Sandy beaches, a rich centuries-old history, and European living with a touch of the Middle East? Buckle up, friends! You’re about to land in Cyprus!
No worries, we already did the homework for you and have the ultimate 5-day Cyprus itinerary waiting!
A modern cosmopolitan, tourist, and cultural center, Cyprus is a beloved travel destination brimming with life and vibrancy- all day, every day, all year long.
Easily a place that never sleeps, Cyprus is a fabulous go-to destination for an upcoming holiday, a weekend break, or a mini-vacation. Rich in culture and breathtaking landscape, Cyprus has for years captivated visitors from all over the globe.
Though a small island nation, Cyprus has countless attractions that leave you befuddled. Do you want to sample the lukewarm sea along hundreds of miles of sandy shorelines? We got you covered.
Below, we’ve made a selection of some of Cyprus’ most important landmarks and points of interest to traverse in just five days- enjoy your detailed Cyprus itinerary below.
A Word on Cyprus
Generally steeped in the sun, Cyprus is not the summer-peak destination to visit. The best times to visit the island is either during early spring or late summer.
A bus ticket costs €1.50. Renting a car costs from €6 a day and higher, depending on the provider and the car category.
Cyprus offers a versatile selection of accommodations that fit everyone’s budget- from Airbnbs to hotels, motels, resorts, hostels, and even camping grounds. So we could find affordable stays with no problem and everywhere.
When booking your accommodation, always have a look at the latest reviews on Booking. Some hotels have changed their policy during and after the pandemic. That made the review score less reliable. So make sure you read the latest ones.
Here are the most up-to-date deals in Cyprus:
While accommodation costs vary depending on the perks provided, a hotel for two people averages €75. A meal around town will cost you between 10-15 euros (drink included). A taxi ride from A to B will cost an average of 10 euros, whereas various bus tickets might cost 15 euros altogether, or more.
So you have guessed it: the best plan is to rent a car and stay away from touristy restaurants 😉
Airports in Cyprus
Larnaca International Airport and Paphos International Airport cover 90% of the trial traffic and fly from Cyprus. Depending on your flight, you will be landing in either of these, and you will find both great car rental opportunities. (Book it in advance online as it will be much cheaper)
Day 1: Larnaca & Limassol
Arriving in Larnaca
Arriving by plane in Cyprus, chances are higher that you will land on the Larnaca International Airport, the larger of the island’s two main airports. It’s 4 km southwest of Larnaca. And that is where our itinerary will start.
Larnaca, the island’s third-largest city after Nicosia and Limassol, is a major tourist center located on the southern coast of Cyprus in the Larnaca Bay and known for its bustling sandy beaches, warm water, palm-tree seafront, and many historic buildings.
A shuttle bus is available from the airport to take you downtown Larnaca, and the best thing about this seaside town is that you don’t need a whole day to explore it.
Take a stroll around its cobbled streets and explore the town’s unique centuries-old architecture packed in shades of white stone and the occasional pop of color, and lined with market and grocery stands where locals sell the freshest summer fruits, vegetables, spices, teas, and Cyprus’ ever-beloved homemade coffee.
A walk around town will take you to the ever-famous Church of Saint Lazarus, a massive building dating from the 9th century. The impressive structure is a testimony of Larnaca’s rich history -and just a street down- the Turkish neighborhood awaits.
Also known as the Old Bazaar, this vintage neighborhood, also referred to as Skala, is palm-infused and vivacious and makes the perfect location for lunch-on-the-go.
Of course, while roaming the streets, you will find yourself in front of the Larnaca Castle, one of its most intriguing monuments surrounded by blossoming vegetation and wonderful floral gardens you can explore free of charge, whereas, on the other side of the castle, a massive azure beach awaits!
Take your time sunbathing or enjoy your morning coffee soaked in rich sunlight that often requires having sunglasses and a hat on.
Recommended tour time: 2-3 hours
Recommended dining spots: Ocean Basket, Paradosiako Fish, Vinaria
If you did not rent a car, hop onto a 47-minute bus drive from downtown Larnaca to Limassol, Cyprus’ key port city and biggest tourist center.
Visit Limassol Castle
Any intercity bus will take you straight to the heart of Limassol, where you can begin your journey by visiting the medieval nearby Limassol Castle, where the English King Richard I married Berengaria of Navarre in 1191 on his way to a crusade in the Holy Land – all at a ticket price of €3.4.
Limassol is renowned for its outstanding landscapes and attractions, and you don’t need to go big to see them all.
A Walk to Remember
Just walking around town will bring you closer to vivid coffee shops, local dining cafes, and restaurants, as well as wineries where a glass of homemade white and a side of cheese will warm your soul and keep you full.
