In the far reaches of the Mediterranean, where the Greek Aegean Islands give way to the sun-baked Levant coast, Cyprus rises out of the water, beckoning with ancient legends, eternal Greek and Roman ruins, sleepless parties, delicious cuisine, luxurious landscapes and, of course, perfect beaches. There are a lot of interesting places on the island, and to see them all, you need to return here more than once. We have selected the best attractions of Cyprus that you need to visit first.
Attractions of Cyprus
The ancient city of Paphos is a shining seaside jewel in the crown of Cyprus. Today it is a developed tourist center, where guests are always welcome. The medieval Paphos castle on the edge of the harbour, the stone arches of the Byzantine fortress of Saranta Kolones, the famous Odeon and the velvety Sands of the municipal beach-this city is definitely not to be missed!
Cozily located between two bush-covered capes, the small town of Pissouri literally radiates a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere. This place, where farmers and winemakers live, was practically untouched by mass tourism, so you can fully feel the unique flavor here. And just a few minutes’ walk from the city, between the rocky cliffs of the southern coast, there is a stunning sand and pebble beach.
National Park Akamas Peninsula
Rugged with eroded rocks, the Atamak Peninsula paved its way into the waves of the Mediterranean Sea, forming the northwestern horn of Cyprus Island. It is one of the last truly wild places that have survived to this day. Today, ecotourism thrives here, and travelers can discover the stunning ridges of the Avakas Gorge, winding hiking trails stretching along with the blooming fields of crocuses and gladioluses, thick pine forests, mythical baths of Aphrodite and truly secluded beaches.
Larnaca, the First Attraction of Cyprus
Most guests in Cyprus will first land at Larnaca International Airport, and then continue their way to the place of rest. But if you decide to stay in the city (by the way, the third-largest in the country), you will find a mixture of ancient sights and medieval relics, beautiful churches and noisy seaside promenades. Start by visiting the Church of St. Lazarus, which houses his tomb, and continue your journey to the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque. And after the cultural program, don’t forget to visit the sun-drenched Finikides beach, which beckons with its tender sea and colorful umbrellas.
Created by the Peloponnesian Greeks, Venetian settlers and Ottoman imperial rulers, Kyrenia remains one of the most charming and ancient cities on the entire northern coast. It can be found surrounded by a shimmering blue harbor on the edge of a rugged Kyrenia mountain range. Don’t miss the formidable walls of the castle, which rises above the eastern end of the harbor, because this powerful Byzantine construction for centuries has turned the city into a real strategic outpost.
This place is undoubtedly noteworthy because the majestic royal tombs are officially part of the Paphos Archaeological Park and are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. They date back to the 4th century B.C. and give an idea of the great mix of architectural traditions and cultural heritage that took place in Cyprus in ancient times. Pay attention to the monolithic structure and how dusty colonnades of different graves almost imperceptibly arise from sandstone and weathered rocks on the edge of Kato Paphos Park.
Curiously, Egyptian and Greek styles dominate, with Doric colonnades and underground niches, where bodies of Hellenistic and Roman nobles were buried.