Cyprus | Travel Guide
Updated 15th March:
Cyprus has already agreed it will admit vaccinated British travellers - without tests or quarantine - from 1st May (so earlier than the earliest possible date we'll be allowed to fly). It is piloting the same scheme with Israeli visitors from 1st April, so as soon as we're allowed to fly overseas again, Cyprus will be open to some of us for holidays.
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 we cover in 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 have landed in Cyprus the easiest and cheapest way to reach your hotel is via a shared shuttle, we recommend pre-booking your airport transfer as this is the most hassle-free way to reach your accommodation.
If you haven't prebooked however 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. (Click here for guide prices to other resorts)
Cyprus is located in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Time zone: GMT +3
Power adapter: Type G
Language: Cypriot Greek or Cypriot Turkish
Flight time: Average 5hrs
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 give's you the freedom to get out and explore the many wonderful sites Cyprus has to offer from under £10.00 a day!
To see where we visited when we hired a car for our Cyprus road trip, check out the video below.
Some Of Our Top Places To Visit
There's a lot of things to do and see in Cyprus, but here's a short list of our favourite places to visit plus the top tourist sites on the island.
Aphrodite's Rock- Petra tou Romiou
This famous rock formation is about 20 minutes south of Paphos and one of the must visit sites in Cyprus. According to Greek mythology, this is where Aphrodite , the Greek goddess of love, was born. Just off the coast this is an easy, and free, site to visit - and if legend is to be believed if you swim around the boulder 3 times anti-clockwise you'll achieve eternal beauty. But the sea can get quite rough here, so instead 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 what it's name suggests was the burial place of high officials, not royalty. We recommend you book in advance to secure your spot, as it can be quite busy - entry fee 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.
Situated at the start of the Akamas Peninsula this is one of our favourite spots on the island. The whole peninsula is largely unreachable by roads, and this 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. This 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 you can simply walk the 2-3km to the gorge entrance from the visitor car park.
If you enjoy hiking then make sure to head inland and discover these waterfalls. It is an uphill climb all the way, so you may get a work out, but the waterfalls are well worth the climb when you get there. The trail is around 3km long, but does run through shady forest which gives you a break from the heat.
This is a very popular beach in Ayia Napa, this does mean it is likely to be crowded however there's a reason it is so popular. This beach has beautiful white sand and crystal clear water. There's also a sand walkway that can be crossed at low tide to reach Nissi island, for which the beach is named. There's plenty of beach side 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 is a beautiful sandy beach much quieter than other Ayia Napa beaches. The waters here are shallow and there are smaller paddling pools, so this is a gerat safe location for those with kids. This beach often ranks highly in best beaches in Europe lists, and it's not hard to see why.
If just sitting on a towel on some sand is a little tame for you, then head to Cape Greco. This is a great spot for hiking and the sea caves make for more intersting swimming and exploration opportunities. At low tide you can wander into these caves, set into the cliff side or when the tide is higher you'll find lots of peopel cliff diving.
Coral Bay is the most popular beach near Paphos, there is 600m of sandy beach with headlands each side. The headlands protect the beach from strong currents, which makes this 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. Located in the Akamas peninsula, an area of around 230km2 of valleys, gorges and sandy beaches, this is a quieter more natural beach. It is a breeding ground for turtles, so if you time your visit right you may get to see one (make sure to always respect the wildlife!).
Cyprus For Families
Cyprus is a great choice for your next family holiday - with plenty of sites to keep the kids entertained, kids clubs and water parks. As the island is fairly small, there's 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. This makes keeping them entertained a little easier, some will host evening events as well. So make sure to check out what each resort has on offer before you book.
If your kids are slightly older then there are so many historic sites for you to explore which should really get their imagination going! And if they are keen animal lovers, why not 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 sure you 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 assitive services.
When looking for a hotel the Cyprus tourist office has inspected the facilities and identified a list of establishments which provide satisfactory levels of service. Though it is always good 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 arrange 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 it 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 LGBT laws in place, and same-sex activity is legal.
If you're looking to hit the beach then there's a few 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 night life scene in Larnaca and of course in Ayia Napa - and there's 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.