The Ultimate 7-Day Cyprus Itinerary

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by Maggie Turansky


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Are you wondering where to go in Cyprus? Well, follow this detailed Cyprus itinerary to ensure that you plan the perfect trip and get the most out of this fascinating island nation.

This Mediterranean country has so much to offer visitors and it is very much worth exploring. From historic and divided cities to ancient archaeological sites to beautiful beaches and charming mountain villages, Cyprus may just have it all.

Combine all of this with some of the best year-round weather in Europe and incredibly hospitable people and Cyprus may just be the ideal place to visit if you’re after a Mediterranean adventure.

Best Time to Visit Cyprus

Located in the southeastern Mediterranean and blessed with over 300 days of sunshine every year, it can seem like there may not ever be a bad time to visit Cyprus.

Its perennially warm and sunny climate is certainly attractive to those looking to escape the dreary winter months on mainland Europe and its endless sandy coastline is great for those looking to work on their tans no matter what time of year it is.

Though the nation rarely sees cold and rainy weather, many would-be visitors planning a trip to Cyprus still want to know when is the best time of year to travel to this country.

It’s true that temperatures in Cyprus — especially in the more popular tourist areas — will rarely dip below 17 or 18°C (62-64°F), meaning that there isn’t really a bad time to visit, especially if you’re planning your trip to Cyprus outside of the hot summer months. However, there are still some times of year that are arguably better to visit than others.

The summer months of June-August is the most popular time of year to visit Cyprus. This is also the time of year that experiences the highest temperatures.

If you like hot weather and don’t mind fighting your way through tourist crowds, then this might be a good time of year to visit. You can, however, expect temperatures to reach well over 30°C (86°F) every single day, with the capital city of Nicosia and the central part of Cyprus experiencing an average high temperature of 38°C (100°F).

While most places are air-conditioned inside, visiting Cyprus in the height of summer may not be the best idea if you’re sensitive to the heat.

A far better solution for those looking for some warmth and sunshine without increasing their risk of heatstroke is to visit in the shoulder season months of March-May and September-November.

These months are still very warm and sunny but tend not to see as high of temperatures as the summer months. Crowds also tend to be fewer during the shoulder season, meaning that you will likely find more accommodation availability and allow for a bit more flexibility in your trip.

The average high temperature in March-May is about 22°C (72°F), making it perfect for spending some lazy days outside and enjoying the beautiful scenery. It is worth noting that water temperatures can still be a bit chilly, however, so this may not be the best time of year to visit if you want to do a lot of swimming.

Conversely, the average high temperature in the months of September-November tends to be a bit warmer, clocking in at 25°C (77°F). Sea temperatures are at their warmest all year, as well, meaning that it is incredibly comfortable to go for a swim in the Mediterranean.

The autumn also sees fewer average days of rain than the spring, meaning that this is likely the ideal time to visit Cyprus.

Kourion Archaeological Site
Theatre in Kourion Archaeological Site

How Many Days in Cyprus?

Despite its apparent small size, there are a surprising amount of things to see and do on this island nation and if you want to fully enjoy it, you’re going to need to devote a proper amount of time to exploring Cyprus.

That is why I would say to plan to spend at least one week in Cyprus in order to enjoy both the seaside and the history of this lovely and complex nation.

Planning for a full 7 days in Cyprus will allow you to get to all of the main sites and explore a few of its dynamic cities, while also allowing you ample time to lounge on the beach and catch some rays.

If you don’t have as long as a week in Cyprus, it is possible to get a lot of out of the nation in just about 5 days, however, you will need to make some sacrifices depending on your holiday priorities.

If you have more time, I would say that 10 days in Cyprus might be the ideal amount of time to spend, however, it is a long stint and you can still get just as much out of the country in a week.

While you will certainly be able to occupy yourself no matter how many days you spend in Cyprus, really the ideal amount of time to spend here is one week. As mentioned earlier, this will allow you to get the most out of this island nation while still giving you time to chill out and enjoy the seaside vibes.

