Cyprus is one of the European tourist destinations that offer very rich historical and natural attractions in close proximity. Cyprus is a more economical destinations as compared to the rest of Europe and Egypt. But there are far more attractive and satisfying reasons for visiting this island nation.
1. Take the Most Unforgettable Wine Tasting Tour Ever
One of the most special elements of the Cyprus experience is the local wineries. While you could always visit the Wine Museum in Limassol to learn in depth about the history of local wineries, but nothing matches living the experience in the field. You can taste the delicious Cypriot liquors at their purest right where they are distilled and brewed. The major wine tour routes are based in Paphos and Limassol districts. The major Paphos routes are the Laona-Akamas (Mesogi-Polis Chrysochus), the Vouni-Panagia-Ambelitis and the Diarizos Valley routes starting at Acheleia. The Limassol district offers the Kraschoria-Lemesou (Kolossi-Avdimou), Pitsilia (Mesa Geitonia-Palodeia) and Koumandaria (Kolossi-Agi Fyla) routes. Checking the local Xynisteri and Mavro grape varieties can be a real pleasure. Don’t forget to catch the annual Limassol Wine Festival in September to celebrate this Cypriot rich tradition.
2. Take a Dip in the Mediterranean
Diving is one of the favorite tourist activities in Cyprus and there are plenty of quality opportunities for it. Cyprus is particularly known for its pristine waters and great diving conditions, with underwater visibility up to 40 meters at places. Larnaca is the favorite destination of diving enthusiasts where the wreck of Zenobia, a ferry sunk in 1980, is a major tourist attraction. You can also find diving lessons from the local clubs. The pristine waters of the Yanathes Beach in Larnaca also attract divers. Other important locations are near Agia Napa, Paphos, Limassol, Latchi and Episkopi Bay.
3. Collect Cypriot Souvenirs
You would not want to return from Cyprus without bagging a unique souvenir or two. Cyprus is known for its exceptional indigenous handicrafts and markets. Paphos is known for leather and lace products and the Ayios Andreas and Anexartisias Street in Limassol are perfect places to shop for them. Larnaca features offers great jewelry shopping, while the adjoining village of Lefkara is known for its lace handicrafts. The local liquors of Zivania (Raki in the North) and Commandaria are favorite souvenirs too and are found in Nicosia and other major cities.
4. Have an Educational Tour of the Nicosia Museum
Nicosia Cyprus Archeological Museum is probably the single most important collection of historical artifacts in Cyprus and a great source to study its history in a nutshell. The museum is known for displaying Bronze Age artifacts, Chalcolithic cruciform figurines and a limestone Zeus statute with Assyrian influence. However, it is not the only museum in the city. The Leventio Municipal Museum is another important one that features archeological artifacts, maps, photographs and cultural items and specializes in the history of Nicosia.
5. Have a Quiet and Serene Beach Vacation
Cyprus is increasingly becoming popular as a beach vacation destination. Cyprus features fabulous and pristine beaches such as Timi-Mandra, Faros, Pachyammos and Coral Bay in Paphos, Green Bay and Konnos Beach in Protaras, Castella Beach, Faros Beach, Yanathes Beach and Dhekelia Beach in Larnaca, Curium Beach, Pissouri Beach and Governor’s Beach in Limassol and Polis Beach. There are more crowded and lively beaches such as the Nissi in Agia Napa and Protaras, Fig Bay and Louma beaches in Protaras as well, but for those looking for serenity and peace and quiet options such as Konnos Bay in Agia Napa and Mazotos near Larnaca can prove pretty useful. Cyprus offers excellent blue flag beaches but not a huge attraction for windsurfers and die hard watersports enthusiasts, though Ladies Mile provides some windsurfing opportunities.
6. Visit the Archeological Sites
Europe by Mediterranean is rich with historical and archeological treasures and Cyprus is no exception. If you are into this stuff, you will find plenty of such attractions here that deserve their own discussion thread. Paphos, the birthplace of Aphrodite, is a major archeological and historical destination. It features attractions such as the Tomb of the Kings, Paphos Fort and Paphos Archeological Park. The ruins of Ancient Kourion are located near Limassol which are particularly known for its Greco-Roman Theater and Apollo Temple. Another nearby archeological site is the ruins of the ancient town of Amathus. n
7. Party Your Heart Out
Agia Napa is the party capital of Cyprus and is one of the most exciting European destinations in terms of having fun. Nissi Bay is the hottest destination infamously known for its bikini and foam parties, while Makronisos Bay is more suited for families. There are several clubs in the city that remain alive all night long.
8. Taste the Cypriot Culinary Delights
Cyprus has a rich cuisine that needs to be explored on your trip to the island. The most important of the local delicacies is the traditional “meze”, which is an amalgamation of several dishes and ingredients such as moussaka, tava, stifado and olives. Sheesh kebabs, which is barbecued marinated lamb meat, and Yalanci Doma, which is vine leaves stuffed with rice and onion, are also worth trying. The local sea food such as Ahtapot Salatasi or Octopus Salad and desserts such as Asure are pretty popular as well. Cyprus is also the home of the Halloumi cheese, which is very popular in the region. Don’t forget to try the local spirits of Zivania and Commandaria with your food.
9. Hike the Hillside Terrain
Hiking is one of the favorite activities of tourists in Cyprus.. The trail from Kykkos Monastery also offers great hikes leading to the Cedar Valley. There are quite a few hiking attractions around Larnaca such as Choirokoitia Trail. A few other important hiking destinations are Adonis Trail in Akama and the Kaledonia Trail in Platres. Some of the most exciting hiking trails are located on and around the Troodos Mountains, such as the Artemis Trail and Stavros Agiasmati.
10. Catch Up With the Festivals
The town of Limassol is known for its Wine Festival in September. But the brightest attraction there is actually the Limassol Carnival that is held for ten days in late February and early March and is one of the most colorful of all festivals in Cyprus. If you love car rallies, then the Cyprus Rally is a major sporting event that is held in Limassol every fall. Other major local festivals include Anthestiria or Flower Festival in may and the Agia Napa Festival in late September. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Explore Cypriot festivals in greater detail here.