Island of Cyprus (sometimes written Kypros)
A Note About this Cyprus Guide
This guide is about Cyprus the island, and does not discuss the political division between North Cyprus and the Republic of Cyprus. Many articles have been written about travel between these territories. In general, as long as you enter Cyprus via the Republic of Cyprus in the south, you should be able to travel to and from northern Cyprus without problems.
Location of Cyprus
The island of Cyprus is located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey, north of Egypt and west of Syria. Although it is physically located in Asia, the Republic of Cyprus belongs to the European Union.
Major Cities on Cyprus
The largest cities in Cyprus include the capital city, Nicosia, which sits on the division between North Cyprus and the Republic of Cyprus, as well as Larnaca, Limassol, and Paphos.
Cyprus Weather, Geography, and Climate
At about 240 km long and 100 km, with a land area of 9251 square kilometers, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily and Sardenia. The island was created by a collision between the African and European tectonic plates. Because of this there are plenty of mountain in Cyprus. The same collision created the island’s two mountain ranges the Troodos Mountains, a tall range in southwest that comprises approximately half of the island, and the Kyreni range, a shorter narrow range along the northern coast. The highest point on Cyprus is Mount Olympus in the Troodos range at 1952 m. A central plain called the Masaori covers most of the remainder of the island. Although much of the coastline is rocky with cliffs, there are also plenty of sandy beaches around the island, which make good jumping-off points for diving in Cyprus.
Weather in Cyprus is very pleasant. The island has a subtropical climate–the warmest in the Mediterranean part of the EU. Generally speaking, winters are mild and summers are hot, although Cyprus weather varies greatly with altitude. Cyprus is generally dry during the summer (April – November) and wetter in the winter (December – March), when there is actually enough snow in the high Troodos Mountains for skiing. At sea level the average high during the summer ranges from 21.3°C in April to 30.4°C in August. During the winter highs are around 17-18°C and lows range from 8-10°C. In Prodromos, at 1380 m temperatures can be more than 10 °C colder than those at sea level.
Cyprus is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, and that’s saying a lot. Sunny summers, beautiful beaches, proximity to Europe, relatively cheap prices (compared to most of the EU), and historical significance all play a part in drawing over 2 million visitors to Cyprus each year. Although it is not the mainstay of the economy, Cyprus takes tourism seriously and it shows. The World Economic Forum ranked the country (i.e. The Republic of Cyprus) was as having the #1 tourism infrastructure in the world in 2011. This well-developed tourism industry, along with a population in which three out of four people speak English means that Cyprus is an easy destination for even the novice traveler to navigate.
Two awesome historical attractions on Cypres are the UNESCO World Heritage Sites the village of Khirokitia and the Tombs of Kings, both of which contain remains from the 10th Millenium BC. The mixture of Turkish and Greek cultures and architecture also make for a unique cultural experience, not to mention great food.
Although Cyprus is relatively small, its diverse geography makes for a wide range of outdoors adventure activities, especially in the southwest. In the southwest section of Cyprus you will find skiing, watersports of all kinds (including surfing) as well as trekking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. Cyprus has four ski clubs and a ski hill with four lifts on Mt. Olympus. The skiing may not be fit for the gods, but you really can’t complain when it’s within driving distance of the beach. In fact, you could theoretically ski and surf in the same day if motivated enough, as the southwest coast has breaks that can accommodate surfers of all levels. Of course, there is also plenty of windsurfing and kiteboarding, and sea kayaks are also available in the area. Scuba diving in Cyprus is fantastic, with regular trips to Zenobia, ranked one of the ten best wreck dives in the world. There is also a wide variety of sites for rock climbing in the Troodos Mountians.
Activities and Sports on Cyprus
• Stand-up paddle boarding
• Scuba diving (wreck, cave, reef)
• Surfing (all levels)
• Hang gliding
• Sky diving
• Bungee jumping
• Hot air ballooning
• Kayaking (sea)
• Caving and spelunking
• Hiking/trekking (all levels)
• Rock climbing (all levels)
• Mountain Biking (novice to expert)
• Horseback Riding
• Skiing and snowboarding
Cyprus Accommodation and Food Prices
Cyprus accommodation prices vary widely depending on where you are. Accommodation is much cheaper in the north in shared dorms, such as Cyprus Dorms, which run about $12 USD per person per night. If you want to stay in the south near the mountains and surf beaches, however, it will cost a bit more. If you have a few people in your party, the most reasonable option is to share a room in one of the cheaper hotels in Cyprus, such as the Mariela Hotel in Paphos, for around $20 USD per person per night.
More information on accommodation in Cyprus can be found here.
• On the low end breakfasts and lunches can be found for about $7 USD, and go up from there. Kebabs are a delicious and inexpensive local delicacy. They are highly recommended.
I like to use World Nomads. It’s not too expensive and signing up is fast and straightforward. They also have pretty good coverage for sports equipment like surf and snowboards, but it varies depending on your country of origin, so be sure double check. You can get a free quote on their website.
Images (in order) courtesy of disparkys (365), ronsaunders47, LauraTofton, dollie_mixtures, android_man, THEfunkyman, Dr Phil, dolanh, sciascia, beast love, Son of Groucho, and U Kersting on Flickr.
Suggested Books about Cyprus
Click on the images for more information
The information on this page was provided by My Cyprus Info. If you want to know more about Cyprus they are the people to ask.
6 thoughts on “Cyprus Adventure Travel Guide”
Cyprus seems like an adventure junkies paradise!
Yup, pretty awesome.
Hi, Where did you find SUP paddleboarding in Cyprus? thanks 🙂
I haven’t been myself. However, anywhere you can surf, you can SUP. Try this shop. I’m not sure if they do rentals, but I’m sure they can provide more info for you because they do sell the gear and are located on the island: http://www.surfersshopcyprus.com/
Sounds like a great place to travel. The weather seems fantastic, subtropic climate. Thanks for posting, and safe travels.