Cyprus | Travel Guide
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Update July 19: If you're fully vaccinated and returning to England from an amber country you won't need to self-isolate when you get back.
You'll need to take a PCR test 3 days before you travel and a PCR test on or before day 2 after you return.
Children under 18 won't need to self-isolate but will still need to take the precautionary tests. Those aged 5-10 only need to take the day 2 test and those under 4 are exempt from any testing or self-isolation.
The UK is on Cyprus' red list, meaning it's open to UK visitors if they can prove they've been vaccinated and take a test. Cyprus is on England's amber list.
If you're fully vaccinated (and can prove it) you'll just need to do a PCR test no more than 72 hours before you arrive. Those who aren't fully vaccinated will need to do a PCR test on arrival too, and self isolate until you get the results.
If you're fully vaccinated you'll need to take a PCR test on day 2 once you return.
If you aren't fully vaccinated you'll need to take PCR tests on day 2 and day 8 while you self-isolate on your return.
When you're there:
You'll need to wear a mask in all indoor and outdoor public spaces and there's a curfew in place from 11pm until 5am. There are some variations on the rules depending where you are staying so check the government website for more information.
Traffic light status:
Cyprus has been confirmed to be on England's amber list meaning it is legal to travel there for any reason, including a holiday. At time of writing the FCDO does advise against non-essential travel to Cyprus.
Cyprus Travel Guide
Beautiful beaches, sparkling seas, glorious sunshine, fresh fish and seafood, delicious meze and a rugged wine-growing interior make Cyprus a dreamy summer holiday destination. A much fought-over isle, this little piece of the eastern Mediterranean has been settled by the Mycenaeans, Persians, Byzantines, Crusaders, Venetians, Ottomans and the British over the centuries and now draws visitors from across the globe.
What to expect from our Cyprus travel guide:
Getting to Cyprus
Cyprus is served by two main airports in the south - Paphos and Larnaca. Larnaca is the bigger airport but with flight time and prices similar it's usually a personal preference based on travel time to your hotel or resort.
Once you've landed in Cyprus the easiest and cheapest way to get to your hotel is by shared shuttle, we recommend booking your airport transfer before you go as it's the most hassle-free way to reach your accommodation.
If you haven't booked in advance you can get a taxi from either airport. A taxi from Paphos airport to the city centre wil cost roughly €14, or from Larnaca to the city centre it is around €10. Check the cost for other drop off points.
Cyprus is in the Eastern Mediterranean
Time zone: GMT +3
Power adapter: Type G
Language: Cypriot Greek or Cypriot Turkish
Flight time: Average 5hrs
The Green Green Green list
Keep up to date with everywhere you can travel this summer.
Getting Around Cyprus
Although public transport is available, the island is only 140 miles in length so it's perfect for exploring by road. We highly recommend hiring a car for your time in Cyprus - it gives you the freedom to get out and explore the wonderful sites Cyprus has to offer from under £10 a day!
Top Places To Visit
There's a lot to see and do in Cyprus, so here's a short list of our favourite places as well as the top tourist sites on the island.
Aphrodite's Rock- Petra tou Romiou
This famous rock formation is about 20 minutes south of Paphos. According to Greek mythology, this is where Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, was born. Sitting just off the coast this is an easy (and free) place to visit - and if legend is to be believed if you swim around the boulder 3 times anti-clockwise you'll achieve eternal beauty. The sea can get quite rough here, so instead of swimming we recommend viewing it from the cafe with an ice cream in hand!
Tomb of the Kings
The Tomb of the Kings is less than a mile and a half from Paphos harbour, so is easily walkable. This World Heritage site dates back to 4th century BC - and contrary to its name, was the burial place of high officials not royalty. Book in advance to secure your spot as it can get quite busy - entry is around €2.50. People usually spend 2-3 hours here, and it can get very hot so we recommend bringing water and plenty of sunscreen.
At the start of the Akamas Peninsula, Avakas Gorge is one of our favourite spots on the island. The whole peninsula is largely unreachable by roads which means its a great way to enjoy unspoiled nature. The gorge itself was created over many millennia as the river cut through the limestone rocks below, leaving walls as high as 30m. It isn't an easy hike, and the rocks can get slippery, so make sure you are dressed appropriately. If you aren't comfortable hiking in the gorge itself you could walk 2-3km to the gorge entrance from the visitor car park instead.
