Picturesque beaches, mountain villages and fish mezes: a car route in Cyprus

People go to Cyprus for the beaches with blue flags, the warm Mediterranean Sea, and the local flavor. This week-long itinerary will allow you to know the island from different angles: from historical sites and lagoons to the cemetery of cars and waterfalls in the Troodos Mountains.

How to get there?

Photo: Chrispictures/

We advise you to fly to Larnaca: this is the starting point of our car route.

You need to do a PCR test for coronavirus no earlier than 72 hours before departure to enter Cyprus. Take a certificate in English with you. Upon arrival, you will have to undergo repeated testing. Its cost at Larnaca airport is 30 euros, at Paphos airport – 32 euros. The results will come by SMS within three hours. In addition, a day before departure, it is necessary to fill out a special form.

Vaccinated tourists (including the drug “Sputnik V”) do not need to undergo PCR testing.

How to rent a car?

The country has left-handed traffic and international road signs. The speed of movement in cities is not more than 50 km/h, and on highways – 100 km/h.

Tip: don’t forget to fold the mirrors when you leave the car in the parking lot – they are often scratched and demolished.

Day 1. Fish Restaurants, Port & Overhead In Larnaca

Larnaca is an inexpensive port town. To see the main attractions, one day will suffice.

What to see? 

A salty (and Instagram) lake with pink flamingos (you will not see birds in summer, only in late autumn or winter), the Church of St. Lazarus, the Kamares Aqueduct, the Port of Marina, the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque, and Mackenzie Beach, from where the most impressive view of the planes taking off and landing opens.

Where to stay? 

Here are some hotel options:

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Aparthotel Blazer Residence – about $60 per night for two;

Hotel Opera – about $55 per night for two;

Aparthotel Art & Wine Studios and Apts – from $80 per night for two.

Where to eat? 

For the best coffee in town, head to Paul’s Coffee Roasters, for lunch to Takis Kebab House, and for dinner to Ocean Basket.

Day 2. Limassol: ruins, rocky beaches and fishy meze

We rent a car and go towards Limassol. Leave early to get enough time to visit Golden Donkeys Farm. It produces ice cream and chocolate from donkey milk, feeds dinners, and introduces the locals. The farm is located around the turn to Nicosia, in the town of Skarinou (GPS coordinates: 34.818379, 33.337247). If you have time and desire to deviate a little more from the route, go to the village of Lefkara (Pano Lefkara). Str strag through the stone streets and look after local silver jewelry.

There are two picturesque beaches with white limestone cliffs on the way to the city – Governor’s beach and Kalimnos.

What to see? 

Limassol is dynamic and rich in attractions place. Stroke through the streets of the Old Town, look at the bazaar, enjoy the view from the roof of the Limassol Castle, plunge into the atmosphere of the Old Port. Also, pay attention to the ruins of the ancient polis of Amathus, Ayaga Napa Cathedral, Kolossi Castle, and Lady’s Mile Beach.

Where to stay? 

For example, in one of these hotels:

Marianna Hotel Apartments – from $60 per night for two;

Niki’s House – from $70 per night for two;

Corina Suites & Apartments – from $100 per night for two.

Where to eat? 

In fish taverns, of course. Try the pride of national cuisine – fish meze. Here are two taverns that Cypriots like to go to Faros restaurant by Angelos and Agios Georgios Alamanou Fishtavern.

Day 3. Paphos: antiquity, many museums and all about Aphrodite

On the way to Paphos, make a stop in Kourion. Once, there was a city, but an earthquake in the IV century badly damaged it. Now there are the remains of ancient ruins and a beach (GPS: 34.673650, 32.862614), where you should swim on a hot day. Lay down a couple of hours to explore the ruins of Kourion and the temple of Apollo.

A little further in the direction of Paphos is the Stone of Aphrodite – it was from this bay that the goddess came out according to legend. A picturesque place is suitable for a picnic or a sunset meeting, but swimming here is not very comfortable. In front of the bay, there are observation decks. Leave the car in the parking lot opposite. It will be on the right.

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Paphos is a city with a lot of attractions. Most of them are associated with Aphrodite. If you are interested in history, then Paphos is the perfect place to explore antiquity.

What to see? 

The Temple of Aphrodite, Paphos Castle, Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, and the Royal Tombs Necropolis. Also, in Paphos, there are many old Byzantine churches and pebble beaches, and the best sandy is Coral Bay Beach.

Where to stay? 

Of the many interesting hotels, we have chosen a few for every taste:

Dionysos Central – from $100 per night for two;

Venus Beach Hotel – from $150 per night for two;

Elysium – from $300 per night for two.

