Where to stay in Cyprus
Where to stay in Cyprus? Shortly Paphos, Ayia Napa and Pernera are my favourite areas to stay in Cyprus, however, this is a big island and there are other options that may work better for you.
In this guide, you will find three important things that will help you select the best place to stay in Cyprus: a comparative table, a map and a full description of each area.
Some of these areas tend to have more family-oriented resorts, others have a majority of adults-only hotels and a few towns specialise in the nightlife which is today only second to Ibiza.
Lastly, the weather on the island is great with probably the longest summer in Europe, from May to November. For a quick overview of the week ahead, you can check Cyprus Weather, one of the best resources.
Table of Contents
- 1 Where to stay in Cyprus for couples, families, young & which month – in a nutshell
- 2 Best areas to stay in Cyprus
- 3 Best places to stay in Cyprus for couples
- 4 Where to stay in Cyprus for families
- 5 Where to stay in Cyprus for nightlife
- 6 Best resorts in Cyprus for older couples
- 7 Where to stay in Northern Cyprus
- 8 Weather in Cyprus
- 9 The main airports
- 10 Frequently Asked Questions
Where to stay in Cyprus for couples, families, young & which month – in a nutshell
- Where is best to stay in Cyprus for couples: Paphos is a great destination if you are after a romantic trip, especially if you book the Almyra Hotel. Beautiful rooms and villas with sea view. The adults-only area is just amazing with the infinity pool overlooking the beach and the sunset. Protaras, with its lovely beaches, and Amathus are great alternatives.
- Best areas to stay in Cyprus for families: Pernera is the most family-oriented town. The restaurants usually have a kid area or even a jumping castle. The bars on the lovely coastal walk have sections for kids. Really all you need for a smooth holiday. Stay at the Pernera Beach Hotel for a beautiful resort including pools for kids and adults only (just to have a break). Coral Bay is a good alternative if you want to include trips to historical sites.
- Best place to stay in Cyprus for nightlife: easy answer, Ayia Napa, it’s world-famous for its clubs and late-night entertainment. Book your stay at the Nissi Beach Resort in Ayia Napa, close enough to the nightlife area, but still away from the noise, for a peaceful rest. Nissi is also one of the best beaches in Cyprus (keep reading for the photos). If you want to experience more local nightlife then Limassol is a good alternative.
- Where to stay in Cyprus for beaches: Ayia Napa is the place to be for the best beaches in Cyprus, truly amazing, with turquoise water and white sand, perfect for families as well as for relaxing after a night out in the city
- Where to stay in Cyprus without a car: Public transportation is actually not that bad in Cyprus. If you prefer to avoid renting a car, I suggest staying in Paphos in the west of the island, or Ayia Napa in case you land at the Larnaca Airport.
- The best way to explore the island at your own pace is by car. My recommended website to rent a vehicle is DiscoverCars. This is a website that compares prices from over 30 rental companies. I always had the best deals here
Best areas to stay in Cyprus
Cyprus is a relatively big island. In 2-5 hours, you can drive from any town to any destination. I usually rent a car and I alternate beach time to day trips.
Just be aware that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is a different country and you cannot drive there with a hired car. You can take of course public transportation for that and go through a passport check.
Here below is a table that compares the major areas of the island followed by a map. Click on the area name for a full description. Swipe left and right to see the entire table on the mobile.