Ruins at Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
Ruins at Kato Paphos Archaeological Park

Getting Around Cyprus

Unfortunately for those who like to like to forgo the car rental and rely on public transit when travelling, Cyprus isn’t the most friendly of destinations for those who don’t want to drive.

There is a bus system that will connect the biggest cities and can effectively get you from Larnaca to Nicosia or from Paphos to Limassol, however, this is pretty much the extent of it.

If you want to venture out and explore some of the most interesting and cultural places on the island of Cyprus independently, it is incredibly difficult and sometimes impossible to do this while relying on public transit. Therefore, if you are an independent traveller planning a Cyprus itinerary, it is more or less necessary to hire a car while visiting the island nation.

Road quality is good and driving in Cyprus is relatively easy, however, there are some unpaved roads that lead to some popular attractions like the Adonis Baths and Lara Beach. While you could drive on these with a normal car (we did), it might make you more comfortable to rent a car with 4WD. Keep in mind that they drive on the left-hand side in Cyprus.

If you want to cut down on your overall Cyprus trip cost, however, this isn’t altogether necessary. We, for instance, had no problem driving all over Cyprus in just a simple economy rental.

If you plan to rent a car in Cyprus, you can browse options here to compare prices across many different car hire companies. Alternatively, you can browse Localrent to rent from smaller companies or private individuals.

It can also be a good idea to take out an excess insurance policy with iCarHireInsurance in order to save on any high deductibles the rental company might charge should any damage happen to your car.

Finally, have you considered taking out travel insurance for your trip to Cyprus? World Nomads offers flexible and simple travel insurance policies with coverage for more than 150 activities that you can buy or extend while on the road.

driving in cyprus
Driving in Cyprus is the best way to get around!

7 Days in Cyprus Itinerary

Now that I’ve covered all of the essential information that you need to know before planning your itinerary, it’s time to finally discuss where to go in Cyprus.

This is written as a Cyprus road trip itinerary and it would be fairly difficult to do and see everything that you could without having your own car. Though the itinerary begins in Nicosia, you could easily begin it in any of the cities mentioned depending on where it is you fly into.

Day 1 – Nicosia

Whether you arrive in Cyprus via Larnaca or Paphos airport, we recommend properly beginning your route in the underappreciated capital, Nicosia.

Though its located in the centre of the island and there is a distinct lack of coastline, Nicosia is an absolutely fascinating and dynamic city that is 100% worth visiting, especially if you want to gain a better understanding the history and culture of Cyprus.

Nicosia is the last divided capital in Europe and there are two distinct sides to this historic. Like the rest of this itinerary, the majority of your time will be spent in the southern part of the city, which is officially part of the internationally recognised and EU member state the Republic of Cyprus.

The northern part of the city, located on the other side of the Green Line, is considered the capital of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is only recognised as its own country by Turkey.

Though Nicosia is the largest city and the capital of Cyprus, you can see a lot of what it has to offer in just one or two days. Spend your time exploring the historic sights and venturing into its many museums.

Spend your first day simply wandering around the Greek side of Nicosia and taking in all of the fantastic sites to see. Wander along Ledra Street, visit the Levatis Museum, see some of the historic sites, enjoy some delicious Cypriot cuisine and simply enjoy the energy of this bustling city.

Where to Stay in Nicosia

Asty Hotel – This centrally located hotel is situated within easy walking distance of all the top attractions in Nicosia’s old town. They have a number of clean and comfortable rooms available — all equipped with air conditioning to help you escape from the heat!

MAP Boutique Hotel – This locally-run boutique is another great option if you’re looking for a chic place to stay in the Cypriot capital. Conveniently located within walking distance of all main attractions, there are numerous comfortable rooms available and breakfast is included in the nightly rate.

