Cyprus is a modern country offering culture with ancient enchantment. You will discover a world of alluring beaches and fragrant mountain peaks, vineyards studded with olive trees and ancient ruins. Visit the citrus groves and old stone villages where sweet wine flows freely. Cyprus is very relaxed and carefree where a sense of timelessness is magnified by the kindness of the people. Nicosia (Lefkosia)
is the capital of Cyprus.
Cyprus had ideal weather, with sunny days and fine temperatures almost every day. Extremes of temperatures are rare, meaning Cyprus has something to offer every month of the year, whether it’s swimming (as late as November) or enjoying cultural sites and festivals (all year long).
Summer stretches from mid-May to mid-October and means high temperatures, cloudless skies and cooling breezes from the sea. It’s the ideal season for swimming, sunbathing and a whole range of water sports from sailing to scuba diving. At this time of year, explore the archaeological sites early in the morning or in late afternoon, avoiding the hottest part of the day.
The days of September and October are still sunny and the water warm enough for comfortable swimming. Basically, it’s still summer.
Toward the end of October evenings do tend to get cooler, however, in October and through November the leaves change color in the Troodos and vineyards take on gold and crimson hues against a backdrop of crystal clear sunlight. It is still possible to enjoy swimming, while inland excursions to villages and vineyards for wine tasting can be very enjoyable.
December and January are the months of Mediterranean winter, bringing the possibility of rain, but still an average of six hours of bright sunshine a day.
The summer resort of Agia Napa, for example, offers a “Cultural Winter” with classical music concerts and modern and folkloric dance performances. Into early February there is occasional rain, and often snow in the Troodos which is ideal for skiing!
Top Destinations in Cyprus
Major attractions include the Cyprus Archaeological Museum, which contains Cypriot antiquities and art treasures from the Neolithic Age to the early Byzantine period, the Byzantine Museum and Art Gallery, which has the largest collection of 9th- through 18th-century icons on the island and Kourion, the site of an important city-kingdom whose Greco-Roman amphitheater was built in the 2nd century B.C.
The capital of Cyprus since the 12th century, Nicosia stands at the heart of the Mesaoria Plain. Among its attractions and points of interest are the Cyprus Museum, a storehouse of the island’s archaeological treasures, the Folk Art Museum, the new Archbishop’s Palace, St John’s Cathedral, Byzantine churches, the Byzantine Museum/Makarios Cultural Center and the Ömeriye Mosque.
Larnaka & the Southeast – An industrious resort town, Larnaka has Cyprus’ main international airport on its doorstep, a harbor with deep-water berths and a marina. The seafront promenade is fringed with palm trees and cafes and tavernas. Places of interest include the Agios Lazaros Church and its associated Byzantine Museum, Larnaka Fort, the District Archaeological Museum, the Pierides Museum (a private archaeological museum), the Natural History Museum, the Tornaritis-Pierides Palaeontology Museum and the scant ruins of ancient Kition.
Near the airport is the Hala Sultan Tekkesi, a historic mosque standing in beautiful gardens on the edge of Larnaka Salt Lake (dry in summer), a winter home of migratory flamingoes. Nearby, in Kiti, Panagia Angeloktisti Church contains a superb sixth-century Byzantine mosaic of the Virgin and Child.
East of Larnaka, Larnaka Bay has a sand beach. On the coast south of Famagusta lie busy resorts, speckled with golden sand beaches that are ideal for children, like those at Fig Tree Bay and Flamingo Bay.
Agia Napa has a 16th-century monastery – and an increasingly boisterous reputation as a major clubbing resort. It also attracts families to its beaches, Waterworld leisure center and Go-Karts track. Boat tours leave from the harbor. Family-oriented Protaras and Pernera resorts have good beaches, with cafes and beach bars. Other attractions in the area include watersports and rock climbing. Around Cape Gkreko, the coastline becomes indented with rocky coves and small sandy beaches, ideal for snorkeling and scuba-diving (both for experienced practitioners), explorations by boat and picnics. The Potamos Creek fishing harbor presents a scene of colorful fishing boats. Inland, the small town of Paralimni provides entertainment in its restaurants, dance clubs and cafes.
