Explore Cyprus

Cyprus Travel Guide

There is a great deal packed into a small space on the island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean. Not only does it abound with good beaches and holiday resorts, but its relatively tiny landmass is riddled with the relics of ancient history, from the beehive huts of primitive man to classical Greek and Roman ruins, and everything imaginable in-between.

A thousand years is but a blip in time in the long history of Cyprus, but it was that long ago that the city of Nicosia (also known as Lefkosia) became its capital. Today Nicosia is unique in Europe because it is divided by the 'green line' that bisects the whole island, dividing north from south. The line, which serves as a United Nations peacekeeping buffer, was drawn in 1974, when the Turks invaded and took over the north. Most of the tourism development since then has taken place in the southern Government-controlled sector, and the political divide, even in Nicosia itself, has not dampened the island's appeal as a major holiday destination.

The charms of Cyprus are many and varied. For a start the weather is sunny and dry for most of the year, and the encircling sea is blue, clear and enticing. There are modern luxury hotels in the coastal resort towns, historic restored city precincts to explore, tavernas and nightlife aplenty. Cyprus has remote and picturesque mountain villages and monasteries, beautiful churches, Crusader castles and fascinating museums. The local people are extremely welcoming of tourists, happy to share with them their innate love of life and camaraderie. In Cyprus it is possible to mingle with crowds, or seek isolation off the beaten track as the mood takes you, even in peak holiday season. For this reason the island is also a favoured destination for honeymooners, a reputation enhanced by the fact that legend has it that Cyprus was where Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love, rose from the sea.

Travellers, except EEA nationals, should hold an onward or return ticket and documentation necessary for that journey, as well as sufficient funds for the period of intended stay in Cyprus. It is also advisable to have a hotel reservation. Extensions are available to visa-exempt nationals. Travellers should note that foreigners entering Cyprus north of the UN-patrolled 'green line' are deemed by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to have entered illegally, and can be fined when crossing to the south (EU). Policies and procedures are subject to sudden changes, and visitors should check on the current situation before departing for Cyprus. It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Larnaca District Museum

Address: Kalogreon Square Larnaca

Telephone: 24 304 576

Within walking distance of the town centre is the modern Larnaca District Museum, which contains an interesting collection of antiquities found in the Larnaca area, dating from the Neolithic to the Roman periods. Well-lit displays feature archaeological finds from Kition, including a ceramic collection with alabaster vases, tools, coins and lamps. Wall cases hold diverse pieces like faience scarabs, limestone seals, bone implements and engraved stone blocks.

There are four galleries and the objects are arranged in chronological order so that the visitor can get a more complete picture of the historical development of the ancient city of Kition and the District of Larnaka in general. There is a little garden attached to the museum which features a number of statues and is worth strolling around. The museum is open daily.

Note: Parts of the museum are closed for renovations.

Ancient Kition

Address: Larnaca

Admission: Monday to Friday 9am-2:30pm; Thursdays 3pm-5pm (except July and August).

Kition was an ancient city state on the southern coast of Cyprus, in today's Larnaca. The state was originally established by the Greeks as Kittim in the 13th century BC. In the northwest of Larnaca some of the ruins of ancient Kition can still be seen, featuring the remains of five temples dating back to the 13th century BC. Of particular interest is the Phoenician Temple of Astarte, which was built on the ruins of an earlier Bronze Age temple.

The lower part of the northern city walls, built of huge stones resembling Mycenaean cyclopean walls, are also still visible. Wooden walkways allow visitors a view of the excavation areas where many important artefacts have been discovered. Residents in Larnaca are still discovering artefacts all over the city, and a number of building projects in Larnaca have been abandoned due to fresh discoveries. It seems that a large portion of the ancient ruins actually lie beneath modern Larnaca. As is often the case with attractions in Cyprus, there is very little information at the site and it is best to do your research before visiting to fully appreciate the significance of what you are seeing.

