Seven Reasons to Travel to Cyprus

Cyprus is an island nation in the Middle East that is located off the coast of Turkey. It’s culturally diverse with heavy influence from both Turkey and Greece. Although the Republic of Cyprus’s history involves some conflict, the country is regarded as a very safe destination to visit. The island is known for more than just being the fabled birthplace of Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love. You can expect gorgeous coasts, plenty of historical sites, and mouthwatering food when you travel to Cyprus. If you still need convincing, here are seven reasons to plan your trip to the Mediterranean doorway to the Middle East.

1. Beautiful Beaches

As with any Mediterranean island, expect to be amazed by the clear water and rocky coasts. Even for travelers that are refuse to sit on a beach all day, it’ll be hard to resist the temptation to kick back near the shore. The most popular beaches are crowded for good reason, scattered with ample sun beds for tourists to relax. However, it’s not difficult to find a quaint beach to enjoy for those wishing to avoid the crowds. Cyprus is known for having exceptionally clean beaches and stellar water standards. Over 60 of its beaches have been granted the prestigious Blue Flag award for clean waters.

Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa, Cyprus

2. Ancient Ruins

From archaeological sites to castles to historical museums full of artifacts, Cyprus has a long history and plenty of accompanying ruins. Many historical sites are easily accessible, though some require a hike to access. There’s history to be seen for any type of traveler, from sunbathers to adventurers. You’ll find many of the ruins are reminiscent of Greece with columns, markings, and amphitheaters still intact.

3. Incredible Food

With major influence from Greece and the Middle East, it’s no wonder Cyprus is known for its food. The volcanic island is comprised of igneous mountain ranges and fertile valleys, which leads to premium produce. It’s known for its olives, citrus, and grapes, and paired with an abundance of sheep and goats, you’ll enjoy high quality cheese and meat as well. Because of the Mediterranean and Turkish influence, you’ll find some familiar dishes like moussaka, souvlaki, koupepia (dolmas), loukoumades (fried donut balls), baklava, and tzatziki. Don’t travel to Cyprus without trying the incredible meat dishes, beans, different spreads, and of course the popular local halloumi cheese.

Traditional Greek kleftiko, an oven-baked lamb stew with potato, olive oil, onion, carrot, garlic and herbs, served with lemon and ouzo

4. Ghost Town Famagusta

The once-bustling resort, Varosha, in Famagusta was renowned for some of the best beaches in Cyprus, paired with lavish hotels and lively shopping centers. However, in 1974 Turkish forces invaded the Greek Cypriots, pushing them out of the resort town and cutting off the area to over 39,000 residents and 700,000 tourists. In 2020, the town was reopened with tentative plans to rebuild the luxury resort. For now, it may not be the ideal beach to unwind, but it is an interesting snapshot into the 70s and the accompanied conflict.

5. Abundant Religious Sites

Cathedrals, mosques, monasteries, and more – Cyprus is full of incredible religious sites. The majority of Cypriots practice Orthodox Christianity, but Turkish influence and a population of Sunni Muslims brought impressive mosques to the north. Some notable highlights are Agios Lazaros, Agios Neophytos Monastery, and Church of Profitis Elias.

Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque in Famagusta in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) - originally a 14th century Gothic cathedral.

6. Stellar Booze

The aforementioned volcanic soil is a fantastic medium for high quality wine. Cyprus has a great selection of over 40 wineries to showcase their reputation for great wine. The island grows 15 local varieties of grapes, though the Mavro, Ofthlamo and Maratheftiko grapes and the white Xynisteri grape are favored. It’s easy to find a good wine in this part of the world, but Cyprus also has an assortment of breweries to ward off the heat. Popular mainstream beers are Efes Pilsen, Keo, Leon, and even the Danish Carlsberg and Tuborg brands. We recommend visiting one of the island’s microbreweries for a peek into the craft beer scene. These breweries pair excellent food with even better beer to show their guests a good time. Some popular spots are Pivo Microbrewery and Aphrodite’s Rock Microbrewery and Brewpub but explore what’s nearby for a taste.

7. Immaculate Weather

Cyprus is sunny year-round, deeming it a great candidate for catching some rays. The warmer months are warm, with average highs of 91°F and lows of 72°F – great for lounging by the water but not as much for hiking and exploring. The cooler months are still relatively warm with average highs of 60°F and lows of 43°F. If you want to explore the island beyond the coast, you may be most comfortable avoiding the hottest months of July and August. Learn more about the best places and times to visit here.

Start planning your trip to Cyprus today with our curated travel guides. Check out TripAdvisor to save up to 30% on a hotel or vacation rental in Cyprus! Tell us about your past travels to Cyprus or your upcoming trip in the comments.

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