On average, Cyprus gets an impressive 326 days of sunshine per year. If you’re looking for a holiday destination that’s guaranteed to leave you with a decent tan, it doesn't get much better than this compact Mediterranean island. But if it’s your first time visiting Cyprus, we recommend that you explore the legendary sites and the pretty legendary partying, along with those perfect white shores…

fish shop, cyprus.
Photo Credit: hokieheart

We’re all looking for an authentic taste of a new place and if it’s the ‘real’ Cyprus you’re after, head to the fascinating capital of Nicosia. Experience two holidays in one by crossing the famous ‘Green Line’ into the island’s Turkish northern half.

Just south of the border in Greek Lefkosia, you’ll find chic cafes and popular department stores. North of the border tells another story, with historic mosques, open-air markets and authentic Turkish baths to squeeze in some essential pampering time. The world’s last divided capital, Nicosia is a truly unique destination.

Ayia Napa

Of course, there’s no better place to enjoy a night out in Cyprus than clubbing hotspot Ayia Napa. Worth a stop if you’re travelling with the girls, the themed bars and the cocktails flow go on into the wee hours of the morning.

In some ways, Ayia Napa is just what we’d expect from a Mediterranean party destination, but there’s another side to the town that might surprise. Its harbour is still filled with local fishing boats, its beaches remain as stunning as ever and watching the sunset from its coastal cliffs makes for a truly unforgettable experience.

Enkleistra (Hermitage) at The Monstery of Agios Neofytos (Neophytos), Tala, Pafos (Paphos), Cyprus
Photo Credit: Glen Bowman


Most tourists in Cyprus only know Larnaca for its airport and then leave the city soon after they touch down. However, with its palm tree-lined boardwalk, plethora of seaside restaurants and sprawling urban beaches, we think Larnaca is a worthy holiday destination in itself.

While the city has a real cosmopolitan atmosphere, similar to that of Barcelona, it is also home to a number of important archaeological sites, including the ancient ruins at Kition.

Cyprus Coast
Photo Credit: Oleksii Zrazhevskyi

Over on the island’s west side, you’ll find the quieter resort town of Paphos. More popular with older couples and families, life in Paphos moves at a delightfully slow pace. We found it a perfect antidote to the riotous southern resorts.

The town, famous for its Roman mosaics, is also just south of the gorgeous Akamas Peninsula, which is full of scenic hiking opportunities. On the way to Akamas, be sure to stop at Petra tou Romiou, also known as ‘Aphrodite’s Rock’, the site where the Greek goddess of love was born. Swim around the rock three times, and you might just meet your true love - or so the legends say.

Although it’s a relatively small island, Cyprus is filled with fascinating places to explore. In addition to those mentioned above, the south coast city of Limassoland the majestic Troodos Mountains are also worthy pit-stops on your Cyprus tour. You may not be able to see it all in one trip, but wherever you wind up, this sun-drenched island never disappoints.

Hilary Ellen is a freelance travel writer with a taste for island hopping. For work and pleasure, she has visited over fifty islands and counting…

Main photo credit: Evgeniy Isaev used under Creative Comms license

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