Where to eat? 

Meat tavern – Alikon Tavern, fish – St. George Fish Tavern. And 24 kilometers from Paphos, there is a winery Kalamos Winery. In addition to red and white wines, commandary (dessert wine made by raising grapes) and zivania (grape brandy from squeezes mixed with dry wine) is made here.

Day 4. Akamas: a celebration of nature, lagoons and turtle beach

There is a national park on the Akamas Peninsula, but there are no gas stations – take care of a full tank in advance. On the way, be sure to check out Lara Bay Beach, where turtle eggs are laid.

In general, this is an ideal place for walks and sports in nature (yachting and hiking, for example). Also, here they drive ATVs and bicycles, and in the town of Latchi, they rent a boat and explore the sea caves.

What to see?

Take the most famous and uncomplicated hiking trail – the Aphrodite Trail. You will find a path of seven kilometers, views of the mountains and lagoons. You will see the Botanical Garden of Akamas (the starting point of the route), the bath of Aphrodite, the ruins of the royal tower. In addition, the trail offers a good view of Cape Arnautis – the westernmost point of Cyprus, as well as Polis and Paphos.

Where to stay? 

Best of all in Latchi or Polis:

Follow The Sun Hotel Apartments – from $70 per night for two;

Latchi Family Resort — from $100 per night for two;

Louis Polis 1907 – from $140 per night for two.

Where to eat? 

If you want something from Greek or Italian cuisine, go to Molos Restaurant. It is located in Latchi. This restaurant is very fond of the locals. There are many taverns in Polis. For example, Halfway House Tavern offers traditional Cypriot cuisine, and Arsinoe Fish Tavern offers fish dishes.

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Day 5 and 6. Kykkos Monastery, Olimbos, Troodos

Photo: photoshooter2015/

Kykkos Monastery is the first stop before exploring the mountains of Cyprus. This is a popular place among tourists, so be prepared for a large number of people.

Olimbos is the island’s highest point, and Troodos is both the name of the mountains and the village at the foot of Olimbos. It’s cool to arrange hiking here – there are many trail routes with different levels of difficulty around. Along the way, pay attention to waterfalls and villages.

What to see?

Local villages – Kapopetria (considered the most beautiful in Cyprus), Platres (near waterfalls and beautiful natural places), Omodos (lace and glassware are made here). Other villages are also worth visiting: Fini, Zigi, and Pedoulas. Also interesting are local wineries and natural attractions. Take a couple of hiking trails to Millomeris or Caledonia Falls. On a hot day, it is pleasant to swim in their waters.

Where to stay?

Maritsa Lodge – from $110 for two nights for two;

Ekali Hotel – from $130 for two nights for two;

Casale Panayiotis – from $350 for two nights for two.

Where to eat?

In one of the taverns. For example, in the village of Omodos, The Black Geese serves perhaps the best meze in Cyprus.

Day 7. Ayia Napa: white sand, blue flag beaches and car cemetery

Ayia Napa is a paradise for party-goers and sunbathers. Blue flags are at all the beaches of this place: for one, Nissi Beach is suitable for lovers of noise and entertainment, and Landa Beach, Makronissos Beach, and Pantachou Beach – for those who like a relaxing holiday. Ayia Napa also enjoys diving and windsurfing.

What to see? 

In addition to the beaches, there is the Natural Park of Capo Greco and the sea caves in the rocks – a good place for a picnic and a sunset meeting.

13 kilometers from Ayia Napa is the town of Protaras – a great place for diving. The most beautiful beach is Fig Tree Bay. It is also worth visiting Cape Greco National Forest Park, windmill valley, and Paralimni village.

And the icing on the cake: about 25 kilometers from Ayia Napa, there is a cemetery of cars. Follow the coordinates and see everything for yourself – 34.964145, 33.874121. The place is not touristy at all, so there will be no crowds here. The dump is in the middle of the field. In addition to cars, trucks, and buses, there are “left to die” excavators, bulldozers, and construction cranes.

Where to stay?

Shalos Studios – from $50 per night for two;

Rainbow Apartments – from $65 per night for two;

Hotel Napa Suites – from $115 per night for two.

Where to eat?

In hard Rock Cafe in Ayia Napa, pour a stack of tequila, and then ask for it as much money as guests can give. For national cuisine, go to Avra. If you want Greek food, go to En-yevo tavernaki, and for the best steaks – to Nikitas. In Protaras, pay attention to the Spartiatis restaurant.

*Prices are valid at the time of publication