Blue Lagoon. It’s great for swimming or snorkelling or just taking in the views from one of the many benches.
GPS coordinates of the Blue Lagoon: 34°57’59.9″N 34°04’42.3″E
You can park alongside the road at multiple spots to get to the Blue Lagoon or take the narrow dirt road leading to it and park there.
How to get to Cape Greco
It’s easiest to drive there from Ayia Napa or Protaras (~10 minutes’ drive from either place) but you can also take the bus 101/102, though there’ll still be a long walk to the different spots.
2. Love Bridge (Monachus Monachus Arch)
Location of Monachus Monachus Arch: Ayia Napa
About Monachus Monachus Arch
Another natural bridge, the Monachus Monachus Arch is even more spectacular – extending into the turquoise & emerald sea, this bridge is one the most photogenic spots in Cyprus and a visit here is one of the best things to do in Cyprus.
You can walk out over the bridge (a little bit of hopping over rocks will be required – it’s not quite as flat as the pictures make it out to be!). It was super windy when we went and I didn’t attempt to make it to the middle of the bridge – not to say I consider myself light enough to be blown away by the wind, but hey, why take the risk!
With a name like Love Bridge, there’s bound to be a legend right? Afterall Cyprus is the birthplace of Aphrodite and there has to be some romance! So, the legend says that if you stand on the middle of the bridge and make a wish while kissing your loved one, it’s bound to come true – not the most creative of legends, but fun nonetheless!
How to get to Monachus Monachus Arch
GPS coordinates of Monachus Monachus Arch: 34°58’58.0″N 34°00’59.4″E
Located in Ayia Napa, opposite the lovely Sculpture Park, the Monachus Monachus Arch is easy to reach. There is a parking lot by the road from where it is a short walk down to the bridge.
3. EDRO III Shipwreck
Location of EDRO III Shipwreck: Paphos
About EDRO III Shipwreck
EDRO III was a ~2500 ton freighter that ran aground in 2011 due to bad weather – all 9 crew were rescued and any pollution was avoided by swift action by the authorities. Unfortunate as the wreck was, the location of the wreck couldn’t have been better – it is located right amidst the sea caves of Paphos making it a ridiculously photogenic spot.
Walk along the shoreline on both sides of the wreck to take in the magnificent rock formation, the caves and the unbelievably clear and blue water.
How to get to EDRO III Shipwreck
GPS coordinates of EDRO III Shipwreck: 34°52’23.9″N 32°20’21.9″E
The shipwreck is located about a 25-minute drive from Paphos and is worth a stop on your way to the Akamas peninsula. While there is no marked parking lot, there is space along the street to park your car.
4. Petra tou Romiou (Aphrodites Rock)
Location of Petra tou Romiou: Paphos
About Petra tou Romiou
The mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, Petra tou Romiou is a beautiful formation of rocks on the west coast of Cyprus. The Greek Godess of Love & Beauty, Aphrodite is said to have been born of the sea foam here.
According to legend, if you swim around the Aprodite’s Rock three times, you will be blessed with eternal youth & beauty. We didn’t get a chance to test these claims since it was a bit chilly – here’s hoping that just posing in front of the rock gives at least a part of the benefits – fingers crossed!
This beach is a beautiful location to watch the sunset from – the multiple rock formations seem to glow in the golden rays of the setting sun. The pebbly beach makes for beautiful pictures, though it’s not the best for swimming.
How to get to Petra tou Romiou
GPS coordinates of Petra tou Romiou: 34°39’56.3″N 32°37’41.4″E
Take the A6 from Paphos and take the clearly marked exit for Petra tou Romiou onto B6. It’s about a 20 minutes drive from Paphos. There’s a large parking lot from where an underground passage leads to the beach.
5. Nissi Beach
Location of Nissi Beach: Ayia Napa
About Nissi Beach
The superstar of Cyprus’ beaches, Nissi beach is known for its pearl white (and super soft!) sand and stunningly turquoise waters. A small island off its shore adds to its charm – you can walk (yes, seriously, walk!) to this island to enjoy watersports. The beach is named after this tiny beautiful islet.
Stretching for about 500 metres, it’s easy to find a quiet spot on this beach. Take a stroll along the shore to see the gnarled rocky outcrops and the quiet cove where people enjoy fishing. You will also come across the small Orthodox Church of St. Andrew along your stroll.
During the peak summer season, this beach comes alive with music and parties. Though if, like me, you enjoy the tranquil part more, visit during the offseason when you’ll have the whole place to yourself.
How to get to Nissi Beach
GPS coordinates of Nissi Beach: 34°59’16.5″N 33°58’06.1″E
Located only a 10-minute drive away from Ayia Napa, Nissi Beach is very easy to reach. There is a large parking lot just above the beach.
