Relax on the beaches, a trip to the ancient mountain monasteries or grilled halloumi for lunch is the minimum program for those who go for a week on the island of Aphrodite.
However, the standard set can vary, if you look at the impressive list of historic villages, ask healing properties carob and learn all about the “Commandaria”, the oldest wine in the world. These are all included in in an itinerary for Cyprus when visiting this beautiful island.
Here is an overview:
- When to visit Cyprus
- The best time to visit Cyprus depends on your vacation plans.
- Spring and Summer in Cyprus
- The autumn and winter in Cyprus
- What to do in Cyprus: A different type of guide
- Stay active
- Explore the unspoiled nature of Cyprus on the Akamas Peninsula.
- Hiking in the Troodos Mountains
- Go Skiing
- Go Sea Kayaking
- Visit a donkey farm
- Enjoy a boat ride along the Paphos coastline
- The Blue Lagoon in Cyprus
- Aphrodite’s Rock
- Diving in Cyprus
- Explore the Wine Route and do a wine tasting
- Visit Cyprus’ beaches
- Fig Tree Bay, Protaras
- Paramali Beach
- Coral Bay, Paphos
- Malindi Beach, Limassol
- Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa
- Makenzie Beach, Larnaca
- Discover the thousand years old Cypriot cultural history
- Get introduced to the village way of life
- Village Omodos
- The village of Geroskipou – the best place for tasting Delight.
- Visit the archaeological sites
- Paphos Archaeological Park
- The Royal Tombs of Nea Paphos
- The ancient city of Kourion
- Visit the historic monasteries, churches and mosques
- Stavrovouni Monastery
- Agios Nikolaos Tis Stegis
- Timios Stavros Monastery
- Festivals in Cyprus
- Fish Festival
- Cyprus Rose Festival
- Make Music Day in Cyprus
- Cherry Festivals of Cyprus
- Lavender Festival
- Paradise Jazz Festival
- Limassol Wine Festival
When to visit Cyprus
The things you can do in Cyprus also depends on the time of the year you are heading here. So let’s first look on the best time to visit Cyprus.
The best time to visit Cyprus depends on your vacation plans.
If you are planning an active vacation in Cyprus, the months of March to May and September to October are ideal.
For a beach vacation, the months of June through August are recommended.
If you want to do a round trip in Cyprus, you should choose the period from March to May or from September to October.
Spring and Summer in Cyprus
Spring and summer in Cyprus are a feast for the senses. From March to May, the island is in full bloom as cherry trees, chrysanthemums, peonies, daffodils, anemones, hyacinths, almond trees and asphodels open their blossoms, bathing the landscape in a sea of color. With pleasant temperatures of around 20 degrees, the third largest island in the Mediterranean is perfect for exploring.
In July and August, temperatures soar to 40 degrees, but a constant breeze on the coasts makes the heat bearable.
From July to September, Cyprus glows in its famous pastel hues, made magical by thistles, caper bushes, myrtles, oleander bushes and tamarisk. Oranges, grapefruit, lemons and vines complete the picture of a little paradise.
The subtropical Mediterranean climate provides up to 13 hours of sunshine and no rainy days in the summer. If you are looking for carefree bathing, plan your vacation between June and September and choose a hotel on the southeastern coast of Cyprus with miles of beautiful sandy beaches. The water temperature averages between 25 and 30 degrees from July to October.
The autumn and winter in Cyprus
A Great Time for All!
Temperatures remain pleasantly warm into October, hovering just above 20 degrees. Sometimes the weather even lasts into early November. When it does cool down, you can expect winter rains.
But winter in Cyprus has its advantages: Temperatures in the valleys remain mild at 15 to 20 degrees. Especially the Trodoos mountains, which are considered the seat of the gods, are worth a winter trip. There is often snow, and winter sports enthusiasts will get their money’s worth. In Omodos, one of the most idyllic towns on the island, there are many other sights to discover.
The best time to travel depends on your own preferences, as there is plenty to do in Cyprus all year round. The climate is ideal for everyone. Look forward to a great time on the island!
What to do in Cyprus: A different type of guide
A few different suggestions of what to do in Cyprus from the typical beach life.
The stereotypical picture of Cyprus as a place of lazy beach holiday is instantly changing. You need only to go outside the hotel. Destroys the usual picture.
Explore the unspoiled nature of Cyprus on the Akamas Peninsula.
You should visit the Akamas peninsula in the northwestern part of Cyprus. It is believed that the area was named due to the mythical son of Theseus – Akamantise who sailed to Cyprus after the Trojan War.
