Cyprus, beyond being a history buff’s dream is also an excellent place to travel to for beach lovers. Here, you will find a variety of beaches – from soft, sandy ones, to pebbly ones, to rough, shingle beaches. But each of them have a few things in common: the fact that the water is crystal clear, the beaches are fairly clean and the amenities are excellent.
But, if you’re not sure which beach is best for your needs, then I’ve put together this handy guide about 8 different beaches, and which is best in Southern Cyprus for your needs…enjoy!
Perfect for Snorkelling: Sea Caves, Ayia Napa
Here, the water is the most crystal clear I’ve seen throughout Cyprus, and there are plenty of fishes to see when snorkelling. I’ve heard stories of others seeing octopuses out here as well, but sadly none when we arrived. Surrounding the water are deep and very dark caves, which are also an added bonus for exploring when on land as well. Additionally, the views from the top of the cliffs are unprecedented and oh so magical! One point to note: you have to either jump from the cliffs or climb down in order to get to the water (the climb is quite steep, but not impossible)! Just watch your step, and wear sensible shoes.
Perfect for Sunbathing: Coral Bay, Peyia
Coral Bay is a popular beach in Southern Cyprus, so its amenities are excellent. There are plenty of sunbeds and parasols available for hire (€2.50 per sunbed, plus €2.50 for each parasol), several bars and cafes along the beach and good toilet facilities. Owing to the fact that there are so many sunbeds to hire and the beach has beautiful golden sand on it, makes this one perfect for sunbathing as you won’t be fighting for loungers or laying on rough shingle! Plus, the water is warm and very clean here, making it a great swimming spot if you just need to cool off from the sun’s rays. Not only is this beach great for sunbathing, but it’s also…
Perfect for Watersports: Coral Bay, Peyia
There are so many different kinds of watersports on offer here for great prices, including jet skis, pedalos, snorkelling excursions, boat trips and parasailing to name just a few. The people that run the watersports (Coral Bay Watersports) are all friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, so feel free to ask plenty of questions about your activity. You also won’t have to stroll far to book your activity, as they have a shack right in the middle of the beach (just look for the jet skis, boats or flying flags). Plus, wait times aren’t too bad even in the middle of the summer, so you won’t have to wait long before you’re out on the water.
Perfect for Turtle Watching: Lara Beach, Akamas Peninsular
This white sandy beach is home to a small bay, which is often frequented by sea turtles (both on land and in the sea). This is due to the fact that this is one of the few remaining nesting grounds in the Mediterranean for the rare green and loggerhead varieties. There is a turtle conservation team here: the Lara Turtle Conservation Project, who arrange night-time walks so that you can see the turtles making their way ashore. Please note: during breeding season (June-September), the team close access to the beach so that the turtles can breed and hatch their eggs in peace.
Perfect for Sightseeing: Petra tou Romiou, Kouklia
It’s not often that a beach is also home to a famous historic or sightseeing spot, but Petra tou Romiou is just that. It’s a great beach for relaxing on and swimming in the sea, but it’s also home to Aphrodite’s Rock – where it is believed Aphrodite was ‘born’ from the sea foam and rose up onto this world-famous rock. Access to the beach (and rock) are via the underground pedestrian walkway at the Tourist Centre. Whilst you’re on the beach, you should be able to see offerings left for Aphrodite hanging from the trees (such as ribbons and prayer beads), which come from visitors wishing for love, youth, beauty, or all three. Legend dictates that if you want good luck in love and romance, then you should swim out and around Aphrodite’s Rock.
Perfect for City Life: Leoforos Poseidonos, Kato Pafos
There are limited beaches in and around Paphos itself (a popular city in Southern Cyprus), as the tide comes in so much that the beaches are hidden from view for most of the day. But, there are a couple of coves that are not cut off from view, including Leoforos Poseidonos, Faros Beach and Coral Bay. Leoforos Poseidonos beach is just a couple of minute’s walk from Kato Pafos, home to plenty of bars, restaurants, shops and of course, the UNESCO World Heritage Site: the Paphos Archaeological Site. There are also changing rooms, showers and toilet facilities available near to the beach, as well as some sunbeds and parasols for hire. The water is both clean and warm, and is a very popular swimming spot for locals and tourists alike.
Perfect for Sunsets: Faros Beach, Paphos
When it comes to the best sunsets, you will need to be as far West as you can go, otherwise your visions of the perfect sunset become clouded by buildings getting in the way, or by the fact that you’re on the wrong side of the island. Faros Beach is a fabulous location for sunsets in Cyprus, as the sun sets right on the horizon, glowing with deep reds and oranges. There is a great little cafe on the beach, which offers various foods and drinks (including delicious handmade milkshakes). There are also sunbeds, showers and toilets, plus a concrete walkway for easy walking near to the beach. Lots of people come here for sunset gazing, exercising and dog walking, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular.
Perfect for Privacy: Aphrodite’s Beach, Latsi
If you’re heading to this side of the island to see the Baths of Aphrodite, then it makes sense to also head to Aphrodite’s Beach. Located near to a bar, there are steep steps leading down to the beach. Either owing to the fact that there are lots of steps, or because very few people know there’s a beach here, it makes for a perfectly private beach (even with the few locals sunbathing next to you). The water is crystal clear, the mix of seaweed and sand on the beach is soft and the gentle waves lapping onto the shore are serene. Plus, you can get some lovely shady spots, thanks to the cliffs overlooking the beach. Although a small one, this beach doesn’t attract crowds, so you can doze and laze in the sun with plenty of peace and quiet.
I hope these recommendations satisfy your beach loving tendencies whilst visiting Southern Cyprus! Which one is your favourite? And do you know of any other beaches we should try on our next visit? Jot a few notes down in the comments…
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