A visit to even one of the best beaches in Cyprus and you’ll want to return. The natural beauty, the crystal clear waters, and the golden sand will beckon you back again and again.
It’s not a mistake that Aphrodite, goddess of love, emerged from the sea unto the island of Cyprus and that 57 of her beaches have been granted the status of Blue Flag Beaches by Foundation for Environmental Education for water cleanliness. The Mediterranean has calm waters and its famous beaches run from sandy to rocky, so loads to choose from!
Getting to the best beaches in Cyprus
Renting a car is the easiest way to get around Cyprus. All motorways are marked in Greek and English, so no worries getting around.
Agia Napa Area
Probably the busiest of all the beaches in Cyprus are the ones in Agia Napa & Protaras. These beaches have the best water in the Mediterranean Sea in my opinion! Clear and warm and inviting, the shallow water becomes so warm in August that you can step right in!
Nissi Beach & Makronissos Beach
Probably the most famous beaches in Cyprus, not for the right reasons, in the peak season of the summer months, Nissi Beach & Makronissos are the most popular beaches for the younger crowd on the island and can be way too full for my liking. It’s a perfect place to enjoy water sports here, like diving and water skiing, and a short walk to all the beach bars and restaurants. On the other hand, off-season, these are some of the prettiest beaches on the island which is why it is such a popular destination.
Konnos Beach is another popular destination and worth visiting, thanks to its shallow turquoise waters and dazzling view. It’s on a quite sheltered bay, so it has calm waters and is great for kids.
Fig Tree Bay
Set right in Protaras, Fig Tree Beach is annually voted one of the best beaches in Europe. Popularly known as as Fig Tree Bay thanks to the single Fig Tree that has been there since the 17th C, this is another one of the gorgeous sandy beaches and is always busy but gorgeous. A tiny island sits right in front of you. For those inclined to do nothing on a beach, swimming around the island can be your exercise for the day!
I love Paphos beaches in the late afternoon. Don’t expect glitz and glamour. Usually the sand is dirty with seaweed and the lounge chairs are strewn willy-nilly from the descent of the masses in the morning. Don’t let that put you off.
I have never had to pay for sun loungers in the afternoon, since the beach chair boys are already long gone. Hunting for the tiny crabs that are clinging to the rock surrounding the beach has become an Olympic sport for us here. Then sit here soaking up the last rays of sun while you sip the your afternoon frappé.
Not technically a beach, but the most local and easiest to find swimming hole that’s right in town. Natives to Paphos spend their days perfecting their dives off the dock and then sunning themselves in the beds in front of the pier. Grab a table at the restaurant by the same name right next to the jumping off point for a great village salad.
Geroskipou Beach aka Rikkos Beach
Another local beach about five minutes drive from the center of town as you are heading toward the airport. Technically it’s called Geroskipou Beach, but everyone knows it as Rikkos beach because of Rikkos Bar sitting right next to it. Even in August, it is quiet and calm. A long beach with a mix of sand and pebbles, it’s perfect for watching the ships go by.
One of the most well-known and loved Paphos beaches is Coral Bay. Although a tad busier than the others, Coral Bay is popular with families, because there are loads of water sports opportunities, tons of sunbeds and a choice of restaurants to choose from.
Latchi (Latsi) is in the northwest corner of Cyprus, about a 40 minute drive from Paphos airport. It is well worth the drive. The landscape around Lara Bay is rugged and untouched and the beaches almost always quieter than any of the other Cyprus beaches. In addition to that, the water is always warmer up there!
You can visit the protected area that is home to loggerhead turtles and green turtles and catch their eggs hatching if you are there at the right time. There are also boat trips to see the Akamas Peninsula National Park, right on the Northwest corner of Cyprus.
You can also find one of the best exclusive hotels in Europe, the Anassa Hotel, continually voted the Best Spa Hotel in Europe by Conde Nast Traveler!
One of my favorite beaches in Cyprus is hidden away. Right before you arrive at the site of Aphrodite’s Bath, you will pass Takkas’s Restaurant. You have to believe that behind the restaurant, you’ll find a long winding staircase leading you to one of the most secluded of beaches on the island. It is my personal favorite. There are no crowds even in high season, the calm waters are gorgeous and all you see is the Mediterranean in front of you.
Even further away from Paphos is the tiny village of Pachyammos outside of town of Pomos. The sea and mountains join to create a totally remote that is worth the drive from Paphos.
Plussea may not be a beach as such but it is a great place to hang out all day in Limassol. A cocktail bar/beach club right on Limassol Beach, PLussea attracts the young, hip, trendy crowd that manages to get all sandy and look cool simultaneously. Aphrodite’s birth place may be a few miles away at Petra tou Romiou but she and Adonis definitely partied here. Get here early to grab a double bed.
Pissouri Bay is a near perfect beach. The setting is glorious – between two hills from Cape Aspro to the Mavrorotsos. Both a pebbly and sandy and without the hordes that can drive you indoors, Pissouri beach is five minutes drive from the rock where Aphrodite was born. You can imagine her riding the waves to join you on this perfect spot.
If I have to be in Nicosia for a long period of time, I usually escape to Governor’s Beach, about a 45 minute drive from the center of town. I go at odd times, so it is always pretty quiet and very relaxing.
Some of you land and dump your things and, the first thing to do is head to the closest beaches to the airport. I am not a huge fan of seeing airplanes land on top of me so haven’t visited these as much as the other gorgeous beaches in Cyprus. The most popular is Makenzie Beach which earned its blue flag certification and had some lovely sandy stretches.
Hotels in Cyprus
I do have my favorite luxury hotels in Cyprus and have stayed in each part of the island. If you prefer to stay in one place for the whole time you are visiting the island, here are my top choices in each area.
- Latchi: Anassa Hotel – The best of the best hotels in Cyprus – voted by Condé Nast Traveller 2018 readers’ travel awards as No.1 Overseas Hotel Spa and No.15 in the World’s Top 100. Nestled in the woods between the town of Polis and village of Latchi with its own private beach, the Anassa is definitely a bit of paradise!
- Paphos: Almyra Hotel – the sister hotel to the Anassa, but right in the center of Paphos and steps away from Bagnaia.
- Protaras/Agia Napa – The Capo Bay Hotel – White, airy, that right mix of modern beachy furniture that immediately makes you feel relaxed, The Capo Bay has a lovely view of the sea, which is why you go there in the first place, and loads of Lemon Verbena L’Occitane products in the bath.
- Limossol: Londa Hotel – one of the best in a town filled with hotels. The beach club is fabulous and the rooms luxurious.
Best Bits to leave you with
Cyprus is a little less tidy than Greece, but I find that one of its charms. It’s the last bit of Europe before the Middle East steps in to take over and you can feel and taste it in the food and atmosphere. Intimate Cyprus beaches can be found, but you have to look for them. Hopefully this guide to the best beaches on Cyprus can help you find them!
Just remember to pay homage to the patron goddess of love by visiting the site she was born – Aphrodite’s Rock!
If you find yourself in Nicosia for a day or two, check out my guide to Cyprus’s capital city. There is loads to enjoy there!
NB: Eat as much Halloumi as you can and always save room for Kateifi!
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