Cyprus is one destination you definitely should have on your travel bucket list, though it is not the first choice for many travelers. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and is located in the Eastern Basin.
The earlier you are going to Cyprus, the earlier you will be surprised by this beautiful island state and how worth it was to put the effort to get there. From the delectable cuisines to pristine beaches, nice weather, to historic sites, Cyprus is an irresistible destination to spend some of your valuable time.
Here are seven reasons why you should visit Cyprus at least once!
1. CYPRUS WEATHER = SUN 365 DAYS A YEAR
Foremost and undoubtedly the weather is good, if not the best reason to visit Cyprus. There is no bad time to visit Cyprus, as you can anticipate good weather at all times without fear of your vacation being disrupted by heavy rainfalls or extreme cold.
Cyprus as a mild climate all year round with very mild winters (on the coast) and warm to hot summers. Even better is, that it never rains in summer (but it does in Winter). So you get a guarantee on great weather most of the time, and not like in Germany unsteady summers, spring or autumn. It might rain a bit in the shoulder seasons, but in our case, that was only a short shower and then it is warm and sunny again.
You’ll find a very distinct and detailed description of the Cypriot weather on the website of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation.
2. CYPRUS SUNSETS
If the weather wasn’t a reason yet alone, the sunsets are. We stayed in the Constantinou Bros Pioneer Beach Hotel in Pafos and had one wonderful and amazing sunset each day. You can decide if you want to watch the sunset from one of the many beaches while hearing the waves crashing against the shore. Or you stay in your hotel room and watch it from your balcony. Another option is to enjoy a drink, or even food, in one of the many cafes or restaurants while watching the sun go down in orange or violet colors. Which brings me to the next reason why you should visit Cyprus: Food (& Drinks).
3. CYPRIOT FOOD (& DRINKS)
What shall we say about the food in Cyprus? Food is an essential part of Cypriot hospitality,
And there is plenty of it, Hospitality and Food. It’s delicious too.
We went to a variety of really good, but not too expensive or exclusive, restaurants during our days in Cyprus. It also meant getting plenty of food for lunch and dinner, not very helpful if you are on a diet 😉 but we aren’t.
As Judith eats 99% vegan, we needed to order always vegan food for her, which surprisingly didn’t seem a problem at all in all the restaurants we ate at. So good news for all Vegans and vegetarians who feared to don’t find anything to eat in Cyprus. You are safe!
There is a lot of Greek & Turkish influence on the Cypriot kitchen, which means that you get all sorts of meat, like chicken, lamb or pork. Despite being an island, fish isn’t that big of a part of the Cypriot kitchen. But you definitely should taste one of those fish plates when you can get it.
Finally, there is Meze and Halloumi. Meze would be easiest compared to Tapas in Spain, but it’s more for starters and appetizers not meant as a main dish. Although we got so many Meze that we were already full before the main course 😉
Halloumi is the traditional Cypriot cheese, made from cow milk, and you find it everywhere. Even if you don’t like cheese, you have to try Halloumi at least once.
If you are interested in checking out the restaurants we tested here is a shortlist with the names:
- Koutourou Ouzeri, Pafos
- To Kypriakon, Limassol
- Ouranos (Annabelle Hotel), Pafos
- Bania, Pafos
- Muse Restaurant, Pafos
- Pelican, Pafos
When it comes to drinks, you have to try Brandy Sour. Brandy Sour is considered the unofficial national cocktail of Cyprus. And it’s delicious! Here is a quick recipe on how to make it:
- 5 cl Cypriot brandy (typically KEO VSOP or Haggipavlu Anglias brands)
- 2.5 cl Cypriot lemon squash (important)
- 2–4 drops of bitters (Angostura or Cypriot Cock Drops brands)
- Top up with soda water (some use lemonade instead)
4. SPORTS & CYPRUS MARATHON
Cyprus is the perfect destination for you if you not only want to enjoy the sun and good weather but also do some sports. Running, hiking, swimming, biking or water sports, whatever you want to do Cyprus has the perfect place for you.
We were there to check out mainly the running part, as we participated in the Cyprus marathon that was held on the 17th March. You can read all about the marathon and the race that day in the article Judith wrote for the Asics Frontrunner. Just let me say this much: Judith finished as 2nd woman overall in the marathon. The marathon is now held the 21 consecutive years in a row and is getting more popular. The marathon starts at the rock of the Aphrodite (Aphrodite’s Birthplace) and will take you along the coast all the way to the Pafos Medieval Fort at the beautiful Pafos Harbour.