|Destination||Ideal for||Pros||Cons||Attractions||For Restaurants||For Couples||For Families||For Beaches||For Nightlife||Character of the Area|
|Protaras||Couples after a beautiful beach||Beautiful sandy beaches, water sports, panoramic views||Can get busy in summer||Prophet Elias Chapel, Konnos Beach||Excellent||Excellent||Good||Excellent||Moderate||Beautiful coastal views|
|Paphos||Younger and older couples,exclusive stay||Elegant resorts, historical sites, romantic seafront walks||The beach is not as great||Tombs of the Kings, Agora Market||Excellent||Excellent||Moderate||Moderate||Good||Historical with Roman ruins|
|Amathus Bay and Limassol||Couples looking for a romantic time||Nice beach, historical ruins||A bit sleepy||Ancient ruins of Amathus||Good||Excellent||Good||Good||Good||Historical with ancient ruins|
|Pernera||Family-oriented resorts||Family-oriented resorts,beautiful coastal walk||Beach is small||Coastal walks||Excellent||Good||Excellent||Moderate||Moderate||Family-friendly, coastal views|
|Coral Bay||Best beaches for families||Great beach, proximity to historical sites for family trips||Far from other towns||Coral Bay beach, historical sites||Good||Good||Excellent||Excellent||Moderate||Modern|
|Ayia Napa||Young crowd nightlife. Beach stay||World-famous clubs, beautiful beaches||Can get noisy||Beaches||Excellent||Good||Moderate||Excellent||Excellent||Vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches|
|Limassol||Local Cypriot nightlife|
|Great local nightlife||Industrial city||Clubs||Excellent||Moderate||Moderate||Moderate||Excellent||Mix of industrial and local nightlife|
Best places to stay in Cyprus for couples
There is a good choice of locations where you can have both a romantic gateway as well as a few nice dinners and some cocktails and music afterwards
Protaras, for couples after a beautiful beach
Protaras is an area on the southeast coast of Cyprus.
There are plenty of hotels, tavernas, cafés, and water sports centres. An excellent place to spend a holiday. In summer, its beautiful sandy beaches attract crowds of tourists ready to enjoy water sports, r to go for a cruise on one of the local pleasure boats.
The area is dominated by a rocky hill with the picturesque chapel of Prophet Elias (the Prophet Elijah) affording a magnificent panoramic view of Protaras and the nearby ghost town of Varosha.
Further north there are more beaches including Pernera, Minas and Agia Triada which attract a quieter crowd.
This region is also known by the locals as Kokkinohoria (red villages) for the red soil that covers most of the ground.
In Protaras, the Grecian Park Hotel is one of the most popular and beautiful accommodations in the area. The awesome view and the proximity to Konnos Beach, one of the most beautiful in Cyprus, are probably the key factors.
The swimming pool is one of the biggest on the whole island. Quiet but still steps away from bars and restaurants. Really hard to find a negative point.
If the Grecian Park Hotel is booked out (and it does happen more often than you think) then have a look at the Crystal Springs Beach. A great alternative and one of best places in Cyprus for couples
Once in Protaras, I suggest a visit to Paralimni and its centre dominated by three churches. The oldest of these is Panagia (Virgin Mary) dating from the 18th century and lined with porcelain tiles typical of the period.
Paralimni is famous for delicacies such as smoked pork (pasta) and pork sausages (loukanika). I suggest lunch at the unassuming Sintrivani restaurant, probably the best “local” restaurant I have experienced in Cyprus (ask for the dish of the day).
Another great choice is the characteristic Kanati restaurant, close to the town centre and a short walk from the church.
Paphos, for couples looking for an exclusive stay
Paphos is the common name given to the twin towns of Pano Paphos (Upper Paphos) and Kato Paphos (Lower Paphos).
During the Byzantine era, when coastal towns were threatened by foreign invasions, the town was moved inland to its present hilltop location.
The lower town is a site of fine Roman ruins and the majority of tourist facilities. Lower Paphos is small and best explored on foot. Most of the attractions are within walking distance.
The main shopping street is Makarios Avenue. Here you can buy really all you need, from clothes to jewellery, from shoes to local and imported magazines and books.
The coast of lower Paphos is just magnificent, with a nice romantic walk next to the sea, beautiful at night with the sea breeze. Bars with live music and awesome restaurants are right in front of the water. Very popular with couples and groups of friends.
Paphos is a town where you do not feel overwhelmed with loud music and pubs. It’s more about enjoying the night in style and having a nice sleep without the noise from close bars or discos.
