The 20 Most Beautiful Places in Cyprus
Looking for things to see and do in Cyprus? We tell you about our favorite island in the Mediterranean Sea, the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite, which is described in myths and legends. It so happened that the most attractions of Cyprus are concentrated around Paphos and Limassol: Avakas Canyon, Aphrodite Beach, Coral Bay, the archaeological park Kato Paphos, Kolossi Castle, amphitheaters, ancient cities, but the beaches are “for the lovers”. And in Protaras and Ayia Napa, where there are excellent beaches, there is almost nothing to see. So those who are interested in Cyprus attractions – to the right (that is, in Paphos or Limassol), and who are interested in beaches and partying to the left (that is, in Ayia Napa and Protaras).
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|You can book tours in Cyprus on the sites Sputnik8 and Tripster. There are only proven Russian-speaking guides.|
Aphrodite Beach (Petra tou Romiou)
It is in Cyprus that the famous Aphrodite beach is located . It is a pebble beach with a huge rock in the area of Paphos, which is called the rock of Aphrodite. According to legend, this is the mythological birthplace of the goddess, where she emerged from the foam of the sea. According to legend, there were originally two gods in the universe, they were Uranus and Gaia. Uranus was a despot, and threw his children off a cliff to remain the only god in power. Gaia hid one of her sons, Kronos, who later overthrew Uranus. According to the same legend, Cronus, on the advice of his mother Gaia, mutilated Uranus, cut off his childbearing organ and threw him into the water, and out of the foam of the sea came the beautiful goddess of love, Aphrodite.
Aphrodite Beach (Petra tou Romiou)
Aphrodite’s beach is one of the main attractions of Cyprus. But for swimming it is not the best beach, because it is covered with coarse pebbles, there are constantly big waves that knock you down. There are daredevils who climb the rock of Aphrodite and jump into the water. The sunsets in this place are beautiful.
Aphrodite Beach (Petra tou Romiou)
Kavo Greco National Park is a protected area near Ayia Napa where you can admire the blue lagoon and natural rock formations (including caves). Young people come here for a walk, to spend time actively, to ride bicycles and ATVs. Divers love this place because of the water-filled caves. Also in Cavo Greco tourists are taken on boat rides. There are no beaches in Cavo Greco, only cliffs and precipices. Here you can walk the two-kilometer trail of Aphrodite and look at the Bridge of Love (to enter it, unfortunately, were banned). You can read more in the article What to see in Ayia Napa.
According to legend, at Cape Kavo Greco there is a sea creature Filiko Teras, the name means “friendly monster. The monster is described even in Greek mythology, where he is described as Skyla. According to local legend, if you accidentally spot it, you are likely to walk away unharmed, the monster does not do much harm, except tear the nets of Cypriot fishermen.
Sea Caves in Ayia Napa
On the Cape Cavo Greco are the famous sea caves. In this place the coastline is dotted with rock formations, inside which there are sea caves and hidden tunnels. There are no strong currents, so the place is popular with divers and snorkelers. The site is not without its legends. According to one of them, pirates used to hide their treasures in this place. Whether they are there now or not, no one knows. The caves can be reached by land and water. If by land, you will need to jump from about 10 meters, entertainment for adrenaline fans. There are sea tours with an excursion and fishing. Local fishermen claim to catch large octopuses here.
Nissi Beach is the most famous and most famous beach of Cyprus. It is a 500-meter long cove with white sand. They say that it is imported, but who cares. The sea here is very shallow, so it warms up quickly (still in May). To swim, it is necessary to depart farther away, but there begin stones and rocks. The beach is named after the tiny island of Nissi, which is located here. You can reach it on foot on a sandy spit, the truth on ankle-deep in water. Young people jumping from the island into the water, lining up a queue of those wishing to.
In summer, Nissi Beach plays DJs, hold foam parties, working bars and cafes, all partying and having fun. There are a lot of people, in the season it is difficult to find a place to spread a towel. Fans of quiet and sparsely populated beaches are unlikely to like it, but if you want to spend time drinking with friends on a beautiful beach, this is the place for you. Read more about Nissi Beach.
If you decide what to see in Cyprus, go to Coral Bay . This is the only sandy beach in the Paphos area, and that is why it is so popular. The sand here is fine and white, the sea is turquoise, and the water is clear. You can do water sports, have a massage.
