Independent travel to Cyprus

Travel Tips

In our case, Cyprus was chosen as a location for a family vacation. Therefore, among all the resorts, we chose Protaras.

For those who want to go to Paphos, this article will be less useful, but I’m sure you can learn something useful too.

If you want to order a comprehensive planning of your trip to Cyprus or, conversely, learn how to organize your own trips, then you are here 🙂

Do I need a visa for Cyprus

If you want to spend a short vacation in Cyprus, then you have to enter the country two options:

  • if you are flying to Cyprus directly from Russia, then it is enough for you to have open schengen visa;
  • if you do not have a Schengen visa or you have not had time to open it yet or you are not flying directly, then you need to issue a so-called pro-visa to Cyprus. It is done very easily. You need to download the application form on the website of the Embassy of Cyprus, fill it out (there is only one page and literally a dozen questions) and send the completed file to the email address indicated on the website of the Embassy. Literally within one day (or the next day) you will be sent a pro-visa by e-mail. Print it out and feel free to go to Cyprus. And by the way, it’s completely free.

When is the best time to go to Cyprus

To begin with, let’s answer the main question – when is the best time to go to Cyprus?

Season in Cyprus starts around the middle of May and lasts until the end of October.

If you, like me, try to avoid crowds of tourists, then here are two options for you when it is best to go to Cyprus:

  • The end of May – the summer weather has already set in, the whole island is blooming and smelling in the literal sense of the word, and there are not so many people yet (the children have school, they are waiting for it to be warmer, etc.) True, you should not count on the heat yet – after all the beginning of the season, and the sea has not yet had time to fully warm up;
  • Second half of September – families with school-age children have already left, the island has completely warmed up, there is almost no strong heat. The only negative is that the greens have already withered, and the flowers have almost faded, but this is not such a big deal.

Which resort to choose in Cyprus

When we decided to go, now we need to understand exactly where to go.

Below I will give a brief description of the main resorts of Cyprus:

  • Protaras – as I wrote above, we rested there. The resort is located 40 minutes by taxi from Larnaca Airport. Ideal for family holidays. The beaches are sandy. There are a lot of restaurants and cafes, there are a couple of attractions – the Church of St. Elijah (from where you can see an excellent view of Protaras, and in clear weather you can even see Famagusta) and a fountain show.
  • Ayia Napa – local Ibiza. Lots of bars and clubs. There is a water park. The most famous beach is Nissi Beach. To be honest, we liked the fig tree beach in Protaras much more. Regular buses run from Protaras to Ayia Napa. The journey takes 15 minutes, the fare is 1.5 euros until 21:00, after 21:00 you will have to pay 2.5 euros.
  • Limassol – Russian province of Cyprus. And this is not a joke – 30% of the city’s population are citizens of Russia. In the city itself and its environs there are many archaeological sites.
  • Pathos – if you want to visit places like Cleopatra’s Bay and Coral Bay, then I recommend flying directly to Paphos. Otherwise, it’s quite a long drive. Although everything is possible, especially if you rent a car.

How to get around Cyprus

There are several ways to get around Cyprus:

  • Taxi – you will most likely need it when traveling from / to the airport. You can take a taxi through the hotel reception or at special stands. There is no Uber in Cyprus.
  • buses – bus service is quite well developed, buses run strictly according to the schedule. Travel time depends on the specific route. For example, from Protaras to Ayia Napa and vice versa, you can travel almost all night long, but the very last bus to Larnaca leaves at 19:30.
  • car rental – There are many car rental points in Cyprus. Mandatory conditions – the presence of a driver’s license and driving experience of at least 3 years.
  • quads and buggies – perhaps the coolest transport in Cyprus. To rent, you also need to have a driver’s license.
  • bicycles – if, in your opinion, all of the above is for wimps, then I suggest renting a bike.

