Cyprus holidays

Luring you in with Blue Flag awarded beaches made for lazy sunbathing stints, ancient ruins dating back as far as the 3rd century and an electric nightlife attracting world-renowned DJs, Cyprus holidays are one-of-a-kind. And that’s just the beginning, think waterfront restaurants combining the flavours of Greece and Turkey, splash-filled waterparks perfect for families and most importantly, a sizzling summer climate. 

Things to do

Whether you’re a history buff seeking out UNESCO-listed hotspots or a hardcore reveller looking for the best cocktail venues in Ayia Napa, holidays to Cyprus are action-packed. And if you’re just wanting to lounge around on one of its 160 beaches, relaxing getaways are aplenty too. For starters, Coral Bay oozes tranquility with a swathe of golden sand calling you to top up your tan. Meanwhile, Nissi Beach is known as the beach that never sleeps thanks to its live music and thrilling watersports. As for Lara Bay, well that’s an isolated sand spot dedicated to protecting loggerhead turtles. 

For those with kids, the Mediterranean coastline is best explored via horseback (especially at sunset). And when the ocean doesn’t cut it, WaterWorld is a must! It’s the largest themed waterpark in Cyprus, daring you to slide down its freefall kamikaze and float along its lazy river. Not to mention the splash zones for tinier tots, inflatable obstacle courses and bubbling hot tubs. When you want to get wet and wild among nature's finest, Adonis Baths promises cascading waterfalls. Or,  you can always check out the largest rock formation Petra tou Romiou, the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite. Legend has it that if you swim around the rock three times, you’ll be granted eternal beauty.

No trip is complete without visiting the archaeological marvel, Tomb of the Kings. Around 100 Ptolemaic aristocrats are estimated to have been buried there, along with a substantial trove of jewels and personal effects! Trek up the Troodos Mountains and you’ll be greeted by another phenomenon, Kykkos Monastery founded in the 11th century. Here alongside timeless manuscripts and antiques lies the silver-gilded icon of the Virgin Mary. 

Places to stay

Cyprus is an island of contrast! Head to the rustic fishing village of Latchi for quaint tavernas and a relaxed welcome. Or, check out our Ayia Napa holidays if you want to party until sunrise. When it comes to sands that resemble the Caribbean, Nissi Bay holidays and Protaras are firm family favourites. And when you want to be next door to some of the world’s most important archaeological sites, Paphos should be your go-to. There’s no shortage of luxury either thanks to the superyachts decorating the coastline of Limassol. This cosmopolitan resort has a fantastic mix of award-winning beaches, designer stores and historical relics; the ruined city Kourion, in particular, will lure you in with its cocktail of cultures. 

More Travel Guides

We also have travel guides available for destinations, including Ayia Napa | Larnarca | Limassol | Nissi Bay | Paphos | Protaras

 

Map of Cyprus

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13-26 ℃

Enjoy comfortable temperatures all year round with averages 13-26 °C and an average of 14 hours sunshine a day in the summer months.

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4-5 hours

There are two main airports to choose from. Paphos International Airport (PFO) is in western Cyprus, about 145km from the capital, Nicosia. Larnaca International Airport (LCA) is 50km south east of Nicosia.

Cyprus is best for...

Families: From gently shelving beaches to some of the largest waterparks in Europe, Cyprus is a longstanding favourite among families. Combine its reliable climate with a rich history and all-singing, all-dancing all inclusive hotels and you’ve got yourself a winning destination that’s perfect for the kids. 

Nature lovers: With natural marvels such as Limassol Sand Dunes, the salt lakes based in Larnaca and Millomeri waterfalls, you better pack your hiking boots! Discover the island’s glory with a jeep safari through its rugged terrain, stopping off to admire the Troodos Mountains that dominate the backdrop. 

History fans: You won’t have to go far before stumbling across an ancient relic. Paphos holidays will place you amidst the 2nd century Nea Pafos and, of course, Paphos Castle. Head further afield to one of the oldest towns in Cyprus, Amathus, where Greek, Persians and Romans have occupied its ruins.

