Visit Cyprus - Planning, Tips and Recommendations
Cyprus is a small island in Mediterranean sea. It is usually warm with a lot of sunny days. The island have a very rich history from the ancient years. Beautiful beaches where you can relax and enjoy the sun. Most important is the warm sea water that make the kids feeling comfortable. Also Cyprus is the only divided European Country and the capital Nicosia the only divided European capital.
Let me try to help you plan your trip to Cyprus!
Booking your Flights to Cyprus
The island of Cyprus have two airports currently operating. There is another one in Nicosia, but it is in dead zone since 1974. One operating airport is located in Larnaca and the other is in Paphos.
Larnaca is closer to Ayia Napa and Protaras, which are the two most beautiful sea side places in Cyprus with the best beaches. Paphos airport is located closer to Limassol and from Limassol you have easier access to Troodos mountains from Platres.
You can stay also in Larnaca and in 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 as you can rent a car and if the flight is early you can travel anywhere.
Cape Greco in Ayia Napa
The longer distance is to fly to Paphos Airport and stay to Protaras. It is 179 KM and it will take you around 2 hours drive. 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 can be around 8 KM or around 13 KM, depend from which direction. The time also depend on the the traffic. See Map Below in Larnaka Information.
The main problem of the island is that the public communications are not like the rest European countries. Although they are much improved the recent years, they are insufficient. The good news is that distances between different cities are relatively short.
Try below amazing Flight comparison engine and find the cheapest flights in a few seconds
As we mentioned above it depends where you would like to stay. There are two type of vacation in Cyprus. One way is to just land in a beautiful place and stay there enjoying the beach. The other will be to see Cyprus. In the second case you need to rent a car.
The places i like the most in Cyprus are: Ayia Napa -- Protaras -- Kakopetria -- Platres -- Paphos and Limassol. In case you have a car, you can plan your trip accordingly. See the section below for renting a car in Cyprus.
For now decide your days and use the below engine to find the cheapest hotels in the cities of interest. Also consider the maps below in order to make sure you book something in a good location. Finally you can check my recommendations for awesome hotels.
Hotel Comparison Engine
Enter your destination, Dates and Guests and Click Search. You can then Sort the Results on Price or any other criterion.
Recommended Hotels in Ayia Napa
Note that some of the recommended hotels might not be available even for out of season periods. Also during summer is very hard to find a room if you stay late and the prices can be very high.
There are two long beaches i like the most in Ayia Napa. One is located when you enter Ayia Napa and is called Nissi Beach.
The other is located before you exit Ayia Napa on the way to the old street to Protaras. You are going to use this street to visit Gaco Greco with the famous Caves, Protaras and Konnos Beach.
Apollo Hylates Sanctuary
On the way to exit Ayia Napa on the Hill you will find some nice Hotels. We was in Melissi for one week all-inclusive and we liked the food, service and location very much. But the price is high :( Below you can find all the hotels located on that Hill with access to the beach.
Great location to relax and go to the beach, easy walk to the city center and to the old port through the beach and through the street.
As you can notice all the hotels are 4* and 5*. In case you have a lower budget for hotel, please use the comparison engine to give you the best deals and check the maps.
Ayia Napa is a small town so it shouldn't be far to get to where you want. Considering that you have rented a car, you can then go anywhere.
Map with the best location
Below in the first map marked te one side of the best beach of Ayia Napa starting from Limanaki (The Port) and up-to Glyki Nero Beach (Sweet Water). On the top of that area are very nice hotels.
We like Melissi hotel, as the food is very nice, the swimming pool is awesome and beach just below the hotel is one of the best.
When entering Ayia Napa and turning to the right is my favorite beach called Nissi Beach. It a party beach and it is very crowded, specially during July and August and mostly Saturday and Sunday.
But it is very nice to go from middle of April until middle of June and middle of September until... Well, last time i was on 25 of December and it was still nice.
Great hotel on that side of Ayia Napa, which is muchh closer to Ayia Napa Waterpark as well are below. This area is around 2 KM from the city center and is more far than from the other side.
Map that shows three nice beaches in one site of Ayia Napa. Nissi Beach, Landa Beach and Makronisos Beach.
Anything you book on a walking distance from one of those beaches can be fine. But note that walking to the coty center is far at least from those beaches. But they are closer to Waterpark.
Map of Ammochostos area
The map below shows on one side of the coast the best beaches of Ayia Napa and on the other side the best beaches of Protaras.
Using the old road from Ayia Napa to Protaras you should visit the Cape Greco and the famous Caves and then you should find a beautiful beach named Konnos.
Fighting with Hotels made me tired. I will include a Booking filter just below that will show the current offers in Ayia Napa and Protaras. Anything you book close to the sea should be ok.
Read reviews from other travelers, see the pictures and i think you can get a good opinion.
How to travel from the airport to your hotel
This can be an easy case if you rent a car from the aiport. In other case you have two options. Either take a Taxi or take the Airport Shuttle.
This can be tricky and depend on how many person you are as well. I will add below links with prices for the two services so you can compare.
- 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. 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. At the end you might also save money on transports.
Using a Bus in Cyprus
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 Nicosia - Larnaka cost only 4 euro.
You can find all the Buses Routes and Fares in Cyprus By Bus Website. Also you can find information about buses from the airport.
The main Bus transporter for Nicosia and surrounding villages in Cyprus is OSEL. If you need to go to some strange village this is the place to look.
Finallly when travelling between different cities and planning day routes, it is best to look into intercity-buses website.
FREE Mini Buses in Nicosia Old Town
The municipality of Nicosia has put the Nicosia's Mini Buses service on trial. With 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 mini buses. Like the Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus that stops to all the point of Interests.