You can also ride donkeys 🙂

Independent travel to Cyprus TripsTips

What you can do in Cyprus in 3 days:

  • go through Troodos mountain range before Monastery of Kykkos,
  • visit one of wineries and taste the commanders,
  • take a million photos in an authentic the village of Lefkara,
  • ride in Ayia Napa, rent a catamaran, row to Bridge of Lovers and swim in the grottoes,
  • hang up in a couple of bars in Ayia Napa,
  • climb to the church of Elijah in Protaras and see Famagusta,
  • overeat meze,
  • look sunset at Cape Greco.

Kykkos Monastery in Cyprus

Perhaps one of the main attractions of the island is the Kykkos Monastery.
You can find all the historical information about the monastery on the Internet. I’ll write here that the monastery itself didn’t really impress me (but you yourself know the taste and color), but the road to it, passing through the Troodos mountain range, gives you the opportunity to see Cyprus not only from the “beach” side. Just keep in mind that you will need to drive along a mountain serpentine for about 2 hours, so stock up on pills for motion sickness – even I began to feel a little sick, despite the fact that I do not suffer from such diseases.

Commandaria and wineries

Being in Cyprus and not visiting a winery and not tasting commanders there means not visiting Cyprus 🙂

commander – local Cypriot wine, which is made from dried grapes (so that sugar stands out and the wine becomes sweeter).

Personally, the commandaria seemed to me very sweet, but for those who love liquors, it should be to your taste.

At the winery we visited, the owner himself gave us a tour, showed us the whole process of making wine, gave us a taste of REAL grape juice (everything, I don’t drink store bought anymore) and fresh churchkhela from grape juice with almonds, took us to the wine cellar. I’m not talking about tasting seven types of my wines 🙂

Lefkara village

To look at a typical, non-touristic, Cyprus, I advise you to go to crazy lovely village of Lefkara.

The village has been famous for centuries for its silverware and lace. And if you are also traveling at the end of the tourist season, then all products can be bought at a significant discount. The assortment, of course, is no longer the same as at the beginning of the season, but, nevertheless, there is plenty to choose from.

What to try in Cyprus

Since I am a fan of Mediterranean cuisine, I did not go hungry in Cyprus.

Here’s what’s required need to try:

  • cheeses – especially fried or grilled halloumi;
  • kleftiko – meat dishes from lamb or lamb with herbs;
  • moussaka – puff casserole of minced meat, eggplant, zucchini, potatoes in Bechamel sauce with cheese crust;
  • and of course meze – sets of traditional snacks. Meze is fish or meat. Despite the fact that I really love seafood, I liked the meat meze more (although it all depends on the restaurant).

If you are in Ayia Napa, I highly recommend you look into Lime Light Taverna. This is not an advertisement but a friendly recommendation 🙂 That’s where we tried the meat meze and it was something fantastic! Dishes in bulk, everything is insanely delicious. The two of us could not overpower it, and the next day the four of us ate the next day. The service is excellent. For money – 42 euros. For such an abundance of delicious food, this is not money at all.

Cyprus and cats

Cats are an integral part of Cyprus. There are an insane amount of them.

If I were a cat, I would also like to live in Cyprus – there is really no winter, everyone is fed 🙂 Tourists purposefully go to supermarkets to buy cat food. And by the way, if you don’t like the food in the restaurant, you can also feed it to the same cats.

Cash or card. What is the best way to pay in Cyprus

If I always take a minimum of cash on my travels, then in Cyprus it is a completely different story. You can pay by card far from everywhere, in some places there is a certain minimum amount that can be paid by card.

All water activities, bikes, quads and buggies can only be paid in cash.

Be sure to consider this fact when heading to Cyprus, so that you do not have to withdraw money from the card and spend money on a commission.

Cape Greco

I want to complete the story about Cyprus with such beauty.

Cape Greco located between Protaras and Ayia Napa.

If you do not rent any vehicle, you can also get there by regular bus, only from the stop you will need to walk for about 15 minutes.

If you are “on wheels”, then you can visit the famous rocks located nearby.

I recommend visiting the cape at sunset – just look at how beautiful it is.

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