Cyprus is a country with a rich archaeological heritage dating back to 5,800 BC. Blessed with a subtropical climate, the Island of Love really merits a visit. These are the best Cyprus landmarks, which you definitely shouldn’t miss on a trip to the island.

12 Top Cyprus Landmarks To Visit

From ancient archaeological sites to Byzantine churches and imposing statues, the landmarks of Cyprus are well preserved and of great architectural merit. If you want to see all of these Cyprus famous landmarks, it’s best to hire a car as they are quite spaced out around the island.

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1. Agios Ioannis Lambadistis Monastery

Also known as St John Lampadistis, this complex in Kalopanayiotis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are actually three churches under one timber roof – Agios Irakleidios, Ioannis Lampadistis, and a chapel.

Located in the picturesque Troodos mountains, the buildings have some beautiful frescoes dating from the 13th century.

Agios Ioannis Lambadistis Monastery
Agios Ioannis Lambadistis Monastery

2. Agios Lazaros

In the centre of Larnaca, you’ll find the 9th century Church of St. Lazarus. This fine example of Byzantine architecture in Cyprus is built over the tomb of Saint Lazarus.

Each year, eight days before Easter, the icon of Saint Lazarus is carried in a procession around Larnaca town. Next to the church, you’ll find the Byzantine Museum showcasing important relics of the time.

Agios Lazaros, Larnaca
Agios Lazaros

3. Aphrodite’s Rock

Also known as Petra tou Romiou or Rock of the Roman, Aphrodite’s Rock is a popular tourist attraction in Cyprus. This sea stack is situated on the road from Paphos to Limassol.

Famous as the mythological birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of fertility, love and beauty, it’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in Cyprus. In fact, the nickname for Cyprus is “the island of love”, thanks to Aphrodite.

The currents here are quite strong so it’s best not to swim here. Despite that, there’s a legend that if you swim three times around the rock, then you will find true love.

Visitors are not permitted to climb Aphrodite’s Rock, however there’s a nice walk along the beach. There’s a restaurant called Petra tou Romiou on the hill nearby with great sea views.

Aphrodite's Rock, Cyprus
Aphrodite’s Rock

4. Kykkos Monastery

Take a trip to the Troodos mountains in the centre of the island to see some impressive Byzantine monasteries and churches forming a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kykkos Monastery is one of the best of Cyprus tourist attractions, with colourful, ornate murals. Its full name is Panagia tou Kykkou. 

The original monastery was established in the 11th century but devastated by fires, with the current building dating from 1831. You’ll be lent purple robes for your visit to the monastery and museum.

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It’s beautifully maintained and houses an icon of Apostle Luke the Evangelist.

The museum is open from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm in Summer and 10:00 am until 4:00 pm in Winter, with an entrance fee of €5. The monastery is closed on Easter Sunday and the Saturday before Easter.

2 kilometres away on Throni Hill, you’ll come to the tomb of Archbishop Makarios III, the first president of Cyprus. He was an apprentice monk at the monastery in 1926 and requested to be buried close by.

Kykkos Monastery frescoes in the Troodos Mountains
Kykkos Monastery

5. Kato Paphos Archaeological Park

Just a stone’s throw from the centre of Paphos and the harbour, Kato Paphos is one of the most famous landmarks in Cyprus. This UNESCO World Heritage site includes remains from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages, with particularly important Roman ruins.

The park is still being excavated and includes a theatre dating from the end of the fourth century BC. There are also several impressive Roman villas.

Cyprus landmarks - Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
Kato Paphos Archaeological Park

One of these, the House of Dionysus dates from the second century A.D. It contains stunning mosaics representing Dionysus, the god of wine. Spread over 2000 square metres, it was built towards the end of the 2nd century AD. There are 556 metres of ornate mosaic floors, featuring animals as well as the god Dionysus.

Landmarks in Cyprus - House of Dionysus
House of Dionysus

Another fascinating sight within Kato Paphos is the Tombs of the Kings, providing some welcome shade. Dating from the 4th century BC, these underground tombs are decorated with Doric pillars.

Although it was high ranking officials rather than kings who were buried here, the opulence of the surroundings gave them their name. In Egyptian tradition, tombs should be as decorative as houses for the living.

It’s thought that these Cypriot tombs were influenced by that way of thinking.