Church of Ayios Lazaros

Address: Plateia Agiou Lazarou Larnaca

Telephone: 24 652 498

The 9th-century church devoted to St Lazarus that stands in Larnaca is an important religious institution on Cyprus. Lazarus is believed to have lived at ancient Kition for 30 years after his resurrection by Jesus Christ, and was ordained Bishop of Kition by Saints Barnabas and Mark. The Church was built by the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI above what was believed to be the empty grave of Lazarus, whose final resting place is in Marseilles, France.

Eight days before the Greek Orthodox Easter each year the Baroque wood-carved icon of Saint Lazarus normally stored in the church is carried in a procession through the streets of the town. This beautiful little church is only a few yards from Larnaka Beach and is easy to find. The interior is richly decorated and there is an atmosphere of profound peace. Visitors are asked to be considerate in their dress so be sure to cover up appropriately and behave respectfully in this important place of worship. It is recommended that women wear a scarf or hat on their heads.

Larnaca Medieval Museum

Address: Larnaca Fort Larnaca

Admission: €1,70 Open Monday to Friday.

This fascinating and well-stocked museum is housed in the upper level of the Larnaca fort on the city's seafront. The fort itself is the main attraction of the museum it houses; it was built in 1625 by the Turks to defend the city from invasion (there is still a Turkish inscription above the doorway). Later it was used as a prison during the early years of British rule. One of the most popular attractions in Larnaca, the fort also operates as the Larnaca Municipal Cultural Centre during the summer and hosts local cultural events. The museum collection itself is fairly small but impressive, containing displays from the early Christian, Byzantine, Lusignan and Ottoman periods, as well as 12th to 18th century pottery, photos of historical sites and a collection of firearms, helmets and swords dating from the 15th to the 19th century. There are great views from the top of the building which offers a lovely opportunity for taking photographs. The fort is so close to the sea that visitors walking around the sea wall might be ankle-deep in water. Beyond the fort there is a long street of restaurants and cafes where visitors can find refreshments and take a break from sightseeing.

Choirokoitia

Address: 32km from Larnaka, off the Larnaka – Lemesos highway Larnaca

About 20 miles (32km) from Larnaca, on the Lefkosia-Lemesos road, archaeological excavations have revealed one of the oldest Neolithic sites on Cyprus, dating to 7000 BC. Choirokoitia (also known as Khirokitia) was home to primitive farmers who cultivated wheat and barley. Visitors can explore the settlement's defensive wall, circular houses and tombs.

The site is close to the dry Maroni riverbed atop a hill that was once covered in dense vegetation. It was first excavated in 1934, but excavations by French archaeologists are continuing. Four of the beehive-shaped houses made of mud and stone have been reconstructed to show how these early farmers lived. Most of the archaeological finds from Choirokoitia are displayed in the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia.

The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and really worth a visit for anybody interested in ancient history or archeology. You will have to do a little climbing up the hillside to see the excavations and it is probably best to wear decent walking shoes and bring a water bottle; it should, however, be manageable even for the unfit.

Stavrovouni Monastery

Address: 40km from Larnaka, 9km off the Lefkosia-Lemesos road Larnaca

Perched on top of a solitary mountain, 25 miles (40km) from Larnaca and six miles (10km) off the Lefkosia-Lemesos Road, is the oldest monastery in Cyprus, founded in the 4th century by Saint Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. This Greek Orthodox monastery contains an important relic, a fragment of the Holy Cross. Other relics left at the monastery by Helena include the Cross of the Good Thief, a nail and, according to some sayings, a part of the rope that Jesus was tied to on the Cross. The primary relic, the fragment of the Holy Cross is now encased in a silver cross and cannot be viewed directly.