This area is under UNESCO protection. You can travel only by jeep, because the roads here are bad (a simple gravel road, then climb up, then dive down). The area of the peninsula is the best suited for off-road enthusiasts.
In addition to the majestic mountainous landscapes in the heart of the island, this is considered one of the last unspoiled places in the country. On the Akamas Peninsula you can discover the fascinating flora and fauna as well as the breathtaking landscapes of the island. The impressive forests, cliffs and idyllic bays are an absolute highlight and should not be missed on your trip!
In the south of the Akamas peninsula you will find the impressive Avakas Gorge, where the sun is blocked in some places. A little further north is the beautiful Lara Beach, where you can visit a turtle sanctuary. Finally, in the far north, picturesque turquoise bays beckon.
To get the most out of your trip, we recommend renting a 4×4 for the day and exploring the peninsula on your own. You won’t miss a single highlight, and you’ll experience Cyprus at its wildest and most fascinating!
Hiking in the Troodos Mountains
Explore the secluded forests of the Troodos Mountains and combine your church and monastery adventure with a wonderful excursion. Cyprus is the perfect place for hiking and offers breathtaking trails through picturesque mountain landscapes, along rivers and waterfalls. You can look forward to fantastic viewpoints from which you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the island.
We recommend the following exceptional hiking areas:
Experience the nature trail to the Venetian bridges, such as the Tzelefos and Elia bridges. Or visit the spectacular Avakas George, a narrow gorge north of Paphos. The trail to the Kaledonia waterfalls is also worth a visit.
One of my favorite hiking trails is the Cape Greco Loop, which runs along the eastern side of the island. By the way, if you’re staying in Protaras or Ayia Napa, it’s worth visiting the Cape Greco National Park. The sunsets are spectacular.
The walk is pleasant and offers breathtaking views of the coast and the sea. The scenery is picturesque and you will probably take countless pictures. Particularly impressive are the “cave windows” – large, square openings in the cliffs through which you can look out over the beautiful blue water.
During the summer in Cyprus, make sure you have plenty of sunscreen and water, as temperatures can be very high. The Troodos Mountains are cooler than the coast due to their altitude, making them one of the best places to hike in high summer.
If you want to estimate your physical shape? Go to the Adventure Park in the Troodos Mountains. Professional instructors will explain the principles of climbing on “training”.
It may be a niche activity, but skiing is definitely on my must-do list for Cyprus! Not many travelers know that you can actually whiz down the slopes on the island. Between January and March you have a good chance of finding snow around the Cyprus Ski Club.
It’s not a typical “ski resort” as there are only 4 slopes, but it’s a pretty cool day in Cyprus when you can say you’ve been skiing on a Mediterranean island. Skiing in the morning and walking on the beach in the afternoon – where else can you do that?
You can rent equipment at either the ski club or the ski shop, but be sure to arrive early, especially on weekends, so you don’t find yourself without equipment. Right next to the ski shop is the small café-restaurant “Sun Valley”, which looks inconspicuous but is a good option for a coffee or hot chocolate after skiing.
It may be one of the more unusual things to do in Cyprus, but it is an incredible experience and a great day out. So, hit the slopes and enjoy skiing in Cyprus!
Go Sea Kayaking
Cyprus boasts some of the best waters in the Mediterranean, so it’s only natural to get out and drift. There’s a wide range of activities to choose from, but paddleboarding and boating are at the top of the popularity list.
However, my absolute highlight in Cyprus was a kayak tour on the sea. There are options everywhere, but this sea kayak tour stands out. Away from Ayia Napa and Protaras, you’ll discover hidden coves and fascinating sea caves as you visit Lover’s Bridge and the Blue Lagoon in Protaras.
The guide will also take you to more secluded beaches that are a treat for the senses – a welcome change from the busy Fig Tree Bay beach in Protaras.
It’s an unforgettable experience and one of the coolest things to do by the sea in Cyprus.
But beware: don’t forget to pack enough sunscreen and a hat!
Visit a donkey farm
Whether to go on the donkey farm? Do you think it will be boring? Certainly not!
Go there to see that quiet and humble donkeys rather playfully jumping on the paths. The task of the rider is to keep the animal from this rush and get along with him. On the camel farm, you can feed the animals, ride on them, swim in the pool and meet with ostriches.
Enjoy a boat ride along the Paphos coastline
If you’ve lived in Paphos for a while, you’ve probably noticed that there aren’t too many beaches. Compared to the white sandy beaches of Protaras and Ayia Napa in the east of the island, the coast here is very rocky.
