Places To See In Cyprus : Top 10

Cyprus tucked away in the top right hand corner of the Mediterranean is so close to Europe, Asia and Africa that it rightly, claims to be a stepping stone to three continents. This is an island whose rich dramatic history can be traced back over nine thousand years; an island so coveted over the centuries that it has been invaded and claimed by a fascinating mixture of civilizations from near and far all of which have left their culture and shaped its character.

 

  1. Paphos Harbour and Castle – The harbour at Paphos attracts visitors all year round, who take the opportunity to walk along the quay and maybe visit one of the fish restaurants, tavernas or cafes.
  2. Curium/Kolossi Castle – Ancient Curium and the castle at Kolossi are both in the Limassol area and can be visited together in a day. They are just two examples of the wealth of history to be found in Cyprus.
  3. Larnaca Salt Lake and Hala Sultan Tekke – For those of you arriving at Larnaca airport, one of Cyprus’ most impressive places to visit is right under your noses! As you turn left out of the airport you will find the road running along a causeway. On either side you will either see two lakes, or two salt flats, depending on the time of year – this is the Larnaca Salt Lake and site of the mosque or Tekke of Hala Sultan. This is a wonderful place to visit.
  4. Ayia Napa and Protaras – If you like entertainment of the non-stop variety, then Ayia Napa should be top of your list. It was once a small fishing village, but not any more. It boasts some of the best beaches on the island, lots of opportunities for watersports and is a popular destination for package tours.
  5. Nicosia ‘within the walls’ and the House of Hadigeorgakis Kornesios – Look at any map of Nicosia and you will see the distinctive shape of the walls of the old city. The walls and their eleven bastions were built by the Venetians in the 1570’s – most of the historic monuments of Nicosia can be found in the winding streets within the walls.
  6. Cedar Valley – A must for nature lovers, Cedar Valley in Tilliryan Troodos is aptly named. However, the cedars in this secluded valley are no ordinary trees, but the indigenous Cyprus cedar, Cedrus brevifolia, a close relative of the famous cedars of Lebanon. There are thousands of them in Cedar Valley. It’s not the easiest of places to find, but for that reason you are almost guaranteed peace and quiet when you get there.
  7. Panayia tou Araka – It is almost impossible to pick just one of the painted churches of the Troodos – they are all little gems of craftsmanship set in breathtaking scenery. Panayia tou Araka – the church of Our Lady of the Pea – is a superb example and one of ten painted churches on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. As in all churches in Cyprus, visitors should be modestly dressed and photography is not allowed.
  8. Choirokitia – To go right back to Cyprus’ earliest history, you need to visit the remains of stone-age settlements at Choirokitia, better preserved than most other Neolithic sites in the eastern Mediterranean. The settlement dates back to the sixth or seventh centuries BC – although the site was discovered in 1936, serious excavation did not get underway until the 1970’s. It is perhaps one of the earliest human settlements on the island and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  9. Lefkara – To those in the know, Lefkara means only one thing, lacemaking. The exquisite Lefkara lace is one of Cyprus’ most famous exports – Leonardo da Vinci is said to have bought some to take back to Italy.
  10. The Paphos mosaics – The colourful and intricate Roman mosaics to be found in Paphos are a must for all visitors to Cyprus. They were discovered by accident in the 1960’s – further excavation revealed a number of Roman houses all with spectacular mosaics, depicting scenes from ancient mythology.