Cyprus is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with over 3 million visitors each year. This sunny country is popular for its delicious Cypriot food, sandy beaches and archaeological heritage.

There are lots of outdoor activities in Cyprus, whether you’re travelling on your own or with family or friends. Here are the top Cyprus highlights that you need to experience during your stay.

Cyprus Highlights – Cultural and Outdoor Activities

The island of love, as Cyprus is nicknamed, has some fantastic activities suitable for all ages and interests. Whether you’re a history buff or a nature lover, there’s something for everyone.

Ideally, you should allow a couple of weeks for exploring Cyprus. Incidentally, we’re focusing here on the Republic of Cyprus which covers 5,896 km2 and is separate from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, measuring 3,355 km2.

During your Cyprus holidays, you can enjoy a variety of cultural and outdoor activities.

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1. Ayia Napa Sculpture Park

This open air sculpture museum opened in 2014 and features works by over 50 international sculptors. They have all taken part in the annual Sculpture Symposium organised by Ayia Napa Municipality. 

Set over 20,000 square metres, the sculpture park has a great location overlooking the sea.

Next to it, you’ll find The Park of Mediterranean Plants, Cacti and Succulents, which showcases the cacti and plants of Cyprus.

  • Address: Kryou Nerou Avenue, Agia Napa, Cyprus
  • Opening hours: sunrise to sunset
  • Entrance fee: free
Cyprus highlights - Ayia Napa sculpture park

2. Aphrodite’s Rock

One of the most popular Cyprus attractions is Aphrodite’s Rock. This sea stack can be found on the road from Paphos to Limassol. It’s often referred to as Petra tou Romiou, which means Rock of the Roman.

Local legend has it that the goddess Aphrodite was born here. At any rate, it’s a beautiful sight to admire from the beach. You aren’t allowed to climb the rock, and it’s best not to swim in the sea here as the currents are strong.

There’s a visitor pavilion as well as the restaurant Petra tou Romiou which has panoramic sea views.

  • Address: Kouklia, Paphos, Cyprus

Aphrodite's Rock, Cyprus

3. Kato Paphos Archaeological Park

Prepare to be impressed by Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, which dates back more than 8,000 years. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s one of the most famous archaeological sites in Cyprus.

Located just a few minutes walk from Paphos centre, it houses remains from prehistory to the Middle Ages. Don’t miss the House of Dionysus, which was built in the 2nd century AD. Dionysus is the god of wine and there are some beautiful mosaics representing him.

The Tombs of the Kings date from the 4th century BC and are supported by imposing Doric pillars. The name is slightly misleading as kings weren’t buried here.

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The tombs were the final resting place for high ranking officials, however the ornate decor gave the place its name. It may be that the builders were inspired by Egyptian tombs, which are designed to reflect the status that the individuals had during their lifetime.

We recommend taking a bottle of water with you, as well as a sunhat and sun lotion as it gets extremely hot at the site during the day. There are some other interesting sights such as Roman villas and a theatre which dates from the 4th century BC.

  • Address: Kouklia, Paphos, Cyprus
  • Opening hours: 8:30-19:30 pm in Summer and 8:30-17:00 pm in Winter
  • Entrance fee: €4,50 | Tombs of the Kings: additional €2,50
The Tombs of the Kings in Kato Paphos, Cyprus

4. Kourion Archaeological Site

Of all the Cyprus landmarks, Kourion is one of our favourites. It has a wonderful location by the sea, and is not usually too crowded. Situated West of Limassol on the road towards Paphos, it dates from the 2nd century BC and was enlarged in the 2nd century AD.

The star of the show is the Greco-Roman ampitheatre which has been completely restored. It’s a popular venue for music concerts and plays, seating up to 3,500 people.

The House of Eustolios was a private villa that became a public recreation centre. It has four mosaic floor panels as well as a bathing complex that visitors can admire from above.

The House of Achilles and the House of the Gladiators are also well worth a look for their well preserved mosaic floors.

  • Address: Kourion, 19 km West of Limassol.
  • Opening hours: 8:00-19:30 June – August | 8:00-18:00 April – May and September – October | 8:00 17:00 November -March.
  • Entrance fee: €4,50 

Kourion archaeological site in Cyprus

5. Kykkos

If you’re visiting Cyprus, try to fit in a trip to Troodos mountains. The area is known for its great beauty, as well as its historic Byzantine monasteries, and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site

Kykkos Monastery, also called Panagia tou Kykkou, was originally built in the 11th century. Fires destroyed the first monastery and the current one dates from 1831. It stands proud on a mountain peak overlooking Marathasa Valley.

