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Language: Greek, Turkish | Currency: Euros (€) | Local time: EET - UTC +2:00 | Avg. Flight time: 4.5 hour
The Larnaca (also known as Larnaka) region, which is located along the east coast of Cyprus, is known for its scenic beaches and up-tempo nightlife. The town of Ayia Napa is the epicentre of the nightlife scene in Cyprus, with a long-standing reputation as one of the top party destinations in Europe.
Despite its somewhat raucous reputation, its many beaches, impressive waterpark and accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly rooms to some of the top luxury hotels in Cyprus, are attracting an increasing number of families.
A short drive from Ayia Napa is the resort town of Protaras, which offers some of the best hotels in Cyprus for families. This pleasant town is packed with kid-friendly attractions, including an aquarium, great beaches and mini-golf courses.
The Paphos (also known as Pafos) region on the west coast of Cyprus offers an alluring mix of modern amenities and traditional charm. As on the east coast, there are loads of pretty beaches to discover, but it is the region’s fascinating archaeological sites that draw the history buffs.
In Paphos city, you will find golden sand beaches and some the finest five-star hotels in Cyprus, along with busy bars and restaurants geared towards British holidaymakers. Beyond this standard Mediterranean beach scene, however, there are also ancient wonders such as the Temple of Aphrodite and the Tomb of the Kings. The town’s range of accommodation caters to both big spenders and bargain hunters.
Like Paphos, Limassol city feels a bit like two completely different places that have been smashed together. The sandy beachfront lined with affordable hotels, top Cyprus luxury resorts and lively bars contrasts starkly with an old town of traditional tavernas, cobbled lanes and handicraft vendors.
If you’re up for an adventure, it’s worth heading inland for at least a few days during your time in Cyprus. The remarkable Troodos Mountain range is a prime spot for hiking, cycling, camping and wildlife watching. Accommodation here is also an attraction in itself, with many rustic agrotourismos (renovated rural properties).
Alternatively, take a trip to North Cyprus for its idyllic beaches, untouched wilderness areas and sleepy towns where little about the way of life has changed in the past century.
Your budget will stretch further in north Cyprus, thanks to the reduced costs that come with being outside the Eurozone (the currency in north Cyprus is Turkish lira, although euros, pounds and US dollars are also widely accepted).
The restaurants, hotels, and tourism facilities are a bit rough around the edges compared to those in the south, but you’ll get a glimpse of what the country looked like before mainstream tourism arrived.