Sea Side Sunset in Gavo Greco - Ayia Napa - Bicycles next to the sea - Visit to Cyprus

Visit to Cyprus: Planning, Tips and Recommendations

Time to enjoy a visit to Cyprus, the small beautiful island in the Mediterranean sea. Divided after Turkey's invasion in 1974. Rich history from the ancient years, amazing beaches with warm seawater, and 300 days of sun per year.


Let's plan your visit to Cyprus

Stay Next to the Best Beaches!

Cyprus is an island in the Meditteraneanean Sea with Awesome Beaches and Amazing Food.

Also, it Is the best place to enjoy the sun, the warm seawater, the good parties and also discover the great history of the island.

Finally, it's the time to plan your visit to Cyprus and meet the only divided European Capital, Nicosia, and Cross the Line.


Booking Flights: Visit Cyprus

The island of Cyprus has two airports currently operating. There is another one in Nicosia, but it is in the dead zone since 1974.

One operating airport is located in Larnaca and the other is in Paphos, those are the only two places you can start your visit to Cyprus.

Find your flights using our flight comparison engine. Read the tips in order to help you find cheap flights.

Larnaca is closer to Ayia Napa and Protaras, which are the two most beautiful seaside cities in Cyprus with the best sandy beaches.

Paphos airport is located closer to Limassol and from Limassol, you have nice access to the Troodos mountains from Platres.

You can stay also in Larnaca and Paphos. All you need is a hotel and transfers from the airport.

If you are planning to stay in Ayia Napa or Protaras then it is recommended to fly to Larnaca and if you are planning to stay in Limassol it is better to fly to Paphos.

But this is not always the case if you are going to rent a car, which is recommended. In this case, you can get the most convenient or cheaper flight.

Cyprus Gavo Greco Ayia Napa BoatCape Greco in Ayia Napa

The longest distance is when you fly to Paphos Airport and you have a Hotel to Protaras.

But still, it is only 179 KM and it will take you just around 2 hours drive to get there.

From Larnaka airport to Protaras is around 50 minutes drive - 67 KM and to Ayia Napa 58 KM - around 40 minutes.

Finally from Larnaka Airport to go to Finikoudes is around 20 minutes' drive and around 8 KM or 13 KM, depending on which direction.

The time also depends on the traffic. The main problem of the island is that public communications are not like the rest of the European countries.

Although they are much improved the recent years, they are still insufficient. The good news is that distances between different cities are relatively short.

Also, there are now buses you can use to get to all the major cities and they are relatively cheap, but they only go to specific locations.


How to See Cyprus


General Decision

As we mentioned above, it depends on where you would like to stay. There are two types of vacation in my opinion.

One Place Stay Only

You land at the airport and you take a lift to your hotel, then you stay in the hotel and the closest area only.

Finally, you just get a loft back to the airport.

Using this scenario, you need a good hotel, close to an awesome beach, and also close to some good bars, walking paths and etc.

In this way, you enjoy the beach, relax, eat, and sleep well, get some tanning, and have fun as well.

No much history, no driving around, and not much to see, but still you have the option to pick a tour and see something you are interested in.

See Whole Cyprus

The other will be to see the most of Cyprus. It will be best to rent a car in order to accomplish this in the best way.

A few interesting routes might be

  • Larnaca - Ayia Napa - Protaras - Paralimni.
  • Nicosia - Kakopetria - Troodos - Platres.
  • Limassol - Paphos - Polis Chrysochous - Pomos.
  • Kykkos Monastery - Kylada ton Kedron (Κοιλάδα Των Κέδρων) - Stavros tis Psokas (Σταυρός της Ψώκας) - Pomos

You can plan your trip accordingly and investigate the possible places of interest on the way.

Finally, in case you have many days, the best will be a hybrid plan. First, you see Cyprus and then you land on your best spot.

The idea is to discover first your loved spot when going around Cyprus. The risk is that it might be fully booked.


