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InternationalTravel.ai - 9 Best Cities in Cyprus & Best Time of Year to Visit 2024
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Limassol Marina in Cyprus


9 Best Cities in Cyprus & Best Time of Year to Visit

By Joshua Wood, LPC

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Summary: If you're planning a trip to Cyprus, here are the 9 Best Cities in Cyprus & Best Time of Year to Visit.

Cyprus, an island nation in the Eastern Mediterranean, is a captivating blend of historical wonders, stunning landscapes, and vibrant city life. With its rich cultural heritage, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine, Cyprus offers a unique experience for every traveler. Whether you're looking to explore ancient ruins, relax by the sea, or indulge in local flavors, the cities of Cyprus provide a diverse array of attractions. Here are nine cities that travelers absolutely love, each offering its own charm and a host of reasons to visit.

Nicosia

As the capital and largest city of Cyprus, Nicosia is a bustling metropolis that uniquely straddles the divide between the Greek Cypriot south and the Turkish Cypriot north. The city is renowned for its historic old town, encircled by Venetian walls, and the Ledra Street pedestrian thoroughfare, which leads to the checkpoint for crossing into the northern part of the city. The Cyprus Museum, located here, is the island's largest archaeological museum, showcasing artifacts from the Neolithic to the Byzantine periods. For a taste of local life, visit the Laiki Geitonia for traditional shops and tavernas.

When to Visit: The best time to visit Nicosia is during spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant, and the city is not overcrowded. The Nicosia International Festival in September is a great time to experience the city's cultural offerings.

Travel Tip: Don't miss the view from the Shacolas Tower Museum and Observatory, which offers a panoramic view of the entire city, including the dividing Green Line.

Where to Stay & Eat: Consider staying at the Centrum Hotel or the Classic Hotel for a comfortable experience. For dining, Piatsa Gourounaki and To Anamma are local favorites for Cypriot cuisine.

Limassol

Limassol, Cyprus's second-largest city, is known for its vibrant atmosphere and extensive coastline. It's a hub for cultural festivals, wine production, and nightlife. The Limassol Marina is a luxurious waterfront filled with yachts, boutiques, and eateries. The city is also home to the Limassol Castle, where Richard the Lionheart is said to have married Berengaria of Navarre. For beach lovers, the Lady's Mile Beach offers a long stretch of sand and clear waters. The Limassol Carnival Festival is one of the most notable events, with parades and parties taking over the city.

When to Visit: The ideal time to visit Limassol is from April to June or September to October when the weather is warm but not too hot. The Limassol Wine Festival in late August to early September is a must for wine enthusiasts.

Travel Tip: Explore the ancient city-kingdom of Kourion, just outside Limassol, with its impressive Greco-Roman theatre and stunning mosaics.

Where to Stay & Eat: The Royal Apollonia and Alasia Hotel are excellent accommodation choices. For dining, Meze Taverna Restaurant and Karatello are highly recommended for their local dishes.

Paphos

Paphos is a coastal city rich in history and mythology, reputed to be the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite. The Archaeological Park of Kato Paphos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to exquisite Roman mosaics and ancient ruins. The Tombs of the Kings is another must-see archaeological site, featuring underground tombs dating back to the 4th century BC. For a relaxing day, the beaches of Coral Bay offer golden sands and crystal-clear waters. Paphos also has a charming harbor area with a medieval castle and numerous seafood restaurants.

When to Visit: The best time to visit Paphos is from March to May or October to November when the weather is mild, and the tourist crowds are thinner. The Paphos Aphrodite Festival in September presents world-class opera performances against the backdrop of the Paphos Castle.

Travel Tip: Don't miss the opportunity to take a boat trip from Paphos Harbor to the Blue Lagoon for snorkeling in the azure waters.

Where to Stay & Eat: The Annabelle Hotel and Elysium are luxurious stays with excellent amenities. For dining, Laona Restaurant and Seven St. Georges Tavern offer authentic Cypriot meals.

Larnaca

Larnaca is known for its palm-tree seafront and the stunning Church of Saint Lazarus, a remarkable example of Byzantine architecture. The city's Finikoudes Beach is a popular spot for sunbathing and watersports. The nearby Larnaca Salt Lake is a natural wonder, attracting flocks of flamingos in the winter. For a unique experience, visit the Zenobia shipwreck, one of the world's best dive sites. Larnaca also boasts a variety of shops, cafes, and tavernas along its bustling promenade.

When to Visit: The ideal time to visit Larnaca is from April to June or September to October, avoiding the peak summer heat. The Kataklysmos Festival, or Festival of the Flood, in June, offers a glimpse into Cypriot folklore and traditions.

Travel Tip: Make sure to visit the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque, beautifully situated on the banks of the Salt Lake, especially during sunset for a breathtaking view.

Where to Stay & Eat: The Sun Hall Hotel and The Ciao Stelio Deluxe Hotel are great options for accommodation. For food, try To Kazani Traditional Tavern and Maqam Al Sultan for local and Lebanese cuisines.