Boasting 16 kilometers of sandy beaches, you are welcome to walk your way to Dassoudi Beach, the town’s central hotspot, and take a few hours to yourself to just, well, take a breather and soak in the sun.
Eat a Gyros at Dassoudi Beach
All other beaches around Limassol are distant and known for their bewildering nature, so they might not be swimmer-friendly while amazing to visit. However, at Dassoudi beach, you can grab a lunch or early dinner, mainly from its local food shops, where they serve the finest Gyros on the go!
And don’t get me started about that soul-capturing sunset flashing its rainbow of colors!
Recommended time: 3-4 hours
Recommended dining spots: Pixida Fish Tavern, Hobo Mediterraneo, Terry’s Place
Day 2: Paphos & Aphrodite’s Temple
Good morning- ready for your next Cyprus adventure?
Getting to Paphos
Hop on an intercity bus (the same website as above – you should be an expert now 😉 ) in Limassol and, in just 40 minutes, you will find yourselves in the old city of Paphos- staring into the wide Mediterranean horizon.
Located west of Limassol, Paphos offers a mesmerizing and picturesque coastline, boasting views that never leave a dull moment.
Explore the Tombs of the Kings
North of the city, and a 20-minute walk from its center, you will arrive at the Tombs of the Kings necropolis. Here, you can explore this exquisite UNESCO World Heritage Site, exhibiting Greek and Roman architecture samples, such as the classical Doric columns.
Keep in mind, a full day at this archaeological site ticket will cost you around €8.5.
The Goddess of Beauty and Her Rock
If you find yourselves at the Paphos main harbor, however, you can board a local bus or, even better- rent a car- and in 20-minutes time, you will find yourself at Aphrodite’s Rock – the actual birthplace of the Greek Goddess herself.
Aphrodite’s Rock forbids climbing, but the scenery alone sure is breathtaking.
While a short drive away, you might want to save a few hours to explore the region in detail. (Here is a great viewpoint!)
The venerated goddess has left a deep imprint on the island, particularly on Paphos, where also stood a temple in her tribute and for centuries a place of worship and pilgrimage before the emergence of Christianity.
So, you might opt for booking a whole tour (and ahead of time!) when visiting this deity temple for a more detailed introduction.
Aphrodite’s Rock offers many activities to embark on- from skydiving to lounging venues and, for the lovers of all things nature, good old sunbathing. At the same time, the entrance to its main baths will cost you zero parking fees and no entrance whatsoever!
Recommended time: 5-6 hours
Recommended dining spots: Aphrodite’s Rock Microbrewery, Efraim Tavern, Melania Restaurant, Paphos.
Day 3: Akamas Peninsula National Park
Ready for your next day? It’s going to be epic!
Presenting – the Akamas Peninsula National Park, boasting some of Cyprus’ most inviting beaches.
Visit the Blue Lagoon and Lara Beach
Located north of Paphos, a 1.5-hour drive, this escapade is perfect if you want to start exploring earlier and have yourselves an activity-packed day. Properly explore the shallow azure waters of the Blue Lagoon and the Lara beaches, the park’s favorites, and both a short drive from one another.
The distinctly rugged turf, rocky cliffs, and, of course, sunny beaches- are a must-see, especially if you are keen on exploring unique national parks.
The park is perfect for lovers of underwater adventures, with water so clear that you can see the seabed without any special equipment or even a pair of swimming goggles.
Meet with Mother Nature
The Akamas National Reserve Park teems dense vegetation, stony cliffs, and diverse flora and fauna, making it a versatile place for a whole-day tour. That also includes 168 species of birds, 20 different reptiles, 16 species of butterfly, and 12 different varieties of mammals.
To explore this unique beauty more broadly, we recommend you book a tour and early access.
The site is majestic and broad, welcoming all eager explorers to spend the entire day at the beach by unsalted water bodies: secret rocky paths and its 230-square-kilometer maze of impressive forests, wildlife, and steep gorges.
Note that dining at the National Park venues is not available while dining at Lara beach is quite pricey (water bottles included!), so you might want to save a few bucks and fix yourself a picnic menu for the day.
Recommended time: 5-7 hours
Recommended dining spots: Oz Cafe&Bar, Yeni Hayat Restaurant, Blue Lagoon Restaurant
Day ticket: 5 euros
Day 4: Kyrenia (Northern Cyprus)
If you love northern scenery and a blend of beaches plus mountains- you’ll definitely fall head over heels with Kyrenia!
Cyprus’ northernmost hotspot, Kyrenia, might be the smallest of the island’s districts, but it is still one of the most attractive ones.