Once in town do not miss a visit to the Agora, an ornamental covered market hall building, dating from the early part of the 20th century. Sweet and souvenir sellers have replaced the fruit and vegetable vendors.
Unmissable is also the Tombs of the Kings, a fascinating necropolis where you can explore caves and rock tombs dating back to the Hellenic and Roman eras (300 BC). You can find it north of Kato Paphos, beyond the old city walls and close to the sea.
In Paphos, there are many accommodations however my favourite is still the Annabelle Hotel, right in front of the sea and with 2 amazing swimming pools, including one carved into caves and waterfalls.
The rooms and the service are really unique, not to talk about the lovely breakfast.
A great alternative to the Annabelle Hotel, especially if you are travelling as a couple and you want to have some private time, is the Almyra Hotel with the amazing infinity adult-only pool and again a fantastic view of the sea.
If you are looking for a great restaurant with some local live music you should check the Locanda, right below the Annabelle Hotel, meters from the water. You can enter from the coastal walk.
A great spot for a drink is the Ta Mpania, a bar right in front of the beach with some lovely music.
Amathus Bay and Limassol, for couples looking a romantic time
Amathus Bay is about 15 minutes taxi drive from Limassol. It has a nice beach, almost black. You are here next to the ancient ruins of Amathus, a town founded in the 10th century BC and one of the first city-states of the island.
Amathus Bay is a bit sleepy and in some respects a great spot to calm down and have a romantic time. For some nightlife, it’s worth taking a taxi ride to Limassol, with the great choice of bars and restaurants (more on this later).
The St Raphael Resort is one of the best accommodations in the area with a dedicated beach and two fabulous swimming pools. It has also some nice bars and restaurants nearby for a local night without having to go to Limassol.
A great alternative is the Four Seasons Hotel, which is closer to Limassol. Think of awesome pools right to the beach, a spa area, a gym and an indoor pool for the cooler part of the year.
Where to stay in Cyprus for families
Cyprus is a great island for families. One thing you will notice straight away is that most of the bars and restaurants offer a free kid area, sometimes even with a jumping castle.
These are almost small play centres in some cases, that are all fenced so that, as a parent, you can have your own time meanwhile the kids have fun.
Pernera, for family-oriented resorts
Pernera is the area just after Protaras, in the northeast direction.
I like this area for the wide choice of family-oriented resorts, family-oriented restaurants and family-oriented bars. Yes, one common thing, is family-oriented.
The beach itself is nice however on the small size. I see the beach as complementing the swimming pool of the resort more than a reason to go to Pernera.
The most beautiful thing about Pernera is the awesome coastal walk that goes as far as Protaras. On the way, you can stop in one of the many bars/restaurants with jumping castles or book a 2 hours boat trip along the coast.
You have a ton of things organised mostly for families, like a trip to Famagusta on the double-deck red bus or renting a tandem bike or just having an ice cream.
In Pernera you should stay at the Pernera Beach Hotel. This is an excellent resort including 2 swimming pools with one adult-only (just to have a break 😉 ). If you go for the all-inclusive package you have a real deal beside some great food.
As an alternative to the Pernera Beach Hotel, you may have a look at the Louis Althea Beach Hotel, just 200 metres away.
Coral Bay, for the best beaches for families
There is no doubt that the best beaches in Cyprus are on the east side of the island, from Pernera to Ayia Napa. However, some of the most beautiful historical sites are on the southwest coast.
Coral Bay could be the right place for your family trip if you are travelling with a family and you want to have a great beach but still plan some half-day or full-day excursions to visit ruins or small inland typical villages.
Coral Beach is only 15km north of Paphos and has probably the best beach on this side of the island. Moreover, you can take a 20 minutes taxi ride and visit sites, like the Tombs of the Kings or the old town of Paphos.
You can rent a car and visit the magnificent inland typical villages or why not drive to Polis Chrysochous, one of the most attractive and unpretentious towns in the west of Cyprus, a step back in time. Or why not have a swim on one of the awesome nearby beaches? So many options.