The mountain on which the monastery is dramatically perched, with a winding, steep road, used to be called Olympus but is now known as Stavrovouni. The monastery is considered the spiritual centre of Cyprus and now houses quite a number of monks. Recently, the monastery underwent a complete renovation; its small church was fully restored with new frescoes and icons painted by the famous artist, Fr. Kallinikos, a monk from Stavrovouni. The pictures record the legend of the foundation: St. Helena, in a brilliant red garment, finds the True Cross in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, the monastery is only accessible to men; women are not allowed to enter.

Lefkara

Address: Located at the foot of the Troodos Mountains, 12 kms from the Nicosia Larnaca

This beautiful village in the Troodos hills in the west of Larnaca District is famous for its handmade lace, known as lefkaritika. The village of Lefkara, which actually consists of an upper and lower town section, is off the main Nicosia/Limassol highway and features cobbled streets and picturesque architecture. Groups of women sit in the narrow village streets working on their fine embroidery, as they have for centuries.

The village is also known for its skilled silver smiths who produce fine filigree work, and there is a small Turkish Delight factory. A folklore museum in the town shows visitors what life was like on Cyprus a hundred years ago (in fact, the whole village feels like a folk museum). The museum is situated in a restored house and exhibits the furniture and effects of a wealthy family of the time, local costumes and examples of the Lefkara lacework.

Lefkara is a lovely little town which delights visitors and allows them to explore what seems like an authentic Cypriot village. The people are very friendly and welcoming and it is a good place to meet some locals. Lefkara is also a good base from which to explore a number of other little villages.

Cyprus Archaeological Museum

Address: 1 Mouseiou Street, Old City Nicosia

The Cyprus Archaeological Museum was established to collect, study and display archaeological artefacts from all over the island. The first museum, located at a different site, was established in 1888; some of the exhibits are 8,500 years old. The museum is arranged in chronological order. The first hall contains pottery and implements from the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods whilst the other rooms trace the history of Cyprus through the ages from the Bronze Age, Hellenic Period, Mycenaean times, and Roman Period to the early Byzantine.

A unique feature of the museum lies in the basement, where several graves rest in a dark cellar complete with skeletal remains and grave adornments that have been reconstructed. Although it is not a huge museum, visitors interested in ancient history and archaeology will be blown away by the wealth of artefacts in this collection. As an extra bonus, the museum is lovely and cool inside, with good air-conditioning, which can be a great joy on hot Cyprus days.

Byzantine Museum

Address: Plateia Archiepiskopou Kyprianou, Archbishopric Nicosia

The largest collection of icons on the island of Cyprus is displayed in the Byzantine Museum in the Old City of Nicosia. The museum is in the grounds of St John Cathedral, adjacent to the Archbishop's Palace, in the heart of old Nicosia and there is a great variety of things to see and do in this area. There are nearly 300 icons on display, dating from the 9th through to the 19th centuries and salvaged from all over Cyprus. They are beautifully preserved and make a strong impact on visitors, especially those interested in religious art and iconography.

The museum also contains an art gallery exhibiting oil paintings, maps and lithographs that give visitors insight into Cypriot culture and history. A particular gem in the museum collection are the seven fragments of the 6th century mosaics from the apse of the church of Panagia Kanakaria at Lythrankomi, and the fragments of wall painting from the 15th century, from the church of Christ Antiphonitis at Kalogrea, are another notable highlight. The collection is world-renowned and very well displayed.

Ethnographic Museum (former Folk Art Museum)

Address: Plateia Archiepiskopou Kyprianou, Archbishopric Nicosia

The colourful collections in this museum represent Cypriot folk art of the 19th and early 20th centuries and it is the largest collection of folk art and crafts in the whole country. The museum's collection includes wood carvings, jewellery, woven goods, tapestries, embroidery, pottery and national costumes.

The Ethnographic Museum is housed in the Old Bishopric in a 15th-century Gothic building that used to serve as a Benedictine Monastery and then became the palace of the Archbishop. The building is a great attraction in itself, and its location in the heart of the old town means that it is surrounded by other attractions.

