Where to stay in Cyprus
Finally the flight is confirmed for this unique island. Now the next question comes: where to stay in Cyprus? Or even better what is the best area to stay in Cyprus?
Unfortunately, there is no quick answer and it all depends on the type of vacation you have in mind. I have actually organised a map of the areas in Cyprus (see below) that will help already a lot.
Why looking for accommodation in Cyprus can be hard?
Because it is really a big island, much bigger than you think.
And the fact that more and more resorts in Cyprus tend to specialize for couples, sometimes even adult-only, meanwhile others for family.
But there is space for everyone, also for the young generation that has found in Cyprus one of the best places for nightlife, maybe only second to Ibiza in Europe.
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 place to stay in Cyprus for couples
- 4 Where to stay in Cyprus for families
- 5 Best towns to stay for the Cyprus nightlife
- 6 Where to go to Cyprus, day trips and more
- 7 Weather in Cyprus
- 8 The main airports
You can read also
- Another amazing Island? Check out Crete
- My suggested places to visit in Crete, including a few hidden gems
- Best itineraries of Crete, from 3 days to a 2 weeks stay (with maps and daily plans)
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.
I have organised this guide based on the trip you are planning. For example, I would not suggest staying in Ayia Napa town centre if you travelling with kids however it’s the best place to stay in Cyprus if you are after nightlife.
Where to stay in Cyprus for couples, families, young & which month – in a nutshell
- Best place 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.
Check the best price in Almyra Hotel Read more on Cyprus for couples
- Where 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.
Check out the latest price at Pernera Beach Hotel Read more on Cyprus for families
- Best towns to stay for the Cyprus 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, however 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.
Check now the availability in the resort Read more on Cyprus for nightlife
- Best AirBnb in Cyprus
- Here below the top experiences that you should not miss in Cyprus:
- Famagusta and the ghost town of Varosha: Varosha was the most popular holiday town in Cyprus (and possibly Europe) till 1974 when it was emptied overnight following the Turkish invasion
Book your trip from Ayia Napa or from Limassol or from Nicosia
- “Best of Cyprus” trip that will take you to the major attractions of the island (it’s a long day, although at a bargain price)
8 hours tour at a bargain price from Paphos
- Nicosia, a capital “shared” by 2 countries: one of the most interesting cultural sites in Cyprus. If you are in Ayia Napa than it’s an easy day trip. Remember to take your passport as you will cross through a border inside the city walls
- 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 2-4 hours, you can drive from any town to any destination.
I usually rent a car and I alternate beach time to day trips. The north coast of Cyprus is unexplored to the most and you can’t usually drive there with a rented car.
If not by car I organise day tours through agencies or websites, so many interesting sites to visit as Famagusta, just inside the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC – Did you know that Cyprus is actually divided into two parts? More information here).
Here below a map of the best Cyprus areas to stay in as well as places to visit and enjoy simply with a day trip.
- Paphos and Coral Bay: on the south-west coast, this area has some of the most elegant resorts of Cyprus, besides one of the most known ancient sites, the Tombs of the Kings. The Coral Bay beach is small, however beautiful. Paphos beach is instead not as great.
- Limassol area: great local nightlife in the city and some good beaches in Amathus, good also for families with kids. More info on local live music here.
- Larnaca: I will have to spend more time in this area next time. I have not been impressed in the past. Of course, Larnaca has the main airport of Cyprus and unmissable is a visit to the salt lake and the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque
- Ayia Napa and Protaras: undoubtedly the best area for beach lovers. There are here a few towns that cover the entire coast. Some of them dedicated to family tourism and others, like Ayia Napa, to the nightlife lovers
- Nicosia: the only capital in the world which is spread through 2 countries (Cyprus and TRNC). You will need a Passport to visit the city, with some interesting historical sites on both sides.
- Akamas Peninsula in the untouristy north-west: in case you look for some real-time off the grid. The National Park can be visited on a day trip from Paphos
- Famagusta and Varosha, the ghost town: if you are travelling as far as to Cyprus then you should not miss a day trip to the old town of Famagusta, beautiful, and to the amazing Varosha beach where you can see the Varosha ghost town, a full neighbourhood with empty buildings that remind the movie “Inception”.
Best place 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 the beautiful beach
Protaras is an area on the south-east coast of Cyprus.
There are plenty of hotels, tavernas, cafés, 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 Prophitis 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 of 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.
Check the special price at Greacian Park Hotel
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.
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, historic sites and awesome coast
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 the 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 tourist area in the Old Town has been renewed.