But this does not mean that the coast is not worth seeing and you can still enjoy the sun and the crystal clear water. I recommend exploring the coast by boat.
An absolutely incredible boat tour will take you to the stunning Blue Lagoon, where you can swim, and visit the Baths of Aphrodite. Fresh fruit or other snacks and drinks like wine are included in the boat tours.
Another fantastic option is the boat trip to Coral Bay. A delicious lunch is served on board and there are plenty of opportunities for swimming and snorkeling. Plus, live musicians and DJs on board create a fun summer vacation atmosphere. For couples or groups of friends, this is one of the best experiences you can have in Cyprus.
The Blue Lagoon in Cyprus
As mentioned above, you could kayak to the Blue Lagoon or take a boat trip. Why do we recommend to visit the Blue Lagoon?
The fascinating Akamas National Park in the west of Cyprus hides the most magical beach the island has to offer. Even the award-winning documentary filmmaker David Attenborough captured the beauty of nature in his 2006 film “Akamas“. For this reason, you must experience this breathtaking environment with your own eyes.
Here you can swim like the goddess of love herself. The Blue Lagoon captivates with its multifaceted and crystal clear water that stretches to the horizon. Those who visit this beach will not be able to get enough of the beauty of the colors and shapes.
According to Greek mythology, this is the place where Aphrodite, the goddess of love, met Adonis. Legend has it that a single drop of this water in a nearby bay is enough to make you fall in love with the next best person. That’s why you should choose your travel companion wisely, because the water doesn’t care if you really like him or her as a friend. 😉
Discover paradise at the Blue Lagoon – getting there may be an adventure, but it’s definitely worth it!
The off-road route from Polis can be strenuous, but the 1.5-hour hike to the bay or quad ride offers spectacular views of rocky cliffs and gorgeous coves. If you prefer the water, you can also kayak to the Blue Lagoon or you take a tour with one of the many tour boat operators. No matter how you get there, the views of the offshore islands and bays will blow you away!
When you finally arrive at the Blue Lagoon, take time to linger and enjoy. The view is unforgettable and should be enjoyed to the full. Put away your phone and all your worries and let the beauty of this place enchant you.
We could give you 1,000 words, but even that wouldn’t do this sight justice. So get out there and experience Blue Lagoon – paradise on earth!
The impressive geological formation “Petra tou Romiou” is a fascinating place on the beautiful coast in the southwest of Pafos (Paphos). It is the mythical birthplace of the Greek goddess of love and beauty – Aphrodite, who, according to legend, was born from the sea foam and brought to this beach on a shell.
Besides the legend of Aphrodite, this place is also connected with another story. The Byzantine hero Digenis Akritas is said to have brought the huge rock formations there to defeat the Saracen Arabs. The name “Petra tou Romiou” – which means “Rock of the Greeks” in Greek – comes from this hero.
It is said that in certain weather conditions, the waves form an impressive column of water that looks like a fleeting human figure. There are also various folk myths that say that swimming around the rock can bring blessings such as beauty, happiness and true love. It is a place full of fascinating stories and legends.
Diving in Cyprus
Diving in Cyprus is an absolute highlight for every diver. The island offers numerous impressive dive sites to explore. The underwater world around Cyprus impresses with breathtaking caves, underwater tunnels, wrecks and much more.
Thanks to the pleasant water temperature of the Mediterranean Sea, diving in Cyprus is a pleasure all year round. In January the temperature drops to 16°C, while in September it reaches a pleasant 28°C.
Another plus point is the excellent visibility underwater. Since there is hardly any plankton in the Mediterranean Sea, divers can enjoy clear visibility here.
The diversity of the underwater world in Cyprus will delight every diver. From reefs to caves and tunnels to a variety of marine life such as turtles, shells, sponges and corals, there is plenty to discover here.
Especially for wreck divers Cyprus is a true paradise. There are quite a few wreck diving sites here, including the popular Zenobia wreck diving site in Larnaka, the Three Stars wreck diving site on the Akrotiri peninsula and many more breathtaking dive sites.
Explore the fascinating underwater world of Cyprus and get up close and personal with a variety of fascinating marine life.
Some of the fascinating species include:
Turtles: Cyprus is home to four different species of turtles, all of which are protected. The sea turtle and the land turtle in particular can be seen in the bays and beaches of the island.
Moray eels: These impressive long fish are nocturnal and hide in caves and under rocks. They can be found in the seas around Cyprus.
