Nothing can compare to weekend escape on an island full of sandy beaches bays and coves mountain tracks and stunning waterfalls. My Cyprus itinerary had it all, it offers the traveler a mix of sea and sun culture and gastronomy.
Located on the east side of the Mediterranean south of the Anatolian Peninsula Cyprus welcome tourists all year round. Cyprus enjoys an intense Mediterranean climate, with long dry summers from mid–May to mid–October, and mild winters from December to February, which are separated by short autumn and spring seasons.
The island enjoys abundant sunshine, and even in December and January, there is an average of six hours of bright sunshine per day. In this Cyprus travel review, I will share with you my ultimate weekend vacation in the island.
Landing in Larnaca Airport
Our Cyprus itinerary starts at Larnaca airport after a short flight with DA62, a small double engine aircraft that took us from Israel in about 70 minutes route. The beautiful Larnaca beaches, the salty lake and the entire south-eastern coast were lying peacefully underneath the plane.
After landing we parked the plane and went quickly through passport control and custom to the car rental offices.
Getting Around in Cyprus
Cars and motorcycles can be easily hired on the island, which is serviced by fairly good surfaced roads that comply with international traffic requirements, and link the towns and the various villages. It’s best to travel with small and light luggage, so you’ll be able to rent whatever vehicle that suits you.
Four lane motorways connect the capital, Lefkosia, with the coastal towns of Lemesos, Larnaca, Pafos and Agia Napa. Major self-drive car rental firms have offices in all towns, as well as at the Larnaka and Pafos International Airports.
Please note: Traffic moves on the LEFT hand-side of the road, NOT on the right.
A short walk to the rental parking across the arrival terminal and the friendly rental car guy handed us the keys and we were on our way to Protaras, about 45 minutes ride, during that time we were able to book a nice specious room by the sea with stunning pristine sea view, note however that during the high season it is recommended to book well in advance
Traveling by small plane is a perfect way to get to Cyprus, as not only the view of Cyprus from up here is amazing, but also the weather conditions allow you to fly here throughout all seasons.
Protaras-Paralimni is situated on the south eastern fringe of Cyprus and has the blessing of the first sunrise in Europe. Paralimni, the main town, combines the advantages of a traditional village with the conveniences of a contemporary town and there is an air of timelessness in the Town Center.
Protaras, the tourist area, extends along the eastern coast of Paralimni and stretches for 10km from the district of ‘Kapparis’ to the location of ‘Konnos’. Hundreds of windmills grant its landscape a quaint, tranquil beauty. Fantastic beaches with crystal clear waters are found along this coast, most of them accredited with the prestigious Blue Flag status.
Fig Tree Bay Cyprus
Fig Tree Bay is the most precious gem on this coastal tiara and is named after the solidary fig tree that has been planted here by eastern invaders in the 17th century. On the headland of the bay one can see the recently revealed, glass-covered Hellenistic tombs.
The selection of watersports abounds at these beaches, ranging from skiing and paragliding to snorkeling and scuba diving and the boats wait on the piers to take you for unforgettable trips.
We stayed at the Leonardo Crystal Cove, and after settling at the hotel, we circled around the neighborhood and walked along the stunning seashore where at the end we entered an authentic Cypriot restaurant for a delicious food tasting dinner.
The Cypriot ‘meze’ is a banquet fit for a king with about twenty different traditional dishes being served as standard. The meze starts light with salads, dips, olives, tahini, humus, and fresh bread then continue with snails, octopus, calamary, pickled capers and greens. Then moved on to grilled halloumi (Greek cheese made from sheep and goat’s milk), smoked pork, fish, keftedes (meatballs), sheftalia and Greek traditional sausages.
Cyprus Mountains Trip
Next morning after a good night sleep and rich breakfast we continued our Cyprus itinerary to the mountains region starting at one of Cyprus’ most authentic and beautifully preserved villages , Pano Lefkara.
Pano Lefkara, Cyprus
The village is located in amidst un-spoilt landscape comprised of mountains, forests, groves, nature trails and endemic and indigenous flora and fauna. In fact, the name Lefkara comes from the color of the limestone that surrounds the village.
Lefkara is famous for being home to the traditional Cypriot embroidered lace, the well-known «lefkaritiko». It is the finest example of what embroidery and folk art in Cyprus has to offer. Lefkara lace is a valued specimen of embroidered artwork, which reflects the strength and sensitivity of the women of the region. In 2009, it was added to the UNESCO list of intangible heritage items.
In addition to Lefkara lace, another craft that has thrived for decades is silversmithing. Hand-made jewels, spoons, censers and other ecclesiastical implements, candle burners, processional staffs, crosses etc. are made locally, while silver and gold are also used to coat icons and bibles.