Fast facts for Cyprus

Language: Thanks to Cyprus' mix of cultures, you will find three main languages spoken here including Greek, Turkish and English. 

Currency: The currency used in Cyprus is the Euro (€).

Local time: Cyprus is 2 hours ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Paphos International Airport or Larnaca International Airport. From Larnaca, it's 1 hour to Nissi Bay, Ayia Napa, Limassol and Protaras. From Paphos Airport, it's 30 minutes to Paphos resort.

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Cyprus is 4–5 hours.

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found here.

Visa and Health: Before you travel, check the latest advice from The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Holiday destinations related to Cyprus:

Getting around Cyprus

By bus: You can explore most of the island’s main attractions by bus. They’re cheap, convenient and usually on time. If you’re holidaying in the north, be aware that the bus service here doesn’t run on a timetable. 

By hire car: There are plenty of options for hiring a car, which will give you the flexibility to discover the island’s delights at your own pace. Take a leisurely drive to the Troodos Mountains, stopping off at the picturesque villages of Omodos and Lania along the way. It’s also an easy way to visit Cyprus’ wine villages and popular archaeological sites, such as the Kourion in Limassol and Mosaics in Paphos.

By taxi: One of the quickest ways to see Cyprus is by taxi, which can be hailed from the streets or picked up at the ranks. Meters and fares are controlled by the government in all urban locations. However, taxis in rural areas don’t have meters, so it's best to agree on a fare before you set off. Travelling in the evening? Be aware that there may be additional night charges and prices are typically hiked during public holidays.

Events in Cyprus

Anthestiria Festival: In May, Limassol holidays are a must with fresh flowers filling the town in honour of the god of theatre, Dionysus. Floats decorated with brightly coloured blooms travel through the streets in a celebration of spring and nature’s rebirth.

Aphrodite Festival: Each year an international theatre troupe performs opera outside Paphos’ medieval castle. Part of the famous Aphrodite Festival, it’s a popular spectacle for culture vultures that’s not to be missed.

Limassol Wine Festival: From full-bodied reds to crisp whites and fruity rose, this two-week event held in August celebrates Cypriot wines. While you enjoy a glass (or two), they’ll be comedy shows, magicians and dancing. Not to mention the opportunity to sample some free food and drink!

Cyprus safety and security

Do I need a passport?

You’ll need a valid passport to travel to Cyprus. It must be valid for the entire duration of your stay in the country, but unlike other destinations, Cyprus passport requirements mean it doesn’t necessarily need to be valid beyond your departure date.

That said, if you’re going to the north of Cyprus, it’s advisable that you have at least six months left on your passport from the date you arrive. For more Cyprus passport information, head to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/cyprus/entry-requirements

Do I need a visa?

If you’re a British citizen with a UK passport, you don’t need a Cyprus visa. However, if you’re planning on staying in Cyprus for more than 90 days, you’ll need to obtain a registration certificate.

For more Cyprus visa information, head to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/cyprus/entry-requirements

Can I travel from North Cyprus to South Cyprus?

Yes, you can travel to the north of Cyprus from the south and back again. This includes crossing checkpoints in central Nicosia, where it’s possible to walk over the border.

Should I get travel health insurance?

Buying comprehensive travel and health insurance before you go on holiday is always advisable, no matter where you’re travelling to or when. This covers overseas medical costs, such as medical repatriation and legal costs. Be sure to check what’s included and what isn’t before you decide which insurance to buy and that your policy covers any activities you’ll be doing while you’re away.

Any other tips?

  • Crime rates are generally low in Cyprus, but it’s important to stay alert and be aware of pickpockets in tourist areas. You should also avoid keeping your important items in the same bag, such as your money and your passport; try to keep them separate at all times.
  • Tap water is safe to drink in Cyprus.
  • If you’re hiring a car, motorways and main roads are maintained to a high standard, and inner-city and smaller town roads tend to be in good condition too.