6. Makronissos Beach
Location of Makronissos Beach: Ayia Napa
About Makronissos Beach
Fine golden white sand, crystal clear & calm blue waters and relatively less crowded – Makronissos beach is the perfect spot to spend an afternoon. It is actually made up of several small beaches which are connected through coastal pathways
An additional interesting thing to do here is to explore the archaeological area of the Makronissos Necropolis. These ancient tombs date back to the Hellenistic period and are fascinating to explore. You’ll have a few cats to keep you company as you walk around – most of them are very friendly and will follow you around!
How to get to Makronissos Beach
GPS coordinates of Makronissos Beach: 34°58’58.1″N 33°57’19.3″E
Located only a 10-minute drive away from Ayia Napa and a 5-minute drive from Nissi Beach, Makronissos is very easy to reach. There is a large parking lot close to the beach.
7. Fig Tree Bay
Location of Fig Tree Bay: Protaras
About Fig Tree Bay
Named for a centuries-old fig tree, this beach boasts clear waters and fine sand and is Protaras’ most popular beach. Like Nissi beach, there is a small island close by that you can swim to.
How to get to Fig Tree Bay
GPS coordinates of Fig Tree Bay: 35°00’42.6″N 34°03’31.0″E
Located right in the lively tourist area of Protaras, you can walk, take a bus or drive to this beach. There’s a municipal car park close by.
8. Coral Bay
Location of Coral Bay: Paphos
About Coral Bay
One of the best beaches on the west coast of Cyprus, Coral Bay has fine golden sand and clear shallow waters. It’s a popular beach during the summer buzzing with music, parties, multiple bars and restaurants.
Coral Bay is a 600 metres long beach, sheltered by beautiful limestone cliffs making it the perfect place to swim.
How to get to Coral Bay
GPS coordinates of Coral Bay: 34°51’13.5″N 32°22’12.7″E
Located just a 15 minutes drive from Paphos, you can drive to Coral Bay and park in the large parking lot. You can also take the bus since there is a bus stop right up from the beach.
Location of Kourion: Limassol
The archaeological site of Kourion is one of the best places to visit in Cyprus – even if you are not a history buff! Kourion was an important city-kingdom in Cyprus dating back 2000+years, built on the hill overlooking the river Kouris.
The majesty and grandeur of the theatre, the adornments in the villas and the mosaics, and the marble columns are just some of the fascinating places to explore at this site. Stunning views of the Mediterranean coastline add to the charm of the place.
The amphitheatre is the most magnificent site at Kourion – dating back to 2nd century BC, this theatre is still used for performances and is said to have some of the best acoustics in the world!
How to get to Kourion
GPS coordinates of Kourion: 34°39’51.5″N 32°53’28.7″E
Kourion is located 19 km west of Limassol on the road to Paphos. You’ll need to purchase tickets at the entrance and then drive up to the car park. Grab a map from the visitor centre located next to the car park and start exploring!
10. Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
Location of Kato Paphos Archaeological Park: Paphos
The Kato Paphos Archaeological Park includes sites dating from 4th century BC to the Middle Ages, the most interesting of which are four large Roman villas with preserved mosaic floors.
The park is quite huge and there’s a lot of walking involved, but it is all worth it. The intricate mosaic floors especially need to be seen to realize their grandeur and beauty.
How to get to Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
GPS coordinates of Kato Paphos Archaeological Park: 34°45’23.2″N 32°24’31.2″E
Since it is located in Paphos, next to the harbour, you can reach the park by using public transportation. If you are driving, there is a large car park outside the Archaeological Park. Grab a map with your tickets and plan your walk – make sure you visit the House of Dionysos which has the most exceptional mosaics.
11. Tombs of the Kings
Location of Tombs of the Kings: Paphos
About Tombs of the Kings
Tombs of the Kings is a large necropolis dating back to the Hellenistic period. While there are no kings buried there, the name refers to the grandeur of the tombs. With their decorated walls and grand columns, all with the beautiful Mediterranean for a backdrop, the Tombs are a fascinating place to visit in Cyprus.
There are a total of 8 tombs to visit here, of which numbers 3, 4 and 8 are the most magnificent – so if you’re short on time you know where to go.
The tombs have stairs at the surface leading down to several elaborate chambers – watch your step (and mind your head) as some of these are quite narrow and dark.
How to get to Tombs of the Kings
GPS coordinates of Tombs of the Kings: 34°46’30.6″N 32°24’27.4″E
Located at the Tombs of the Kings roundabout, this spot has a large parking lot next to the ticket window.
12. Ayioi Anargiroi Church
Location of Ayioi Anargiroi Church: Cape Greco
About Ayioi Anargiroi Church
Located atop a sea cave, this small church is one of the most picturesque locations in Cyprus. The white and blue painted church set against the vibrant blue Mediterranean makes it a breathtaking sight.
There is a path that leads towards the sea from where you can watch the waves.
How to get to Ayioi Anargiroi Church
GPS coordinates of Ayioi Anargiroi Church: 34°58’32.5″N 34°04’33.9″E
Located on the eastern end of the Cape Greco National Park, you can make this your starting point for exploring the whole park, including all the wonderful natural landscapes mentioned above.