Lovers of archeology and history should see the ruins on one of the limestone cliffs of the cape. Archaeological excavations of Maa-Paleokastro date back to the Bronze Age. There was a settlement here that was later destroyed by fire. Scientists have found out what the houses looked like, that there were fireplaces, common rooms and even cooking areas. The finds are preserved in the archaeological museum of Maa Paleokastro. The settlement was abandoned in 1150 BC, but the foundations of the houses have survived.
Kikkos monastery is one of the most famous monasteries in Cyprus, a place of pilgrimage from all over the world. It is located in the Troodos mountains, it is convenient to get there from Larnaca or Limassol. It was built in the 11th century by a Byzantine emperor, but the original version has not survived. Over the centuries Kikkos monastery has been rebuilt several times after fires. The history of the monastery is very long, but the whole world knows that here is kept a golden mosaic icon of the Virgin Mary, which performs miracles. Tourists from all over the world come here to ask for the most sacred thing. During the trip to the monastery, it is worth seeing the Troodos mountains themselves and the mountain wine villages. They sell different tours and excursions. For example, Tripster offers a tour of Cyprus shrines and a tour of the mountain villages, and Sputnik 8 offers a tour of southern Troodos.
Akamas is a mountainous promontory in the northwest of Cyprus between Paphos and Polis. It is one of the well-preserved regions of Cyprus because it is remote from the popular resorts. Until 2000 it was used as a British military base. Several attractions of Cyprus are hidden here. In the bay of Lara is a sanctuary for turtles, where you can watch from afar as they lay their eggs. Also on the Akamas Peninsula are the baths of Aphrodite, where the goddess herself is said to have bathed. And finally, our favorite canyon Avakas – a fantastic place, a gorge in the mountains, through which you can walk, and over your head will hang giant boulders (the height of the rocks is 30 meters). In our subjective opinion, Avakas is one of the best places to see in Cyprus. You can read more here – a trip to Avakas Canyon, to a shipwreck and amphitheater ruins.
Church of St. Lazarus
In Larnaca on the south coast of the island is the Church of Saint Lazarus . It was built in the 9th century, and is named after Lazarus of Bethany, the man whom Jesus supposedly raised from the dead as one of his miracles. He later became bishop of the region and is said to have been buried there after his death 30 years later. The church of St. Lazarus is supposedly built over his grave. What we see today is the result of restoration in the 17th century. The Church of St. Lazarus is now open to the public and admission is free.
Church of St. Lazarus
The next place on the list of things to see in Cyprus are the royal tombs . They are located on the west coast of the island, near Paphos. These tombs were carved into solid rock and the necropolis is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As in Egypt, the ancient people on the island believed that the tombs should be like the homes of living people, and should be surrounded by the usual household items. Excavations here began in the 1970s, during which frescoes, columns, Rhodesian amphorae and clay pots were found. In spite of its name, no kings were buried here, it is believed to be the burial place of high-ranking officials and nobles of the 4th century BC.
For those who want to see the sights of Cyprus, it is worth visiting Mount Olymbos, or Olympus . This is the highest point in Cyprus (1952 meters). This height is enough to make the mountains snow in the winter, and on this place was created Cyprus ski resort with slopes of varying difficulty. The season here is short – January, February and early March. A beautiful view opens up from the mountain, and in winter it is the most enchanting. There are 4 chairlifts that take you up to Mount Olympus. At the very top you can not climb, there is part of the British military base. In ancient times, on one of the mountain promontories was a temple dedicated to Aphrodite, where women were forbidden to enter.
Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
Right on the site of the resort of Paphos is the archaeological park of Kato Paphos , another place to see in Cyprus. It was an important Greek and Roman city from the prehistoric period to the Middle Ages. The most famous buildings of the archaeological park are the houses of Dionysus, Theseus, Aion and Orpheus with grandiose atriums in the center and preserved mosaic floors depicting scenes of hunting and mythology. Some finds were found in amphitheaters and royal tombs.
Fig Tree Bay
Fig Tree Bay is one of the best sandy beaches in Protaras. It used to be one of the top 3 most beautiful beaches in Europe, still awarded the “Blue Flag”. The beach was named after the large fig tree, which grows here. At Fig Tree Bay vacationing families with children, in the high season on the beach offer parasailing, windsurfing and water skiing. Along the beach are umbrellas and sun loungers, which can be rented for 5 €.