See Cyprus: Limassol 5 Nights Tour

 Airport Transfers and Buses


How to travel from the airport to your hotel

This can be an easy case if you rent a car from the airport.

In another case, you have two options. Either take a Taxi or take the Airport Shuttle.

This can be tricky and depend on how many people you are as well. I will add below links with prices for the two services so you can compare them.

  • Kapnos Airport Shuttle Bus - When you get out from the airport to the main hall where people wait, you need to go left get out from the side exit. If I don't make a mistake it does not require booking in advance. Note that the bus will take to the shuttle station in the city you are going to. But then possibly you will need a Taxi to get to your hotel.
  • Taxi Service - There are many different Taxi services in Cyprus. You can also search in Google, but I think this seems to cheap enough.
  • Rent a Car - Might be the best way to go. Also, you can see Cyprus and be comfortable. In the end, you might also save money on transports.

Renting a car in Cyprus is the best option to go to.

You do not have to worry about your transports anymore and can make the round of Cyprus easily in a few days.

You can see all the places and cities you would like to see and save on transports.

ay nicolaos church pernera beach

Using a Bus in Cyprus

As you may know, there are no trains in Cyprus, so do not look for them. The only way to travel is by car, bus, bike, or donkey.

Cyprus is a small island and distances are not very long. The most inexpensive way to travel is by bus.

For example, a single transfer from Nicosia to Larnaka costs only 4 euros. You can find all the Buses Routes and Fares in «http://www.cyprusbybus.com».

Also, you can find information about buses from the airport. The main Bus transporter for Nicosia and surrounding villages in Cyprus is OSEL.

Finally, when traveling between different cities and planning day routes, it is best to look into the «http://www.intercity-buses.com».


READ ALSO: The Weather in Cyprus & The Best Beaches

FREE Mini Buses in Nicosia Old Town

The municipality of Nicosia has put the Nicosia's Mini Buses service on trial.

With a capacity of 21 passengers, 13 seated and 8 standing, Mini Buses also offer additional seats for people in need, as well as a ramp to serve people with physical disabilities.

  • Easy routes: Mini Buses have two routes λ1, blue, and λ2 green.
  • Easy, many distinct stops. Each stop has its own name referencing the road or a point of interest.
  • Easy use by every citizen (residents, workers, young people, elderly people, people with mobility difficulties, etc.).

You drop your car and you enjoy old town traveling with minibusses. Like the Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus that stops to all the points of interest.

You can find all the information you need, together with routes in «https://nicosiaminibuses.eu».


Where to Eat & What


The good staff just started. You will notice that many people in Cyprus have a big stomach.

This is because they like to eat and drink a lot. The grilled staff on the coals is our main sport.

Thousands of good places exist in Cyprus to eat awesomely made food. Usually, you need to look more for traditional places rather than trendy places.

My favorite type of food is definitely the meze. Usually, you can order Fish Meze and Meat Meze, but many places say, just Meze.

Actually, Meze is a collection of food in smaller portions and the idea is that you can try a lot of different plates.

Imagine something like tapas, but a bit bigger and definitely better. Sorry to my Spanish friends :)

Also in case you do not like something, you can eat something else but you definitely get the idea and tastes of Cyprus / Greek cuisine.

Fish Tavern Potamos LiopetriouOne of the Best Fish Tavern Cyprus

Another idea is that you can try many different plates once, and then you can eat the one you liked the most.

Especially when you are with kids and the kids usually are difficult to find something.

I like Fish Meze a lot. The best place to eat fish meze is at Potamos Liopetriou, at the Potamos Fish Restaurant.

Except for the beautiful and relaxing view, the food is awesome.

Finally, you can find great fish nearly in every town in Cyprus and also in Nicosia. See below the best places to eat fish during your visit to Cyprus


Best Seafood Restaurants in Cyprus

We always recommend Fish Meze. I believe that Cyprus it's one of the best places to eat good fish.