The character of the village is very picturesque with its narrow, winding streets and traditional architecture of old, terracotta-roofed houses. It is also included as one of the stops on the island’s 7th Wine Route that encompasses the area of mountainous Larnaka – Lefkosia.
Continuing our itinerary in Cyprus, after strolling along the beautiful streets of Lefkara we headed toward the Troodos mountains at the heart of the island. We drove in a stunning curvy road between forests lakes and waterfalls.
Comprised of many different, traditional villages, every twist and turn of the mountain roads leads to something different. The chain of winemaking communities has practiced viticulture for centuries, whilst others are famous for their intricate handmade folk-art, from lace and silverwork to pottery and basket weaving. Agricultural villages known for their different fruit unfold towards others, where waterfalls and springs offer a cooling drink to both human and wildlife.
At its very peak – 1.952 metres above sea level – sits Mount Olympus – whose snowy mounds welcome skiers in winter. And a myriad of natural wealth awaits exploration by foot or bicycle, along paths, over rocks and into woodland, with the villages all welcoming visitors to observe their unique local customs.
Troodos is also religiously significant for its string of 10 UNESCO World Heritage Site Byzantine Churches and other monasteries and chapels. Priceless ancient frescos, fascinating stories of saints, and unique architecture showcase the island’s deep Christian roots.
Limassol Cyprus (Lemesos)
After an afternoon coffee at one of the enchanted coffee shops in the area we began moving back to Protaras not before we popped in for a visit in Limassol (Lemesos in greek) a vibrant and lively city.
Its position between two large city-kingdoms of ancient times – Amathous and Kourion – has blessed the area with a significant archaeological status, whilst the town in between is modern and diverse with a range of coastal strips, shopping options, drinking, dining and entertainment. Limasol is also the island’s maritime capital, thanks to its main commercial and business port, and the exclusive, modern marina where both residents and visitors alike can enjoy sea views at one of the many waterfront establishments. We strolled along the promenade, entered into the marina and port area and finished with a drink before moving back to protaras.
The 3rd day was dedicated to the wonderful beaches of Protaras and Ayia Napa. We began our journey heading east to Nisia Loumbardi beach. Stunning little beach that’s hidden away from the main strip of Protaras to be overlooked by many, few minutes walk from the Cavo Maris Hotel.
The beach is clean, Ideal starting point for snorkeling because of possibility to see turtles. Also you can see underwater sculptures and rich marine life as lionfish, octopuses and other. Nearby restaurant with tasty local foods.
Konnos Beach Cyprus
After spending some time at the loumbardi beach we continued our Cyprus itinerary west to check the famous Konnos beach about 20 minutes ride from Loumbardi.
Konnos Beach is a scenic bay with golden beaches and crystal clear blue waters, which defines the border between Ayia Napa and Protaras. The 200-meter-long Konnos beach is one of the most picturesque beaches on the island. The beach has always calm waters, as the steep and pine-covered slopes protect it from winds.
When we arrived it was flooded by people mainly families however we found a little quiet spot to put the sun beds just across the lifeguard arbor and jumped into the crystal clear water. We stayed for couple of hours before we continued our beaches trip to Nissi beach in Aiga Napa to have some snacks and drinks before returning to our hotel in Protaras.
Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa, Cyprus
We ended our beaches day at Nissi beach. This is the most popular beach in the Ayia Napa area and probably the most well known on the island of Cyprus. It is made up of 2 connecting beaches, one long and lively, the other smaller and quieter.
The beaches have golden sands and the waters are clean and clear. It is possible to walk out for up to a hundred metres without the water passing your waist and there are many sand bars in the shallows.
A variety of watersports can be enjoyed including pedalloes, parasailing and inflatables. Nissi means small island in Greek and there is indeed a small island which during the summer can be reached by walking through the shallow water.
Late dinner and strolling through Aiga Napa vibrant streets ended our 3rd day on our Cyprus itinerary. We woke up to the last day of our weekend vacation and spend most of the time at the hotel area by the sea. The weather was cloudy and strong winds were blowing.
We walked along the sea shore where the rough sea created stunning views. At noon we checked out the hotel and started our journey back home
Where is Nissi Beach?
Nissi beach is located in the eastern part of Cyprus, at the province of Ayia napa, at the Famagusta District.
Cyprus Travel Restrictions
According to Visit Cyprus, From 18th April ’22, there are no longer any special requirements of travel restrictions for entry into the country.
Where is Cyprus on the Map
Cyprus is located at the middle east, west of Israel, Lebanon and Syria, and south of Turkey.
Best Hotels in Cyprus
After trying and checking many hotels in Cyprus, we chose Leonardo Crystal Cove. We had a great experience staying there (not sponsored), and I can honestly recommend it.
If you want to find other great hotels in Cyprus, we have centered some of the best hotel in Cyprus here: