Things not to miss in Cyprus
It’s not possible to see everything that Cyprus has to offer in one trip. What follows is a selective and subjective taste of the island’s highlights: superb ancient sites, outstanding buildings and natural wonders.
1. Salamis – The gymnasium collonade is one of many highlights at ancient Salamis, just north of Farnagusta.
2. Golden Beach – Sea turtles and humans alike flock to Nangomi, one of the best on the remote Karpaz peninsula, and indeed the island.
3. Palea Enklistra – The fifteenth-century ceiling frescoes of this rock-cut church are unique on the island for showing the Holy Trinity.
4. Avgas (Avakas) Gorge – The narrows of the Avgas Gorge are a natural wonder of the uninhabited Akamas peninsula, and a popular trek-through venue.
5. Cyprus Museum – A bronze nude statue of Roman Emperor Septimius Severus is a highlight of the superb Cyprus Museum, the national archeological collection in South Nicosia.
6. Byzantine Monastery of Panayia Absinthiotissa – On the south side of the Kyrenia range, Panayia Absinthiotissa is like most churches in the North: attractive from afar but gutted inside.
7. Kyrenia harbour – Ringed with medieval buildings and flanked by a castle, this easily ranks as the most picturesque harbour on the entire island.
8. North Nicosia’s Arabhamet district – This imposing mansion stands among terraces of well-restored vernacular houses in the Arabahmet district.
9. Hala Sultan Tekke – Palm trees and the mosque near Larnaca combine in an orientalist’s fantasy.
10. Roman mosaics, Kato Pafos – Winter personified, in the “House of Dionysos”, is just one of dozens of late Roman mosaics whic adorn Kato Pafos.
11. Asprokremos – On the northeast flank of the Akamas peninsula, thi sis one of the least-spoilt beaches in the South.
12. Caledonian Falls – This is among the beauty spots accessible by maintained hiking trails around Mount Olympus.
13. Lofou – The best preserved of a score of stone built villages in Limassol district’s wine country.
14. Ancient Soli – A swan mosaic constitutes the main attraction at ancient Soli on the island’s north coast.
15. Turtle hatcheries – Loggerhead and green turtles return every summer to lay eggs on remote beaches of Pafos district and the Karpaz peninsula
16. Cyprus delight – Loukoumi to the Greek Cypriots, lokum to the Turkish Cypriots, this makes a popular gifts to hosts island-wide.
17. Scuba Diving – The wreck of the Zenobia off Larnaka is ranked as one of the best dives in the Mediterranean.
18. Lala Mustafa Pasa Camii – Literally and figuratively over-the-top, the facade of the Mustafa Pasa mosque – once the cathedral of St Nicholas – is the pride of Farnagusta.
19. Bedesten – The north protal of the Bedesten, formerly the medieval chruch of St Nicholas, is representative of abundant ornamental Gothic carving in Nicosia.
20. Arkhangelos Mikhail church, Pedhoulas – The exquisite UNESCO-recognised frescoes adorning foothill churches of the Troodhos range are typified by these vivid fifteenth-century examples at Pedhoulas.
21. Ayia Napa nightlife – It might not have the buzz it once had, but Ayia Napa is still the island’s number one after-dark destination.
22. Troodhos mountains – April, with its cherry-blossom display, is an excellent time to visit the Troodhos.
23. Ayios Mamas – This Gothic abbey-church at Ayios Sozomenos village is arguably the loveliest rural ruin in the south.
24. Abbey of Bellapais – The former Augustinian abbey of Bellapais forms the heart of the Kyrenian hill-village which grew up around it.
25. Monastery of Ayia Napa – The graceful fountain-house and medieval church at Ayia Napa’s monastery stand in stark contrast to the resort excesses outside.