Cyprus Attractions and Tourist
Attractions and sights in Cyprus Attractions and Tourist
There are a number of attractions and sights in Cyprus. In addition, you have great scenery and cozy neighborhoods around the island.
This 900-year-old monastery is lonely, high up in the mountains of western Cyprus, more than 1300 meters above sea level. The monastery is a pilgrimage destination for Cypriots from all over the island, and some days there are hundreds of visitors, as well as the tourist buses. Cyprus’s former Archbishop and President Makarios started as a novice here in the 1920s.
In Larnaca you will find the magnificent Orthodox Church of Agios Lazaros, where you can see the sarcophagus containing the remains of Lazarus himself, whom Jesus, according to Bible history, raised from the dead. The church dates from about 950 AD.
Hala Sultan Tekke
Few places are as holy in Islam as Hala Sultan Tekke, an 1816 mosque that marks the burial place of Muhammad’s aunt. The mosque is located a few kilometers southwest of Larnaca and is free to visit. But a voluntary donation is expected.
The fortress in Limassol
In the middle of Limassol lies a majestic castle with a long and fascinating history. Here, the English King Richard the Lionheart married a Cypriot princess, it has been used as a prison and military headquarters. Today it houses a medieval museum. Open Mon-Sat 09-17, Sundays 10-13
In the center of Paphos on the west coast of Cyprus you will find the remains of Dionysos’ Villa, which was excavated in 1962. Here you can see beautiful mosaics on the floors with scenes from Greek mythology. This is just the first of five houses from the 200’s that have been excavated in the last decade and were home to Roman nobles. Open weekdays from 08:00 to 18:00. Entry about 20 kroner.
A few kilometers west of Limassol is perhaps the most important archaeological site in all of Cyprus, the ruined city of Kourion with a magnificent amphitheater that accommodated over 3000 spectators. Particularly bring with you the forum, public baths, Fountain House, Achilles House and Necropolis; The city of the dead. Open daily from 08-18. Entry about SEK 13.
Tourist in Cyprus
Of all tourists who come to Cyprus, probably 90% will only be there to relax on the beaches, swim and sunbathe. With the many beautiful sandy beaches in Cyprus, this is not so strange.
Beaches in Cyprus
The coastal strip around Ayia Napa has very clean and golden sandy beaches with turquoise blue sea, and is a great starting point for all types of water sports. Here you can dive, snorkel, water ski and ride a water scooter. The most popular beach is Nissi Beach, [see photo first in article] a beach that can get crowded and noisy during peak season. It is quite shallow and one can wade all the way to a small rocky island off the beach.
Many families with children will probably prefer Harbor Beach in Ayia Napa, or the kilometer-long Fig Tree Bay in Protaras, north of Ayia Napa. If you want more deserted beaches, try Konnos Bay, just north of Cape Gkreko.
Larnaca has an 800 meter long sandy beach inside the town, flanked by a promenade with restaurants and outdoor seating, and chairs and umbrella rentals. Larnaca Bay, 6 kilometers east, is also popular, but it can suddenly become abrupt and have some undercurrents. For children, Makenzy is probably better suited, 4 kilometers west of Larnaca.
Limassol has one of Cyprus ‘longest sandy beaches, the so-called Ladies’ Mile on the Akrotiki Peninsula west of the city. Shallow but with few amenities except some beach chairs and umbrellas for rent. East of Limassol lies Governors Beach, a wide sandy beach with chairs, some restaurants and bars. There are buses from Limassol in high season.
If you want to find slightly less populated beaches, without watercraft and hundreds of umbrellas, you should rather venture into the west coast of Cyprus. A hidden gem is Lara Bay on the Akama Peninsula, west of Paphos. To get here you must either ride a bike or rent a Jeep. The roads are narrow and very bumpy, and for that reason there are little people there. In July and August the beach can be closed, as it is a protected area for sea turtles. Then you continue just west, where you will certainly find your own little beach in a secluded cove.
But on an island so steeped in culture, nature and a history that stretches back many millennia, it is a shame and shame to experience nothing but the hotel, the beach and the nearest restaurants.
