In the last two years, I’ve been to Cyprus three times, and so I’ve decided to write an orderly itinerary based on all my trips on the island (On the Greek side of it).
I think Cyprus is a great destination for those looking for something close to Israel (A 45-minute flight away), as well as those looking for either a relaxed vacation to catch a tan during or for treks and scenery.
A bit about Cyprus
Cyprus is an island nation located in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey and west of Syria. It’s considered the third largest island in the Mediterranean. Its capital is Nicosia and the spoken language is Greek. The currency is the Euro.
How to get to Cyprus
Today, it is very simple and cheap to fly to Cyprus (cheaper than flying to Eilat). You can take a direct flight to Larnaca or Paphos. The flight is about 45 minutes.
Recommended hotels in Cyprus
During our trips we stayed at hotels at various levels – from basic ones in central locations to 4-5-star hotels. The hotels we stayed at were in Larnaca, Paphos, and Limassol
Hotels in Larnaca
We stayed in a super-central location in Elenora hotel apartments (you may wish to request a back room that does not face the main street, to avoid noise late at night).
We also got to stay at the five-star Golden Bay beach hotel. The design of the hotel is a little old fashioned but the service is good, it’s close to a quiet beach, there’s a good breakfast and spacious rooms.
Hotels in Limassol
One of the hotels we loved most in Cyprus and in general during our vacations. The Mediterranean beach hotel is a four-star hotel that feels like five stars, modern design, with five great restaurants, good service and many facilities like a gym, spa and more. It is located on the promenade and 9 km from the Old City.
Hotels in Paphos
We stayed at the 4-star hotel Capital coast. A cozy hotel with spacious rooms and a varied breakfast. The location is fine but not central. There is a bus stop nearby and we were there with a car. There is no beach near the hotel but there is a fun outdoor pool. The hotel gets the job done, but I would not say it is particularly indulgent. We also stayed at a basic 2-star hotel in an excellent location near the harbor (close to restaurants, bars and the promenade). Pyramos hotel . If you are looking for a cheap alternative and a good location, then it is definitely recommended.
Transportation in Cyprus
We preferred to rent a car every time we were in Cyprus. The cost of renting isn’t high and because we wanted to travel, we preferred to be mobile with the car. If you are worried of renting a car there because driving is reversed, you should know that there is almost no traffic and after a few minutes of driving you get used to everything being in reverse. Tips on how to lower car rental costs.
If you decide not to rent a car then the options for traveling are buses or taxis or by taking daily tours. There are busses inside the cities, as well as between cities.
Sim Card in Cyprus
The easiest thing is to do is purchase a Sim card at the airport but if you land late and there is no place to buy it, then the next day you can rent one in the city. You can search for Cytamobile-Vodafone or MTN stores. The cost of a Sim card is about 15 Euros.
The route is a combination of the trips we made to Cyprus. Our first time, we spent ten days there so we combined all the different destinations, while on the next few trips we only came for a few days and were at a single destination, with day trips thrown in.
Our route includes Larnaca (with day trips to Ayia Napa for a nature reserve and a day trip to the village of Lepakra) from there on to a vacation in Limassol and then to Paphos (day trip to Nicosia, day trip to the Trudos Mountains, day trip to the Acamas reservation and day trip to the winery and local villages in the region).
Recommended duration of stay: Two to three days
Recommended things to do in Larnaca
Spend time in the city center – An area with many stores, restaurants and bars (Also suitable for those looking to shop). There is also a small, local market and good cocktail bars in town.
Visit the Salt Lake, where during the autumn you can see flamingos.
Visit the Muslim mosque of Hala sultan tekke, which is located by the lake.
Walk the road from Kamares Aqueduct to the Salt Lake, or only a part of it (A 4km walking trail).
Walk the Larnaca promenade.
Day trips outside Larnaca
A recommended place to visit is Cape Greco reserve. A charming reserve located in Ayia Napa (about an hour drive from Larnaca). There are walking trails of varying degrees of difficulty, there is a beautiful natural bridge and many places for a picnic. It’s definitely worth a day or half a day.
Another place to visit is the village of Lepakra
A picturesque village with local restaurants and nice cafes and lots of lace shops. You can find a local wine shop with a selection of wines and liqueurs. It is a tourist village but if you arrive in the middle of a week it may be less crowded there.
If you want beaches, you’ll find them at Ayia Napa, or for a less touristic place with beautiful calm beaches you can travel to the town of Protaras (an hour’s drive from Larnaca)
Recommended duration of stay: two or three days
How to get there: a journey of about 45 minutes from Larnaca (by car)
Recommended things to do in Limassol
We arrived in Limassol to stay at the Mediterranean beach hotel and not to do too much. We felt like being on vacation and it was the perfect hotel for that. We spent most of our days at the hotel, but one day we rented a bicycle and rode along the boardwalk to the Old Town. The old town is full of bars and restaurants and it’s fun to walk around. It also has a nice castle worth visiting.
On another day we rode the bicycle to the Amathus, which is an archaeological site of one of the oldest royal cities of Cyprus.
Recommended duration of stay? Three to six days (depending on whether you plan to combine bedrest and trips)
How to get there: From Limassol about 1 hour by car
Things to do in Paphos
We really enjoyed the Segway tour we did in Paphos.
It is also recommended to visit the archeological site at the port. We visited there in the spring and there was just a beautiful flowering. The site itself is impressive. There are ruins and mosaics worth visiting. Another well-known place is the tombs of the kings that have underground tombs from the 4th century.
It is recommended to visit the covered market as well (a relatively small market) with local produce and souvenirs. It is open from Saturday to Monday.
Day trips from Paphos
A trip to the Akamas Reservation
We went there for a walking track. The hiking route was on a medium level and included a mountain climb with an amazing view of the sea and Paphos. On the way back we chose a longer route to pass through the Blue Lagoon. Jeep tours and lagoon excursions are available.
The reserve has different walking paths of varying degrees of difficulty and lengths. If you are looking for nature as well as some walking, this is a very recommended place.
A trip to the Venetian bridges and Trudos
The Trudos Mountains are known for skiing in the winter, but when we were there in February it was rather pleasant weather and not snowy at all, we went there to travel in different villages in the mountains. Before arriving at the mountains, we also stopped at Bridge Tzelefos in the Paphos forest. You can stop there just to see the bridges or you can do different walking routes. You can walk among the bridges by car or by foot. At the first bridge there is a possibility to go up the mountain to an observation point.
Trip to Nicosia
Nicosia is the capital city of Cyprus and one day we decided to go visit it. It is reminiscent of a combination of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. It has an ancient atmosphere combined with a modern atmosphere with many shops, with high-class bars and quality restaurants. For those looking for city life and shopping, it’s worth a visit.
A trip to the winery and villages in the Paphos area
On a 30-minute drive from the center of Paphos there is a charming winery that offers wine tastings for visitors. Tsangarides Winery is a 10-minute drive from the nice village of Letymbou. On the way there, there are many villages you can combine with your winery trip (there are other wineries a little farther away if you want to make a trip between wineries).