Dolphins: These intelligent marine mammals are often seen in the waters around Cyprus. They live in family groups and are known for their sociable nature. Discover the fascinating underwater world and be enchanted by the diversity of marine life in Cyprus.
Damselfish: These colorful fish can be found in various sizes and colors around the island. They live in schools and are often found near coral reefs.
Here you can book an introductory scuba lesson.
Experience an unforgettable adventure and immerse yourself in the world of diving with a comprehensive introductory course. Discover the fascinating underwater world of Cyprus and see the region from a new perspective. Before you hit the water, you’ll get a quick and easy theory lesson. Feel the thrill of breathing underwater and explore the area in the company of an experienced guide. While interacting with the local wildlife, you’ll also learn important skills and have a lot of fun.
The tour includes:
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Theory lesson
- Scuba gear
- Guided dive
Explore the Wine Route and do a wine tasting
Cyprus has a long tradition of viticulture, which is characterized by the oldest wine in the world, Commandaria.
After all, this was once called the “wine of kings and king of wines” by none other than Richard the Lionheart. Although the ancient grape varieties and wine villages still exist, the Cypriot wine industry has modernized, developed and expanded considerably over time.
If you are a wine connoisseur or simply enjoy a good glass, you will undoubtedly be delighted by the charming wineries and wine regions along the seven magnificent wine routes. These stretch from the sun-drenched southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains to the stunning countryside between Lemesos (Limassol) and Pafos (Paphos) to the rural areas around Larnaka (Larnaca) and Lefkosia (Nicosia). Here you can enjoy the “nectar of the gods” to the fullest.
Along every wine route in Cyprus, signposts will accompany you through magnificent valleys with native grape varieties and unforgettable landscapes where you can experience the island’s wine-growing roots firsthand. Picturesque villages and stunning wineries welcome you and invite you to taste exquisite vintage wines. Here you will have the opportunity not only to expand your knowledge on the subject of wine, but also to exchange ideas with the locals or visit a wine museum. Because winemaking in Cyprus is more than just a way of life, it is an inherent passion whose roots go deeper than the vines.
The Troodos Mountains in Cyprus are home to some stunning wineries that you should make sure to visit during your visit to the island if you need a break from the beach.
Although Cyprus isn’t exactly known as a budget travel destination, wine tastings here are surprisingly affordable. However, you have to keep in mind that most of the wineries are located in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains and not in the major tourist towns, so you should arrange transportation in advance.
One of my favorite ways to explore the wineries is to book a tour where you not only visit different wineries, but also get to know traditional Cypriot villages. Most tours also include a delicious meze lunch, such as this tour – do I need any more reasons to convince you?
The tour takes you to three award-winning wineries where you can taste different grape varieties, including the world-famous Commanderia wine. Best of all, transportation is arranged from your accommodation, so you can enjoy a stress-free and truly enjoyable day in the mountains.
Visit Cyprus’ beaches
When you think of Cyprus, you probably think of dreamy beaches – and rightly so.
The island has some of the most beautiful coastline in the Mediterranean, and sunbathing is one of the absolute highlights of Cyprus. It’s truly paradise, with crystal clear turquoise waters and over 50 Blue Flag beaches.
No matter where you stay, there are plenty of beaches to choose from. The coasts of Paphos, Ayia Napa and Protaras are particularly popular.
Fig Tree Bay, Protaras
Fig Tree Bay is one of the most famous beaches in Cyprus and for good reason. It is located in a picturesque bay on the east side of the island with fine sand and crystal clear waters.
The location is breathtaking and one of the most beautiful beaches in Cyprus. It’s close to the popular tourist town of Protaras and Ayia Napa along the coast, making it easy to get to.
Fig Tree Bay has many beach bars and cafes offering refreshing drinks and snacks. You’ll find everything you need for a perfect day at the beach, including deck chairs and water sports activities. You can also take a boat tour along the coast from the pier at the north end of the beach.
During the high season (July and August), Fig Tree Bay is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. Arrive early to find a spot on the beach. In the off-season it is much quieter and you have a better chance of getting a spot.
An impressive natural spectacle awaits you between Larnaca and Limassol on a dreamlike beach. The white cliffs of Limassol stretch along almost eight kilometers of coastline, forming a unique landscape of cliffs and caves formed by the power of wind and water.
The view is breathtaking and you can enjoy it from the comfort of your beach. The jagged white rocks rise out of the sand and the sea, offering a fascinating natural spectacle. A few steps will take you to Governors Beach, which has a restaurant and terrace.
