Things to do in Cyprus

Top 10 Things to do in Cyprus

 

Our Top Ten things to do in Cyprus - Don't leave until you've experienced the best Cyprus has to offer


There’s so much for the tourist to do in Cyprus. I’ve come back, year after year and still haven’t seen it all. From fabulous food, stunning scenery and a warm welcome from the Cypriots, no wonder it’s one of the most popular destinations for European travellers. Try to avoid the heat of the summer when the temperature will leave you lifeless. Come in May or September when the weather is settled and the resorts not too crowded.
1 Ski Mount Olympus
Ski Mount Olympus
Can’t be done, you’ll be told, how can you ski in a hot country? Well, anytime between Christmas and Easter there can be up to two metres of snow in the High Troodos mountains and the Cyprus Ski Club will hire out ski equipment and before you know it you’ll be on the ski lift and on your way to a bizarre and thrilling holiday experience. There are slopes suitable for novices as well as the frighteningly steep ones near the summit. A ski school operates near the Ski Club. Read more on skiing in Cyprus.

2 Swim Around Aphrodite’s Rock
Swim Around Aphrodite’s Rock
Swim round Aphrodite’s Rock near Pissouri and the legend says you’ll exit the water looking ten years younger. With the currents around the rock there’s a chance you may not exit at all but the beach and the rock are stunningly beautiful and an iconic picture of Cyprus. The water is clear and clean and excellent for snorkelling.

3 Eat a meze
Eat a meze
If you’ve a hearty appetite or are just curious about the different types of food the Cypriots are famous for, try a meze. They come in meat, fish or vegetarian varieties and are a small selection of everything on the menu. I’ve never got all the way through to the ‘glyko’ sweets followed by fresh fruit at the end but I’ll keep trying!

4 Visit Kykkos
Visit Kykkos
A stunning monastery set on the high slopes of the Troodos Mountains, Kykkos is the main monastery on the island and seat of the Archbishop. The monastery is quite modern, the original having been burnt down but the church is exceptionally beautiful. Lit only by candles, the walls and ceilings glow with the gold leaf decoration. The icon museum housed in the monastery is also well worth a visit to gain a greater understanding of how this pictures play a part in Orthodoxy.

5 Do the painted churches
Do the painted churches
In the northern reaches of the Troodos, often difficult to get to, many hours drive from the main cities are the Byzantine Painted Churches. Ten of them are UNESCO World Heritage Sites with another four waiting for accreditation. They look very humble from the exterior, many not even looking like a church but take the time to locate the keys, usually at the local coffee shop or taverna and marvel at the incredible murals and frescoes painted during the Byzantine age and in remarkable condition today. Some even go as far as to compare their magnificence with that of the Sistine Chapel.

6 Go Clubbing in Ayia Napa
Go Clubbing in Ayia Napa
Less hedonistic now that the ‘Glory days’ of the noughties, Ayia Napa is still a clubber’s paradise. State of the art bars get you in the mood for an evening of dance, trance and whatever else is your style. The sound and lighting systems are incredible and many of the clubs close for upgrading then reopen better than ever so you’re always on the cutting edge of the dance scene. Once renowned for drugs and some violence, the town has cleaned up its act considerably and is now a safer, fun place to party.

7 Dive the Zenobia
Dive the Zenobia
On any top ten of dive sites around the world you’ll find the Zenobia, a cargo ship that sank in the seventies off the coast of Larnaca. With a range of diving depths and difficulties, it’s a haven for fish and other marine life but the beauty of it is the way the cool water has preserved the wreck. Tartan carpet still clothes the walkways of the passenger deck. Vending machines still have chocolate bars from the seventies in them and a huge quantity of eggs lie spilt across the sea bed, still in one piece. It’s an underwater journey back in time. Read more on shipwrecks in Cyprus.

8 Watch Turtles on Lara
Watch Turtles on Lara
In June and July, turtles make their way back across the Atlantic, into the Mediterranean and swim to Lara Beach at the western end of the island to lay their eggs. The beach is rugged and remote, ideal for these shy creatures and a protection society watches out for the turtles putting protective cages over the nests. Occasional organised tours by torchlight are held to watch the huge beasts hall themselves clumsily out of the sea and onto the soft sand. Read more on turtles at Lara Bay.

9 Mountain Bike Akamas
Mountain Bike Akamas
A rough, rugged and tough ride along Cyprus’ National Park is an amazing adventure. You can hire bikes in Latchi and head out along a beautiful winding country lane to the start of the trail. You’ll cycle along dizzying cliff tops before descending to a small goat farm near the sea then climb a zigzag path to the top of the highest point on Akamas giving views out over the peninsular and back to Lara. Take plenty of water and some high energy food because you’ll need both!

10 Watch Limassol Carnival
Watch Limassol Carnival
On Green Monday before the start of Lent, many of the big towns in Cyprus hold their carnival. Similar in purpose to the Mardi Gras carnivals of Latin America, Limassol’s is the biggest and best and is sometimes said to be the next best after Rio and New Orleans. The theme is usually masks and many people either invest in a beautiful Venetian one or go dressed up in fancy dress with a mask on. Free drink flows everywhere adding to the party feeling which goes on long after the procession has passed.
 

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