Kolossi Castle near Limassol is another place on the list of things to see in Cyprus. It dates back to the 1200’s, although it is still not known exactly who built it. During the medieval period, during the Crusades Kolossi Castle was partly used in the production of cane sugar, which Cyprus was famous for exporting. Today you can see the aqueduct of sugar production. The most famous dessert wine of the region is called Commandaria, named after the commander of the Templar Order during their religious persecution. The wine is now produced according to an ancient recipe and is considered one of the oldest wines in the world.
Lefkara village is said to be the most beautiful village in Cyprus. It is located in the Troodos Mountains, 40 km from Larnaca and Limassol. Like everywhere else in the mountains, it is picturesque, full of olive trees and not as hot as the coast. Lefkara is known for the weaving of Cypriot lace and silverware. It is so ancient that even the technology of weaving Venetian lace was borrowed from here, from Lefkara! Guides in Lefkara say that in 1481 Leonardo da Vinci bought lace here to decorate the Cathedral of Milan. True, in Venice they say that the genius Leonardo bought this lace from them. Where is the truth, it is already difficult to know, but the lace is the same! Lefkaritika is honored by UNESCO with a list of intangible values. In Lefkara there are stores with cheap Chinese lace, beware of fakes. The process of weaving is labor-intensive, so even a small piece can’t be cheaper than 70-100 €. Read more about our trip to Lefkara village here.
Maheras is another monastery, no less interesting than Kikkos. The origin of Maheras Monastery is linked to a legend when a hermit secretly carried into his cave one of the 70 icons of the Apostle Luke. After his death, two other hermits dreamed of the icon and the way to it. They found the place, cleared the passage to the cave from vines and vegetation with a knife, and found the icon, and on its holy place was later founded the monastery of Maheras, which means “knife”. The icon survived, and was named after the Holy Mother of God Maheriotissa.
Another place on the list of things to see in Cyprus is the Kaledonia waterfall . This is the second highest waterfall (13 meters) after Milleris (15 meters). Kaledonia is located at an altitude of 1330 meters near the mountain village of Platres. Even the way to it is of interest – from the highway you have to walk for several kilometers along the path in the woods, over the rocks, stepping over the small streams along the river Krios Potamos.
The Monastery of St. Neophytos
Another monastery on the list of things to see in Cyprus is St. Neophytes. It is located west of Paphos on a rock, 412 meters high, and was founded in the 12th century. The monastery was named after the hermit Neophytes, who found refuge here, first in a cave and then by hollowing out a cell and a church-squat in the rock. In 1170 the place became a monastery and new cells were hollowed out in the rock. For more than 60 years the hermit monk Neophytes read the books of the bishops of neighboring dioceses and wrote religious works. He died at the age of 85, and his grave is located here in the monastery. Today you can see the cave of Neophytes, decorated with Byzantine frescoes and icons, and tour the monastery itself. Entrance to the caves costs 2,5 €.
Konnos Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches of Cyprus. It is located between Ayia Napa and Protaras, and is on a steep exit from the road. It’s always crowded, because it’s a small beach and there are some hotels and a bus stop of 101 (people from Protaras and Ayia Napa). At Konnos Bay, the water is azure and you can even see the little fish.
The beach is sandy and has a small cove, on the left side of the beach you can walk along the sea and start with the rocks. Here you can go snorkeling. On Konnos Bay, you can rent a deck chair for 3 €. We have been to this beach several times and told about it in our article about Protaras beaches.
A ship aground
On the way from Pafos to Avakas Canyon, you can see a ship that ran aground. Named “Edro III”, it sank during a storm not so long ago in 2011. Fortunately, no one was killed and they were even able to retrieve fuel from the wreckage so it did not spill out to sea. Now everyone comes to take pictures against the backdrop of the ship, and wedding ceremonies are also held here. Near “Edro III” you can see the famous sea caves of Paphos.
A ship aground
Now you know what to see in Cyprus and what attractions there are. This is, of course, not all of them. But then you definitely wouldn’t have gotten to this point. Find more articles about Cyprus here.
Top 35: Main attractions in Cyprus worth visiting
Short Description The easternmost island in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is an independent state with a long and vibrant past. Its mild climate, beautiful beaches, forested mountains and lush green valleys make Cyprus an ideal vacation destination.
History buffs will be captivated by the ancient sights. The island is studded with archaeological sites, ruins and remnants of past empires, conquerors and civilizations. Appetizing cuisine, modern infrastructure and a hospitable population make a vacation in Cyprus enjoyable for any traveler.