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 group 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 (300BC). 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.
Check the best price in Annabelle Hotel
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.
Check availability at Almyra Hotel
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
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 some 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 probably one of the best accommodation 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.
Check the latest price at the St Raphael Hotel
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
Overall 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. Almost small play centres in some cases, all fenced so that, as a parent, you can have your own private time meanwhile the kids have fun.
And that’s all we need on holiday, isn’t it?LOL
Pernera, family-oriented resorts
Pernera is the area just after Protaras, in the north-east directions.
I like this area for the wide choice of family-oriented resorts, family-oriented restaurants and family-oriented bars. Yes, one common thing, 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 bar/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 rent a tandem bike or just have an ice-cream.
In Pernera you may 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.
Check out the latest price at Pernera Beach Hotel
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, north of Paphos
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 south-west coast.
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 then Coral Bay could be the right place for you.
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 driving 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 in one of the awesome nearby beaches.
The Coral Beach Hotel & Resort is one of the most popular choices in Coral Bay, and for many good reasons: great service, all-inclusive packages, child-friendly swimming pools, playground, meters from the beach and so much more.
Check the latest price at Coral Beach Hotel
As an alternative you may also check the Corallia Apartments, lower-key however also less expensive.
Best towns to stay for the Cyprus nightlife
Cyprus is worldwide famous for its nightlife. There are few options, mostly in the major towns.
Did you know that Cyprus comes only second to Ibiza in Europe for nightlife? Quite impressive.
Ayia Napa, for the young generation
Ayia Napa is the place to be for the young generation, especially between June and September.
Think of drinks at sunset with chill-out music, disco, parties till late and a never-ending feeling of craziness and fun.
Ayia Napa has also some of the best beaches in Cyprus which makes this area a great stop for every one.
In true honesty, Ayia Napa can be a great location for everyone, couples, families etc.
The most important thing is to select your accommodation in the right spot, which is at least a 10-15 minutes walk from the centre, where the party is.
In this respect I suggest Nissi Beach as one of the best areas, being just a walk or a short taxi ride from the town centre.
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 a quieter time.
Best price at Adams Beach Hotel Best deals at the Adults-Only wing
Looking for food?
The Stamna Tavern is one of the 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 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).
Staying in Limassol or nearby is also a great idea, although the city is quite industrial with the resorts more confined to the eastern side of town, almost in Amathus Bay.
Some of the best places to go for live music are:
- Rogmes Live Music, recommended as one of the best places for live music in Cyprus by many locals. It has indeed some great Greek and Cypriot music with live performances starting at midnight and lasting till the early hours of the morning.
- Guaba Beach Bar, for electronic music. Chill out during the day and become wild in the 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 beers, very cheap!
Where to go to Cyprus, day trips and more
This post is focusing more on the Greek side of Cyprus. I have still to visit properly the Turkish side.
This is a list of places to go to Cyprus for day or half-day trips
- Famagusta and Varosha, as I already said, are a must-visit. I would personally not suggest a trip with the own car as the insurance would probably not cover in case of accidents in TRNC.
Book your trip from Ayia Napa or from Limassol or from Nicosia
- The Archaeological Park and the Tombs Of the Kings in Paphos. Just grab a taxi or a public bus from any hotel in Paphos or Coral Bay
- A day trip to Nicosia, the only capital city in the world spread through two countries (take your Passport to cross the border). You can easily drive there, if you rent your own car, or book a tour. If you are after a local guide to explore the best of Nicosia then I suggest North Cyprus Walks.
Nicosia Tour from Ayia Napa . Nicosia with a local by Cyprus Walks
- A day trip with a rented car to the Akamas Peninsula NP. Visit the Agios Minas Chapel and the medieval monastery. Lots of trekking opportunities with the best views in Cyprus. Download the app Maps.me for the most up to date trekking trails.
- Hala Sultan Tekke mosque and the Larnaca Salt Lake. Located just next to the airport and before the town of Larnaca. The walk in the dry lake is so interesting….till you get in the black mud, so I did LOL. There is a toilette just outside the mosque, in case you need to clean your feet and flip flops 😉
- Capo Greco NP: between Ayia Napa and Pernera. Great view, especially from the top at sunset time. Also a few sites for snorkelling. You can ride your bike there or take a taxi. You can also join a half-day that will take you to some amazing caves
Check the local tour to Capo and caves
I am going to update this list with more activities based on my upcoming trips….and my memory 🙂
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 operation. 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 🙂
This post was written in collaboration with Andrea, our Hotel and accommodation expert
10 thoughts on “Best place to stay in Cyprus [for couples, families, young & which month]”
Overall a very good selection.
