Known for being the sunniest country in Europe, Cyprus attracts millions of tourists every year with its golden beaches, clear waters and unrelenting nightlife. But while sun-worshippers will feel quite at home on the island, Cyprus offers far more than sand and cheap alcohol. Check out our guide on where to find some of the best cultural attractions on this Mediterranean isle.
One of the best family-friendly resorts on the island, Paphos is undoubtedly the culture capital of Cyprus, boasting a rich cultural heritage, stunning beaches, delicious cuisine and ancient landscapes. In fact, the whole city is declared an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. Main attractions include the Tombs of the Kings, Adonis Baths Waterfalls, Ayios Neophytos Monastery, and the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, and that’s just to name a few! The city’s Roman Mosaics and Paphos Castle are both also well worth checking out!
Home to a famous port of the same name, Limassol is the second largest city in Cyprus and offers plenty for tourists who like to do more than sit on a sun lounger. The city’s port is a key transportation hub for the Mediterranean trade industry and its economic developments have turned Limassol in to one of the country’s leading cultural hot spots. As well as archaeological landmarks such as the ancient ruins of the Kourion and the Limassol Theatre, the city also hosts a carnival in February or March and a wine festival in September.
Larnaca is one of the oldest cities on the island with a history dating back almost 6,000 years. As well as a picturesque promenade lined with palm trees on the waterfront, the city is also home to fantastic cultural attractions such as St.Lazarus Church, Hala Sultan Tekke and the Fort. If you tire of the city’s six museums, head to the nearby village of Lefkara which is famous for its lace-making tradition and red roofs.
The country’s south-eastern coast attracts a lot of bad attention in the media thanks to its wild parties, crowded nightclubs and drunken party-goers, but away from the strip there are plenty of cultural attractions to be seen if partying until 6am isn’t your thing.
As well as miles of beautiful unspoiled beaches, you’ll also find a treasure trove of attractions including the famous landmark Ayia Napa Monastery, Neolithic burial site the Makronissos Tombs and a whole host of archaeological wonders such as stunning sea caves and breath-taking cliffs. Check out http://www.cheapflights.co.uk/Cyprus/ for some great deals on flights to Cyprus.
If beaches aren’t your thing then you should no doubt head to Nicosia – the country’s capital city and the best place to take in all things cultural. Perhaps the city’s most famous attraction is the Ottoman-era Buyuk Han – one of the country’s oldest buildings. These days it’s a thriving market where local artisans still trade and it offers the perfect place to enjoy a refreshment whilst watching the world go by.
The city is also home to the Cyprus Museum which boasts artefacts from as far back as the seventh century and the Selimiye Mosque – a fascinating mix of the old and new, Greek and Turkish, Christian and Muslim that categorises this diverse city.