Sitting pretty in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is a culturally diverse island with a pleasant climate and incredibly vibrant towns and cities. A visit here will offer you history, fine dining, gorgeous beaches and a window to ancient cultures and ruins, all set in a wonderful landscape of natural beauty. Here are the seven must-see sites in Cyprus:
This is the capital of Cyprus and it has a fascinating past. Divided between a Turkish-controlled northern region and the Greek Republic in the south, you’ll discover an interesting mix of local culture. Nicosia is packed full of museums, with more than a dozen to choose from. The Cyprus and Byzantine Museums are popular picks but if it’s bustling activity you’re seeking then head to Ledra Street for the market and souvenir shops to satisfy your retail desires. Walk the 16th century walls of the old city where you’ll find the Famagusta, Paphos and Kyrenia gates.
Perhaps the oldest city in Cyprus, there is evidence that people have inhabited this city for more than 6,000 years. Be sure to include a visit to the Church of St.Lazarus, dating back to the 800s or the beautiful Faneromeni Church. For water lovers, you’ll be thrilled to discover the Zenobia ship wreck that you can dive down to explore or spot some flamingos at the Salt Lake. You’ll find plenty of nightlife and great places to eat along the sea front at Mackenzie Beach. If you’re crazy about clubbing then the iconic Ayia Napa can also be found nearby in the Larnaca region.
It is said that Aphrodite was born here and it’s the perfect destination for ancient ruins, amazing archaeology and culture. A visit to Paphos simply has to include a trip to the Roman ruins of the House of Dionysus and Theseus. Other impressive sights include the 16th century Turkish fort, a Greek amphitheater that still hosts live performances and the Tombs of the Kings. Like any great place filled with tourist attractions, you’ll find plenty of hotels, restaurants and shopping areas too.
#4 The Troodos Mountains
The highest peak of the Troodos Mountains is Mount Olympus which boasts four ski slopes. The Troodos Mountains are the largest range on the island covered in lush green forests and perfect for outdoor pursuits and recreation of all kinds. Go Mountain biking, trekking and enjoy the quaint traditional, hillside villages you come across. Other attractive locations include the old churches of Pelendri and Pedoulas. Experience the Milia Medieval Bridge and the Caledonia Falls landmarks on your journey through this impressive range, not to mention the unique flora and fauna on this Mediterranean island.
This is the second biggest city after the capital with an important sea port and huge tourist draw. The hot, sunny weather and golden sandy beaches make it perfect for kicking back and soaking up some Greek sunshine. The Old Town is where you’ll learn more about what makes this city unique so be sure to include time for a tour of the impressive Limassol Castle. There are great shopping options, buzzing nightlife and some seriously glamorous yachts moored up in the marina. Take a stroll along the beachfront path and experience your own slice of Mediterranean chic.
Situated in the east of the island, this is the home of the deepest harbour. If you’re taking a cruise then this is where you’ll most likely dock. Famagusta is an ancient walled city, with must-see landmarks including the St. Barnabas Monastery and Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque, representing the two most important religious influences on the island. Be sure to see the Porta Del Mare gate with its iron door and lion statue and another point of interest is the Othello Tower, from which Shakespeare took inspiration for his play of the same name.
Located in the Turkish-controlled region of the island lies Kyrenia, a harbor town sitting in the shadow of the grand Pentadaktylos Mountains. It is a popular destination for outdoor pursuits as well as attracting visitors to view its almost 2,000-year-old history. The 7th century Byzantine Kyrenia Castle is a must-see attraction complete with its own bridge and medieval dungeon, as is the Shipwreck Museum which displays artefacts dating back over 2,000 years! Fancy a round of golf? Or for nature lovers, there’s also the unique opportunity to see turtles swimming in their natural habitat.