Coral Bay, Paphos
If you are visiting Paphos, be sure to stay or at least visit Coral Bay, just north of the city. This beach is one of the best in Cyprus and a personal favorite of mine on the west side of the island. The blue flag beach offers facilities for the whole family. There is a large beach with plenty of sun loungers to rent or space for towels if you prefer. The water is calm and incredibly clear.
Near the beach there are many restaurants and cafes where you can refresh yourself during the day. For the more adventurous there are water sports and rentals available throughout the day. Coral Bay is a very popular place especially with families as there are many villas and houses for rent in the area. There are also many good bars and restaurants, providing a good alternative to the busier Paphos.
Whether you are staying here or just visiting, Coral Bay is one of the best public beaches in Cyprus and makes for a great day out.
Malindi Beach, Limassol
In my opinion, Malindi Beach is one of the best beaches in Cyprus and is located at the northern end of Limassol, at the St. Raphael Marina, which divides the beach into two parts. As you approach the marina you will see the beautiful Malindi Beach on the right and St. Raphael Beach on the left.
I prefer Malindi Beach as St. Raphael Beach is often busier as it serves the hotel of the same name. At Malindi Beach you will find plenty of space, lots of deck chairs and a wide sandy beach for those who want to spread out a towel.
The sea at Malindi is calm and shallow, about knee high and at least 50 meters deep. Perfect for kids or anyone who loves playing ball in the sea like me!
Locals and tourists alike visit Malindi Beach Bar for the food, the cocktails and the view. It’s very popular and therefore a bit expensive. A more down-to-earth alternative is the café next to the beach bar, which serves cold beers, snacks and coffee and is more affordable.
Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa
Combine the ultimate party paradise of Ayia Napa with arguably the most exquisite beach in Cyprus and immerse yourself in the incomparable Nissi Beach experience.
Nissi Beach is an extremely popular beach in the heart of the coastal town of Ayia Napa. Its fine, beautiful sand and stunning turquoise waters are simply breathtaking. A second glance reveals numerous beach bars and restaurants overlooking the sea where you can enjoy excellent food and drinks.
Sun loungers and countless water sports are just waiting to be explored by you. You can even cross over to the island of Nissi, which lies just off the coast and is accessible via a sandbar at low tide.
Nissi Beach is one of the best beaches in Cyprus and is very popular all year round. In the high season you should arrive early to secure a sunny spot on the sand. It is the perfect place to relax and recharge your batteries after a night out in Ayia Napa.
Makenzie Beach, Larnaca
Located in the southern center of Larnaca, Makenzie Beach awaits you – a unique golden sandy beach that stretches for one kilometer. Its beautiful, calm blue waters invite you to swim and promise pure relaxation.
Much like Playa d’en Bossa in Ibiza, Mackenzie Beach in Cyprus is a true dream beach. This coastal gem in Larnaca is known for its wide variety of activities, from water sports and swimming to relaxing sunbathing and boisterous parties. Mackenzie Beach has something for everyone!
At the front of the beach you can find a water sports company and a windsurfing school. Behind the beach is a long, palm-lined promenade with a variety of beach bars, restaurants and pubs. At night, some of these transform into hip party spots, making Mackenzie Beach a popular hangout for night owls. What makes the beach especially cool is that it is not only tourists who enjoy a drink, but also many Larnaca locals.
This beach is very spacious and offers plenty of sunbathing areas as well as space to set up your own beach equipment. Restaurants, bars and public restrooms make your stay at the beach even more enjoyable.
Makenzie Beach is a beautiful, quiet retreat just outside the city of Larnaca, but at the back it can get a bit noisy due to aircraft noise from the nearby airport.
Its size makes it perfect for families with children or larger groups wanting to listen to music and enjoy drinks. There is plenty of space to find your own corner and relax.
If you need a break from the popular city beach Finikoudes Beach, I recommend a drive along the coast to Makenzie Beach.
In this part of the island this is my favorite beach.
Discover the thousand years old Cypriot cultural history
In Cyprus you can experience one of the world’s oldest cultures up close! Over 10,000 years of human history can be traced here.
In ancient times, Cyprus was a major supplier of copper, as evidenced by the Latin name “cuprum” for the metal.
Conveniently located at the crossroads of three continents, the island resembles a giant open-air museum where different cultures and eras have left their mark.
Here was the cult of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, whose worship drew pilgrims from all over the world. Even today, the spring flower festival “Anthestiria” is celebrated by the locals.