13. Church of St. Elias
Location of Church of St. Elias: Protaras
About Church of St. Elias
Located on a hill, high above Protaras this Greek Orthodox church offers unrestricted views of the beautiful sea on one side and the green mountains on the other.
The church is also surrounded by the trees of remembrance – people tie ribbons to remember their loved ones here giving the trees a wonderful colourful appearance.
How to get to Church of St. Elias
GPS coordinates of Church of St. Elias: 35°01’07.5″N 34°02’28.2″E
Located in the town of Protaras, this church is easy to reach. There is a parking lot at the bottom of the hill, from where 150 steps lead up to the church – an exertion well worth the views from the top!
14. Byzantine Church of Saint Lazarus
Location of Church of Saint Lazarus: Larnaca
About Church of Saint Lazarus
Located in the town centre of Larnaca, this church is a fine example of the Byzantine architecture in Cyprus. Built in the 9th century, this stone church is one of the best places to visit in Larnaca.
The promenade along the Finikoudes Beach & the harbour and Larnaca Castle are all located within easy walking distance of the Church of Saint Lazarus – spend an afternoon on a walking tour here taking in everything.
How to get to Church of Saint Lazarus
GPS coordinates of Church of Saint Lazarus: 34°54’42.0″N 33°38’05.3″E
This church is located on its own square. There are a few parking garages close by where you can pay and park.
Charming cities & villages
15. The beautiful city of Paphos
In addition to the several archaeological sites, Paphos has a lot more to offer. Take a stroll along the harbour which is lined with restaurants and bars to take a refreshing break.
The path along the harbour leads to the Medieval Castle of Paphos, a cultural landmark of the city. Also heading out from the harbour is the coastal path – a boardwalk which stretches up to the Tombs of the Kings for a length of nearly 5 km. Beautiful views at sunset and refreshing breeze from the sea make this walk a fantastic experience.
16. The resort town of Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa is a bustling party town during the peak season – the streets are lined with lively restaurants and bars. However, there is a lot more to do here than just party (especially during the offseason when most everything is shut down – that’s kind of our preferred time to visit a place though!)
The Ayia Napa Sculpture Park (located just opposite the Love Bridge) is home to beautiful (and fantastically unique!) sculptures from around the world, all with the beautiful Mediterranean in the background. A stroll around the park is a wonderfully enjoyable experience.
The Ayia Napa Harbour is another beautiful place to take a stroll along the sea in Ayia Napa.
17. The pretty village of Lefkara
The mountain village of Lefkara is one of the best villages to visit in Cyprus. The views on the way and from the village itself are absolutely breathtaking.
Lefkara is known for handcrafted lace embroideries and you will find many (many!) shops selling these. The streets of Lefkara are just as beautiful as the mountain views and are a delight to stroll through.
18. Cape Greco
Location of Cape Greco: East of Ayia Napa
About Cape Greco
In addition to stunning natural landscapes, Cape Greco is home to several superb hikes. One of the best things to do in Cyprus is hiking (especially in the off season when the sun is mild) to take in the natural beauty.
There are 9 nature trails in Cape Greco varying in length from 1.5 km to 8 km. See here for more details on all the trails. Our favourite was the Sea Caves circular trail which includes a walk along the coast.
How to get to Cape Greco
It’s easiest to drive to Cape Greco from Ayia Napa or Portaras (~10 minutes’ drive from either place) but you can also take the bus 101/102. Depending on which trail you’d like to take on, you’d need to head to either the sea caves or the Ayioi Anargiroi Church from where most of the hikes start.
19. Akamas Peninsula
Location of Akamas Peninsula: West coast of Cyprus
About Akamas Peninsula
Jutting out of the northwest coast of Cyprus, the Akamas Peninsula is an area of stunning natural beauty – tall mountains, a rugged coastline and wilderness lend to its stupendous charm. Most of the area is accessible only on a 4WD vehicle, on foot or on a cycle.
There are 3 nature trails in this area – the Adonis Trail, the Aphrodite Trail, and the Smigies Trail. See here for more details on all the trails.
We did the Aphrodite trail and were blown away by its beauty. The trail starts at the Baths of Aphrodite and winds along the coast. You can see the brilliantly blue waters stretching out into the distance framed by the tall mountains on one side.
How to get to Akamas Peninsula
Leave your car in the free parking lot below the Baths of Aphrodite and take in the beautiful platform jutting out over the cliff before heading out on the hike.
20. Cypriot food
I generally do not write much about food nor do I get too excited about trying new food since I’m a vegetarian and most specialities in different countries are meat-based. To be fair, a lot of Mediterranean food is vegetarian & amazing and I love it! Cyprus was a class apart though – the delectable halloumi, the pita with a myriad of dips, juicy tomatoes and yummy olives – ah, just writing about it is making me hungry now! No wonder I do not write much about food!
Have you been to Cyprus? What was your favourite thing to do?
Are you planning a trip to Cyprus? Which place are you looking forward to the most to visit? Let me know in the comments below!
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