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Northern Cyprus, Salamis Ruins, near Famagusta
Northern Cyprus, Salamis Ruins, near Famagusta
Northern Cyprus, Kyrenia Harbour
Northern Cyprus, Kyrenia Harbour
Northern Cyprus, the Beach at Denizkizi
Northern Cyprus, the Beach at Denizkizi

Cyprus travel guide

Sun, sand, sea, seriously ancient ruins and unspoiled mountains, Cyprus is a beach destination with a whole lot of history

The Greek south of Cyprus has sat uncomfortably alongside Turkish North Cyprus since 1973, when the Mediterranean island was divided. This situation, possibly on the verge of resolution, makes an intriguing backdrop to any exploration of Cyprus, where modern history merges with some of the oldest relics in the region – just take a look at Kourion, where remains date back to the 13th century BC.

Cyprus can be extremely touristy – coastal hotspots such as Agia Napa, Lemesos and Larnaca are brash and over developed. But move away from these resorts and you’ll find Cyprus has a mountainous interior, great for hiking and cycling, and small villages clustered around Orthodox churches, the perfect place to hole up in a taverna and relax.

Wanderlust recommends

  • Stroll through no man's land – Walk through the no man’s land between the Greek and Turkish halves of Nicosia/Lefkosa, Cyprus’s divided capital
  • Hike up Troödos Mountains – Wander the undevelopedine countryside and Byzantine churches
  • Explore the traditional villages – Stick your toes into the stunning sands on the Akamas Peninsula
  • Get up early – wander around the ancient, coastal ruins of Kourion without the crowds
  • Pack a picnic – Spend a day at Petra tou Romiou, the picturesque place where Aphrodite allegedly rose from the sea
  • Find a local fisherman – And ask them nicely to zip you to the sea caves at Cape Greco, then jump in for a swim 

Wanderlust tips

  • Be wary when talking politics to the locals in Cyprus – the subject of the Turkish/Greek conflict is still too raw for some.
  • Do visit Cyprus’s turtle beaches, but tread carefully and do not interfere with the animals.
  • Cyprus is a strongly Greek Orthodox society; many shops don’t open on Sundays.
  • Remember to take your passport if you want to walk across to the Turkish side of Nicosia.

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