How to Spend 1 Week in Cyprus
The Mediterranean flows past perfect beaches and ancient history on Cyprus, making the island a fascinating destination for both sun worshippers and history buffs. With one week in Cyprus you can sample a little bit of everything, from rocky headlands to mountains, forests, and walled cities. Here’s how to plan a week in Cyprus.
Days 1 to 3: Larnaca, Nicosia, and the North
Ease into vacation mode by spending the first day where you’re likely to step off the plane—in the laid-back beach resort of Larnaca. It’s a great place to unwind with a glass of Cypriot wine, which is often produced in nearby Troodos Mountain villages; wine tours are a good way to get a curated introduction to local vineyards.
Next, head to the divided capital city of Nicosia, where a UN-controlled buffer zone splits the Republic of Cyprus from the Turkish-speaking north of the island. Spend the day exploring the city’s Venetian walls and landmarks, making sure to pack your passport if you’re joining a tour that explores the city on both sides of the buffer zone, or Green Line.
This is also the best jumping-off point for visiting the north, whose ancient Roman ruins, monasteries, and mountain-top castles were cut off from much of the world for decades. Since bringing a rental car into the north can bring extra fees and liabilities, it’s worth choosing a tour that includes round-trip transport from south of the Green Line.
Day 4: Limassol
With an energetic party scene and atmospheric historic center, Limassol is a great stop for another day—and night—immersed in Cyprus’ resort culture. Get some beach time in here, but don’t miss the Kourion archaeological site, where you’ll find a Greco-Roman theater, a sanctuary devoted to Apollo, and intricate murals depicting scenes from ancient life.
Day 6 and 7: Paphos and Around
According to legend, this is where the goddess Aphrodite first made landfall, and a look at Paphos’ blue water and rocky capes makes it easy to see why she’d choose it. Lounge on the shore and make time for some history, too—the whole of Paphos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Choose the milder morning or evening hours to check out the Paphos Archaeological Park’s mosaics, tombs, and ruins.
If you can tear yourself away from the beach, Paphos has easy access to both the Troodos Mountains and the Akamas Peninsula, two of Cyprus’ most beautiful natural areas. Head to Akamas by jeep, boat, or tour vehicle to see coastal mountains that drop steeply to the sea, as well as the blue pool where Aphrodite is believed to have bathed. For blissfully cool air and mountain scenery, the beautiful Troodos have narrow valleys and pine forests, as well as Byzantine churches, family-owned vineyards, and historic monasteries.