Get introduced to the village way of life
Several years ago, the Cypriot government worried about the preservation of villages in the mountains and came up with a program of conservation, taking over 50 per cent. It included, among other things, the recovery of the external historic appearance of the building of houses is only of local stone. At the same time they launched the project and agro tourism, which included 57 villages. All this was done to restore the local crafts, the creation of hiking trails.
Although in many villages still ongoing construction work, the locals welcome all guests.
Would you like to visit a charming wine village in Cyprus? Then you should visit Omodos!
Only your feet touch the pavement in the village of Omodos, you will immediately be offered to taste freshly baked bread and taste the wine.
The small village is located 800 meters above sea level in the Troodos Mountains and is only 42 kilometers from Limassol. It can be reached either via the E601 or the B8.
Omodos is not only one of the most traditional villages in Cyprus, but it is also famous for its delicious wine, Zivania pomace brandy and handmade lace. You can also enjoy the aromatic ‘arkatena’ – a crispy yeast rusk. The picturesque surroundings of the village make it perfect for a relaxing farm holiday.
Although Omodos is small, there are many interesting sights to discover. The cobbled village square is lined with old stone houses and local wineries. A highlight is the medieval wine press and the monastery of Timios Stavros with ancient icons and impressive wood carvings. There is also a museum of the national liberation struggle, a center for the preservation of handmade lace and an icon museum.
The village of Geroskipou – the best place for tasting Delight.
In the immediate vicinity of the birthplace of the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, is the municipality of Geroskipou.
The name derives from the ancient “Ieros Kipos” or “Sacred Garden” dedicated to the goddess. Immerse yourself in the legend of the goddess on the hill where her temple once stood, one of the most revered places in ancient Greece and the center of the cult of Aphrodite.
Explore the many roadside shops selling typical basketry and pottery, and visit the Folk Art Museum for a glimpse of traditional Cypriot life.
Strolling through Pentakomo, you will see the church of Panagias Neroforousas, which was built on the site of an earlier church that was replaced by the chapel of Agios Ioannis due to its small size.
There is also a beautiful municipal park with trees, flowers and wooden benches, perfect for relaxing.
Last but not least, the Governor’s Beach belongs to the municipality and has become an important tourist destination in the area. The 15-kilometer long coastline is characterized by clear and calm waters and has even been awarded the Blue Flag.
Be sure to visit the small and charming village of Kathikas! Located at an altitude of almost 700 meters above sea level, it offers a quiet and idyllic environment that will make you completely relax.
The village has been inhabited since ancient times and has retained its traditional charm. Some of the houses are over a hundred years old and impress with their traditional architecture. The old churches are also very interesting and give an insight into the history of the village.
While you are here, be sure to visit the Donkey Sanctuary. It is a real highlight and completes the authentic flair of the village. Kathikas is also known as a wine village and offers some excellent wines.
The name of the village comes either from the Greek word for “sit” (“kathizo”) or from its original owner. While you’re here, don’t miss the Easter traditions. Especially on Good Friday, the Passion of Christ is re-enacted, with the president of the local council playing the role of Jesus and carrying the cross from the chapel of Agios Onouphrios to the church of Panagia Evaggelistria.
Kathikas is a truly unique and relaxing destination that you should not miss!
Visit the archaeological sites
Today you have the chance to discover many of the island’s historical treasures!
Explore Greek temples, marvel at Roman mosaics and admire countless ancient buildings. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you explore ancient castles and ruins. Especially in the areas around Paphos and Limassol there are exciting archaeological parks that are well worth a visit.
If you’re looking for the most interesting archaeological sites, don’t miss these three places:
Paphos Archaeological Park
The Archaeological Park of Kato Paphos is one of the most important archaeological sites in the country and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980.
Did you know that in the 4th century BC King Nicocles moved Paphos from its original location to the present port? The city was even the capital of Cyprus between the 2nd century BC and the 4th century AD. Crazy, isn’t it?
In the archaeological park you’ll find remains dating from the 4th century BC to the Middle Ages. Most of the finds are from the Roman period, such as the impressive mosaic floors in the Houses of Dionysus, Theseus, Aion and Orpheus. The mosaics depict scenes from Greek mythology – absolutely fascinating!
But that’s not all. There is also the Asklepieion, an ancient spa, the Odeion, a theater, the Agora, a marketplace, the Forty Columns (Saranda Kolones), the ruins of the early Christian basilica of Panagia Limeniotissa, and even royal tombs. There is so much to discover, it is well worth a visit!