The capital is Nicosia.
The currency is the euro.
The language is Greek and Turkish.
Time In the summer season the time coincides with Moscow, otherwise it is an hour behind.
Services for Travel:
Tripster.ru – the leading online booking service for excursions in Russia.
Supra.ru – accommodation for business trips, business travel, holidays at the sea or ski resorts, etc.
Ostrovok.ru – one of the most famous Booking analogues in Russia. It offers accommodation around the world.
Aviasales.ru – an assistant in the search for cheap air tickets.
Tutu.ru – tickets for planes, trains, buses, electric trains, aeroexpress trains, as well as author’s adventures and package tours.
Travelata.ru – hypermarket tours with discounts up to 50%.
Localrent.com – car rental broker for local rental companies.
Where to go and what to see in Cyprus by yourself?
The most interesting and beautiful places, photos and descriptions.
1. Tombs of the Kings in Pafos
Tombs of the Kings in Pafos is a necropolis built in the IV-III centuries BC. The tombs are called royal tombs, but you won’t find the tombs of rulers, just the tombs of the local nobility. Long before archaeologists discovered the site, the area was plundered by treasure hunters, and so far only the outer walls of the structures have survived.
2. Petra tou Romiou or the Rock of Aphrodite (Pafos-Limassol road)
At the twenty-fifth kilometer of the road leading from Pafos to Limassol lies the rock of Aphrodite, a place whose history is full of legends and tales. The object belongs to the most romantic attractions of the state. It is a small part of the beach with stones, attractive boulders and clear water, especially popular among lovers. Many believe that if you swim in this body of water, the couple will always be together, and if you bathe here at midnight, you can find eternal beauty, youth, good marriage and healthy offspring.
3. Akamas National Park (Akamas Peninsula)
Another attraction of the state is the Akamas Peninsula, which has been transformed into a National Park. The park belongs to the last wilderness areas that have not been touched by civilization. Here grow and live endemics of the country: cyclamen, turtles, owls of Cyprus. This place is considered the center of ecological tourism. Tourists come here to walk along the path of Aphrodite, see the Avakas Gorge, swim in the crystal clear waters of the Blue Lagoon and get rejuvenated at the Baths of Aphrodite. Lara Beach is considered the most famous place where sea turtles hatch their young. Their clutches are closely guarded by park staff.
4. Blue Lagoon (Ayia Napa)
Blue Lagoon belongs to the natural monuments of the country, located near the famous resort town of Ayia Napa. The place is unusually beautiful, combining majestic cliffs, bright greenery and azure coastal waters of the sea. The water here is so crystal clear that even without going into it, you can see different motley fish.
5. Avakas Gorge (Plateau of Laona)
Avakas Gorge is the most picturesque natural landmark of Cyprus, which is ideal for a short hike. Avakas is very similar to the canyons of the United States. At first the gorge passes through an amazing forest between high cliffs, and after 500 m the cliffs narrow overhead and it gets a little creepy as there is a stream and slippery rocks underfoot, and water pours through the black rocks and birds of prey fly overhead.
6. Aphrodite’s Bathing Place (Chrysochu Bay)
According to ancient myths, Cyprus is considered the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite, and therefore most of the monuments of the island are named in her honor. The Bath of Aphrodite is a grotto in the rock where, according to the legends, Aphrodite and her lover, the god of fertility Adonis, had their rendezvous. The baths are very luxurious: the secluded pool is surrounded by greenery and the mountain. The water is constantly cold, the depth of the grotto is only half a meter, and in diameter it is about five meters.
It is believed that those who bathe in this bathing hole will be healthy and beautiful for many years.
7. Catacombs of Saint Solomonia (Paphos)
The catacombs of St. Solomonia are one of the main pre-Christian holy sites on the island. According to legend, in 166 B.C., Saint Solomonia and her seven sons fled Palestine and came to these caves seeking refuge from the cruelty of a Syrian pagan ruler. Solomonia believed in the coming of the Savior and refused to offer sacrifices to the pagan gods. The enraged ruler sought out the family and executed the seven children in front of their mother, who later died of mental anguish.
The catacombs are a series of caves connected to one another through a small courtyard. The largest cave was turned into a church and later (in the Middle Ages) decorated with frescoes. These frescoes include images of the Virgin Mary with child, the church fathers and others.
