With beautiful, sun-bleached beaches, the blue, temperate waters of the Mediterranean lapping at the coast, and an estimated 326 days of sunshine a year, it’s no surprise that Cyprus is a favourite holiday destination for travellers from across the globe. While the beaches are undoubtedly an attraction in themselves, if you’re travelling with youngsters, or you want to see a bit more of what this stunning island has to offer, you’re going to want some day trips and attractions to head for on those rare days away from the beach. Luckily, there are plenty of things to do in Cyprus, ranging from exploring historical ruins to family-friendly theme-parks, and flexing your haggling muscles in bustling markets.
Magic, Myth and Legend
If you’ve got even a passing interest in history or the Ancient Greek myths and legends, you’re in for a treat. Cyprus is like a living museum, littered with remnants, relics, and ruins from one of the world’s greatest civilisations. One of the favourite things to do in Cyprus for those who like to inject their break with a little magic is to visit Aphrodite’s Rock. Said to be the birthplace of the goddess of love, it’s believed that if you stand on the rock and look into the waves, you’ll see an image of the Aphrodite in the water. In keeping with the subject of the legend, the surrounding scenery is, naturally, quite beautiful.
Stepping Back in Time
For something more historically accurate rather than legendary, pay a visit to the ruins of Paphos. Once an imposing city, it’s grandeur has been preserved in towering columns and the ornate, impressive Tomb of Kings. If you want to unleash your inner Indiana Jones, there’s also the chance to explore the network of passages that run under the city.
The ancient city of Kourion is similarly impressive, sporting a vast amphitheatre where you can still watch performances and plays, a crumbling marketplace, and even the original baths used by the ancient Cypriots. If you’re a history buff, visiting Kourion at sunset ought to be at the top of your list of things to do in Cyprus.
Have a Splashing Good Time!
However, it’s not all gods and monsters on the sunshine island. If you’re holidaying with the kids, you’re going to need some entertainment up your sleeve. Fasouri Water Park is widely hailed as the best on the island, offering watery rides and slides full of twists and turns. The nearby orange grove has influenced its design, with many of the attractions having a fruity twist! The Paphos Bird and Animal Park is also well worth a visit, allowing visitors to get up-close-and-personal with a variety of exotic wildlife.
Shop ‘til you drop!
If shopping’s your thing, you’ll find markets almost everywhere you go. Among the best are Nicosia Flea market, which sells everything from vintage typewriters to fruit and veg, and Paphos Municipal Market, where you’ll find leather goods, handcrafted items, and delicate jewellery. However, if you like your shopping to be a more 21st century experience, the Kings Avenue Mall, in Paphos, is where you ought to go. A sleek, chic shopping centre, this is where you’ll find boutiques, designer stores, international restaurants and cafés.