The Coral Beach Hotel & Resort is one of the most popular choices in Coral Bay for families and for many good reasons: great service, all-inclusive packages, child-friendly swimming pools, a playground, meters from the beach and so much more.
As an alternative, you may also check the Corallia Apartments, lower-key but also less expensive.
Where to stay in Cyprus for nightlife
Cyprus comes only second to Ibiza in Europe for nightlife. Quite impressive, isn’t it?
There are two towns that stand out for parties, clubs and nightlife till the early hours of the morning: Ayia Napa and Limassol
Ayia Napa, for the young crowd nightlife
Ayia Napa is the place to be for the young crowd, especially between June and September when most schools are closed in Europe.
The night starts with sunset drinks at the local beach clubs. Then after dinner, clubbing and parties till late and a never-ending feeling of craziness and fun.
Aya Napa is also the best place to stay in Cyprus for young couples that want to mix beautiful beaches with long nights out clubbing.
Ayia Napa is the best area to stay in Cyprus for beaches, which makes this part of Cyprus a great stop for everyone.
In true honesty, Ayia Napa can be a great location for everyone, couples, families etc.
Just make sure to book your accommodation far from the main street and the Hard Rock Cafe. That is where most of the clubs are.
For this reason, when someone asks me where is the best place to stay in Cyprus, I often suggest Nissi Beach, just a walk or a short taxi ride from the town centre, but still one of the best beaches in Cyprus for everyone.
The Nissi Beach Resort is an incredible value-for-money accommodation that is difficult to resist, especially considering the position, right on this blue beach. Great service, beautifully appointed room and fantastic food, not to mention the amazing breakfast.
Another accommodation I would suggest is the Adams Beach Hotel, with direct access to Nissi Beach and some fabulous swimming pools.
There is the possibility to book also at the Delux Adults-only wing for one of the quietest and most unique places to stay in Cyprus.
Looking for food?
The Stamna Tavern is one of my best findings on the island. Great food, characteristic place, lovely people and just steps away from the town centre of Ayia Napo.
Next to Stamna is the Napa Tavern, a restaurant over 100 years old but still with fresh food every day 🙂 Highly recommended for everything really.
Limassol, for the local Cypriot nightlife
Drive on Saturday night on the A1, the highway on the south coast, and you will experience a big queue of cars trying to get to Limassol. Most of them are Cypriots going for drinks and live music.
If you like to experience the local way you should plan a night, either Friday or Saturday, in Limassol (tourists tend to go to Ayia Napa).
I wouldn’t particularly suggest staying in Limassol, more of an industrial city than a tourist destination. However, I definitely suggest spending a night there.
Two of the best places to go for live music are:
- Guaba Beach Bar, for electronic music. Chill out during the day and become wild at night is the motto of this club, recognised internationally as one of the top clubs in the world by DJMag magazine
- Ravens, for the live music of the local legends. Located right in the centre of town, the Ravens is very popular with the young crowd. Another great stuff here is the cost of beer, very cheap!
Best resorts in Cyprus for older couples
Here below are the 2 best resorts in Cyprus for older couples, where you can enjoy some quiet time, but still you are close to some fantastic restaurants and places for a relaxed drink.
In Ayia Napa/Nissi, my favourite is Nissi Beach Resort, an incredible value-for-money accommodation that is difficult to resist, especially considering the position, right in front of one of the most idyllic beaches in Cyprus. Great service, beautifully appointed room and fantastic food, not to mention the amazing breakfast.
In Paphos, my favourite accommodation is still the Annabelle Hotel. The location is just impressive, right on the waterfront. Then you have 2 amazing swimming pools, including one carved into caves and waterfalls. Finally, the breakfast is to die for and dinner by the water is so romantic. Overall, I think this is the best place in Cyprus for older couples.
Where to stay in Northern Cyprus
Certainly, Northern Cyprus, or the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), is a treasure trove of captivating history, serene beaches and practicality. With its ancient ruins, impressive castles and pristine coastlines, it offers something for every traveller.
