Things not to miss

written by Andy Turner
updated 7/8/2020
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#01 Turtle-watching

Beaches in both the south and the north represent some of the last Mediterranean nesting places of green and loggerhead turtles.

© Andreas Michael/Shutterstock

#02 The Akamas Peninsula

With no main roads, few people and a spectacular coastline, this area is a pleasant contrast to the more developed and crowded parts of the island.

Akamas Peninsula, Cyprus © f8grapher/Shutterstock

#03 Girne (Kyrenia)

Undoubtedly the most picturesque port on the island, with a perfect harbour backed by the majestic Kyrenia Mountains.

Beautiful view of the new port of Kyrenia (Girne), North Cyprus © MarinaDa/Shutterstock

#04 Hiking

Cyprus has some top-quality hiking trails, particularly in the Troodos Massif – even in high summer, the altitude makes for a pleasant walking climate.

© MoLarjung/Shutterstock

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#05 Lemesos Restaurants

The south’s great multicultural port is developing a reputation as the gourmet capital of the island.

© f8grapher/Shutterstock

#06 Buyuk Han

This beautifully renovated “Great Inn” at the heart of Lefkosa’s old town is a great place to shop or simply unwind.

© Andriy Markov/Shutterstock

#07 Painted Churches of the Troodos Mountains

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These beautifully painted wooden churches have been granted UNESCO World Heritage status.

© Shutterstock

#08 St Hilarion

A fantastical castle whose crumbling walls, meandering steps and ruined buildings blend into the craggy heights upon which it is built, offering spectacular views of the coast and mountains.

© Steve Allen/Shutterstock

#09 Kykkos Monastery

Of the dozens of monasteries in Cyprus, Kykkos is the most captivating.

© ruzanna/Shutterstock

#10 Ancient Salamis

In an idyllic setting lapped by the sea, ruined Salamis is at once one of the most impressive and most significant archeological sites anywhere on the island.

© xabi_kls/Shutterstock

#11 Mouflon

The handsomely horned and increasingly rare mouflon, a subspecies of a wild sheep found across the Middle East, can be seen at Stavros tis Psokas in the Tilirian forest.

Mouflon © RudiErnst/Shutterstock

#12 Diving

The wreck of the Zenobia, a modern car ferry which sank in mysterious circumstances off Larnaka, is one of the Mediterranean’s premier dive sites.

© Rostislav Ageev/Shutterstock

#13 The Cyprus Museum

The best museum in Cyprus, just outside the walls of Lefkosia, containing treasures from across the island and the ages.

#14 Hala Sultan Tekke

A perfectly proportioned mosque, sitting among elegant palm trees on the edge of Larnaka’s blinding-white salt lake.

© Shutterstock

#15 Café Culture

From small village kafenions occupied by old men sipping strong coffee to smart Nicosia establishments packed with the young and stylish, café culture flourishes across the island.

© Magicmood/Shutterstock

#16 Pafos Mosaics

These stunningly vivid mosaics give an insight into the life of the Roman elite on the island.


#17 Gazimagusa (Famagusta)

One of Cyprus’s great cities, where modern life takes place among ruins generated by the Ottoman siege of the city over four centuries ago.

© Sopotnicki/Shutterstock

#18 North Coast Beaches

Cyprus has hundreds of beaches, though arguably the finest – such as Golden Sands – are strung along the north coast and Karpaz Peninsula.

© Dmitry Pichugin/Shutterstock

#19 Wine tasting

Follow one of six wine-tasting routes, drop into the Cyprus Wine Museum or throw yourself into the bacchanal of the Lemesos Wine Festival.

© ElenYrebyata/Shutterstock

#20 Bellapais

Made famous by Lawrence Durrell, who once lived here, Bellapais is beautifully set around its medieval monastery.

© travelview/Shutterstock

#21 Easter

Easter is the most important festival in the Greek Orthodox calendar, and it is celebrated across the republic, often with lavish processions.

© GTS Productions/Shutterstock

#22 Omodos

A wonderful hill village boasting not only a winery but also a pretty, cobbled central square, a venerable monastery, and a range of restaurants and shops.

© leoks/Shutterstock

Travel advice for Cyprus

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written by Andy Turner
created 9/2/2013
updated 7/8/2020
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