8. Keo Winery (Limassol)
Cyprus has been famous at all times for its delicious wine and valleys of vineyards. You can take a tour of the Keo winery, which tells its history as well as the process of making wine drinks. The tasting is included in the ticket price. The wines of this winery have always been in competition since 1213. This is where the world-famous Commandaria wine is produced.
9. Limassol Castle (Limassol)
Medieval castle is located in the city center near the old port. It was built in the 13th century on the site of an earlier Byzantine castle and today is converted into a museum. It is the most popular attraction of the city because the castle stands on the spot where Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre and made her Queen of England in 1191.
The museum features exhibits of gold, silver and bronze from the 4th to 19th centuries, a collection of ancient coins, scissors, keys, buckles and jewelry from the 13th century, medieval ceramics from Italy, works of Islamic art, an exhibition of weapons, Frankish and Venetian tombstones and much more.
10. Famagusta Gate (Nicosia)
Famagusta Gate, one of the three city gates erected by the Venetians to protect against Ottoman attacks. Long abandoned, it has been restored and transformed into an arts center which hosts many cultural and entertainment events such as exhibitions, concerts, cinemas and theatrical plays.
Stavrovouni Monastery (40 km from Larnaca)
The history of the ancient Orthodox church of Stavrovouni dates back to the fourth century. If the legend is to be believed, the monastery owes its appearance to the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the First – Helen. It was this woman who brought a part of the Holy Cross to Cyprus. Around the shrine built the walls of the male temple. The cypress cross in a silver casing is still located here. It is recommended to visit the monastery to receive a blessing and to pray in front of the relic. The shrine can be visited only at a strictly scheduled time: either early in the morning or in the afternoon.
12. the ancient city of Soli (Lefka, northern Cyprus)
This ancient Greek city is located near Lefka. Soli was built at the beginning of the sixth century BC and was one of the ten ancient cities-kingdoms of Cyprus. As a result of the Arab raid in the seventh century the town was completely destroyed.
Excavations have shown that a settlement was founded there in the 11th century BC. The presence of a good water supply, fertile lands and a sheltered harbor, near a deposit of copper and wood for melting it, enabled the town to flourish until 648 AD.
Here one can find the Roman theater, the Acropolis, and churches with mosaic floors. The rest of the city, extending over a vast area, is still not fully explored.
13. Kantara Castle (North Cyprus)
Kantara Castle is one of three medieval castles in the mountains of Northern Cyprus. The ruins are located on top of a mountain with stunning views. Kantara was built in several levels, and includes a watchtower, defensive walls, soldiers’ dwellings, the remains of water cisterns and vaulted rooms. There are several observation decks, and the views alone make it worth a visit.
14. Buffavento Castle (North Cyprus)
Buffavento was built along with the castles of Saint Hilarion and Cantara as part of a defensive chain against Arab raids. It is the highest of the three castles, its summit at 950 meters above sea level. Like the other two, it guarded an important passage through the mountains and had signal connections with the other two citadels.
The castle’s name means “protection from the winds. However, some people believe that a more appropriate explanation of its name is “blown about” by the wind. Its lower part begins with an arched gateway. The group of rooms behind this entrance must have served as barracks and storage rooms. Beneath the rooms is a water cistern. The door and arches of some of the rooms of the upper castle are decorated with red Byzantine-style brickwork. The remains of the chapel can also be found in the upper castle. This part offers stunning views of Nicosia and the Troodos Mountains to the south.
15. The Castle of St. Hilarion (North Cyprus)
St. Hilarion Castle is a well-preserved Byzantine Crusader castle in North Cyprus. Its towers, walls and gates merge in a spiral with the peaks of Mount Kyrenia, presenting a fabulous spectacle. There is a legend that it was the inspiration for Disney Castle.
The castle is built on three levels climbing to the very top of the mountain. Along the way you can see many points of interest: the Byzantine chapel, the banquet hall that now houses the café, Prince John’s Tower, and the royal apartments on the upper level with beautiful Gothic-style windows.
16. Archbishop’s Palace (Nicosia)
The Archbishop’s Palace is a twentieth century building in a pseudo-Venetian style. Nearby is the ancient eighteenth century palace which was badly damaged following the Turkish invasion in 1974. It is the residence of the head of the local church – the Archbishop of the country. The palace has a museum, library, cathedral and art gallery.