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What to see and do in Cyprus – a guide to notable attractions and landmarks

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An odyssey of golden beaches, historic treasures, and natural wonders, Cyprus holidays take you on a voyage to remember. From the traditional charm and architectural heritage of the west coast to buzzing beach parties in the east, discover an island of contrasts between the old and the new, where Greco-Roman sites, medieval castles and splendid city walls from the Venetian days still stand.

Margarita & Marianna Lyra

My Destination local expert on

Cyprus

From outback adventures, beachside escapades and adrenalin-pumping activities, there’s no shortage of things to do in Cyprus. History freaks will relish in medieval castles steeped in mystery and romance, an ancient city kingdom and underground tombs. From golden beaches and rugged coastlines to rolling hills and forest clad mountains, nature enthusiasts will fall in love with the island. Hike wonderful trails in the Troodos Mountains, or go scuba diving and snorkeling in the famous shipwreck of Zenobia.

 

Limassol Castle

 

Steeped in history and romance, Limassol Castle was the place where King Richard the Lionheart wedded Queen Joanna in 1191, back in the days of the Crusades. The main attraction in Limassol, this solid-looking castle houses lovely shady gardens and a museum where exhibits include Crusader gravestones, Ottoman pottery, suits of armor and an interesting display of black-and-white photos of Byzantine sites all over Cyprus.

 

Kourion

 

A few kilometers west lies one of the most impressive Greco-Roman sites in Cyprus - Kourion, an ancient city kingdom where excavations continue to uncover hidden treasures. The star attraction of the archeological site is its awe-inspiring Amphitheater where you can catch a concert, show or play in summer. From its stately villas with exquisite mosaic floors to its early Christian Basilica, and its large market place, Kourion’s attractions will surely please your inner Indiana Jones.

 

Tombs of the Kings

 

A UNESCO World Heritage site and Paphos’ main attraction, the Tombs of the Kings is a monumental structure carved out of solid rock which contains a set of well-preserved underground tombs and chambers decorated with Doric pillars. The name is somewhat a misnomer, since high officials rather than kings were buried in these tombs back in the 4th century BC. Its name however, derives from the site’s grandeur. Wander down into the depth of these rock tombs, which seem more like a house than a burial place, and marvel at the ancient atriums, frescos, columns and porticos.

 

Troodos Mountains

 

Wild and rugged, Troodos is Cyprus’ highest mountain range and a mecca for walkers, bikers and nature buffs. Its hills and valleys house dense forests, dreamy waterfalls, wine-making villages and World-Heritage-listed Byzantine churches and monasteries. In autumn, hikers from all over the world bring these black pine forests to life on their way to the Caledonian Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Cyprus. With a length of three kilometers, this popular trail features local flora, singing swallow birds, and precious woods.

 

Agia Napa

 

East of Larnaca lies the beach resort of Agia Napa, one of the top destinations for party-goers and sun-worshipers in Europe. Famed as the party capital of Cyprus, this resort boasts a lively yet raunchy clubbing scene and has all the ingredients for a second-to-none night out, from grunge to garage, beach parties and some of the most exclusive live acts on the planet. Party nights might be Agia Napa’s strong suit, but its white beaches are also a crowd-pleaser. While some laze on the sand and get a golden tan, many take to the water and go windsurfing, canoeing and water-skiing.

 

Zenovia Wreck Diving Site

 

Divers from near and far submerge themselves in Larnaca’s bay to uncover a magical underworld, namely the Zenobia Wreck. One of the top recreational wrecks in the world to dive in, the site features a Swedish roll-on-roll-off ferry, Zenobia, which sank a short distance from the coast back in 1980. Zenobia and most of the trailers and trucks can be seen either in the wreck or lying on the seabed close by. Dive into this site to relish in this magnificent ‘ghost ship’ and the colourful and abundant sea life around.