Nicosia

  • Paragadi «Παραγάδι» - Niovis 3, Acropolis
  • Pyxida «Πυξίδα» - Menadrou 5
  • Sexy Fish - Onasagorou 47, Old Town
  • Magiopoula «Μαγιοπούλα», Diagorou & Panteli Katelari 16A
  • To Latsi «Το Λατσί», Ag. Pavlou 1, Ag. Andreas

Larnaca

  • Zefyros: «Ζέφυρος», Piale Pasa 37, Reserve during the Weekends (Τel: 00357 24657198)
  • Psarolimano: «Ψαρολίμανο», Piale Pasa 118
  • Adonis: Άδωνις, Kakentzy Beach Λάρνακα, Playground for Kids

fishing boat Cyprus

Zygi

  • Captain’s Τable, Grigori Afxentiou 48, Little Expensive, Nice View
  • Καθαρή Καρδιά (Clean Heart), Grigori Afxentiou & Constantinoupoleos 20, Family Tavern
  • Λοΐζος Κουμπαρής (Loizos Koumparis), Grigori Afxentiou 71, Kids Playground
  • Santa Elena, Apostolou Varnava 8, great fish soup during the winter.

Paphos

  • Kingfisher Tavern, Tafoi Vasileon Avenue 76, Try the Special Fish Soup
  • Τυρίμος (Tirimos), Agapinoros 71, Kato Pafos
  • Filiotis By The Sea, Airport Street, Pafos
  • The Pelican Restaurant, Pafos Port

Ayia Napa - Protaras

  • Demetrion, Potamos Liopetriou, literally on the sea.
  • Ποταμός (Potamos), Potamos Liopetriou in Liopetri. During the Weekends you might need a reservation (+357 99388844).
  • Markos, Makariou III Avenue 44, Ayia Napa
  • Isaak, Makariou III Avenue 77-79, Ayia Napa
  • Vassos Psarolimano, Ayia Napa Port
  • Aeyialos, Vrisoudion 79, Paralimni
  • Σπαρτιάτης (Spartiatis), Konnou 79, Protaras
  • Καρράς (Karras),  Kappari Avenue 55, Paralimni
  • Kalamies (Καλαμιές), Ellinon 42, Pernera, Protaras

fish harbor Cyprus

Limassol

  • Pyxida «Πυξίδα», Limassol Marina, Little Expensive, Nice View
  • The Fish Market, Old Limassol Port
  • Fat Fish, Georgiou A' 1, Limassol Nautical Club
  • Kavourotrypa «Καβουρότρυπα», Serifou 44, Zakaki
  • Paliovarka «Παλιόβαρκα», Vasilissis 1, Medieval Castle

Best Food of the Cyprus cuisine

  • Octopus made on the grill
  • Baby Squid
  • Tsipoura and other Fish in General
  • Ellies Tsakitses (olives)
  • Village Pasta with Halloumi on the Top
  • Tahini
  • Grilled Pitta with Halloumi and Tomato
  • Grilled Halloumi
  • Jacket Potatoes with butter, cheese, tuna, sweet corn, and majoneze
  • Ravioles
  • Koupepia
  • Ofto Kleftiko
  • Souvlakia
  • Sieftalia
  • Snails, personally I don't like them, but they eat them a lot.

Maybe I forgot some of them now, but I need to eat something. If it happens that you visit Kakopetria, located on the way to Troodos mountains, then I recommend the Trout with Garlic.

Tip on Where to Eat: This might be applicable anywhere in the world. «The busiest the place, the better the food».

For example, if you go to Makentzy beach in Larnaka to eat Fish or to Zygi just outside Limassol where there are many taverns next to each other.

In such cases, you need to follow the crowd, mostly the local crowd.  Avoid going for food during the hours: 12:30 - 14:00 and 20:30 - 21:30 in very busy places.

If they didn't change, those are the hours all Cypriots are going to eat.

For a good simple, cheap and traditional food in Nicosia, I recommend «H Stoa tou Demetri». It is located at Digeni Akrita 28, Nicosia. Very nice variety of homemade food made with Love!