If you enjoy hiking then head inland and discover these waterfalls. It's an uphill climb all the way so it's a bit of a work out, but the waterfalls are well worth the climb. The trail is around 3km long, and it runs through shady forest which gives you a break from the heat on the way.
Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa is hugely popular, which does mean it is likely to be busy but there's a reason it has so many visitors. It has beautiful white sand, crystal clear water and a sand walkway that can be crossed at low tide to reach Nissi island (which the beach is named after). There are plenty of beachside bars and resturants, and a watersports centre to keep you entertained.
Fig Tree Bay
Fig Tree Bay takes its name from the trees that line the coast, and this beautiful sandy beach is much quieter than Ayia Napa beaches. The waters here are shallow and there are smaller paddling pools, so it's a great safe location for those with kids. Fig Tree Bay often ranks highly in best beaches in Europe lists, and it's not hard to see why.
If sitting on a towel on some sand is a little tame for you, then head to Cape Greco. It's a great spot for hiking and the sea caves make for more intersting swimming and exploration opportunities. At low tide you can wander into the caves, set into the cliff side - when the tide is higher you'll see lots of people cliff diving.
Coral Bay is the most popular beach near Paphos, with 600m of sandy beach with headlands at each end. The headlands protect the beach from strong currents which makes it a popular beach to swim in, and really family friendly. There are also sea caves to explore in the rockier parts of the coast, and you can escape the crowds if you walk further down the beach.
If you want to avoid the crowds then Lara beach is a great choice. In the Akamas peninsula, an area of around 230km2 of valleys, gorges and sandy beaches, it's a quieter, more natural beach. It's also a breeding ground for turtles so if you time your visit right you may get to see one (be sure to always respect the wildlife).
Cyprus For Families
Cyprus has plenty of sites to keep the kids entertained, including kids clubs and water parks. As the island is fairly small there are also no long painful car journeys or queues in airports!
If you're travelling with younger kids, lots of the hotels and resorts will have their own pools and kids clubs which makes keeping them entertained a little easier. Some will also host evening events as well, so make sure you check out what each resort has on offer before you book.
If your kids are slightly older there are plenty of historic sites for you to explore which should get their imagination going! And if they are animal lovers, head to the Akamas Peninsula where you can take a jeep safari tour, or a boat trip out to the Blue Lagoon.
If you're staying in Paphos then make time to visit Aphrodite Waterpark which has pools and slides for kids of all ages (plus a lazy river for the parents!)
Accessibility In Cyprus
Both Paphos and Larnaca airports have accessible facilities - including washrooms, charging stations for wheelchairs, ramps and assistive services.
When you're choosing a hotel, the Cyprus tourist office has inspected the facilities and identified a list of establishments which provide satisfactory levels of service. Though it's always a good idea to check with each hotel what they have on offer.
Though effort has been made to make moving around Cyprus comfortable, they do recommend those with mobility issues be accompanied. Public transport can also be arranged with prior notice - with special buses and taxis suitable for transporting wheelchairs.
Beaches and places of interest will clearly display whether they are accessible, and it's worth checking before you arrive to avoid disappointment. There are 26 beaches designated as fully accessible, with 6 of these having the innovative "Seatrac" which offers full access to the sea. Visit Cyprus have provided an excellent leaflet which gives more information about what facilites are available - we highly recommend you use this guide throughout your holiday.
Although the gay scene in Cyprus isn't as developed as other Med hot spots, this is a popular destination for LGBTQ+ travellers. Although the country is socially conservative it does have LGBTQ+ laws in place, and same-sex activity is legal.
If you're looking to hit the beach then there are some excellent choices. Near Ayia Napa you should visit Kermia beach - or in the south there is Pissouri and Governor beach.
You'll find a lively nightlife in Larnaca and of course in Ayia Napa - and there are plenty of gay-friendly establishments found all over the island.
Looking for more inspiration, information or a handy travel guide? You'll find more on our travel hub.
At Holiday Extras we're all about hassle-free travel - so we've read all the documents and done all the research so you don't have to.
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