You can find all the information you need, together with routes in Nicosia's Mini Buses Website.
Renting a car in Cyprus is the best option to go. 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.
Below you can find a relatively new service on the field that operates in Cyprus. It's following the idea of AirBnb, as people give their cars for rent. See the best offers based on categories. Choose your car and you are ready to go.
See also our Main Page for renting a car.
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 main problem is that they are also bored to walk, so you will see cars parked all around but don't worry about this. Police is making good money giving penalty's
There are places and places that today are good but tomorrow are not good. But i will try to recommend something.
My favorite type of food is definitely meze. There are two types of meze. Fish Meze and Meat Meze, both are good to go. Why? The reason is because they are going to bring you a variety of different plates, something like tapas but bigger.
So in case you do not like something then you eat something else.
Classic Cyprus Tavern - Souvlakia and Meze
Also you can try many different plates at once and then you can focus on the one you liked the most.
Specially 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 close to Ayia Napa area is at Potamos Liopetriou. Except from the beautiful and relaxing view, the food is awesome.
For the second one, you can see that some people like it and some not. This is strange. Maybe this depend on the mood of the person cooking. But you can check the reviews and decide. But the first one i have tried a few times and it was awesome.
Potamos Fish Restaurant - Tested to be OK
Never Tried that one - Family Restaurant Demetrion
What i reccommend from Cyprus cuisine
- Octabus made on grill
- Baby Squid
- Olives - Elies Tsakitses
- Village Pasta with Halloumi on the Top
- Grilled Pitta with Halloumi and Tomato
- Jacket Potatoes with butter, cheese and tuna majoneze, corn
Maybe i forgot some of them now, but i need to eat something. If it happens that you visit Kakopetria, located on the way up to Troodos mountains, then i recommend the Trout with Garlic.
Tip on Where to Eat: This might be applicable anywhere in the world. For example if you go to Makentzy beach in Larnaka to eat Fish or to Zygi outside Limassol. There will be many restaurants. You have to follow the crowd - the local crowd.
The busiest the place, the better the food
We are lucky we have also TripAdvisor and we are able to see good opinions about the place.
For Nicosia I recommend "H Stoa tou Demetri". Located at Digeni Akrita 28, Nicosia. Very nice variety of home made food made with Love!!
Cross the Line - Nicosia
I recommend that one day you visit Nicosia, my home town. The only divided European capital, half occupied by Turkey since 1974. What else to do in Nicosia except from crossing the line?
There is only one way to get to Ledras Parking - The best place to park to cross the line and visit Ledras. You get with the car in the parking and you get out walking from the opposite site, on Ledras Street.
As soon as you get out and you look left, you can see the Ledras check point. You need an ID or a Passport to cross the line.
Ayios Nikolaos Church in Pernera - Protaras Area
On the other side there are shops that they sell copy of branded clothes. Be aware if you would like to buy something, you will have to hide it. If the Police on our side will see it, they are going to take it from you.
Now if you walk to the right side, this is our side. You can see where the people walk and get lost in the small graphical streets. Find some old traditional tavern and sit. Try Zivania and eat some Meze :)
What to See in Larnaca
Larnaka might be the most convenient and inexpensive option for accomodation in Cyprus. But it is not the best place of Cyprus when it comes to beaches and things to do with kids.
If it happens that you visit Larnaca, then below are the most important places to see.
- Saint Lazarus Church - Plateia Agiou Lazarou, Larnaca, Cyprus
- Mackenzie Beach - 1101 Pacific Rim Hwy, Larnaca, Cyprus
- Finikoudes Beach - Larnaca Promenade, Larnaca, Cyprus
- Larnaka Salt Lake - Artemidos Street, Larnaca, Cyprus
- Larnaka Marina - Athinon Avenue, Larnaca, Cyprus
- Larnaka Medieval Castle - Athinon Avenue | at an intersection with Kamil Kenan street, Larnaca, Cyprus
- Kition Archaeological Site - Archbishop Kyprianos Avenue, Larnaca, Cyprus
The Map Below shows you a few of the most important places mentioned above. Also the distance from the Airport is marked. Makentzy beach is under the car sign where google shows the minutes and KM.
Ayia Napa has some nice things to do with kids. 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 from the beaches i mentioned above is Ayia Napa WaterPark.
There are not much to see in Ayia Napa as it is a very small party place. There many places to party like Senior Frogs, Nissi Beach and many bars and clubs in Ayia Napa square and surroundings. Follow the crowd.
Varoshia in Ammochostos - The Famous Ghost Town
Finally from Ayia Napa Harbour, you can buy tickets and go for an interesting and relaxing boat trip.
You can find a lot of different and the out of season prices are much better.
The Waterfall is located at Pano Platres. You can visit Platres mountain village from Limassol and then visit the beautiful route that leads to Kalidonia Waterfall. Walk between small rivers and nature for 15 to 20 minutes, relax and get some fresh air.
What to expect from the visit to Caledonia Waterfall Path
You can hopefully find it using Google Maps - The directions in the map are from Pano Platres.
You can hopefully find it using Google Maps - The directions in the map are from Pano Platres.
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 were iron was found. It is also said that it might have originated from the word "Khirogetia", which implies the practice of palmistry.
According 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.
Furthermore, tradition has it that the name is derived from the phrase "Chere Kitia" a phrased 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.
You can find a lot of articles on what to see in Cyprus.
Below you can find some Top to see in Paphos and Limassol!
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).
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 (In Lara beach you can meet the turtles Kareta-Kareta)
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
Have you found something interesting in Cyprus?
Share your experience!
There are also many nice places on the occupied side of the island.
Ammochostos, Kerynia and Rizokarpaso up to the monastery of Apostolos Andreas.
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