It is a very small museum which will only need half an hour or so of your time but if you are interested in how the people of Cyprus have lived in recent centuries, and the crafts they traditionally produce, then this museum is worth a visit.

St John’s Cathedral (Agios Ioannis)

Address: Archbishop Kyprianos Square, Archbishopric Nicosia

The Orthodox Cathedral in the Old City was built in 1662 by Archbishop Nikiforos, dedicated to Saint John the Theologian. The cathedral was built on the site of a 14th century Benedictine chapel, also dedicated to St John.

The Cathedral's prize features are the iconostasis of carved wood covered with gold leaf, and the magnificent double-headed eagles. St John's is the only church in Lefkosia in which the internal wall paintings have survived in their entirety. The four large icons on the icon screen were painted by the Cretan master, Ioannis Kornaros, in 1795 and 1797, and the 18th century wall paintings depict the discovery of the tomb of St Varnavas at Salamina.

Although impressive from the outside the cathedral is tiny compared to many European masterpieces; the interior sets it apart, however, and makes it well worth the visit. Although the church is small, even by Nicosian standards, it is the official state church of Cyprus and contains an ornate throne for the archbishop as well as official seats for the President of the Republic of Cyprus and the Greek Ambassador to Cyprus.

Old City Walls

Address: Nicosia Nicosia

The walls that completely encompass Nicosia's Old City date from the Venetian occupation in the 16th century, and have a circumference of three miles (5km). Eleven heart-shaped bastions are interspersed along the walls, which have only three gates, in the north, south and east. One of the gates, the Famagusta Gate, has been restored and serves as the Lefkosia Municipal Cultural Centre, used for exhibitions, conferences, lectures and occasional performances.

The gate's vaulted passage leads on to the moat encircling the Old City, which has been planted to create a garden. This park area allows a great chance to stroll along the base of the walls in the garden and get a sense of their height, age and solidity. The moat was never actually designed to hold water, but as a treacherous open area that enemies would have to negotiate while the defenders attacked them from the walls

Unfortunately, you can no longer walk or drive the length of the fortifications but when you explore the old parts of the city you will encounter these impressive ancient walls (still so solid that they are clearly visible if you fly over the city) and they are one of the most popular attractions in Nicosia.

Tamassos

Address: Politiko village Nicosia

Tamassos, 13 miles (21km) south-west of Nicosia, was an ancient city kingdom renowned for its rich copper works. Recent archaeological excavations at the site have produced some exciting finds in the Royal Tombs. These were six limestone sculptures, two representing life-sized sphinxes and four lions, in a crouching position. The sculptures are believed to date to the 6th century BC when Cyprus was under Egyptian control. These artefacts are currently on display at the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia.

Unfortunately, extensive excavations of the ancient city have been prevented by its location under the modern village of Poilitiko. Three cemetries in the region have been discovered, dating respectively from the Bronze Age, the Archaic period and the Hellenistic era. Unlike most other ancient city states on Cyprus, there is no precise information from either history or tradition concerning the establishment of Tamassos as a human settlement, and its origins remain somewhat mysterious, although it is clear that it became an important trade city. The oldest known reference to Tamassos can be found in Homer's epic poem The Odyssey. There is a lot to see in Tamassos and it is bound to intrigue history buffs.

Tombs of the Kings

Address: 1 mile (2 km) north-west of Paphos harbour towards Coral Bay, Kato Paphos Paphos

There are actually no kings buried here. Rather, the site known as the Tombs of the Kings, one mile (2km) northwest of Paphos Harbour towards Coral Bay, was the final resting place of about 100 Ptolemaic aristocrats who lived and died in the city between 3 BC and 3 AD. The tombs are impressive, carved out of solid rock, with some featuring Doric pillars and frescoed walls.