Nex Hostel – If you’re a solo or budget traveller, then this hostel is a great choice for you! They are centrally located close to everything that Nicosia has to offer, they have great common areas making it easy to connect with other travellers, and they have a range of both private and dorm rooms available.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Nicosia hotels!

Church of Panagia Faneromeni
Church of Panagia Faneromeni in Nicosia

Day 2 – Nicosia

We also recommend spending at least part of your time in Nicosia in the Turkish side of the city.

You can easily walk across the border and explore the historic sites of North Nicosia in a few hours — just keep in mind that you will need to bring your passport with you (you will not, however, get a stamp) and that they use the Turkish Lira as currency rather than the Euro.

Plan to spend a good portion of your second day in Nicosia exploring the northern part of the city – there is a lot to see over here and it’s well worth exploring.

It’s also an excellent idea to walk along the Green Line in the southern part of the city afterwards – both of these activities can really solidify how divided Nicosia really is.

End your day cooling off with a local craft beer – Pivo Microbrewery is and excellent option in the city!

There are numerous cool and interesting things to do in Nicosia and the city sees a fraction of the tourists that the coastal cities of Cyprus do. If you want to enjoy the dynamic energy of the Cypriot capital while getting a bit further off the beaten path, then no itinerary is complete without a bit of time spent in Nicosia.

nicosia border crossing
The border dividing Nicosia

Day 3 – Paphos

After spending the first part of your itinerary in the capital of Nicosia, it’s time to head to the coast with a few days in the historic city of Paphos.

Located in the southwest of the island, Paphos is known as the historic birthplace of the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite (though the Greek island of Kythira also claims this), and is blessed with both a beautiful coastline and numerous fascinating historic sites.

There are so many things to do in Paphos that you could easily occupy your entire time in Cyprus, however, three days should be sufficient to both see a lot of cool things while also allowing you plenty of time to relax by the Mediterranean.

It takes about 2 hours to drive from Nicosia to Paphos, but consider taking the route through the Troodos Mountains and visiting some of the villages, wineries and monasteries along the way. For instance, the Kykkos Monastery is well worth visiting and it’s never a bad idea to explore the village of Omodos.

This is the most convenient way to explore the surroundings of Paphos before seeing the sites that the city itself has to offer.

Where to Stay in Paphos

Casa Mespilea – Centrally located and locally run, this small hotel is a great option for travellers who are keeping an eye on their budget while visiting Cyprus. They have many comfortable and clean rooms available (equipped with air conditioning!) and a hearty buffet breakfast is included in the room rate.

Pyramos Hotel – This boutique hotel is the perfect place if you’re looking for a romantic getaway in Paphos. They have several comfortable rooms available, an inviting lounge, and it is located within the centre of old Paphos. Breakfast is also included in the nightly rate.

Anemi Hotel & Suites – This is a great option if you’re after a luxury hotel during your time in Paphos. They are located on the sea within spitting distance of the beach, they also have numerous other amenities like a swimming pool, spa, and fitness centre.

Private Rental – A private rental is a great option in Paphos — and elsewhere in Cyprus — if you would rather have your own space such as this ground floor apartment.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Paphos hotels!

Kykkos Monastery
Kykkos Monastery

Day 4 – Paphos

Plan to spend your first full day in Paphos exploring both the old town of Paphos and some of the nearby ancient ruins.

Some of the must-see historic sites include the incredible Tombs of the Kings and the stunning Hellenistic mosaics and monuments at the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park. The entire town of Paphos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the history to explore here is incredibly rich and fascinating.

Both the Tombs of the Kings and the Archaeological Park take several hours to explore on their own, so this is a great activity to devote to your second day here.

The Tombs of the Kings
The Tombs of the Kings

Day 5 – Paphos

Spend your final day in Paphos enjoying the gorgeous seaside of the city and its surrounding area.

If you’re more interested in natural scenery, then make sure to drive up to the Akamas Peninsula where you can go for a hike along the coast and cliffs, have a swim at a secluded beach or take a boat trip to the Blue Lagoon.

Just a bit south lies Lara Beach, where you can sometimes spot baby sea turtles depending on the season.

One of the most beautiful natural and historical sites near Paphos is Aphrodite’s Rock (Petra tou Romiou), said to be the place where the eponymous goddess was born from the sea foam. You can have a swim in the beautiful location free of charge, as well. Paphos leans hard into being the birthplace of Aphrodite and it’s a great pace to visit.

Aphrodite's Rock
Beautiful Aphrodite’s Rock

Day 6 – Larnaca

The final stop on this 7-day Cyprus itinerary is in the third-largest city of Larnaca. This is a logical last stop on your route as Larnaca is home to the largest airport on the island.

Larnaca is a pretty small city and most of the sites and attractions can be seen in one day, however, we recommend spending one of the two days mentioned here enjoying all of the cool attractions that are located on the drive from Paphos to Larnaca. Stopping by places like the Kourion Archaeological Site, Kolossi Castle, Kalymnos Beach, and many others.

Once in Larnaca, you can occupy yourself by wandering through the picturesque old town and taking in the Church of St Lazarus and the energy of the beach promenade.

You can also venture a bit from the city centre to see the Larnaca Salt Lake (which is home to migratory flamingoes in the winter months!) and the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque.

Where to Stay in Larnaca

Mikes Kanarium City Hotel – This mid-range hotel is an excellent option for those on a middle-of-the-road budget. Centrally located close to both the beach and the city centre, they have a range of clean and comfortable rooms available and a great breakfast included in the nightly rate.

Les Palmiers Beach Boutique Hotel – This boutique hotel is a great base if you’re looking for a chic and romantic accommodation option in Larnaca. They have an array of plush and comfortable rooms available, great amenities, and a great breakfast included in the room rate.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to find other hotels in Larnaca

Church of Saint Lazarus in Larnaca
Church of Saint Lazarus in Larnaca

Day 7 – Larnaca

If you want to see some more of the incredible natural scenery that Cyprus has to offer, drive north to Ayia Napa (about 45 minutes from central Larnaca) and visit the stunning sea caves and marvel at the crystal clear waters.

Ayia Napa is a very popular resort area in Cyprus, but it is worth visiting as a day out from Larnaca due to the beautiful natural scenery you can explore.

For instance, along with the sea caves, take the time to visit Cape Greco National Park which is home to the Kamara Tou Koraka arch, a gorgeous arch in the Mediterranean.

End your time in Cyprus back in Larnaca, having one last delicious Cypriot meal or enjoying a seaside cocktail if you wish.

Sea Caves in Ayia Napa
Sea Caves in Ayia Napa

Have 10 Days in Cyprus?

If you have 10 days in Cyprus or just longer than a week, then you could easily extend your time in Paphos to see more of what the country has to offer.

If you’re interested in exploring more of the mountain village life, you could also spend a night or two in a family-run bed and breakfast in the Troodos Mountains.

While it isn’t recommended to drive there in a car rented in southern Cyprus, you could also elect to visit more of the northern part of the island. The ruins of Kyrenia and the seaside city of Famagusta are both popular tourist attractions, as are the many sandy beaches.

Regardless of how long you plan to spend in Cyprus, you are sure not to get bored!

Omodos Village
The beautiful village of Omodos in the Troodos Mountains

Planning an independent Cyprus itinerary doesn’t have to be a difficult task. There are so many interesting places to see and fun things to do on the island that there is absolutely no need to spend all of your time in an all-inclusive resort!

Are you wondering where to go in Cyprus? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

Comments

  1. Any advice for those of us who are not used to driving on the left hand side and prefer not to start now? Any chauffeur services? How are taxis, Lyft or Uber in the cities?

    Reply
    • Hi Diane, I think that you would need more than one or two days in Israel to do it justice so I would necessarily recommend this 🙂

      Reply

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