Cyprus is very diverse with fantastic beaches, holiday resorts, clubbing, history, quiet towns, farming, mountains and skiing all within easy reach on the island. Areas to explore include:
Paphos – engulfing the west side of Cyprus the district of Paphos is itself very varied including a fantastic coastline, beaches, vineyards and villages. The resorts in Paphos town where UNESCO World Heritage sites sit alongside bars and restaurants contrast to the quieter town of Polis and the forests of Tilliria. In the south the airport that brings in thousands of visitors sits by the sea and allows easy access to popular resorts such as Paphos, Coral Bay and Limassol.
Limassol – with its traditional villages, archaeological sites and large hotel complexes there is plenty to do in this area. In the south and west, you will find it quieter, but heading east there are amusement and water parks and an ample amount of hotels. In contrast, heading to the foothills of the Troodos there are vineyards and pretty villages.
Troodos Mountains – if you tire of the beaches, then heading up into the mountains will really show you just how diverse Cyprus is.
The Troodos National Forest Park contains four specific nature reserves, hundreds of plant species and is home to the mouflon (wild sheep)! Ideal for hiking and even skiing the higher mountains reward you with fantastic views and cooler, fresh air. The village of Troodos surrounds Mount Olympos, the island’s highest peak.
The climate can be very different here – one minute we were meandering our way up the scenic roads in the sunshine, the next minute we were driving through hailstones, trying to figure out how to stop the windscreen from steaming up! There are several places worth stopping if you are driving through and which the coach trips favour such as Kykkos (for the monastery) and Omodos (a beautiful village with souvenir shops around the square).
Larnaka – although offering a combination of attractions, beaches, hotels and restaurants this area is often overlooked. To the west of Larnaka is an area of villages and small harbours home to the Neolithic sites of Tenta and Choirokoitia as well as the lace-making village of Pano Lefkara. In the east, Agia Napa and Protaras provide bars, restaurants, amusement parks and nightlife alongside blue flag beaches and historical architecture.
While these areas have received a certain reputation, as with many clubbing type resorts in Europe there has been a lot of work to minimize the anti-social elements that have stereotyped the resorts and the balance between holiday goers and the towns is a little more harmonious these days. Of the two Protaras is the more family friendly resort with many child-orientated attractions.
The climate in Cyprus subtropical which means that it can feel quite humid especially during the summer months (Jun-Aug) when temperatures can reach up to 40˚C and sunshine is all but guaranteed. In March to June and September to October, the temperature is slightly lower but you can still expect good weather and temperatures in the 20’s. With fewer crowds, this time is ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the island.