Things to do in Cyprus

Things to do in Cyprus range across many interest areas--from beaches to luxury to hiking to history. The historical Cyprus attractions can satisfy hours on end, if not days or weeks, and travelers who want to be pampered can indulge in the growing spa industry. Between the Turkish region that is North Cyprus and the Greek southern region, a wealth of fantastic attractions can be found, and visitors are encouraged to see what both sides of the island have to offer.

Beaches

The top tourist attractions in Cyprus are the beaches. The beaches in the southern region are where most tourists choose to get their fill of fun in the sun, though the north definitely isn't devoid of enticing strips of sand. In the southern region, beaches such as Phinikoudes Beach and the beaches at Coral Bay are filled with vacationers during the summer months. In North Cyprus, the beaches on the relatively deserted Karpas Peninsula offer a quiet alternative to the livelier beaches in the south.

Mountains

While hanging out at the beach tops the list of things to do in Cyprus, many travelers also take some time to explore the highlands. The mountains in Cyprus are at their tallest in the Troodos Range, where Mount Olympus tops them all at 6,400 feet above sea level. The Troodos Mountains can be found in the heart of the southern region, and they are home to many a charming village, as well as ski slopes that are popular in the winter. Up north, the smaller and more rugged Kyrenia Mountains are also home to villages that are worth visiting.

Tombs of the Kings

When you're not enjoying recreational activities at the beach or in the mountains, you can enjoy side trips to historical sites and attractions such as the Tombs of the Kings. Found near Paphos, this superb archaeological site dates back to around the third century BC and is one of the top tourist attractions in Cyprus. Back in its heyday, the large necropolis at the site was used to bury elite members of the ancient city of Nea Pafos. Coincidentally, the nearby ruins of Nea Pafos can also be explored.

Kourion

Much like the Tombs of the Kings, Kourion figures among the top Cyprus attractions for those who are interested in history and archaeology. Dominated by an impressive Greco-Roman theater, this renowned ancient city is also home to fantastic mosaics and an old Christian Basilica. The site overlooks the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea on the southern coast, and this only lends to its attractiveness.

Sailing

Cyprus is completely surrounded by the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. As such, sailing figures among the top things to do in Cyprus, and there are a number of companies that offer sailing charters. Many visitors to the country arrive on their own yachts, with the marina at Larnaca being the most popular marina in the country. Sailing lessons are available in many Cyprus destinations, as are boat rentals for experienced boaters who are without a private watercraft.

Cruises

In addition to enjoying a sailing excursion, Cyprus visitors can also book a short cruise. Two- and three-day cruises from Limassol depart for destinations like the Greek Islands, Egypt, and Israel, and they can make for excellent side adventures. Longer cruises that feature Cyprus visits on their Mediterranean and European itineraries can also be booked for those who are interested.

Scuba Diving

An almost unlimited number of Cyprus activities can be enjoyed by tourists, and these activities include scuba diving. This island in the eastern Mediterranean region is a great scuba diving destination, thanks in part to the numerous shipwrecks found just offshore. The wreck of the Zenobia is the most renowned dive site in Cyprus, though it certainly isn't the only one.

Tours

Getting around to all the top tourist attractions in Cyprus can be relatively difficult, especially if you're not familiar with the island or don't have a rental car. Thankfully, there are a number of tours to choose from. While some of the Cyprus tours highlight one main attraction and only last a couple hours or less, others can be more extensive and include a number of great Cyprus attractions or activities. Historical sites such as the Tombs of the Kings are perhaps best enjoyed on a guided tour, and you can often pair a tour of historical sites with another experience, such as a stop in a charming mountain village. That's just one of the options.

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