There are also several Triathlon camps (e.g. Training Camps Zypern) held in Cyprus during this time of the year (October to March). During this time it is already warm enough and the Troodos mountains provide several routes for biking and running. Giving you the chance to bike up and down the hills and not flat terrain all the time.
In the region of Pissouri, you will find more opportunities to get on the bike and train your cycling abilities. If you want a guided tour you might want to check out BikeCyprus. Which is lead by the former Swiss Pro Biker, Thomas Wegmüller, who lives now on the island for 25 years and knows every corner you can go.
We guess we don’t need to talk about water sports on an island like Cyprus, but did you know that even skiing is possible in Cyprus? At Mount Olympos in the Troodos mountains, you’ll find a ski resort where you can go skiing during the winter month. And if you which, you could take a bath in the sea, and after a short drive, as distances are short in Cyprus.
5. CYPRUS HISTORICAL SITES
If you are looking to see a lot of history in quite a small place Cyprus is your right choice.
Okay, we are not the best advisors when it comes to culture, museums and historical sites, but in Cyprus, you simply can’t escape them. The island is full of historical sites from classical mythology. Part of this is due to the fact that Cyprus was settled by Greeks in the 2nd millennium BC. And then over the centuries ruled or occupied by the Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians, the Classical and Eastern Roman Empire, Arab caliphates, the French Lusignan dynasty, and the Venetians, as well as for over three centuries by the Ottoman Empire and lastly the British Commonwealth. Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. Yes, it’s that young of a sovereign country.
Cyprus has three World Heritage sites, with Pafos (which has been the cultural capital of Europe in 2017) and its mosaics and the Aphrodite rock being the most important and known ones. The other world heritage sites are Painted Churches in the Troodos Region and Choirokoitia in the Larnaca district. Also well known is the Ancient amphitheater of Kurion near Limassol. Cyprus is also home to some of the oldest water wells in the world.
6. LANDSCAPE & NATURE
To be honest, we didn’t have too many changes to explore the landscape and nature of Cyprus during our short trip. This first trip was more about the sportive side and the Cyprus marathon (see above). But what we could see when crossing the country in the bus or explore on our own, like the area around the Aphrodite rock, looked very promising. As it was mid-march and it rained a lot during the winter, we saw a lot of green on the island. The rugged headlands and rocky light coastlines created an astonishing contrast.
We also heard about the stunning area in the Troodos mountains (that’s on our list for the next time) and Mount Olympos. And then there are the beaches, the ocean and palm trees. Do we need to continue?
7. GOOD CONNECTION BETWEEN THE CITIES ON CYPRUS
Although Cyprus is the 3rd biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea it doesn’t feel very huge in terms of distances. We arrived by plane in Larnaca, South Cyprus, and it is only about 1,5 hours by car to Pafos (where we stayed), which is in the southeast. All other sites and places we visited, like Pissouri beach, Kurion or Limassol were very easily accessible by car on good roads. Also, all of the bigger cities (to be honest there aren’t many) in Cyprus can be reached within two hours or less.
Means you can quite easily explore the island and its different areas, on your own, by (rental) car without spending too much time on the road. Or better, take the bike.
BONUS – 8. CYPRUS IS A MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Bonus reason when you are a citizen from the EU. Cyprus is a member of the European Union and of the European currency union since 2004. This means you don’t need a visa when you are entering from other EU states. And the Cyprus currency is the Euro. No need to exchange money either. Big plus.
But be aware: Due to the British influence on Cyprus, cars go on the left side and the electrical plugs are British standard. So don’t forget to bring your travel adapters.
Lastly, Cyprus has dozens of great photo spots. If you read the article you already know that. You get great beaches and coastline shots and you can hike in the mountains and capture the atmosphere in the mountains of Troodos. You get various historical sites that wait to be photographed by you from new angles. If you are into food, you will find enough meals and drinks to photograph for a lifetime. And if you want some sportive pictures taken of you, there is plenty of opportunities for that as well.
FREE CYPRUS PHOTO MAP
We know that you are sometimes are busy and don’t have the time or capacity to research all the spots yourself. That’s why we did the heavy lifting for you and compiled a list of great photo spots for you. Just follow the link and we’ll send you a free Google map with the spots.