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Kykkos Monastery is known for its icon attributed to Luke the Evangelist (Agios Loukas). The tortoiseshell and mother of pearl icon is decorated with silver gilt.

There is also a museum within the monastery grounds, where the first President of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III served as a novice.

  • Address: Kykkos Monastery, Marathasa Valley, F966, Cyprus
  • Opening hours: 10:00-16:00 November – May | 10:00-18:00 June – October
  • Entrance fee: €5,00 | Groups: €3,00
Kykkos Monastery frescoes in the Troodos Mountains

6. Nicosia Attractions

The capital city of Cyprus has a huge selection of cultural attractions, from the Leventis Gallery to the Loukia and Michael Zampelas Art Museum and many more. The ancient Nicosia city walls are well preserved and you can walk around the top of them in several areas.

There’s also a lovely traditional hammam if you’re looking for pampering in a historical setting. Read our full Nicosia guide to discover the best ones according to your interests.

Nicosia guide - best things to do in Nicosia

7. Paphos Castle

At the end of the harbour in Paphos, you’ll find the medieval castle, also known as Paphos Fort. Built in the Byzantine era to protect the harbour, it was restored by the Ottomans in 1592.

The central square tower has an enclosed courtyard and small rooms at the sides that were prison cells during the Ottoman Rule. Paphos Castle forms a charming backdrop to the annual Paphos Aphrodite Festival taking place in September.

  • Address: Harbour Area, Kata Paphos, Cyprus
  • Opening hours: 8:30-19:30 April 16 – September 15 | 8:30-17:00 September 16 – April 15
  • Entrance fee: €2,50 
Paphos Castle, Cyprus

8. Adventure Mountain Park

This scenic area of Cyprus is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. The hiking in Troodos is excellent and there are also some great wineries if you’re in need of refreshments ;-).

Try your hand at archery, climbing, ice skating, Tyrolean traverse, laser tag or paintball at Adventure Mountain Park. We recommend the climbing where George, the owner, will guide you on the beginner’s climbing wall before you graduate to the full wall.

There’s a nice cafe and restaurant where you can enjoy traditional Cyprus food and also a children’s play area.

  • Address: Doxa Si o Theos, Kyperounda, Limassol, Cyprus
  • Opening hours: 8:00-18:00 November – March| 9:00-20:00 April – October
  • Fee depends on the activity

Archery and climbing at the Mountain Adventure Park in the Troodos Mountains, Cyprus

9. Waterfalls in Troodos Mountains

Millomeri are the highest waterfalls in Cyprus, with the water falling from 15 metres. The waterfalls take their name from the Greek words They’re easily accessible by car or a 1 km walk from Platres church.

Also close to Platres, you’ll find Caledonia Waterfalls. It’s one of the most popular Cyprus attractions with visitors, and set in a beautiful forest.

The nature trail is 3 km long and it can take up to 2 hours to arrive at the waterfall. There’s a shortcut which starts at Aedonion Road and takes you past the Pano Platres trout farm.

Troodos waterfalls

10. Cyprus Beaches

One of the most popular beaches in Cyprus for watersports is Landa Beach. This 400 metre long Blue Flag beach is located 4 km West of Ayia Napa.

Blessed with soft golden sand and calm seawater, it has changing rooms, restrooms and is manned by lifeguards. There’s disabled access to the beach and a special wheelchair next to the lifeguard’s tower which enables disabled people to go into the water with the help of the lifeguards. You’ll also find a picnic area and car parking facilities.

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Sandy Bay is another popular beach for outdoor activities such as jetski, parasailing and snorkelling.

Also in the Ayia Napa area, Makronissos Beach has fine white sand and extremely clean water thanks to its natural cape. Visitors can try their hand at fishing, kayaking, paragliding, waterboarding or on a towable banana boat.

Other Cyprus Activities

  • Boat trip to the Blue Lagoon in Akamas near Paphos
  • Horse riding at Eagle Mountain Ranch in Mesogi near Paphos
  • Private Segway tours in Paphos
  • Rock climbing in Cavo Greko, Dhiarizos and Droushia
The best Cyprus beaches and other Cyprus highlights

We hope you’ve enjoyed these suggestions for fun things to do in Cyprus. Which of these would be your favourite to try? 

You might also enjoy:

Read all our Cyprus travel advice here.

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