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Cyprus at a glance

It should come as no surprise that there is so much to love about Cyprus. After all, legend claims it was the home of Aphrodite, goddess of love, beauty, and pleasure.

But it was more than three thousand years ago when the islanders worshipped the lovely Greek goddess who they believed walked out of the foam and on to their shores.

So what is there to love about Cyprus today? It's a Mediterranean paradise. It has Europe's most southerly city, it's where the Middle East and Europe merge, it is full of natural beauty, and there are things to enjoy all year round.

The climate means you can ski there in the winter, have fun in February at street-party carnivals, cycle, hike or play golf at almost any time. Enjoy cloudless skies and fabulous temperatures, clear seas in a summer that sprawls over five sunny months.

Let's start the way Aphrodite did – on the beach. There are hundreds of them. Unending stretches of gorgeous golden sand and tiny tucked-away coves. Getting on for 200 of them have facilities such as water sports, sunbeds and cafes.

There are many diverse towns on this island of huge contrasts. Paphos, a former European Capital of Culture, birthplace of Greek goddess Aphrodite and bursting with ancient history, is the top tourist destination on the spectacular west coast.

Limassol (also called Lemesos) was once the home of Richard the Lionheart and is the tourist heart of the beautiful south coast. Ayia Napa, is the club and party capital on the east coast, famous for magnificent white-sand beaches. And there are many more towns and resorts to experience.

Yes, the tourist hotspots can be busy in the peak summer weeks but one of the beauties of Cyprus is you don't have to travel far to be somewhere completely different.

Explore stunning countryside and find sleepy villages. Forests and olive groves cover the slopes of majestic Troodos Mountains, the island's green heart. Quieter bays and beaches are waiting to be discovered. Trace the tumultuous history through the castles, churches and archaeological ruins that are everywhere.

Which brings us back to goddess Aphrodite's Cyprus where you can find the perfect setting for weddings, honeymoons, and romantics. Myth or mystery, there's something to love about Aphrodite's magnificent island.

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Best Time To Visit Cyprus

Weather in Cyprus is like the island itself – it has something special to offer all year round.  Long, dry summers and mild winters, with lots of sunshine and lovely Mediterranean-blue skies at any time of the year. Temperatures can soar into the 30's in the summer and be pleasant enough for sunbathing in the winter. There's skiing in the mountains in January and February (sometimes longer) while just an hour's drive away people can be found relaxing beautiful beaches.  

It's said that the Mediterranean climate is warmer year round in Cyprus, more so than anywhere else in the EU, with daytime temperatures on the coast averaging a balmy 24 degrees centigrade, making holidays in Cyprus perfect at any time.

In June the Kataklyomos Festival in Larnaca celebrates Noah's survival of the Great Flood with a day of water sports and an evening of concerts. A four-day feast of music, dancing, theatre and exhibitions is enjoyed at the Ayia Napa International Festival in the last week of September. An Aphrodite opera festival is held under the stars at Paphos Castle every September.

April, May, October and November is the perfect time for walkers, cyclists and other outdoor sport fans – still pleasantly warm in the day but noticeably chillier in the evenings. The island organises an annual walking festival in March with guided walks along nature trails in mountains and forests and along the coast.

About three-quarters of the total rainfall is in December, January and February, much of it in the mountains. Officially it's winter, but much of the time it's more like autumn or early spring to British visitors, with an average of six hours' of sunshine a day. 

It's warm enough for the island to go carnival crazy at the end of February, the biggest and best is the colourful grand parade in Limassol. Cross-country bikers visit in February to compete in the island's famous Sunshine Cup race, and flamingos start to touch down on Larnaca's salt lake.

On the coolest days, the temperature will average about 10 degrees, but it will be colder in the Troodos Mountains where the ski centre expects to be in business for the first three months of the year. An international skiing competition is held on Mount Olympus in early March.

Who Are Cyprus Holidays For?

Holidays in Cyprus are perfect for romantic retreats, family holidays, escapes with friends, or even solo adventures. Whether you are partial to relaxing on soft sands, prefer a more active holiday, or would like to soak up some ancient history, there is something for all.

With the warm Mediterranean sea lapping golden sands and Blue Flag beaches galore, many with secluded coves and sea caves, sun worshippers will find themselves spoilt for choice.

Those who are partial to outdoor pursuits can enjoy a plethora of activities with watersports, including jetskiing and scuba diving, being incredibly popular – children (and some adults) will also be fans of the famous banana boat rides. There are also lush forests and picture-perfect olive groves which are perfect for walkers and hikers.

Ancient sites, archaeological ruins, and picturesque villages mean that culture vultures will truly be in their element. And let’s not forget the spectacular sunsets and delectable dining that every visitor will enjoy.

There truly is something for everyone on a Cyprus holiday.

