TOP 10 Places to visit in the south of Cyprus
Ayia Napa, the seaside resort
The sea caves, natural heritage of CyprusSymbols of the city, these caves and rocks dug by the salt water of the Mediterranean Sea are a must to see during your stay! The caves are located on the south-eastern peninsula of the island, just outside the city of Ayia Napa. They are the starting point for the Cape Greco National Park. They vary in shape and size, but they are all equally impressive. Some are open to the water, others are hidden and you have to do a short hike to get there and finally some are shaped like tunnels. They offer an incredible scenery on the horizon and on the turquoise water that surrounds the island of the goddess Aphrodite, goddess of love.
Around these sea caves, the most popular activity is of course the capture of these magnificent moments and places; but many take the occasion to jump from the top of a 10 metre cliff while others go diving and explore the Cypriot sea bed… You can also walk around like a hiker along small coves and sandy beaches…
It’s a real treasure that nature offers us, so don’t miss it! Visiting them is therefore a real must during your stay in Cyprus – Ayia Napa! A complete change of scenery guaranteed!
The Sculpture Park
Less than 5 km from the caves, visit the Sculpture Park of Ayia Napa! This huge open-air museum traces history, art and mythology through sculptures created by artists from all over the world. Indeed, no less than 71 sculptures are present on the site, each as beautiful as the next. Through this project, the Municipality of Ayia Napa wishes to promote art and culture.
Sculptures of all countries, sizes and types are on display. Walk along animals, mermaids, hippos and mythological creatures while enjoying a beautiful view of the sea.
The best time to visit this great open-air museum is at sunset. The shades of colour on the water and the light on the sculptures are incredible.
What could be better than fine sandy beaches and turquoise sea to relax? The most popular beach in Ayia Napa, welcome to Nissi Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches of Cyprus and the Mediterranean! This 500-metre long beach takes its name from the islet of Nissi, located close to the coast. The islet, although uninhabited, is accessible on foot across the shallow water.
Nissi Beach has become very popular since the 2002 summer season. At that time, the BBC promoted the beach via live broadcasts. The sandy beach is now a real landmark for clubbers but also for locals and tourists who come to enjoy the sun and music all day long and come for a swim. There are water games, foam parties and DJ playing all kind of music. The beach also has 2 volleyball courts, open to the public.
« Thalassa » : the museum of the sea
Opened in August 2005, the municipal (archaeological, one might say) sea museum is worth a visit! Located in the centre of Ayia Napa, it is the first Mediterranean museum to show the public the impact and importance of the sea on the history of Cyprus, both in prehistoric times and today.
This three-storey building offers a unique experience: underground showcases in which visitors can walk and observe objects from above, and modern showcases. Some of the exhibits are suspended from the roof. However, all of them are illuminated. During your visit, discover all kinds of remains: fossilised fish, shells, corals, small turtles, starfish and much more. All the living beings in the museum have been found around and on the island!
There is plenty to transport you to the depths of the sea and water of Cyprus, so come and visit the museum!
Larnaca, the medieval city
Also known as the “Fort of Larnaca”, the fortress is located at the end of the Finikoudes promenade. Originally built in medieval times, its present appearance is a result of the domination of the Ottoman Empire and it is one of the most cultural places in the country. The Byzantine imprint is also strong. The castle with its multiple walls was originally built to defend the city’s port. When the British conquered Cyprus, they turned the castle into a prison, which they used during the first years of domination. On the ground floor, the wing on the eastern side was used as a room for the execution of prisoners until 1948!
Today there are no more prisoners or executions but a simple medieval and archaeological museum overlooking the city and offering a unique view of the seafront. Numerous tombs of people who have marked the history of Cyprus are present on the site. Admission to the castle is €2.50 at full price. Admission is free for students from any university or country.
Larnaca Salt Lake
Legend has it that it was Saint Lazarus who transformed this field of grapes into a salt lake to condemn its owner who had refused to give him a few bunches of grapes.
Best place to admire a beautiful sunset and flamingos, take a trip to the Larnaca salt lake! It is one of the favourite places for locals and tourists to walk around and enjoy nature, only a few kilometres from the city centre! In the middle of winter, flamingos, ducks and swans surface and make this place even more beautiful and incredible than it is in summer (the summers are dry and hot so the lake dries up a bit too…)!
The main street of the city, you can’t miss this walk. You will find on one side the sea and on the other side many bars and restaurants as well as souvenir shops. The beach of Finikoudes, located on the promenade, is also unmissable!
Take a walk along the paths, then go to the old town of Larnaca, very close to Finikoudes. You will find many small street with locals bas and coffee shops.
Modern buildings, colourful restaurants and yachts, welcome to Limassol Marina! While walking along the Marina, you could almost believe that it is a movie set…
Take a walk along this place and discover a world completely out of the ordinary: luxury boutiques will take you there and your dream villa will take you somewhere else and you won’t want to leave! The Marina is known as the “Cypriot Saint-Tropez”…
The medieval castle
There are many castles in the surrounding area. The Limassol castle is located in the heart of Limassol. Although it was originally medieval, it was completely rebuilt during the Ottoman domination of the island around 1590, so the Turkish imprint is strong. The site is now a museum, which can be visited, and contains many archaeological treasures. Indeed, you will find there various paleochristian, Byzantium, Franks, Venetian and Ottoman objects.