Planning a Cyprus itinerary can be a daunting task, especially since so many visitors to this Mediterranean island nation tend to be on a package holiday. Because of this, it might seem like there isn’t much to see and it might be boring to visit as an independent traveller.
This couldn’t be further from the truth, however, has Cyprus 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.
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.
When 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 island nation rarely sees cold and rainy weather, many would-be visitors planning a Cyprus itinerary 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 the island nation, 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 plan a Cyprus itinerary. 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 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 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.
How Many Days in Cyprus
Now that you’ve figured out the ideal time of year to visit Cyprus, it’s time to gauge how many days you might need to allot for your itinerary.
Despite its apparent small size, there is 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. If you’re just planning on visiting this Mediterranean island in order to get some beach time and work on your tan, it probably doesn’t matter how many days you plan to spend. However, if you want a good mix of relaxing by the sea while also digging into the history and culture of Cyprus, then you should really think about how long you want to spend.
As I mentioned earlier, there are a surprising amount of things to do in Cyprus and you could easily be occupied for a number of weeks without being bored. But most people don’t have the liberty of spending weeks on end exploring a Mediterranean island nation and want to know how much time to spend to get the best out of the destination. 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 for your Cyprus itinerary will allow you to get to all of the main sites, 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 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 the country in a week. If you do have 10 days to devote to an itinerary, this will allow you to dig deeper and see more things or you can just take your time and move more slowly in order to really take the time to enjoy your holiday.
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 give you time to chill out and enjoy the seaside vibes.
How to Get Around Cyprus
Before I get fully into how to spend your Cyprus itinerary, we need to discuss how to get around when you’re there.
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 in 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. 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 — and we highly recommend it in order to get the most out of your trip — we suggest using RentalCars.com in order to find the best prices across all available platforms.
We also recommend taking 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. Getting a third-party insurance policy is also significantly cheaper than buying the policy directly through the car hire company.
Cyprus Itinerary: 7 Days
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 7 days in Cyprus itinerary will take you by all of the main sites and sees you visiting everything including historic cities, beautiful coastline, mountain villages, and ancient ruins.
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.
Days 1-2: 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 Cyprus 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.
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.
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 spend in Nicosia.
Where to Stay in Nicosia
Though Nicosia isn’t the most visited city in Cyprus, it is still the economic and commercial heart of the country and there are some great places to stay. If you’re wondering where to rest your head when you’re visiting the Cypriot capital, then have a look at these top suggestions:
The 3 Rooms Boutique Hotel — This centrally located boutique hotel is situated within easy walking distance of all the top attractions in Nicosia’s old town. Perfect for a romantic getaway, this plush hotel has a number of clean and comfortable rooms available — all equipped with air conditioning to help you escape from the heat! Click here to see their latest prices
Dynot B&B — This locally-run B&B is a great option if you’re travelling on a mid-range budget and want to save a bit of money while you’re in Cyprus without sacrificing quality. Conveniently located within walking distance of all main attractions, there are numerous comfortable rooms available and breakfast is included in the nightly rate. Click here to see their latest prices
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. Click here to see their latest prices
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Nicosia hotels!
Days 3-5: Paphos
After spending the first part of your Cyprus 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, 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. Some of the must-see historic sites in Cyprus include the incredible Tombs of the Kings, the stunning Hellenistic mosaics at the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park.
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 or have a swim at a secluded beach. Just a bit south lies Lara Beach, where you can sometimes spot baby sea turtle depending on the season. One of the most beautiful natural and historical sites in Paphos is Aphrodite’s Rock, 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.
You can spend one day exploring the ancient sites in Paphos, another taking advantage of the beaches and natural sites, and still one more on a day trip into the Troodos mountains in order to taste some Cypriot wines, visit gorgeous monasteries, and see some traditional village life.
Where to Stay in Paphos
Paphos is one of the most popular places for visitors to base themselves in Cyprus, with so much to see and do on offer. Because of this, there are numerous places to stay in Paphos that are sure to suit all personalities and travel styles. If you’re looking for your perfect place, have a browse through these recommendations:
Airbnb — Airbnb is a great option in Paphos — and elsewhere in Cyprus — of you would rather have your own apartment (like this chic option in the city centre) or a private room in a local’s home. There are lots of properties available on the platform and if you’re new to Airbnb, you can click here to get up to $40 off your first stay!
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 a number of comfortable and clean rooms available (equipped with air conditioning!) and a hearty buffet breakfast is included in the room rate. Click here to check their availability
Roman Boutique Hotel — This boutique hotel is the perfect place if you’re looking for a romantic getaway in Paphos. They have a number of plush and comfortable rooms available, an inviting swimming pool, and it is located within a stone’s throw from the beach. Breakfast is also included in the nightly rate. Click here to check their availability.
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. There are a number of luxe rooms available, also, that can suit any kind of visitor. Click here to check their availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Paphos hotels!
Days 6-7: 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 seaside 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.
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.
Where to Stay in Larnaca
Because of its proximity both to the sea and to Cyprus’ busiest airport, Larnaca is quite a popular place to stay amongst visitors to this Mediterranean island nation. Because of this, there are numerous accommodation options in Cyprus’ third-largest city. If you plan to include Larnaca on your Cyprus itinerary, check out our top suggestions for places to stay:
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. Click here to check their availability
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. Click here to check their availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to find other hotels in Larnaca
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 in order 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!
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!
When travelling in Cyprus, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have a travel insurance policy so you’re covered for any unfortunate events! We like WorldNomads and always use them for our trips – click here to get a quote from WorldNomads
Are you wondering where to go in Cyprus? Have you been? Let us know in the comments!