The eastern island in Europe called Cyprus is the third largest Mediterranean island holding varying landscapes right from rocky shorelines to lush mountains. The main draw of this island is that it has been restructured on a huge scale. This contemporary look embracing the well preserved historic settings and natural landscapes is just the most striking part of this island.
As Cyprus is an island, you can expect beaches and extravagant resorts. So, one can have fun with all possible water sports, the most demanding tourist attractions in Cyprus. Okay, besides these, you will be proud to take a tour of its UNESCO-listed sites that are the historical and cultural ones. Do look for the castles, the Venetian walls, and Roman mosaics that speak about the 10,000-year old past architecturally.
Many tourist attractions in Cyprus are found in its capital city called Nicosia. Here, check out the Cyprus Museum full of archaeological gems, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Folk Art Museum, the Byzantine Museum/Makarios Cultural Centre, intricate churches, St John’s Cathedral, and the Omeriye Mosque.
Larnaca is the famous resort town where you will love to explore the Agios Lazaros Church along with its Byzantine Museum, Larnaca Fort, District Archaeological Museum, Pierides Private Archaeological Museum, Tornaritis-Pierides Palaeontology Museum, the Natural History Museum, and remains of ancient Kition that is a mosque in notable gardens close to the airport and the Larnaca Salt Lake where migratory flamingos throng to form a beautiful site in winter.
Regarded as the most visited tourist attractions in Cyprus, the Troodos Mountains in the middle of the island and a forested landscape is the site of beautiful scenes. In winters, the site transforms itself to be the most memorable land for skiing. Further, there are some more highlights here – nine Byzantine churches with wonderful frescoes listed as the World Heritage Site. Looking for some adventure? Well try out your potential for cycling, hiking, and bird watching. You can also choose some outing on the Platres that is on the southern slopes on your route to Mount Olympus, the highest peak.
Now, I will reveal some great towns and hamlets here. Tamassos is the town of imperial tombs and the Agios Irakleidios Monastery. Peristerona is the home of five-dome church along with a mosque. Nestled in a stunning cliff-side cave, Deftera is known for its Panagia Chrysospiliotissa Church. The hamlet of Lefkara in the west is adorned with Convent of Agios Minas. Pafos is the town that is not something to be missed. Decorated with rich ancient sites, this resort town offers a series of Roman villas nearby the harbor, which are undoubtedly entitled as the World Heritage sites. The most famous ones are the Villa of Theseus, House of Dionysos, and the Tombs of the Kings.
The Stavrovouni Monastery, atop a hill, is quite appealing just off the Limassol-Nicosia road. There is one more highlight here – the Crusader-era Chapelle Royal. Known as among the most interesting tourist attractions in Cyprus, the Limassol Castle seems to act as a watchman to save the ancient harbor. Currently, the fort is the home of the Cyprus Medieval Museum. Some more highlights are the Limassol District Archaeological Museum, Folk Art Museum, and a zoo adorning the stunning Municipal Gardens.
Kourion is the best destination according to many tourists who have visited this island. The main pull here is the superb Graeco-Roman theatre where you can watch shows and Shakespearean plays only in summer. It is nestled atop a vertical hillside. Then, the House of Eustolios is one more draw with its fine mosaics. Other highlights are the acropolis where the remains of the Roman-era forum are scattered and the Christian Basilica. Just in the city’s outskirts, look out for the Sanctuary of Apollo Ylatis and an old stadium.
The Grotto of Fresh Water Pool in the Aphrodite isle at the frontier of the Akamas Peninsula is the top tourist attraction because of a legend. According to it, this was where the Greek goddess of love bathed.
The Temple of Aphrodite and the remains of the Old Palaia Pafos are the top highlights in the Kouklia town. On its coastline, take some efforts to spot the Petra tou Romiou – Rock of Aphrodite.
Water Sports such as diving, windsurfing, swimming, kite-surfing, and paragliding are just awesome at the beaches of Dasoudi, Geroskipou, Larnaca, and Limassol. The Beaches of Ayia Napa and Protaras are just perfect for family entertainment where turquoise waters and water sports such as waterskiing and kite-surfing are just memorable. Besides water parks, resorts, and boat trips, you can even party and go for go-karts in Ayia Napa. Cape Gkreko, a sinking coastline with rocky bays, is just ideal for diving, snorkeling, boat trips, and picnics.
Now, it is the turn of land sports. Hiking is possible here because of the accessible mountainous zones. Try out some of the clean trails at Persephone, Atalante, and Kaledonia in the Troodos; Adonis and Aphrodite in Akamas; and the jungles of Limassol and Machairas. Want to hike the latest trail? Well, that is the Kyrenia Mountain Trail exclusively for the visitors. Skiing is just extravagant in the Kakopetria as well as the Platres areas of Mount Olympus. For this sport, the suitable months are from January to mid March.
Do take a tour of the Akamas National Park where the natural environs facilitate the protected turtles to lay eggs at the scenic Lara Bay annually. If you come to Cyprus, you just cannot miss to be a part of its great feast – Kataklysmos. It is like the national event that is celebrated across the island. However, the scene at Larnaca coast is just worth a watch. People in great numbers throng the shore to sing, dance, and eat. And yes, the fun of water sports at this time is at its zenith.
Note: While you are here, just take care of their rules. Never say ‘no’ to a cold drink or Greek coffee as it is considered impolite. Additionally, no photography is permitted near churches and military camps.
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