Even though you mentioned you haven’t explored Larnaca for the most part. I would add Larnaca bay at large as worthy visiting. Starting from Palm Beach hotel in Oroklini (coming from Ayia Napa), then of course Finikudes, arguably the best city beach in Europe right at the center of Larnaca with a lot of festivals during the year with live music etc.. Perfect for a barefoot night walk along the coast and relaxing on freely available sun-beds. Continuing just before Larnaca’s airport you’ll find Mekenzy beach area with amazing night life offerings as well (Flamingo etc).
I think this would complete your already beautiful selection.
Thanks ELias for your insight, really appreciated. Larnaca is definitely in my bucket list on my next visit in Cyprus
We’re coming to Cyprus in November. Where do you recommend we stay on the island?
November is still a great warm time to be in Cyprus. Try to book on the south coast, still warmer than the north.
Paphos is still one of my favorites and the Annabelle Hotel is still one the best accommodation in Cyprus, really unbeatable.
Enjoy your holiday
We’re looking for a week in Cyprus in September,having never visited before. We are a mature couple who enjoy lazing in the day and going to a nice restaurant and a couple of bars in the evening. We are not looking for somewhere sleepy, but also not a place full of young revellers. We enjoy looking around the shops, and visiting places of interest and would want a choice of places to eat and drink in the evening. A beach would be nice, but a very good hotel is more important. We would welcome any suggestions.
two areas come to my mind:
You will experience all you asked for. Shopping is not that great though, almost disappointing. nice walks along the coast and you can rent a car to visit more remote places and beaches or join a tour. There are enough restaurants and drinking options to keep you busy for a week.
In Paphos, I highly suggest these two resorts which are actually run by the same owner
> Annabelle Hotel, right in front of the sea and with 2 amazing swimming pools, including one carved into caves and waterfalls suggested to adults only.
> Almyra Hotel with the amazing infinity adult-only pool and again a fantastic view to the sea. They usually have more of a young 25-40s clientele
As I wrote in my post, this town is definitely popular with a young generation. However, I would not exclude it. The important thing is not to stay in the town itself, that can be noisy.
You have so much more dining and drinking options in Ayia Napa, and great shopping too. In this respect much better than Paphos. But there are also loud music clubs that start getting crowds of young from 11pm or even later.
I personally liked Ayia Napa and I am not young anymore LOL
Again the important thing is that you do not stay in town.
Also, the best beaches in Cyprus are around this area.
I would suggest a couple of places with view to Sissi Beach, one of the most beautiful in the country:
Adams Beach Adults-Only wing, with direct access to Nissi Beach and some fabulous swimming pools, a lovely quiet place
Nissi Beach Resort, more affordable but still a great value for money accommodation, right on Nissi beach.
I hope I was able to help
Enjoy your trip!
A great source for Cyprus. I would also suggest a mention for Northern Cyprus, where is it more natural and less commercialized. Yet, there are luxurious hotel for a great family holiday, couples retreat, and Ibiza like nightlife for young people. And of course most beautiful beaches to enjoy in Famagusta, Kyrenia and Karpas Peninsula.
Thanks for your comment.
I travelled myself to North Cyprus, but just for one day. Definitely a different world, hard to say for me if it is less commercialized. I will definitely add it in my list for next visit
I have just read your blog on Cyprus and found it very informative and enjoyable. I live with my wife in Sydney, she is of Cypriot background but has never been to Cyprus. As a surprise I would like to take her there during a trip to Europe later this year. However, I am finding it difficult to find flights and noticed in your blog that Cyprus is now a natural stop over for you on route from Australia to Europe. Do you have any advice on how to go about booking flights from Sydney?
Your help would be much appreciated.
Thank you in advance
The most convenient way, based on my experience, is to fly with either Emirates or Qatar. They both fly to Cyprus direct.
If you intend to visit only Cyprus you can buy a return flight, easy.
To visit other parts of the old continent, I usually book my outward flight to one of the European capital cities and the return leg starting from Cyprus, say:
Melbourne-Doha-London ……Larnaca-Doha-Melbourne (easy to book with Qatar or Emirate through Dubai)
Than a separate one way ticket from London to Larnaca, or from any city you will be visiting. Usually it doesn’t add that much more. Similar cost.
I like this way also for the jet lag, I gain 2-3 hours
I hope it helped.