In Cyprus you can enjoy the sandy beaches and coastal resorts, explore the traditional villages or enjoy the nightlife of the cities.
Cyprus Car Hire
By using the booking form below, you can get a free car hire quote or book your car directly with any of the leading car hire suppliers in Cyprus, which include, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Hertz, InterRent, Sixt and others.
Cypriot Arts and Architecture
Nicosia, the Capital of Cyprus, is divided into Lefkosia in the south and Lefkosa in the North. Nicosia has a mixture of both old and modern and a mixed culture. The old part of Lefkosia has a Venetian fortress and a moat where concerts are held. You can walk down little streets with cafes and tavernas and see St. John’s cathedral, together with mosques. In the new town there are many modern shops and businesses and Stasikratous street is great for shopping. The Cyprus Museum has many archaeological finds from prehistory to Roman and early Christian, including coins, jewellery and pottery.
Pafos, a town in the south of Cyprus, is a coastal area with variety and interest. There is a a castle by the Poseidonos promenade together with some impressive mosaics from the Roman period by the castle, together with the Tombs of the Kings. In the north of the area you can explore the narrow streets and medieval mosque. You could also visit a hammam and have a steam bath.
Larnaca, another southern town, has a vivid white salt lake, with many different birds in the area such as flamingos, together with the the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque.There are many hotels and restaurants together with a beach and Palm Tree Promenade along the seafront. The Church of Saint Lazarus, Kamares Turkish aqueduct and the old fort are some of the interesting landmarks and there are lots of craft shops to look around.
Kyrenia, a city in the north of Cyprus is a popular place with tourist, due to its interesting mix of culture. There is an old harbour and Byzantine castle incorporating a museum showing shipwrecks and a chapel from the 12th century. There are also other castles to visit in the mountains outside Kyrenia. There are many areas for shopping in Kyrenia together with a lively nightlife with lots of entertainment and lots of hotels. Every year, throughout June, they hold the Kyrenia Festival of Culture and Arts throughout June, and has various concerts including Latin, reggae and Turkish music, together with musicals and plays. Local as well as international artists perform in this diverse Festival.
The Cypriot Landscape
The Troodos Massif is the biggest range of mountains in Cyprus, the tallest peak, Mount Olympus, being nearly 2000m. The mountains cover much of west Cyprus and are famous for their ophiolite with an abundance of minerals such as copper. The mountains are covered in forest and villages in the region and you can see the decorative Byzantine churches and monasteries and churches that have been built into the rocks. The areas in the region are Troodos around Mount Olympus, Marathasa with its superb monastry, Kykkos, and Solea where there are lots of churches along with areas for picnics and restaurants. There is also Pitsilia and Machairas with its Fikardou village and Machairas Monastery.
There are various resorts in the region and you can go skiing and hiking along the trails. The Troodos mountains are a National Park area with four nature reserves and you can see a huge range of plants in the region, together with animals such as the Bonelli’s Eagle and Cypriot mouflon which is a breed of sheep.
There are lots of beach resorts in Cyprus including Ayia Napa, which is a busy place and very popular with tourists. There are lots of activities in the area such as the amusement park together with the huge Waterworld Waterpark, perfect for all the family, with numerous different pools, slides, plunges and whirlpools to enjoy.
You can also visit the fascinating Thalassa Municipal Museum of the Sea dedicated to showing how the sea has affected the island and includes many artefacts including replicas of ancient ships including that of the Kyrenia from 400BC and a replica of a papyrus vessel from 9200BC. There are also lots of fossils such as corals, fish and ammonites from millions of years ago.
There are also examples of marine life in the Mediterranean such as starfish, lobsters, crabs and sea-urchins, with an emphasis on conservation, together with stuffed examples of mammals, birds and fish of the seas around Cyprus and Greece, all which had a natural death. A particularly attractive beach 4km from Ayia Napa is Konnos which has a very calm shore and has shelter from strong winds. The sand is a golden colour and there are facilities for watersports there, together with restaurants and shops.
Cypriot cuisine is quite similar to both Greek and Turkish food, together with influences from Italy, France and the Middle East. There is an emphasis on fresh vegetables including tomatoes, green peppers, courgettes, carrots, peas and beans and fruits such as oranges, grapes, apples, pears, cherries and figs. Nuts including walnuts, chestnuts, pistachios are also very popular and herbs and spices commonly used include coriander, cumin, mint, parsley, thyme and oregano.
A popular dish is Cyprus is souvla, which is meat, especially chicken and pork, grilled over charcoal on skewers. Halloumi cheese grilled with pork sausages and mushrooms is also popular. These dishes are usually served in flatbread or pita bread together with salad. Seafood is popular in Cyprus and commonly eaten seafood includes octopus, calamari, and cuttlefish. Octopus is often stewed in red wine with tomatoes, carrots and onions. Calamari is often eaten in fried, battered rings or served with a rice, clove and cumin stuffing.
Commonly eaten in Cyprus in preserved pork, particularly with red wine. Lountza is smoked pork tenderloin in wine, often being fried with eggs. Other popular dishes include keftedes which are fried meatballs, hummus being a cold puree of chickpeas, koupepia which are vine leaves stuffed and afelia, a pork dish with coriander.
Popular sweet dishes include loukoumades which are fried balls of dough with syrup. Soumada is a sweet syrup that is popular, together with mahalepi which is similar to blancmange with a rose flavour.
A common drink in Cyprus is triantafyllo, a syrup which is very thick with a rose flavour, with milk or water. Alcoholic drinks that are popular include Brandy and beer.
A trip to Cyprus is a varied and enjoyable experience, with the rich culture of the island, its history and beautiful beaches.
Emergency Services: 112
Drives On: Left
Time Zones: UTC +2