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Kato Paphos Archaeological Park is open from 8:30 am until 7:30 pm in Summer and 8:30 am until 5:00 pm in Winter. There’s an entrance fee of €4.50 and an additional €2.50 for the Tombs of the Kings.

It can get very hot in here with little shade, so make sure to take water with you and a sunhat.

Tombs of the Kings Paphos
Tombs of the Kings

6. Kourion

One of our favorite Cyprus hidden gems is Kourion, a well preserved archaeological site on a hillside overlooking the Mediterranean. You’ll find it on the Limassol to Paphos road, 17 kilometres west of Limassol.

Parts of the site are still undergoing excavation but the magnificent Greco-Roman amphitheater is fully restored and one of the most famous landmarks of Cyprus. Dating back to the second century BC and extended in the 2nd century AD, it can seat up to 3,500 spectators. Musical and theatrical events are regularly held here.

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There are also some attractive mosaic floors and public baths to see, including the House of Achilles which dates from the 4th century AD. It was not at all crowded when we visited, and the entrance fee is priced €4.50.

Kourion is open from 8:00 am until 7:30 pm from June to August, 8:00 am until 6:00 pm from April to May and September to October and 8:00 am until 5:00 pm from November to March.

Kourion Archaeological Site, Cyprus
Kourion Archaeological Park

7. Liberty Monument

Commemorating Greek-Cypriot liberation from the British, this imposing statue was erected in 1973. It can be found on the Podocatro Bastion of the city walls in Nicosia. 

On top of the statue, a female figure representing liberty watches over two EOKA fighters opening a prison gate and symbolically freeing clergy, farmworkers and prisoners from British rule.

Liberty Monument, Nicosia
Liberty Monument

8. Machairas Monastery

Perched on a mountain close to the village of Lazanias, Machairas Monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. One of the most famous buildings in Cyprus, the monastery houses the icon of Panagia, the Virgin Mary of Machairas.

Dating from the 12th century, has a red-tiled timber roof and is designed in the Byzantine style. Around 20 to 30 Orthodox monks live here.

The monastery is closed to visitors from July to the end of  October. However, they are allowed to attend mass in the Church of Agios Gregorios Palamas.

Machairas monastery in Cyprus
Machairas monastery

9. Paphos Castle

Paphos town is a lively place with a charming harbour area that is partly pedestrianized. Paphos Castle dates from medieval times and was built to protect the harbour.

These days it’s a great place to enjoy the panoramic views over the surrounding area. Visiting the castle is one of the most popular things to do in Cyprus.

Paphos Castle, Cyprus landmarks
Paphos Castle

10. Salamis

Situated on the East coast, close to the Ghost Town of Famagusta, Salamis was once a major port city. It is thought that Salamis may have been the capital of Cyprus in 1100 BC. 

Salamis ampitheater has 50 rows and could hold up to 15,000 people. This North Cyprus landmark also contains several tombs dating from the 7th and 8th century BC, a temple of Zeus and a gymnasium complex used for wrestling and training.

The ancient city of Salamis, Cyprus
Ancient ruins of Salamis

11. Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates

Dedicated to the god Apollo, this historical monument is located close to Kourion and Limassol. Although worship of Apollo is thought to have begun on the site in the 8th century BC, most of the artefacts on site are from the 1st century AD.

On the site, there are the remains of a bathhouse, a palaestra or wrestling school, a central courtyard and the temple of Apollo.

Apollo Hylates Sanctuary, Cyprus
Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates

12. Venetian Walls

A legacy of the Venetians presence in Cyprus, these defensive walls were originally built in the Middle Ages. However, the Republic of Venice rebuilt them in the 16th century. 

A well preserved example of military architecture, the walls have eleven pentagonal bastions. You can walk around them for no charge.

The Venetian Walls of Nicosia, Cyprus
Venetian Walls

Where to Eat in Paphos

Dine at any of the beachfront restaurants and enjoy the beautiful sunset – we particularly liked Ouzeri, part of the Almyra hotel but open to non residents.

Paphos harbour view restaurant
Paphos harbour restaurant

Away from the harbour but possibly the best place in Paphos for authentic Cypriot mezethes or small dishes, Seven St Georges Tavern is an utter delight. There’s no website but any cab driver will be able to take you there.