Just be aware that you are technically in another country that is not Cyprus, and only the Republic of Turkey has officially recognised Northern Cyprus.
There are a few towns in TRNC that stand out for either history, beaches or culture.
The walled city of Famagusta is a must-visit (it can be done also as a day trip from the East Coast of Cyprus). The Venetian history blends here with the rich Gothic architecture, a unique town which I personally loved, probably my highlight on this side of the island. I enjoyed so much my walk through the cobblestone streets experiencing the unique ruins of churches, palaces, and fortifications.
For a different slice of history, head to the quaint town of Bellapais. Perched on the mountains overlooking the city of Kyrenia, the town is home to the 13th-century Bellapais Monastery, a glorious remnant of the Lusignan period offering stunning views of the coastline.
If you are more into sunbathing, sun tanning and swimming you should check out Golden Beach in Karpaz Peninsula, one of the island’s best-kept secrets. It is a long stretch of golden sand and turquoise water, away from the typical beach crowds. To add to the charm, wild donkeys often wander here, adding a unique touch to your beach experience.
Another place I suggest is Alagadi Turtle Beach, a haven for nature lovers. It’s not just about sun, sea and sand here – it’s also one of the most important breeding grounds for green and loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean.
Last, but not least, I like to mention the city of Nicosia, located around 30 minutes drive from the Ercan Airport (ECN), the only international airport in TRNC.
This is a unique city, still divided between the two countries on the island and a hub of cultural and social life. It offers a blend of history with its old city, lined with 16th-century Venetian walls, and modernity with a wide range of accommodation options, shopping areas, and eateries.
It is a great base to start exploring the rest of Northern Cyprus or to move across the border to Cyprus
Weather in Cyprus
Cyprus has a long summer, as you can imagine, in fact, the island is very popular from May to October.
The shoulder months are November and April. This is the time when you don’t experience any crowd, even Ayia Napa is quiet and some of the bars and restaurants start shutting down, or opening. The weather is mixed but you can still have some amazing sunny warm days
December to March is the winter period with temperatures close to 15-20 along the coast and much less inland.
From June to early September the days can be quite hot, in the mid-30s during the day, but always with that nice sea breeze that cools down in the night.
My favourite period is late May/early June and September/early October when the island is still busy, but not crowded, and the weather is just perfect, in the mid/high-20s, cooling down in the night.
The main airports
The main airport of the island is the Larnaca International Airport which connects the island with most of the capital cities in Europe and the Middle East.
I usually fly from Australia to Europe through Doha or Dubai and I have a stopover in Cyprus, well connected by both Qatar Airways and the Emirates Airline.
From Europe, there are plenty of low-cost airlines that fly to Larnaca.
The other option is to fly to the Paphos Airport used mostly by European airlines and low-cost ones.
Enjoy your stay and let me know how it goes 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best part of Cyprus to stay in?
The best part of Cyprus to stay in depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re after beautiful beaches and avibrant nightlife, Ayia Napa is a great choice. For a more family-oriented vacation, Pernera offers family-friendly resorts and activities. For couples seeking a romantic getaway, Protaras, Paphos, and Amathus Bay are excellent options.
Should I stay in Paphos or Larnaca?
Paphos is ideal for history and romance, while Larnaca offers unique attractions like the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque.
Which Cyprus is better?
Both sides have unique attractions. The Greek side is more developed for tourism, while the Turkish side offers a laid-back atmosphere.
What is the nicest city in Cyprus?
Paphos is known for historical sites and resorts, Ayia Napa for nightlife and beaches, and Limassol for local nightlife.
️ What’s the best area to stay in Cyprus?
The best area depends on your interests: Ayia Napa for nightlife, Pernera for families, and Protaras, Paphos, or Amathus Bay for couples.
Where is best to stay in Cyprus for couples?
Protaras, Paphos, and Amathus Bay are excellent choices for couples seeking a romantic getaway.