Archaeological excavations are ongoing at the site, which also features a church known as Paleoekklisia, which sports traces of Byzantine frescoes. This incredibly interesting site usually features very high in tourist reviews of Paphos and it is thrilling to explore; there are few ancient burial sites in the world which you can explore with such freedom. The tombs are carved into a cliff above the sea and are beautifully situated. There is little shelter from the sun so be sure to come prepared with water, hats and sunscreen and try to avoid the hottest time of the day.

The Mosaics of Paphos

Address: Kyriakou Nikolaou Street Paphos

The striking mosaic floors in a series of ancient Roman noblemen's villas, dating from the 3rd to the 5th century, are a must-see for visitors to Paphos. The site where the villas are still being excavated can be found about 300 metres from the Paphos harbour. The mosaics featuring mythological scenes are visible in the houses of Dionysus, Orpheus and Aion, and the Villa of Theseus.

The Villa of Dionysus was so named because of all the mosaics depicting the god of wine; similarly, the Villa of Theseus boasts a famous mosaic of Theseus slaying the minotaur. There are also stunning mosaics to be seen in the House of Four Seasons, so named after the piece depicting personifications of the seasons. All the mosaics were made of small cubes of marble and stone, called tesserae, with glass paste added to widen the range of colour. In the House of Dionysus, for example, 5,985 square feet (556 sq metres) of floor space in 14 rooms are covered with the gorgeous mosaics, which are a highlight of any trip to Cyprus.

Agia Solomoni Catacombs

Address: Agio Pavlou Street Paphos

A large pistachio tree marks the entrance to the underground catacombs of Agia Solomoni in Kato Paphos. The tree is a strange sight, festooned as it usually is with pieces of cloth tied onto it by the faithful as offerings, in the hope that this sacred tree will cure various ailments. The catacombs themselves were carved into Fabrica hill, below the ancient Roman city wall, in the 4th century BC, and later became chapels for the early Christians.

The underground chapels feature some interesting frescoes and graffiti left by 13th century crusaders, and there are numerous legends and stories attached to the patron saint Ayia Solomoni. A number of visitors have pointed out that if you do not look around a bit you will only see a small portion of the catacombs - there is also little or no guidance or information on offer at the site so it is best to do some research before you go to understand what you are looking at.

There is a small section of catacombs next to a sign on the main road and this part has christian chapels incorporated, but these only take a few minutes to visit. There are others close by, a little down the road, that are carved into the hill and boast some mosaics. There are even some other tunnels nearby that lead you to a manhole cover in the road above. With a little exploration this spooky place will delight visitors and there is something very special about the freedom with which you can wander. Visitors are advised to take a torch along to explore the catacombs.





Acropolis

Address: Kato Paphos Paphos

Near the modern Paphos lighthouse is the Cypriot Acropolis: a complex of ancient buildings, including a Roman Odeon, built in the 2nd century, which has been restored and is now used for summer orchestral and stage performances. The Odeon was the focus of the ancient city centre, of which some ruins still remain in the area. South of the Odeon are the remnants of the Roman Temple of Asclepius, the God of Medicine, and north of the lighthouse are the ruins of the ancient town walls.

One of the highlights of the acropolis is the stunning set of mosaics near the harbour, which are one of Cyprus's world-renowned ancient treasures. These incredibly well-preserved works of art often top the list of Cyprus attractions and have been delighting visitors for decades. On a more modern note, you can walk right up to the lighthouse and the views are lovely.

Touring this incredible area can be swelteringly hot as there is not much shade, so it is best to come prepared with water bottles, hats and sunscreen. Better still, try to arrive either early in the day or late afternoon to miss the worst of the heat and crowds.

Baths of Aphrodite

Address: 30 miles (48km) north of Paphos Paphos

A famous romantic side trip from Paphos is a visit to the natural grotto on the Akamas Peninsula near Polis, 30 miles (48km) north of Paphos, where legend has it that the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, used to take her baths. The serene pool, shaded by a fig tree and surrounded by beautiful examples of maindenhair fern, can be reached by nature trails from Akamas.

