Planning a road trip around Cyprus? Then make sure to add these tourist attractions in Cyprus to your itinerary. Here's a small taste of what this great island has to offer.
Plan a road trip in Cyprus
When it comes to the best places in Europe to take a road trip, Cyprus is a hard place to beat. Packed inside this relatively small country, you'll find great beaches, thousands of years of history, quaint villages, and places of outstanding natural beauty.
I visited Cyprus in 2017, and spent a couple of weeks driving around, seeing all the main places of interest and also enjoying some well earned beach time.The idea of this guide to touring Cyprus by car, is to give you a few basic facts, and also list some places of interest you can include on your own Cyprus road trip itinerary.
Related: Travelling by Car: Advantages and Disadvantages
Touring Cyprus by car
First things first though. Cyprus is an island that consists of the country of Cyprus (EU member), and the Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognized only by Turkey). This travel itinerary of things to see in Cyprus on a road trip is based on the country of Cyprus only.
And before you ask, no, Cyprus is not a part of Greece. A lot of Brits get confused with that!
What Brits might be pleased with though, is that you drive on the left in Cyprus, and a lot of signs are in English. This makes a road tour in Cyprus a lot easier for Brits who might be hesitant about driving on ‘the wrong side' of the road!
Car hire is pretty easy in Cyprus, with depots in most major cities. We hired a car in Larnaca, drove in a loop around Cyprus, and dropped the car back in Larnaca before hopping on a flight back home to Athens.
Must See Tourist Attractions in Cyprus
You can easily see most of the key places of interest during a 2 week road trip around Cyprus. It will also allow some beach time, because you don't want to rush around every day!
These are some of the places to see in Cyprus I'd suggest adding into your road trip itinerary. They are listed in no particular order.
We based ourselves in Larnaca for a couple of days, and used that as a base to explore the surrounding area. Larnaca is something of a seaside resort, but it's got enough of a local touch to keep things interesting.
In addition to the Skala (which is the Turkish old section of town), there is also a salt lake which we drove around. In spring, this attracts flocks of flamingos, but as we visited in August, we were out of luck on this front.
Still, it was a very nice place to enjoy the sunset!
A little more about Larnaca: Cycling in Cyprus
2. Ayia Napa and Cape Greco
For many people, Ayia Napa would be the only point in going to Cyprus. We're not of that type though, and found Ayia Napa to be too built up for our tastes. Give us a bit of unspoiled coastline any day!
Cape Greco on the other hand is much more like it. Plenty of walking trails, stunning coastal views, and in spring lots of blooming orchids and flowers.
3. Nicosia (The Divided City)
Nicosia is the capital city of Cyprus, and also the last capital city in the world to be divided by military lines. Whilst staying too long in a city might not be on your road trip itinerary for Cyprus, it's worth a night or two so you can enjoy the cafe culture, and visit some of the museums.
We particularly enjoyed the Cyprus Museum (the must see museum of Nicosia), but there's plenty of other to choose from. YOu can find a list here: Museums in Nicosia.
You can also visit the ‘other side' of Nicosia, depending on the local political situation at the time. When we visited, it was easily possible for people to walk backwards and forward over the border between north and south.
Note: In Greece, there is a stigma attached to visiting Northern Cyprus. In the rest of Europe, no one seems concerned about it. For Cypriots themselves (original Cypriots of both north and south), they found being able to go back and forth encouraging. Most that we talked to seemed to want a reunited Cyprus, but the problem is how to actually achieve that.
4. Troodos Villages and Mount Olympus
Traditional stone houses, cobbled alleyways, churches and monasteries are what this area is all about. If you've grown tired of the hotels and signs of modern tourism, perhaps this little step back in time is what you need.
Some of the churches in this area are part of one of the UNESCO site listings in Cyprus. Find out more about them here: Painted Churches in the Troödos Region
If you are driving through from Troodos to Paphos, you could also stop at the small village of Fyti. If not, it makes an easy half day trip from Paphos.
We really loved spending time in this small village, where we visited the weaving museum. The importance of keeping this type of heritage alive can not be underestimated!
If you are going to base yourself anywhere for a length of time during your drive around Cyprus, Paphos is the perfect place. Surrounded by great coastlines, spilling over with archaeological sites, and with an endless amount of places to see and things to do, it's easy to see why many people spend their entire vacation here.
Here's some of the best things to do in Paphos:
- Tomb of the Kings
- Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
- Take a quad bike tour
- Cycling in Paphos
- Beaches in Paphos
- Aphrodite's Rock
- Check out a Shipwreck
- Get a Taste of Local Delicacies
- Hiking and Mountain Climbing
- Enjoy Some Peace and Quiet in Fyti
- Day trips from Paphos
7. Ancient Kourion
The archaeological site of Kourion can be visited as part of your Cyprus road trip when traveling from Paphos to Limassol (or the other way around).
This is a vast complex, famous for its theatre and mosaics. Spend some time here, but make sure to wear a hat and drink plenty of water! It's also possible to take a dip at the beach nearby to cool down afterwards.
Another popular tourist resort, it has all the obvious attractions such as beaches, but also a very interesting castle.
Kolossi (which is tiny, despite what the name suggests!), was a Crusader stronghold located in the village of the same name. Worth the trip out to see it!
Do you have any other destinations or things to do you'd add to this Cyprus road trip itinerary? I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below!
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