Deciding where to stay in Cyprus
Limassol is a very cosmopolitan town, taking influences from neighbouring Turkey and Greece to create a buzzing atmosphere, especially around the busy cafés and bars of an evening. This busy port can easily be mistaken for being the capital city as it certainly gives Nicosia a run for its money in terms of activities and culture. Dasoudi Beach is a busy stretch of golden sand that attracts tourists and locals alike; all looking to soak up some sun and swim in the warm Mediterranean Sea. The old town is awash with pavement cafés, family run tavernas and modern European style bars, creating a bustling town in the day time and a steady nightlife of an evening.
Paphos is a traditional Cypriot town, laced with cobbled streets, a small harbour, lovely white washed houses and friendly family run tavernas. Legend has it that this is near to where Aphrodite rose from the sea and the area is certainly blessed by the gods if its beauty is anything to go by. Paphos does only have a very small stretch of sand but where it lacks in beaches it definitely makes up for in culture. The harbour thrives of a daytime, with locals looking to purchase fresh fish from fishing boats coming into port, cafés packed with tourists and locals chatting and sipping beer. The town’s history stretches back to Neolithic times, so there’s a mixed heritage to explore. The UNESCO rated Tomb of the Kings (Egyptian catacombs) are a must see, as is the House of Dionysos, making Paphos a great place to stay if sitting around a hotel pool every day is not really your thing. Nightlife is taken at a steady to pace, never too quiet but never too loud and the many hotels in the town follow the same code: something for everyone.
Amathus Bay is a tranquil area of Cyprus, found on the south coast and said to be home to the ancient ruins of a royal city that supposedly housed the Greek god Heracles. The Troodos Mountains act as a backdrop to the bay and are popular with walkers, with well-worn trails to follow where you can discover natural Cyprus at its very best, with wildlife, waterfalls and picturesque picnic spots and excellent viewing spots over the bay. The bay itself is full of soft golden sand and the waters are shallow enough to paddle in and take a short swim. It is very family friendly, although it does seem to attract older couples more. There are not many restaurants around Amathus Bay but the ones you will find will serve up some of the best Halloumi and seafood on the island. There are also a few bars, where you can wind up your day with a beer or two.
Protaras is lively without being bolshy and is a good place to stay if you are looking for more of a party atmosphere that does not get too out of hand. Protaras is postcard pretty with olive trees and bright coloured plants lining the walls and gardens around the town; 10 minutes away Cape Greco is even prettier, with many saying it is the most beautiful place in Cyprus. Due to its relaxed and friendly atmosphere and child friendly hotel facilities, Protaras is a hit with families and couples alike. Fig Tree Bay is the best beach in the area, with a purpose-built resort to cater for every holiday maker’s needs. Beaches are clean and good for swimming and the craggy coastline is good for coastal walks, for those wanting a bit of exercise whilst on holiday.
Ayia Napa is the major party town in Cyprus, with thousands or exuberant teenagers and young people heading to the town to dance the summer away. The main streets of Ayia Napa are lined with bars, nightclubs and karaoke bars that are open day and night. Cafés and fast food restaurants are staples along the main strip but youngsters can find traditional tavernas if they look hard enough. Whilst Ayia Napa does have a rowdy reputation, it still enjoys pockets of beauty and the lovely Nissi beach, whilst crowded in summer, does offer respite from the mayhem of central Ayia Napa. Nissi beach also attracts families and couples staying in nearby resorts as it does boast long golden beaches and some of the best water-sports and beach activities in the region.
Cyprus is an island for everyone, a place where families can enjoy a traditional beach holiday, history buffs can explore ancient Greek history and art lovers can enjoy the idyllic landscapes of each region of the island. A true beauty in the Mediterranean, you will leave Cyprus and want to come back again and again.