This attraction has become a bit of a tourist trap and lately it is not the pristine and romantic experience people expect. You can't get into the water which disappoints many visitors, and if you are unlucky enough to visit when there are buses arriving you will hardly have a peaceful experience. However, the trails in the nature park around the pool are beautiful - you can walk all the way to the sea and there are lovely views.

Depending on the time of year, and the time of day, tourists are either charmed by the pool itself or annoyed by what they feel is a lack of anything worthwhile to see. If you combine a brief stop off at the baths with a stroll around the nature park then you can make a great and relaxing excursion of it, but it is probably best not to make an effort to visit the area just to see the pool. There is a restaurant and bar at the site which makes for a good break from trekking in the park.

Folk Art Museum

Address: 253 Ayios Andreas Street Limassol

A collection of traditional costumes, farm and household tools, tapestries, embroidery, wooden chests, jewellery and a variety of local handicrafts are among the displays at Limassol's Municipal Folk Art Museum, contained in a restored historic house.

The Folk Art Museum has been awarded the Europa Nostra Award for its commitment to preserving Cyprus' cultural legacy and there are an impressive 500 exhibits in the house's six rooms. The collection spans the 19th and early 20th centuries. Authentic Cypriot handicrafts are also offered for sale. This is not a big museum, but it is a charming one and the displays are interesting and atmospheric.

Cyprus Medieval Museum

Address: Limassol Castle, Richard and Berengaria Street Limassol

Limassol Castle, built in the 14th century, stands sentinel over the old harbour on the site of an earlier Byzantine castle. Today it houses the Cyprus Medieval Museum with a host of fascinating exhibits dating back to the Early Common Era (384-650).

The museum's collection boasts an array of weaponry and armour, including swords, helmets and the 500 year old canons which still stand guard on the battlements. Apart from this, there is a collection of 12th to 18th century pottery and some interesting old grave markers. The cells in the basement of the castle were used as a prison until as late as 1950.

The castle is most renowned for being the place where crusader King Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre, and crowned her Queen of England in 1191. This museum is mainly interesting for lovers of military history but even if you don't visit the museum, if you are spending the day on the beach it is worth having a stroll around the outside of this wonderful old medieval fort and letting your imagination run wild.

Troodos Mountains

Address: Located roughly in the center of the island Limassol

The Troodos Mountains, in the interior of Cyprus, north of Limassol, offer beautiful scenery and a selection of four interesting signposted walks for nature lovers.

The Artemis Trail is circular, extending four miles (7km) in the Black Pine region through the distinctive sub-alpine flora of the area. Orchids can be found under the pines, and one may spot the rare Epipactis condensata. The Atalanta Trail, six miles (9km) long, starts at Troodos and also offers rich plant life, spectacular scenery and birdwatching opportunities. The shorter and easier Caledonia Trail, covering two miles (4km), follows the Kryo Potamo stream about one mile (2km) from Platres, and winds through pine forest, and among plane trees. It also bypasses the Caledonian Falls, which are the only waterfalls on Cyprus. The Persephone Trail, named after the Greek goddess of spring, is about two miles (3km) long and offers lovely views. The trails are advertised as summer trails but there is so reason that they wouldn't delight hikers during all the seasons.

The Troodos Mountains are the largest mountain range in Cyprus, so it is no wonder that they are a popular winter destination as well; this is one of only a handful of places in the world where visitors can ski in the morning, and swim and sun tan in the afternoon!

The main ski slopes are on the 6,401 foot (1,951m) Mount Olympus, roughly an hour's drive from Nicosia or Limassol, and the ski season extends from the beginning of January to the end of March. Although the skiing is set in a beautiful place and can be very rewarding, visitors should not expect Alpine standards or piste or snow reliability. Cyprus is a good place to learn to ski because although the conditions aren't always perfect, the atmosphere is very friendly and many of the ski runs are not overly demanding.