The Royal Tombs of Nea Paphos
If you are in the vicinity of Kato Paphos, you should definitely visit the Tomb of the Kings. It is an absolute eye-catcher, surrounded by lush nature and the beautiful backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea. It is easily accessible by car or bus and is a must on any tour of Paphos. If you like to get around, you can also reach the site on foot or by bicycle.
The best part is that UNESCO declared the Tomb of the Kings a World Heritage Site in 1980. This means that it has been recognized not only for its impressive architecture and art, but also for its important role in educating people about the burial customs and beliefs of the ancient Paphians. And that’s not all – its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List also recognizes efforts to preserve and restore the site.
The ancient city of Kourion
Perched on a hill near Limassol with spectacular sea views, this city is home to well-preserved Roman baths, an amphitheater and a stadium.
Kourion was once one of the most important cities in ancient Cyprus and the remains of it are truly impressive! Archaeologists have made many important discoveries, which you can see at the excavation site.
Kourion was built on a hill and overlooked the fertile valley of the Kouris River. There was probably even a connection with the city of Argos on the Peloponnese peninsula and the people of Kourion thought that they were descended from the immigrants from Argos. It’s just a pity that the kingdom was destroyed by a severe earthquake in 365 AD.
The highlight of the archaeological site is the Greco-Roman theater, built in the 2nd century BC and later expanded. The theater has since been restored and is now used for open-air musical and theatrical performances, especially during the summer months. It really is a great setting for high profile events!
Visit the historic monasteries, churches and mosques
In addition to its archaeological highlights, the beautiful island offers many other magnificent buildings. An absolute highlight is the Kykkos Monastery, known as the richest Greek Orthodox monastery.
In the mountainous region of Troodos, the famous barn churches are among the ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They impress with their colorful frescoes, high shingle roofs and missing bell towers. From the outside they look like simple barns, but their interiors will amaze you.
We can recommend three monasteries and churches in particular:
You will find the Stavrovouni Monastery on a rocky peak that is a proud 750 meters above sea level. Legend has it that Saint Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, founded the monastery in the 4th century and left a splinter of the Holy Cross here.
The monks who live in the monastery follow similar strict rules as the monks on the Holy Mount Athos in Greece. Women are not allowed to enter and the use of cameras or video cameras is forbidden. Male visitors are allowed to enter the monastery only in proper attire.
The Monastery of St. Barbara (Agia Varvara) at the foot of the Stavrovouni Hill is open to all visitors. The monks are known for their skill in painting icons.
On September 14th, the day of the Exaltation of the Cross, the monastery of Stavrovouni holds an impressive annual ceremony followed by festivities.
Agios Nikolaos Tis Stegis
About five kilometers from Kakopetria is the Church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis – also known as the Church of St. Nicholas with the Roof. This church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once part of a monastery complex.
The eponymous wooden gabled roof protects the church from the region’s rainy climate. It is the only preserved monastic church of its kind in Cyprus and its walls are decorated with murals dating from the 11th to the 17th century.
The most important frescoes on the island from this period have been preserved. This makes it one of the most interesting Byzantine churches in Cyprus.
The church itself dates back to the 11th century, while the monastery flourished from the middle Byzantine period to the Frankish period. Founded in the late 13th or early 14th century, monastic activity declined in the 18th century and ceased at the end of the 19th century.
Nevertheless, the church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis remains an important part of Cypriot history and culture. It is definitely worth a visit!
Timios Stavros Monastery
In Anogyra, southwest of the village, there is the church of Timios Stavros, built on the foundations of an early Christian basilica. The present church was built at the end of the 15th century on the remains of older churches.
The present church is a complex architectural structure. The barrel vault of the single nave church is decorated with late Byzantine mural paintings. Although heavily worn, they are still an impressive example of late Byzantine painting in Cyprus.
Anogyra is a village located halfway between Lemesos (Limassol) and Pafos (Paphos) at an altitude of 400 meters above sea level. The village has preserved its traditional features and local customs until today.
An important part of the history of the village, surrounded by carob groves, is the so-called pasteli, a traditional Cypriot sweet made from carob, the “black gold” of the island.
Festivals in Cyprus
Like Greeks, Cypriots are very sociable and celebrate various festivals throughout the year. Whether religious holidays, state holidays, carnivals or popular festivals – there is always a reason to celebrate.
Here we have a small selection for you:
At the end of February/beginning of March the Carnival takes place in Limassol, 50 days before the Orthodox Easter. Cyprus is not just a festival, but a boisterous ten-day party! The festivities span the entire island, with Limassol serving as the main venue.