Dine in their courtyard garden and enjoy their loaf of homemade bread – when you leave, they’ll wrap up the loaf for you to take away.

What to Wear in Cyprus

The weather in Cyprus is constantly sunny with highs of over 30 °C in Summer. Therefore it’s wise to pack loose layers in cotton and linen fabrics.

In some of the archaeological sites, there is very little shade and therefore we suggest light cotton dresses with sleeves to protect your skin from burning, as well as a sunhat, sunglasses and suncream. In the evening, a maxi dress or linen trousers should help avoid insect bites.

Where to Stay in Cyprus

We recommend the luxurious Almyra hotel in Paphos. The name stands for taste of the sea and that sums up the lure of the place pretty well! With eight acres of landscaped gardens overlooking the sea, its next door to the equally luxe Annabelle hotel.

As they’re part of the same group, guests can use the swimming pool and facilities of each hotel. We stayed in a Kyma Suite, with a large roof terrace and king size day bed – the perfect party or family pad!

If you’re visiting the Troodos Mountains, then Ambelikos AgroHotel is a great place to stay and Apokryfo Traditional Houses in Lofou is one of the best boutique hotels in Cyprus.

Almyra hotel Paphos suite
Almyra Hotel, Paphos

Whether you prefer to get some serious rest and relaxation or to take in the sights, Cyprus has so much to offer. There are also some very interesting things to do in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus.

Have you ever visited the island of love and what are your favourite Cyprus landmarks?

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The 12 best landmarks in Cyprus, from monasteries to ancient archaeological sites such as Kourion. | #Cyprus | #TravelDestinations | #TravelTips
Best landmarks in Cyprus

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  1. Marissa_My Greece, My Travels

    Nice post! Cyprus is a wonderful place to visit. When I went I really loved the village of Lefkara. A natural beauty. I have a good Cypriot friend from there so I was lucky to “discover” it. It’s famous for its lace and silver shops. I would love to hike in the Troodos Mountains next time!

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      I hadn’t heard of Lefkara so thanks for mentioning it, Marissa. We really enjoyed the Troodos mountains although it started pouring with rain so we didn’t do much walking 😉

  2. I have never been to Cyprus 🙁 It looks like a great place though and I have only heard positive things about it!

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      We really enjoyed our trip and now I’d like to visit North Cyprus to see how it’s different

  3. I love Greek, but I have never seen Cyprus, I hope next summer… btw, great pics doll!!!!
    Kisses, Paola.


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    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      That’s very kind Paola as this was with an old camera – I’d love to go back and capture it with my new one!

  4. Sand in my Suitcase

    What gorgeous photos! Yes, Cyprus definitely looks worth visiting :-). Those colorful murals at the Kykkos Monastery must be something to see…

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      The whole area around the monastery is really lush and green, and quite an adventure getting up there as there were boulders on the road!

  5. I visited Cyprus years ago and enjoyed it for the sun and sea! We didn’t have as much of a “cultural” experience as you did though, so if we ever return, I think I’ll be consulting this post again for tips!

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      I wish I could but I can never sit still for long so we didn’t get all that much sunbathing time in, so I’d probably return for that!

  6. Cyprus looks really lovely. I had always heard bad things but the more I see of it, the lovelier it looks. That is excellent yarn bombing on the anchor.

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      Yes I love that knitted anchor! On the whole we really enjoyed Cyprus for the food and cultural sights

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      I’m sure she would get so much from her visit, I wish I had read up more before visiting as there’s not all that much info at the sites themselves but it was really interesting

  7. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

    It’s amazing how many different civilizations have passed through Cyprus, there’s so much history to discover

  8. Ayushi | The Foodie Diaries

    I love that you’re provided with robes at the monastery – it all sounds beautiful! Another added to the travel wish list 🙂 xx

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      The purple robes were pretty striking, these days I’d have got a photo with me wearing it!

  9. Cyprus was a lovely surprise when we stayed there two years ago it was stunning, great food and wonderful sites. We stayed at Aphrodite Hills which had breathtaking views over the sea Lucy x

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      I’ve heard great things about that resort at Aphrodite Hills, we were very close to it at Aphrodite’s Rock

  10. I’ve been considering Cyprus as a holiday lately – trying to plan a group holiday where no one has been is tricky but this is definitely a potential!

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