For more information and Cyprus travel advice, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/cyprus

 

Cyprus weather

Temperature: 13-26 (°C) 

When’s the best time to go?

If you’ve never been to Cyprus then put this Mediterranean paradise right at the top of your must-visit list. Cyprus is located in the far south of the Mediterranean, so it boasts one of the best climates in Europe. Blue skies are virtually guaranteed all year round, and the island enjoys a whopping 340 days of sunshine per year.

Even in April, temperatures rise into the low 20s. It’s a great time of year to visit if you like it warm but not too hot. When summer rolls around, the heat rises into the 30s and beyond; on some days, it can even reach 40°C. Things cool off in autumn, making it the ideal time to go sightseeing or explore the Troodos mountains. As for the rain, Cyprus sees most of its downpours between December to March, but it doesn’t tend to be heavy and the climate is still pretty mild.

What should I pack?

Cyprus has everything from coast to mountains. So what you need to pack will depend on where you’re going and the weather forecast.

Hitting the beach? Be sure to bring your bathing suit and pack your sun cream. You’ll need a high factor (factor 30 and above), especially if you’re travelling with younger ones. Spring or summer getaways require light, cotton clothes to help keep you cool. Flip-flops are handy for walking along the coast. Just keep in mind that there are rocky paths down to some of them, so you’ll need to bring firmer shoes too.

If you’re heading inland to the mountains, it’s best to pack layers to make sure you’re warm enough such as a light cardigan or hoodie. And don’t forget your hiking boots. You’ll find historic churches dotted all over the island. If you’re planning on stopping by, make sure you’re dressed appropriately before going inside. You’ll need to cover up your arms and legs. The same goes for monasteries in the mountains.

Best hotels in Cyprus

Popular Cyprus holiday resorts

Similar destinations

Popular questions for Cyprus
Cyprus explained
Is Cyprus cheap?

While there are certainly cheaper destinations to visit in Europe, Cyprus can be fairly affordable if you know where to save. Generally speaking, you’d be paying about as much as you would in Spain or Croatia. Cities such as Paphos and Limassol are likely to be more expensive than resort towns such as Protaras and Ayia Napa. 

It’s likely that accommodation will set you back the most. Eating out is generally reasonably priced: you’d be looking to pay around €20-30 for a 2-person meal and €2-3 for half a litre of a local beer. And depending on what you buy, groceries are on par with other European countries, though you can save a healthy penny by going for locally grown fruits and veg, and Cypriot foods from the deli counter. 

As for transport, you’ll likely need to rent a car if you want to explore what’s beyond your hotel or resort - it’s one of the few European destinations that drives on the left side of the road. Activities are generally quite cheap. Ruins, castles and historical sites are usually about €5. 

What are some good souvenirs to buy in Cyprus?

Shopping in Cyprus for souvenirs? The two most traditional Cypriot souvenirs are jewellery and silverware. Jewellery has been produced on the island since the Bronze Age and silver spoons and forks are a token of local hospitality. Cyprus is also known for Lefkara lace, the history of which dates back to to the 14th century and has been recognised by UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. 

As for drinkable souvenirs, Commandaria is a famous local brand produced in the region north of Limassol and one of the oldest wines in the world. For a higher percentage, Zivania, which is made from grape pomace, makes a unique gift from Cyprus.

What are some typical foods to eat in Cyprus?

There are a few things that no self-respecting Cypriot restaurant will be without. And those things are: halloumi and mezze. Go for either one, or both, and you can’t go too far wrong with your meal. 

Then there are the restaurants in Cyprus that will specialise in just a few things - kebab, souvlakia (charcoal-grilled skewer meats). These fast food spots are usually fairly cheap, decent quality and great for fussy eaters. 

Then there are the tavernas, which generally specialise in the kind of food grandma makes such as kolokouthkia me ta afka (courgettes with eggs), koupepia (stuffed vegetables) and stifado (rabbit stew). If you’re after a slice of traditional life, dinner in a taverna is a must do.