Ayia Napa

Ayia Napa is famed for its lively nightlife and stunning beaches, such as Nissi Beach and Fig Tree Bay. During the day, the city is a family-friendly destination with attractions like the WaterWorld Themed Waterpark and the Ayia Napa Sculpture Park. The Ayia Napa Monastery is a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city, offering a contrast to the bustling streets. For nature enthusiasts, the nearby Cape Greco National Forest Park provides hiking trails with spectacular views of the Mediterranean.

When to Visit: The best time to visit Ayia Napa is in May or October when the weather is warm, and the party scene is less intense. The Ayia Napa International Festival in September celebrates the town's culture with music, dance, and art.

Travel Tip: Don't miss a boat tour to the Blue Lagoon for swimming and snorkeling in the clear turquoise waters.

Where to Stay & Eat: Napa Plaza Hotel and Grecian Bay Hotel are excellent choices for a comfortable stay. For dining, Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar and Rokoko are popular for their diverse menus and quality food.

Protaras

Protaras is a family-friendly resort town known for its pristine beaches and clear waters, with Fig Tree Bay being one of the most famous. The town offers a more relaxed atmosphere compared to its neighbor Ayia Napa. The nearby Church of Profitis Ilias, perched on a hill, provides panoramic views of the surrounding area. For a day of fun, visit the Ocean Aquarium or explore the many nature trails that Protaras has to offer.

When to Visit: The best times to visit Protaras are from April to June and September to October when the weather is pleasant, and the area is less crowded. The Protaras Summer Film Festival in July offers outdoor movie screenings under the stars.

Travel Tip: Take a walk along the scenic coastal path that stretches from Protaras to the neighboring town of Pernera, offering beautiful sea views and access to secluded coves.

Where to Stay & Eat: The Sunrise Pearl Hotel & Spa and Capo Bay Hotel are great for their location and amenities. For dining, try Andama Tavern for traditional Cypriot dishes and Kafkaros for fresh seafood.

Kyrenia

Kyrenia, located in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, is a charming port city with a stunning backdrop of the Kyrenia Mountains. The city's picturesque harbor is lined with cafes and restaurants, and the imposing Kyrenia Castle stands guard at the edge of the sea. Inside the castle, you'll find the Shipwreck Museum, which houses one of the oldest shipwrecks recovered from the Mediterranean. For a tranquil escape, visit the Bellapais Abbey, a Gothic masterpiece with breathtaking views.

When to Visit: The best time to visit Kyrenia is from March to May or September to November when the weather is comfortable, and the city is not too crowded. The Bellapais Music Festival in May and June showcases classical music performances in the historical abbey.

Travel Tip: Explore the nearby St. Hilarion Castle, which is said to be the inspiration for the fairy tale castles of the Brothers Grimm.

Where to Stay & Eat: The Rocks Hotel & Casino and The Arkin Colony Hotel are both luxurious options with excellent facilities. For dining, Niazi's and Kyrenia Tavern offer delicious local and international cuisine.

Famagusta

Famagusta is a city of contrasts, with a rich history and a mix of abandoned and vibrant areas due to the division of Cyprus. The walled city and the ancient ruins of Salamis are must-visit historical sites. The ghost town of Varosha, once a bustling tourist district, now stands frozen in time and is a poignant reminder of the island's past conflicts. For beachgoers, Glapsides Beach offers a beautiful stretch of sand and sea.

When to Visit: The ideal time to visit Famagusta is in the spring (April to June) or fall (September to October) when the temperatures are mild. The International Famagusta Art and Culture Festival in July and August features a variety of performances and exhibitions.

Travel Tip: Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Othello Castle, which inspired Shakespeare's play and offers stunning views of the city and harbor.

Where to Stay & Eat: For accommodation, consider the Arkin Palm Beach Hotel or the Port View Hotel. For dining, Aspava Restaurant and Petek Confectioner are local favorites for Cypriot sweets and savory dishes.

Polis

Polis, also known as Polis Chrysochous, is a small and serene town located on the northwestern shore of Cyprus. It's the perfect getaway for those seeking a quieter holiday experience. The town is close to the Akamas Peninsula, a nature reserve with stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife. The Baths of Aphrodite, where the goddess is said to have bathed, is a popular nearby attraction. Polis also has a charming town center with a selection of shops and restaurants.

When to Visit: The best time to visit Polis is from April to June and September to October when the weather is pleasant, and the town is peaceful. The Polis Herb Festival in April celebrates the region's rich variety of herbs and traditional products.

Travel Tip: Take a boat trip from Latchi Harbour to the Blue Lagoon in the Akamas Peninsula for swimming in the crystal-clear waters and exploring the unspoiled coastline.

Where to Stay & Eat: The Natura Beach Hotel and Anassa Hotel offer great accommodation options with beautiful views. For dining, Moustakallis Tavern and Chix Chox are excellent choices for local Cypriot dishes.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC is one of the Founders of InternationalTravel.ai and serves as Co-President of Expat Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange and InternationalTravel.ai, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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Limassol Marina in Cyprus

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