Reviewed on 9 Apr 2021
Reviewed on 1 Nov 2020
Reviewed on 5 Sep 2020
Greek and Roman ruins lie beneath the sands of this beach-lined Mediterranean island, which has both Greek and Turkish sectors. Over centuries, the island of Cyprus has changed hands between Eastern and Western empires many times. Today, a Turkish enclave in the northeast is cordoned off from the independent nation of Greek descent in the southwest. With its complex history, Cyprus is filled with archaeological sites and centuries-old Greek, Roman and Ottoman structures. Enjoy golden Mediterranean beaches, blue-green water and exciting resort towns.
Head to Cyprus’s southeast corner for some of the island’s most popular beaches. Protaras features Fig Tree Bay Beach, which is protected by a small island. Nearby, Konnos Bay Beach is a small, gorgeous strand with calm waters within a narrow cove. Explore the southern shore of the peninsula east of Ayia Napa to find a network of sea caves along the low sandstone cliffs. Once the sun goes down, spend the evening in Ayia Napa, which is known as one of the island’s liveliest towns.
Head to the island’s west side to find its best historic attractions. The entire city of Paphos on the west coast has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its artifacts. See the third-century Tombs of the Kings, a large burial complex used to house the bodies of ancient aristocrats, and Aphrodite’s Rock, an oceanfront boulder long held to be the birthplace of the Goddess Aphrodite. Visit the city of Limassol on Cyprus’s southern shore. Move west to the well-preserved remains of the ancient city of Kourion, which include a Greco-Roman theatre and a fifth-century basilica.
Visit the island’s inland capital city of Nicosia (Lefkosia) to see the Green Line, which divides Cyprus into two nations. Residents of the EU or the USA can pass freely, but others may need to apply for a visa. Explore the city’s historic centre, which is surrounded by an ancient sandstone wall, and sample Cyprian cuisine at one of the city’s many gourmet restaurants.
Fly into one of the international airports in Larnaca or Paphos to begin exploring the historic Mediterranean island of Cyprus.