The origins of the festival date back to ancient Greek mythology, where it was dedicated to the god Dionysus – the god of drinking, partying and pleasure, older than Christianity itself. During the week and a half leading up to Lent, locals and visitors compete in contests, dress up to match the theme, and enjoy food and drink together before the 50-day Lenten season begins.
The highlight of this colorful bustle is undoubtedly Sunday, when more than 150 floats and 50,000 people take part in the final parade through the city streets. Think of it as a mix of Rio Carnival and Greek mythology – that’s how Carnival is celebrated in Cyprus!
Get away from it all in April and experience the ultimate fish festival in the idyllic harbor village of Latchi, near Polis.
The local restaurants serve a variety of delicious fish dishes and refreshing drinks while you are entertained by traditional dancers, singers and musicians.
Don’t miss the local fishermen tying their knots and demonstrating their skills – you will be amazed by their artistry. Alternatively, take a boat tour along the picturesque coastline.
Experience the culinary diversity and be inspired by the local culture – an unforgettable experience awaits you!
Cyprus Rose Festival
The Cyprus Rose Festival takes place over two weekends in May in the beautiful village of Agros, which has only about 1,000 inhabitants. If you attend, you will experience the whole region in the colors and scents of a variety of roses.
The festival offers many activities that you should not miss. You can pick fresh roses, make rose water and liqueur, learn how to extract essential oils, and cook rose delicacies. You can also admire local handicrafts.
It’s a great way to spend a weekend in the mountains. Let yourself be seduced by the scent of roses and enjoy this unique experience!
Make Music Day in Cyprus
Make Music Day was originally started in Paris in the 80s, but is now celebrated in many countries around the world on June 21.
And if you’re in Cyprus on that day, be sure to stop by the old town of Nicosia. There’s music everywhere, from individuals to whole bands playing a variety of genres. And best of all, anyone can join in!
Whether you’re making music or just listening and celebrating. Make Music Day is a day when the world comes together musically. A real highlight for all music lovers!
Cherry Festivals of Cyprus
In June, when the cherries are fully ripe, the villages of Kampos, Pedoulas, Platanistasa and Treis Elies in the Troodos Mountains celebrate. Each village has created its own unique cherry festival with local specialties and spectacular performances.
Visitors can look forward to delicious dishes made from the bright, sweet fruit. But that’s not all: the festivals also feature musicians, dances and local markets with traditional products. In this way, the culture and customs of the region are celebrated in a very special way.
The Cherry Festival is undoubtedly one of the best free festivals in Cyprus. How can you resist when bright red cherries are literally shining at you? It is a feast for all the senses and an unforgettable experience for every visitor.
As lavender blooms reach their peak, CyHerbia Botanical Park & Labyrinth delights with a wide range of offerings centered around the fragrant blossoms.
From culinary delights to essential oils and handcrafted artwork, the grounds offer a variety of lavender products to delight the senses.
The Lavender Festival invites visitors to experience the flowers in a special way. Whether taking a meditative time out in the sea of lavender or exploring the lavender labyrinth, everyone will find relaxation and inspiration.
Paradise Jazz Festival
For almost 20 years, the Paradise Jazz Festival has been an integral part of the Cypriot jazz scene, attracting music lovers from all over the country year after year.
The festival was originally held in the cozy atmosphere of the Paradise Bar in Pomo, before moving to Val’s Place Restaurant near Galia, Polis.
The idea was to bring together jazz musicians from different countries living in Cyprus and to present their music to an audience.
Today, both locals and international visitors can look forward to two days of stirring rhythms and sounds of Cypriot jazz at the end of August.
Limassol Wine Festival
The largest wine festival on the island has been held here since 1961 and is now one of the most famous festivals in Cyprus. Held in late August and the first week of September, the festivities take place in the Municipal Gardens near the seafront and attract thousands of locals and visitors.
With over 50 wineries in Cyprus, there are a variety of wines to sample, plus food stalls serving traditional dishes, as well as music and dancing. But don’t worry. The Tourist Office offers shuttle buses to and from the major cities, so you can relax and enjoy Dionysus’ favorite drink.
There is so much to see and do when you travel to Cyprus! It is the perfect destination for all kinds of adventures.
Whether you want to go hiking, explore the cultural treasures, or just relax and sunbathe on the beach, there’s always something to discover!
Don’t miss the opportunity to take your own memorable trip to Cyprus and explore the country in all its facets. Read more articles to get more information in advance and start your trip soon!