If stunning scenery, great food and stylish beach clubs sounds like your idea of heaven, Cyprus has it all. A girls’ trip or romantic getaway is best spent exploring the beaches and vineyards, while families should make a beeline for the rural areas in the south. From luxury hotels in the hills to historic sites along the coast – whatever type of trip you’re after – here are the best places to visit, stay and eat.
While Paphos divides opinion, there’s no doubt it has some stunning scenery. It also has a variety of award-winning sites and was nominated European Capital of Culture a few years ago. Avoid the busy beach strip at Kato Paphos and head to Upper Paphos instead, which has a more traditional feel, with ancient sites, beautiful architecture and sandy beaches.
Be sure to visit Tomb of the Kings and Hrysopolitissa Basilica (two archaeological sites) then head to Lara Beach, renowned for its clear waters. A lovely afternoon can also be spent at Tsangarides Winery which operates free tours and wine tastings.
To see Cyprus’ rugged landscape and immerse yourself in nature, the Troodos Mountains (otherwise known as Troodos Massif) is the place to go. Covering 90sq km, the county’s largest mountain range is where you’ll find Mt Olympos, the highest point in Cyprus, as well as a range of ancient monasteries and medieval churches.
The area is a protected geopark, ideal for a family outing where you can enjoy hiking, camping and cycling, or take advantage of the excellent ski slopes during the winter months. Be sure to visit the botanical gardens and Archangelos Michail – a UNESCO-listed church.
Modus Vivendi is a beautiful collection of self-catering suites and stone cottages in the small village of Psematismenos, between Larnaca and Lemesos. Full of character, the interiors are rustic yet chic – think stone walls, bamboo ceilings, antique four-poster beds and stylishly mismatched furniture.
Terra Verte Studio and Lefko House are the top choice, with white-washed walls and modern en-suites. Guests can relax in the pool and on the outdoor terrace, before exploring the local village – you’ll need a car to get around, especially if you want to hit the best beaches in Larnaca.
If you’re heading on a family holiday or group trip, Cyprus has a myriad of villas to choose from. Villa Otrea is in the small village of Pernera, just a short walk away from the beautiful Malama Beach. With ultra-modern interiors, the villa sleeps up to six and has an open-plan living room with garden access, three bedrooms, and a plunge pool with Roman steps. There’s also a full-equipped kitchen and a spacious terrace for al fresco dining.
Guests can explore the coastal village of Kapparis with its unspoilt beach and crystalline waters, or head to Nissi for water sports and excellent diving spots. For a fun girls’ night out, Aiya Napa is only a 15-minute taxi ride away, where there are some stylish beach bars in addition to the high-octane clubs.
If you’re after a seriously chic beach club, head to Antasia in Paphos. Having only opened in June, it’s already become a hotspot with those in the know. Specialising in a ‘day-to-night experience’, guests can enjoy light plates on the beach, like calamari, prawn tempura and Peking duck rolls, then head into the restaurant later for sushi and sashimi, and delicious seafood. There’s also a cool rooftop bar where DJs set the tone with chilled house tunes.
If you don’t stay at AMARA, be sure to book a table at its restaurant Ristorante Locatelli, headed up by Michelin-starred chef Giorgio Locatelli. The Italian menu features simple yet elegant dishes like seabass with champagne sauce, slow-cooked beef ragu with black spaghetti and marinated veal with burrata and asparagus.
All travellers must present a negative Covid-19 antigen test which must not be older than 48 hours or a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours on arrival, regardless of their vaccination status. You will also need to complete an online entry form before you enter.
Flight Time: A direct flight from London to Cyprus takes around 4 and a half hours. The main airport is Larnaca International.
Average Temperature: During the summer months, temperatures tend to range between 32°C and 36°C.
Time: Local time is GMT plus one hour.
*DISCLAIMER: Travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice and entry requirements to Croatia before you book anything. Visit Gov.uk for more information