Cyprus Travel Advice

Car hire: Cyprus is one of three countries in Europe, apart from the UK, where traffic drives on the left. There are good, if steep and twisty, roads into the picturesque mountains and villages. You can find hire car businesses all over the island.

Buses: Bus services link all resorts, towns and most villages in Cyprus. Fares are lower than in the UK and many of the vehicles used are air conditioned.

Taxis: Mostly large and luxurious Mercedes cars which can be flagged down, found on ranks or booked in advance. Fares go up after 8.30pm. A shared taxi service that operates in some towns can be booked the same ways. There are two uber-style apps, nTaxi and Bolt.

Make the most of your trip Things to see & do

Frequently asked questions

Why is Cyprus described as a divided island?

There is a border between the Independent Republic of Cyprus, the main tourism area, and Turkish Northern Cyprus. Crossing this “green line” border was strictly controlled until 2003 when more crossing points were opened. This has resulted in tension easing after many decades of conflict. The euro is the currency for the republic, which is part of the EU. The Turkish lira is used in Northern Cyprus. Excursions take visitors on sightseeing trips across the border.

Did Cyprus used to be a British colony?

A 19th century deal between Britain and Turkey led to Cyprus becoming a British protectorate. It remained as a Crown colony until Cyprus became independent in 1960. Two military bases that were permitted by the independence agreement are still in use and more than 3,000 Army, Navy and RAF personnel are stationed there.

Is Cyprus a Greek island?

No, it is an independent republic but it feels much like one of the Greek islands when you visit.  Greece is the official language (although English is widely spoken), meze is a popular meal and the Greek Orthodox Church the main religion. The Greek connection goes back about 2,500 years to the empire building era of Alexander the Great. Since then Cyprus has survived the Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Turks and the British - but the Greek culture remained.

Where to stay in Cyprus

Argaka (1)

Argaka

Argaka is a small traditional Cypriot farming village, situated on the coast, just 7kms north of Polis. Its location makes it the ideal place to just sit back and relax.

Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Ayia Napa

Once a small fishing village, Ayia Napa has grown into a world-famous resort that boasts sophisticated cultural venues as well as hedonistic clubs. A much loved destination for all ages and perfect for families too.

Goudi, Cyprus

Goudi

This secluded haven will deliver a typically warm Cypriot welcome. Relax In peace and tranquillity in an unbeatably chilled out destination. You might never want to leave.

Larnaca, Cyprus

Larnaca

See and be seen on holidays to Larnaca as you stroll the famous two mile promenade along the delightful town beach. Perfectly positioned for exploring the island’s spectacular interior, you’ll be spoilt for choice with all the fabulous blue flag beaches and sp…

Limassol, Cyprus

Limassol

Lively and cosmopolitan Limassol is a popular seaside resort with a sandy coastline and tavernas, bars, shops and restaurants aplenty. Enjoy the buzzing nightlife of this modern resort, chill out among the labyrinth of little cobbled streets in the Old Town an…

Miliou, Cyprus

Miliou

Relax away from the crowds on holidays to Miliou. If you’re looking for something different from your average Mediterranean beach resort, then Miliou Village could be the answer to your dreams.

Paphos, Cyprus

Paphos

The historical seaside town of Paphos is perfect for sun worshippers, culture seekers and nature lovers alike. You’ll love the sandy beach at Coral Bay, find plenty to explore in the delightful surrounding areas and can lap up the history and culture of the ar…

Peyia, Cyprus

Peyia

In Peyia, do not forget to quench your thirst at the picturesque fountains found in the beautiful stone-paved village square.

Pissouri, Cyprus

Pissouri

This attractive, quiet rural resort is ideally located for those who wish to escape the crowds yet enjoy getting out and about exploring.

Platres 1183915471

Platres

Set in the Troodos mountains this charming town offers the opportunity to enjoy traditional Cypriot life as well as a number of scenic nature trails.

Polis & Latchi Header

Polis and Latchi

Set on the edge of the beautiful Akamas National Park, discover the picturesque fishing village of Latchi. Just four kilometres away is the quiet rural town of Polis where you can experience the 'real' Cyprus.

Pomos 104387384

Pomos

The seaside village of Pomos is a place like no other. With views all around of mountains and the ocean, it's the place to be for a relaxing Cypriot holiday.

Protaras, Cyprus

Protaras

The popular, family-oriented resort of Protaras has some of the best sandy beaches in Cyprus. Take advantage of the crystal clear waters and enjoy the many watersports on offer.

Neo Chorio

Neo Chorio

This quaint village, near the Akamas Peninsula weaves together Cypriot charm with natural wonders, offering a timeless retreat for those seeking a tranquil haven among olive groves, vineyards, and the rugged beauty of Akamas.

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