Troodos in Cyprus
If you appreciate nature, you should experience Troodos. This is a large high-lying area that runs along Cyprus, between the west coast and Larnaca. Large parts are covered with pine forests, and the highest point, Mount Olympos, lies all 1950 meters above sea level. Norwegians may not primarily go to Cyprus to ski, but if you are here in the winter and get fancy, you will actually find an alpine skiing here.
You will come across small charming villages, vineyard vineyards with terraced grapes, cherry and apple farms, and ancient monasteries. The most famous monastery is the Chrysorrogiatissa Monastery, founded in 1152. The monks here produce their own wine that you can buy in the monastery. Here you will also find a small cafe.
In the Troodos area you will find plenty of picnic areas along the roads. On most of these there are toilets, children’s playgrounds and barbecue facilities. The main roads are paved and fine, but you turn off from these, you’re on bumpy dirt roads, and a four-wheel drive car may be needed.
You get good road maps of the Troodos area at the tourist organization CTO. If you do not have a car, it is also nice to join a day trip by bus from one of many organizers you will undoubtedly come across at the tourist spots.
Akamas in Cyprus
To the west of Cyprus lies the scenic peninsula of Akamas, with its rugged rocky beaches where you can spot both turtles and seals with a little luck. There is a network of trails here which is great for walking. If you dare to ascend to the top of Mouti tis Sotiras, you will be rewarded with a fabulous panoramic view, the most beautiful in all of Cyprus. The trip up takes about an hour for a normally skinny person. It is also popular to explore Akamas by bicycle, and there are several companies in Polis that rent mountain bikes.
On the north side of the peninsula, just west of Polis, you will find the so-called Aphrodite baths, where the Greek goddess is said to have risen from the water. From here many of the hiking trails start. Akamas is a protected national park, which means that everything from camping and hunting to picking flowers is prohibited. Don’t take anything away from here, and don’t leave anything behind either.
Nicosia in Cyprus
Of course, you should bring Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, also called Lefkosia. For a long time Nicosia was divided in two in line with Berlin, with a Greek and a Turkish part. The Greek is relatively modern and western in appearance, while the northern Turkish part is more oriental and exotic. Here lies a confusing network of narrow streets that all mysteriously pretend to lead you to the magnificent Selimyie Mosque.
The Old Town is still surrounded by virtually intact ramparts, built by Venetians in the 16th century, and blocked off by traffic. Here it is fun to stroll around the narrow cobbled streets, where it is teeming with small local shops, sidewalk cafes and restaurants. Although many of the buildings are several hundred years old, they have been given new facades, and it does not look as dilapidated as it does in some of the back streets.
Kourion in Cyprus
A few kilometers west of Limassol is perhaps the most important archaeological site in all of Cyprus, the ruins of Kourion. With a great view of the sea from the cliffs over the coastal strip you can see among other things a magnificent amphitheater with space for over 3000 spectators.
The site was probably built by the Greeks, but was later expanded by the Romans who used it for gladiator fights, among other things. You can see mosaic pictures of the gladiator matches at Kourion’s buildings. Particularly bring with you the forum, public baths, Fountain House, Achilles House and Necropolis; The city of the dead.
Hala Sultan Tekke
Few places are as holy in Islam as Hala Sultan Tekke, an 1816 mosque that marks the burial place of Muhammad’s aunt. The mosque is located a few kilometers southwest of Larnaca and is free to visit. But a voluntary donation is expected, and you are expected to show respect by taking off your shoes, covering your shoulders and knees, and being low-key. Ironically, the Muslims in Cyprus, who live in the northern Turkish-controlled part, cannot visit their shrine.
The mosque is located just off Cyprus’ famous salt lake, which transforms completely from summer to winter. From being a salt drought in the summer, it is filled with water in the wintertime and is home to exotic migratory birds such as pink flamingos.
Lefkara in Cyprus
The small village of Lefkara with its 1100 residents is situated in the mountains between Larnaca and Limassol, and has become a very popular tourist destination. You should arrive early to avoid the worst rush.
Lefkara has become the capital of the Cyprus handicraft industry, and is primarily known for its lace.
Lefkara is also known for the production of silverware. Although there is a lot of shopping pressure and tourists on the main street, you will also find cozy cobbled alleys with picturesque architecture.