A fetching, pocket-sized island thats sandy shores are tucked right in the heart of the Mediterranean - and infamously advertised in their own tourist literature as 'the island of Aphrodite’, implying you should expect a certain amount of sex with your serving of sun and sand - welcomes package tourists galore, but also hides tantalizing attractions beyond the unsubtle beer-swilling beach resorts.
As the world’s last divided capital, the walled city of Lefkosia (or Nicosia, depending on your political leanings - check which to use before getting in a mess with a local) is half Greek and half Turkish, as well as half EU member and half not. It’s a surprisingly tourist-free city (the lager louts tent to stick to the coast), littered on the north side with pulsating markets and astonishing architecture, while the south side is an electro-friendly, ultramodern capital not short of a few architectural gems of its own. A 24-hour checkpoint allows foreign visitors to hop between the two worlds, experiencing both in a few hours. Watch out for that feet-melting summer heat.
If you came to Cyprus for adventure, the Troodos Massif serves up stacks of sheer hiking trails, while those in search of Arphrodite-esque myths best head for the ruined city at Salamis, or the busy strategic settlement overlooking the Med at Kourion, victim of copious ancient raids, but immense and striking nonetheless. The hilltop, Gothic castles of Kantara and Buffavento are affectionately referred to as the ‘guards of the islands’ with their rounded turrets gazing down on the towns below.
Kyrenia – a half-moon harbor protected by another aged fort – offers another ‘escape the crowds’ spot, where fishing boats match high-end yachts and visitors dine by candlelight along the gentle waterfront. A far less subdued Mediterranean experience is to be had on the wilds of the Akamas Peninsula, where the otherwise gentle seas seem to show their vicious side against the soaring cliffs, and titanic turtles patrol the waters.
Of course, if it is cocktails and a suntan you’re after, head to Agia Napa and it’s reams of clubbers-paradise style venues, stacked with cheap booze and belt-for-skirt teenagers. Just know that away from the nightly carnage, Cyprus has so much more to offer.
Paphos is a city located on the western coast of Cyprus. One of the main attractions is the Papos Archaelogical Park near the harbor.
Ayia Napa (Agia Nápa) is located on the far south-east of the island of Cyprus and is the major tourist resort for the young (for the British, think Blackpool). The resort has 12 clubs and …
Limassol (Lemesos) is the second largest city in Cyprus and has a deep-water port where regular cruises set sail for the Holy City in Israel or the Pyramids of Egypt. There are no natural bea…
Larnaca (Lárnaka) is a modern city built on the remains of ancient Kition an underground complex of temples dating from 1300BC; it is the third largest town in Cyprus, has the largest airpor…
Protaras is located on the old city of Leukolla on the East coast of the island and is a fully-fledged family orientated resort full of hotels, restaurants and the occasional disco. The beach…
Known locally as Lefkosia, Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus and the only remaining divided city in Europe. Turkish Cypriots in the north and Greek Cypriots in the south.
Surrounding the ol…
Kyrenia is founded in the 10th Century BC., by Achaean settlers and was for many Centuries one of the 10 Kingdoms of Cyprus. In the 7th century it was fortified by Byzantine who built the ori…
Paralimni is situated in the South East of Cyprus, a little way inland. Within the town square are three churches and an open-air theatre. The most interesting church is the oldest. It is ope…
The city of Famagusta is one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in the eastern Mediterranean and, in its present state of preservation, is equal to that of the old cities of Carc…
The Abbey is situated on a natural terrace overlooking the village of Ozankoy with a good selection of restaurants offering local and international cuisine Perched precariously on a natural t…
Karpas peninsula is located at the last eastern part of the island of Cyprus.
The area is rich in subterranean water reservoirs. Mostly source of income in this area is fishing. Bogaz and…
Tafon Ton Vasileon - more commonly referred to as the Tombs of the Kings, is a large open site of over a hundred tombs of the noble families of Cyprus. Constructed around the third century B…
Nea Paphos is a collection of stunning archeological sites that basically form a massive open air museum for travelers who have any kind of interest in ancient history! The site is so remark…