Larnaca is a seaside city where east meets west. Begin your exploration at the lovely palm-tree lined seaside promenade that begins at the city’s main Europe Square. This promenade, affectionately called “Finikoudes,” offers a warm welcome to all visitors. Adding a dash of color to Larnaca are the old colonial buildings which were built by the British Administration in 1881 and now house galleries, museums and other cultural services. Walking further is the Piale Pasha seafront street where you get a taste of the old character of the town.
Don’t miss a visit to the small Medieval Castle and the Archaeological Museum in the center of the city with finds and objects illustrating the development of the region. Not far from here is also an open-air cultural site at the ruins of the ancient town Kition with remains of ancient temples, walls and sanctuaries.
Just outside Larnaca, visit the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque, located on the banks of a salt lake, where, in season, flamingos make their appearance.
Head north to Nicosia, whose old town is enclosed within Venetian walls. Nicosia is Europe’s last remaining divided city, yet in spite of this, it is a vibrant city with restaurants, bars, cafes, galleries, and shops that offers a plethora of cultural treasures. Walk along Ledra Street, lined with cafes and shops. Explore Onasagorou Street with more shops and restaurants. After dinner, enjoy live music at one of the old town’s many live music venues.
Begin the day at the excellent Cyprus Archaeological Museum to get an understanding of the width and breadth of the island’s rich history. Continue with a visit to Laiki Geitonia in the old town, which is a preserved area of small alleyways lined with traditional homes and shops.
A short walk to the Archbishop Palace square leads you to the National Struggle Museum that documents the heroes of the struggle against the British colonial rule. Following this full day of museums, you can enjoy an authentic hamam experience at the Omeriye Hamam before having dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants of the old town.
Heading south towards Limassol, stop at Lefkara for a stroll. This beautiful traditional cobbled village is known for its lace-makers. Then, make your way to Limassol – the dynamic, cosmopolitan seaside city. Visit the fourteenth century castle and have a coffee in the quaint old town. Take a walk along the well-manicured tree-lined promenade and visit the newly built marina for shopping and dinner.
With an early morning start, drive to the spectacular hillside site of Ancient Kourion with alternating vistas of cultivated fields and the sea. This archeological treasure includes a functioning open-air theatre that hosts summer performances. Driving towards Paphos, be sure not to miss the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates – a perfect place for photos.
Further down along the coastline, discover “Petra tou Romiou”, a giant rock with a few small ones nearby, jutting out of the sea. It is also known as “Aphrodite’s Rock”, as it is considered to be Aphrodite’s birthplace. Legend has it that you would gain eternal beauty should you swim near the rocks. Another urban legend claims that if you swim around the rock three times, you will find eternal love.
Paphos is actually two towns: Ktima, the upper town, where all the sites are clustered around the neoclassical town hall and the newly-paved Kennedy Square, and Kato Paphos, the lower town, where all the action and all of the main attractions lie. Before heading to Kato Paphos, take the time to explore Ktima and enjoy a cool beverage at one of the many cafes in Kennedy Square.
Kato Paphos’s long and wide seaside promenade is lined with shops, cafes and restaurants and extends for two kilometers to the thirteenth century Medieval Castle that used to protect the picturesque harbour. If you continue walking along the promenade, past the castle, you will enjoy a beautiful quiet coastal nature path with viewing benches to admire the unique landscape.
Near the harbour, you will find the entrance to the Paphos Archeological Site, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, that encloses a Roman Odeon, a Lusignanian castle, and the site’s main highlight, the lavish mosaics of four Roman villas. These mosaics, illustrating ancient Greek myths, are among the world’s best-preserved and impressive Roman mosaics.
Just a short drive from the Archeological Site is one of Paphos’s most picturesque attractions, the twelfth century church Ayia Kyriaki, better known as the Panayia Chrysopolitissa Basilica, which is situated among the Ancient Roman Agora ruins. According to tradition, outside the church there is an ancient marble pillar upon which St. Paul was lashed when he visited Paphos – the incident is actually described in the New Testament.
Finish the sightseeing day at the Paphos Waterpark that offers fun water rides for everyone.
A visit to Paphos without one dedicated beach day would simply not be a visit. Several beaches are available downtown. Alternatively, you can travel twenty minutes by car to find a sublime sandy beach at Coral Bay with lounge beds, umbrellas and snack shops nearby.
Head east towards Ayia Napa and Protaras. On the way, stop at Choirokoitia, the famous well-preserved, wall-enclosed neolithic human settlement dating back to 7,000 BCE. Archeologists have reconstructed circular huts to help visitors better understand what the settlement looked like.
Continue to Ayia Napa, which offers the ultimate beach and nightlife experience. Here, you will find stretches of golden sandy beaches with tavernas serving fresh seafood. Enjoy a swim at Pantachou Beach or Ammos Kambouri Beach. At night, Ayia Napa becomes a clubbing and dancing destination for tourists of all ages.
Further east from Ayia Napa, lies Cape Greco National Forest Park with arresting views of the Mediterranean and its impressive coastline. Enjoy watersports at the Fig Tree Bay cove or a swim at Sunrise Beach.
Protaras is a tourist town with many bars and restaurants offering traditional Cypriot and international cuisine. In the evening, you may revisit Ayia Napa for it’s great nightlife scene.
Head back to Larnaca’s Airport for your scheduled departure.