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As a third-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is a popular holiday destination for holidaymakers looking to experience a hot, humid summer on an island steeped in history and ancient architecture. From the preserved Venetian walls surrounding Nicosia to quaint villages of Kakopetria, Cyprus has much more to offer than its unspoilt, gorgeous coastline - though that is certainly an advantage for tourists looking to lay on the beach in the summer sun!
If you're in search of culture, cuisine, ancient history and miles and miles of golden sands, Cyprus could be the perfect holiday destination.
Landing in Cyprus
Larnaca International Airport is Cyprus' main airport and, after landing, there are a number of bus connections leading to cities in the island; Larnaca and Nicosia to name but a few. In addition, Paphos airport is also a popular airport due to its links with the west coat of Cyprus. However, buses and taxis are infrequent so one of the easiest ways to get away from the airport (and explore the island overall) is to rent a car.
From Paphos airport, a short drive west brings you to the cultural area of the island, full of traditional charm and architectural heritage. Both Paphos and Pissouri are coastal areas with a lot to offer, from Paphos' unique history (leading to the city being added to UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List) to Pissouri's variety of churches, chapels, restaurants and bars.
If you've hired a car, it is worth driving to the centre of the island to experience Cyprus' largest city Nicosia. However before you reach the capital, the stunning Troodos mountains are well worth a visit. The mountains offer beautiful trail walks, offering gorgeous views of the island, as well as luscious ski resorts if tourists are in Cyprus during the winter months.
Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, is relatively central but, despite being the largest city, is not steeped in culture and history unlike the west side of the island. The Old City does have a few museums and churches but the city is mainly known for its lively nightlife and young population. For instance, going out for a few drinks before 10-11pm is almost unheard of!
Tourists looking to experience the quainter side of Nicosia will be pleased with the city's coffee culture, with tables spilling onto streets and local coffee shops serving their finest blends all year round. Svoura Cafe-Bar, for instance, is one of Nicosia's hot spots for coffee.
If you thought Nicosia had a vibrant night life, just wait until you experience the eastern resort of Ayia Napa. Only a 45-minute taxi or car ride from Larnaca airport, Ayia Napa has a wild, exotic nightlife and is widely considered to be the premier nightlife location of Cyprus. Clubs and bars are open until daybreak and many revellers look to experience the sun rising on Ayia Napa's gorgeous beaches.
Contrary to Ayia Napa's drinking culture, there is very little anti-social behaviour in the resort. The atmosphere has a laid-back, positive vibe and etiquette tends to be observed outside of Ayia Napa's bars and other establishments. As a result, tourists looking to mix with other revellers should definitely have Ayia Napa high on their list of priorities.
Cyprus has an incredible amount to offer. From the island's numerous churches and monasteries to the lively, vibrant nightlife experienced across the island, Cyprus is a popular destination for families, couples and groups alike.