 Nicosia, Cross the Line


General

I recommend you should spend at least one day to visit Nicosia, my home town. The capital of Cyprus is a tale of two cities.

The south part (Lefkosia) belongs to the Republic of Cyprus and the North part (Lefkosa) it's occupied since 1974 by the illegal Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Since this time, Nicosia is the only divided European capital and is a tale of two cities with different religions.

During 2003 though, the borders are opened and someone may cross through the buffer zone to the other side only on specific locations using a passport or ID.

This makes Nicosia a great point for discovering the historic sites of the occupied part.


Map / Visit to Cyprus Places - More To See


What to do in Nicosia

SouthSide - NorthSide

Definitely, most of life is the last many years at Ledra street. Cafeterias, Bars, Shops, and restaurants are always packed with people.

Go around the area, find a nice traditional tavern with live music.

I highly recommend the restaurant Kathodon, just before the Customs Office on your left hand, at the end of Ledra, if you find a place to sit.

Try the meze and drink homemade wine (Karafa). Then cross the line and see the other side. You need a passport or an ID.

On the other side, there are shops that sell copy (fake) branded clothes. Be aware that you need to hide in the same you bought something, otherwise, Police will take it.

In case you have a car rental, the best parking place is the Ledras Parking. There is only one way to get to this Parking. Then all the good spots are at a close distance.


READ: Cyprus War: History and The Turkish Invasion

NorthSide

It worth visiting the historic sides of the occupied part, including the fairytale castle of St. Hilarion and the extensive ruins of Ancient Salamis.

In case you have more free time, you can visit Kerynia portBuffavento Castle,  Bellapais, and Famagusta.

Finally, on the Northside you can visit the Cathedral of St. Sophia, which is very close to the border.


SouthSide

Another very interesting place is the Venetian Defensive Walls, which encircles the old city.

The most important to see across the walls is the Famagusta Gate (Pyli Ammochostou) and the Paphos Gate which lead close to the famous Ledra Palace.

Ledra Palace was once a great hotel of the capital, but now it is used mostly by the UN, which is guarding the peace between the two sides.

A highly recommended trail is to start at the front of the Famagusta Gate, go to the end of the street where you see Orpheus Stadium.

Enter the small streets on the left and go across the Green Line until you reach the graphical Agios Kassianos Church.

Continue to the left until you get to Ermou street, once the main shopping street in Nicosia, now it's cut in half.

Cross the graphical streets of Ayios Kassianos until you reach Archiepiskopi.

There you can also see the Byzantine Museum and the house of Xatzigeorgaki Kornesiou.

Finally, on the way, you are going to see the Greek guarding points across the Buffer Zone which is very interesting.

More or less, this is the Suggested Route: «https://goo.gl/maps/nxtjSMnnT39uimGr5»


Read Also: Nicosia, and How to Cross the Line

Where to Stay

It is recommended to stay somewhere close to Ledras as it is the main point of interest in Nicosia

Also, is a place where you can walk during the night and have some drinks. The map below shows the closest area.

Booking.com


Larnaca, the City of Phoenix


Larnaca might be a nice place to stay for a few days.

It is not the best place in Cyprus when it comes to beaches and things to do with kids.

Although the water, is very low and it relatively safe for the kids to play there, there is not much to do.

What to See in Larnaca

Maybe on the Makenzie beachside is the best to go with kids. There are nice fish restaurants and a nice beach bar.

If it happens that you visit Larnaca, then below are the most important places to see in Larnaca.

Saint Lazarus Church Larnaca Cyprus

  • Saint Lazarus Church - Plateia Agiou Lazarou, Larnaca, Cyprus
  • Mackenzie Beach - 1101 Pacific Rim Hwy, Larnaca, Cyprus
  • Finikoudes Beach - Larnaca Promenade, Larnaca, Cyprus
  • Salt Lake with Hala Sultan Tekke - Artemidos Street, Larnaca, Cyprus
  • Marina - Athinon Avenue, Larnaca, Cyprus
  • Medieval Castle - Athinon Avenue | at an intersection with Kamil Kenan Street, Larnaca, Cyprus
  • Kition Archaeological Site - Archbishop Kyprianos Avenue, Larnaca, Cyprus

Finally, you can visit Kastella Beach and take some boat trips to Zenobia Wreck Dive Site.


Where to Eat in Larnaca

The best fish tavern in Larnaca is Zefyros and Psarolimano.

For more options check the traditional taverns of Kyra Giorgaina «Κυρά Γιώργαινα», To Steki tis Pareas «Το Στέκι της Παρέας» και Zinon 
«Ταβέρνα Ζήνων».

Finally, the Kellari Fish And Grill Tavern are also one of the best options for Cyprus Cuisine.


Where to Stay in Larnaca

Anything close to Finikoudes Beach on your budget with good reviews will be just fine.

Very central location, so you can visit the most important of Larnaca on foot.

Booking.com


Ayia Napa


General

Ayia Napa has some nice things to do with kids and is a place to relax on the best beaches on the island and have fun.

You can find close to the center an amazing Luna Park for adults and kids, called Parko Paliatso.

Another place that you can spend the whole day, except for laying at the beach is Ayia Napa WaterPark.

You can also walk at the old Ayia Napa Harbour and maybe visit the newly made Ayia Napa Marina.

From Ayia Napa Harbour, you can buy tickets and go for a party or a relaxing boat trip.

Finally, visit the nearby Protaras, which is also a great place for setting up a vacation with kids, but quieter.


Party Place

There is not much to see in Ayia Napa as it is a very small but good party place. There many good places to party in Ayia Napa.

I used to spend the night from 21:30 to 00:00 at the Senior Frogs. It was the craziest place in Ayia Napa. Nissi Beach during the weekends from noon till the afternoon is a great place to party.

Finally, there are many clubs in Ayia Napa, and even after clubs to go. Follow the night and the crowd. We used to end up at the River's Reggay, but not sure what is going on there now.

cyprus famagusta ghost townVaroshia in Ammochostos - The Famous Ghost Town


Tours to Ammochostos with the Famous Ghost Town

Find your Hotel in Ayia Napa

Note that some of the recommended hotels might not be available even for out of season periods.

Also during summer, it is very hard to find a room if you stay late to plan and also the prices might be out of real.

There are two long beaches I like the most in Ayia Napa. The first is located at the entrance of Ayia Napa and is called Nissi Beach.

This beach is a party place, but there are some quiet spots you can enjoy the sun, while you can jump into a party in a few minutes.

Parties are taking place mostly on Saturday and Sunday and they are packed with locals.

The best time to visit in the middle of April until the middle of June and the middle of September until the middle of November.

You can take a look at Adams Beach 5* Hotel, see the picture below.

Adams Hotel on the best Beach of Ayia NapaAdams Beach Hotel - Ayia Napa

The other is located before you exit Ayia Napa on the way to the old street to Protaras.

By the way, if you are going to Protaras from Ayia Napa, it's still the best way to go, although they made a new highway.

You are going to use this street also to visit Cape Greco with the famous Caves, Protaras, and the beautiful Konnos Beach.

The best hotel, in my opinion, to stay at is Mellissi Hotel - 4*It is an amazing hotel just on the best beach in Ayia Napa.

Quiet beach with a nice small bar (Marcello's) in the shadow under the trees, long walking path on the beach lead you to the graphical port.

Melissi Beach Hotel on the best Beaches of Ayia Napa, CyprusMelissi Beach Hotel, Ayia Napa

Melissi Hotel is located on the best beach of Ayia Napa starting from Limanaki (Port) and up-to Glyki Nero Beach (Sweet Water).

Important when you have kids, is that the hotel has a great playground and kids care so you can relax.

Finally, this is close to the square of Ayia Napa and nearly all the good party places, but it is still in a quiet area. 

Ayia Napa is a small town so it shouldn't be far to get to where you want.

Some more amazing hotels to choose from on the best sports of Ayia Napa are Nissi Beach Resort - 4* and Atlantica Aeneas Resort - 5*.

In case you are on a budget and traveling around Cyprus, then better check the map below.

Booking.com

Finally, another awesome area to stay is at the top of one of the best beaches in Cyprus, Konnos beach.

The best place to stay in, is the Grecian Park Hotel, just a few kilometers outside of Protaras.


Book Your Tour in Cyprus


 Nice Places / Visit to Cyprus


Caledonia Waterfall

The Waterfall is located at Pano Platres on the way to Troodos from the Limassol side. You can visit Platres mountain village from Limassol on your way to Troodos.

Find the path and walk the amazing route that leads to the Kalidonia Waterfall. Cross between small rivers and nature for 15 to 20 minutes, relax and get some fresh air.

You can hopefully find it using Google Maps - The directions on the map are from Pano Platres.


Chirokitia village

According to the dominating opinion the name of the village is a composite of the word "Khiros" (hog / pig) and the word "Kiti", thus suggesting an area where pigs were raised.

Other sources claim that the original name was "Sidirokitida", thus an area was iron was found.

It is also said that it might have originated from the word "Khirogetia", which implies the practice of palmistry.

According to yet to another opinion, it may have originated from some initial name like "Ierokitida" (Sacred place).

Yet more imaginative opinions claim that the name came from the words "gyros" and "oikia" due to the fact that the prehistoric huts are round.

Khirokitia Cyprus 1

Furthermore, tradition has it that the name is derived from the phrase "Chere Kitia" a phrase used by the Queen "Rigena" to address a certain female friend of hers from Kition.

It was also claimed that maybe the name originated from the plant Annona cherimola, which is found cultivated in Cyprus under the more simple name "Cheromolia", although this is considered very unlikely.

The village of Choirokoitia was suddenly abandoned for unknown reasons at around 6000 BC.

It seems that the island remained uninhabited for about 1500 years until the next recorded entity, the Sotira group.

More recent discoveries, however, have filled this chronological gap considerably, revealing that the island was probably occupied continuously at least from the ninth millennium BC.

Early communities were small and widely dispersed, so not every region would have been as heavily exploited as later in prehistory.

Source: «https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khirokitia»


Paphos


General

Paphos is a city on the southwest coast of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

Inhabited since Neolithic times, it has several sites relating to the cult of goddess Aphrodite, whose mythical birthplace was at Old Paphos (Kouklia).

It is one of the best seaside cities of Cyprus and it combines mountains and sea which make Paphos the most beautiful city.

Paphos CastlePaphos Castle

New Paphos is the modern city that incorporates the harbor, and the ancient ruins of tombs, fortresses, theaters, and villas at Paphos Archaeological Park.

  • Petra tou Romiou
  • Tombs of the Kings
  • Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
  • Paphos Castle and the Port
  • Adonis Baths
  • Aphrodite Baths
  • Polis Chrysochous and Latsi are nice places
  • Akamas and Lara beach (Lara beach is the place you can meet the turtles Kareta-Kareta)

Limassol


Limassol is a city on the southern coast of Cyprus.

It’s known for the centuries-old Limassol Castle, home to the Cyprus Medieval Museum and its collection of pottery and tombstones.

On the seafront is the Prokymea (Molos) Sculpture Park, with sculptures by Cypriot, Greek, and international artists.

To the northeast is the Limassol Archaeological Museum, exhibiting artifacts from the Neolithic to the Roman periods.

  • Kourion ancient ruins near Episkopi
  • The Sanctuary Of Apollo
  • Kolossi Castle
  • Ayia Mavri Winery - Kilani Village, Limassol, Cyprus
  • Nice wine you can find also in Vlassides Winery - Koilani, Limassol 4776, Cyprus
  • Limassol Marina
  • Omodos historic village

Read Also: See Cyprus Tour from Limassol - 5 Nights

Have you found something interesting in Cyprus?
Share your experience!
You might be interested: «How is the Weather in Cyprus»

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Last modification: Sat 17 Oct 2020