It is an hour or so away from Larnaca and Limassol, while from Paphos, it might take you up to 2 hours to arrive via intercity bus or rent-a-car.
Enjoy the Northern Coast
The district covers a large portion of Cyprus’ northern coast and offers a fantastic sea outlook.
For a day of lounging and chilling, you are always welcome to uncover Kyrenia’s most precious beaches, such as Alagadi Turtle Beach, or party it up at the Escape Beach Club.
The Kyrenia Mountains invite you to have a blast!
Stretching for about 160km along the coast, the mountain slopes promise a memorable view and some historical sights to visit as well.
A clearly designated path will easily take you to the Kantara Castle, the Buffavento Castle, and the St. Hilarion Castle – all within a few kilometers of each other. Put your best forward and explore these sites on foot to properly take in the ravishing landscape, vibrant vegetation, and historical relevance of the area.
If arriving by car, you can always leave your vehicle at the Kyrenia harbor or book a parking spot online in advance.
Recommended time: 5-6 hours
Recommended dining spots: Kyrenia Tavern, Eziç Peanuts, Azure Cyprus
Day 5: Nicosia & Ayia Napa
Last but not least, you should make a round tour of the nation’s capital, Nicosia.
In Nicosia, we had a very cozy stay at Lordos Hotel Apartments. It is in a calm neighborhood, and the staff was so helpful.
Lodged between the Kyrenia Mountains to its north and the Troodos mountain range to the south, in Nicosia, you can find it all: Cape Greko, Stone Arch, Konnos Beach, Fig Tree Bay, and the ‘it’ party zone of Europe- Ayia Napa and its Nissi Beach!
Popular for its remarkable beaches, its wind-down lifestyle, and the beat of music echoing around town, Nicosia makes a fit destination for all travelers out there!
Roam in Nicosia Streets
In the morning, visit Nicosia’s Ledras Street to wake up properly over a rich cup of Cyprus-original coffee.
As the town is governed by two different rulers, it might be interesting to see both sides at once- the southern part, ruled by Greece, and the northern part, ruled by the Turks. Interestingly, just a walk around the neighborhood will bring you closer to the city’s very own street border- the actual place that parts the two governments.
Nonetheless, a city of contrasts treats you with a walk down Buyuk Han, an oriental market located on the Turkish side of town. Here, you will find countless antique shops, local dining spots, and souvenir stands, where all gifts and products are fairly priced and super-original.
Head to Ayia Napa
As far as Ayia Napa is concerned, it is a 1.5-hour drive from downtown Nicosia and easily reachable with an intercity bus or a car. Once you arrive in Ayia Napa, don’t be surprised to find the town empty midday- after all, here, true life begins after 8 pm and lasts until 11 in the morning.
In the meantime, everyone’s at the beach or asleep!
In Ayia Napa, we stayed at the Anonymous Beach Hotel. It was really calm and offered a generous breakfast. We also thought about Papouis Protaras Hotel as an alternative which also looked quite interesting.
Recommended time: 3-5 hours in Ayia Napa, 2-3 hours in Nicosia
Recommended dining spots: Louis Tavern & Restaurant. Sushitime Nicosia, Roof Burger Bar
Bonus Cyprus Itinerary Hotspots
Keep in mind, five days should be just enough to cover the island from top to bottom.
But, if it seems like too much for such a short time, some of the places can always be included as a bonus in your itinerary.
Perched on a 2,260-foot (689-metre) peak on the Stavrovouni hill overlooking a wide valley in the Larnaca district is the eponymous Stavrovouni Monastery. You can arrive at the monastery by car from Larnaca. It is about a 35-minute drive from the city to the monastery itself. When visiting, know that taking pictures or recording inside the monastery is prohibited while a free parking lot is available in its surroundings.
the Avakas Gorge
Between Lara Beach and Coral Bay is another popular attraction for those adventurous souls: the Avakas Gorge. Located just about 16km west of Paphos. While you can travel by car, it might be preferable to take a 4×4 terrain vehicle to properly penetrate the region.
Of course, a bit of hiking is inevitable and desirable, and you can find the main car parks down by the sea and begin your on-foot journey from there. Be advised, as you might not be able to visit the gorge in winter due to the increased level of the river.
Final Thoughts about Cyprus Itinerary
As a place in continuous flux, Cyprus has been adapting well to modern times while at the same time cultivating its deep historical roots.
Yet despite its numerous treasures, for some reason, it remains a blindspot on many travel maps.
Read now: Best Waterfalls in Cyprus
It has usually passed as just “another” of the thousands of islands in the expansive Mediterranean when, in fact, it is one in a million.
Here’s hoping we can change that.
Let’s get planning- exquisite Cyprus awaits!
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