Pitsilia

Address: 19 miles (30 kms) outside of Limassol Limassol

A worthwhile day trip from Limassol is to explore the unspoilt villages in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains, in the region known as Pitsilia. Some important villages in the region are Palaichori, Agros, Alona, Askas, Polystypos, Plantanistasa, Kyperounta, Pelendri, Chandria, Dymes, Agridia and Kato Mylos. A rental car or a hired taxi is necessary because public transport is infrequent.

The area is renowned for its grape vines and fine wines and many of the villages make their own wines, and other products such as honey and cheeses. There are a couple of wine routes in the area and this is a fun way to explore the countryside and hope from town to town. The picturesque houses, painted churches and red-tiled roofs are striking, and many restored houses have been turned into cafes or restaurants. There are three noteworthy Byzantine Churches in the area which have been jointly declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The area is very beautiful, heavily forested and mountainous, and enticing for hikers. There are at least eight nature trails to be found in Pitsilia. Pitsilia is known at the orchard of cyprus due to its wealth of fruit, and one of the best times to visit the region is in spring when everything is in bloom.

Kourion

Address: Located nine miles (14 km) west of Limassol Limassol

One of the most beautifully positioned ancient sites in Cyprus, the ancient city of Kourion is located on the southern shores of Cyprus just outside of Limassol and is believed to have been founded by the Argives. The city has passed through different phases from Hellenistic, Roman, and Christian periods and the (market place), Christian Basilica and large public bath bear testament to this city's impressive list of inhabitants.

The most impressive feature of Kourion is the restored Greco-Roman theatre that looks out over the dazzling Mediterranean, which hosts open air musical and theatrical performances and is one of the venues for the International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama. Check out the House of the Gladiators, the Roman baths, the House of Achilles and the Temple of Apollo while visiting Kourion.

This extensive site, with its beautiful seaside location, deserves a few hours of exploration. Bring a water bottle and a hat or sunscreen beacause it can get swelteringly hot and there is not much shelter. Also, do a little research before you go to fully appreciate what you are experiencing because there is not as much information at the site as might be desired.

Fasouri Water Mania

Address: Fasouri area (15 mins outside Limassol) Limassol

If you are visiting Limassol and need a day of fun and a break from sightseeing and the Cyprus heat you should splash in the cool waters and enjoy the fun slides at Water Mania. The water park is suitable for travellers of all ages, and is a great attraction for the whole family - if you are travelling in Cyprus with kids then this is the ideal way to let them blow off some steam.

There is something for everyone, from the Kamikazi Slide and Wave Pool to the Lazy River and Black Cannons; there are 21 attractions all in all. There is also a kiddie pool for the little ones as well as a few restaurants and cafés for holidaymakers to stop and refuel. The park has a (somewhat cheesy) Polynesian theme but it provides good wholesome fun and a safe environment. Don't forget the sunblock.

No vaccinations are required for travel to Cyprus but hepatitis A and B vaccinations are always recommended for travellers by health authorities. A typhoid vaccination is also recommended but only for travellers who intend to eat and drink outside of restaurants and hotels or mean to travel off the beaten tourist track. Travellers are advised to avoid eating fruits and vegetables unless they have been peeled or cooked and to avoid meat that is raw or undercooked. Travellers should also always be wary of food sold by street vendors.

Health services on Cyprus are of a good standard. UK citizens should bring with them a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which enables them to receive free emergency medical treatment. Medical fees are reasonable in Cyprus, but supplies are expensive and it is probably a good idea to take with you any important prescription medications you may require (with the appropriate notes from your doctor to get them through customs). Medical insurance is advised.

Avoid taking photographs near military establishments. Religious customs such as Ramadan should be respected, particularly in the north where most of the Turkish Cypriots are Muslim; avoid eating, drinking, smoking and chewing gum in public during the holy month. Women should dress modestly.

A 10 percent service charge is levied in hotels and restaurants so a tip is not obligatory, but small change is always welcome. Taxi drivers, porters etc, appreciate a small tip.

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