Limassol (Lemesos) & the Southwest- Limassol is the focus of Cyprus’ wine industry. In September, the town holds a wine festival, at which wine and food are served free. The city is an important tourist destination, and has beaches like Dassoudi Beach and those at nearby Germasogeia, backed by cafes and tavernas. Limassol Castle stands guard over the old harbor and houses the Cyprus Medieval Museum. There is also a Folk Art Museum, the Limassol District Archaeological Museum and, in the Municipal Gardens, a small zoo.
Pafos & the West – The year-round resort in the west consists of Upper Pafos, built on a rocky escarpment that commands a superb view of the coastline, and Lower Pafos, with a taverna-fringed harbor and a long seafront. Pafos is a good base for exploring the rugged west of the island. To the east and northeast, the land rises through vineyards and the Pafos Forest to Cedar Valley, part of the Tripylos Nature Reserve.
On the coast north of Pafos, Coral Bay is a fast-growing resort around a small but good beach. Further on in this direction, the fishing harbor at Agios Georgios is overlooked by cliffs into which ancient tombs are cut.
How to get there
Larnaca Airport – The airport is located 5km (3 miles) from Larnaca. There are non-stop flights from all the major cities of Western and Eastern Europe with Cyprus Airways and the National airlines of the European countries.
The best way to travel around Cyprus is by car. There are many car hire companies to choose from. The roads are generally well paved and modern, except for some mountain areas.
There are no trains in Cyprus
Most people who travel by ship to Greece from foreign ports come from Italy, although there is occasional service from Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, and Turkey. Brindisi to Patras is the most common ferry crossing, about a 10-hour voyage, with as many as seven departures a day in summer. There is also regular service, twice a day in summer, from Ancona and Bari, once daily from Otranto, and two or three times a week from Trieste or Venice. Most ferries stop at Corfu or Igoumenitsou, often at both; in summer, occasionally a ship will also stop at Kefalonia.
The bus service is very frequent, and travels to all major cities and holiday resorts. In Northern Cyprus, minibuses and the shared dolmus (taxis) are the cheapest forms of transportation. Service is frequent on main routes.
Limassol Festival – Nov/April- A variety of prestigious cultural events.
Carnival Festivities in all towns – March 3 -13th.
Anthestiria – Flower festivals – May/July – In the areas of Larnaka, Pafos, Lemesos and Germasogeia.
Day of Music (June 21): All towns.
International Larnaka Festival (July 1-31)
Limassol Wine Festival (August 30 – Sept.11): Famous annual festival at Municipal Gardens, Lemesos, with local foods, traditional music and dance, and free Cyprus wines from the barrel.
Nicosia – The city hosts the annual International State Fair (end of May) and the Nicosia Arts Festival (beginning of June).
Eating Dining Shopping
Cypriot food is a blend of Greek and Turkish influences. Barbeque, salads, and Greek/Turkish coffee are very popular. Meze, appetizer plates that can be a full meal (similar to Spanish tapas) are a specialty of Cyprus. Salty halloumi cheese lightly grilled and served hot, kebabs, olives or some feta cheese.
Specialties of Cyprus include wine, pottery, leather goods, and lace. You will also find all the latest fashions in the main shopping areas in each city and resort.
In many parts of Cyprus you will find a life style little changed from centuries ago, when the pace of life was slower and simple pleasures were gained from an equally simple life.
Cypriot culture is among the oldest in the Mediterranean. By 3700 BC the island was well-inhabited a crossroads between East and West. The island fell successively under Assyrian Egyptian Persian Greek and Roman domination. For 800 years beginning in AD 364 Cyprus was ruled by Byzantium. After brief possession by Richard the Lion-Hearted during the Crusades the island came under Frankish control in the late 12th century. It was ceded to the Venetian Republic in 1489 and conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1571. The Ottomans applied the millet system to Cyprus which allowed religious authorities to govern their own non-Muslim minorities. This system reinforced the position of the Orthodox Church and the cohesion of the ethnic Greek population. Most of the Turks who settled on the island during the 3 centuries of Ottoman rule remained when control of Cyprus – although not sovereignty – was ceded to Great Britain in 1878. Many however left for Turkey during the 1920s. The island was annexed formally by the U.K. in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I and became a crown colony in 1925.
Cyprus gained its independence from the U.K. in 1960
Useful telephone numbers
Emergency Number Tel: 199
Airport Information Tel: Larnaca (0)24 816 130
Tourist Office:Tel: (Larnaca) 04/654322
Holiday rents online: Tel:
National Transport Line Tel:
24 hour medical service Tel: (Larnaca Hospital) 04/630312