Cyprus is a kind of forgotten country for many people. It’s neither Greece or Turkey. It is included in Europe, but geographically it is located in Asia. Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, close to the coast of the Middle East. With a rental car you can explore a large part of the island in one week. In this article we share useful tips for a road trip on Cyprus and the best places to visit.
Cyprus is an independent island in the Mediterranean Sea and is divided into two parts. The northern part is occupied by the Turkish people. The capital Nicosia is the place where the dividing line runs through. It is therefore the only capital in Europe that is divided. In this article you can read everything about a road trip of the southern part of Cyprus. Of course, you can also discover the northern part of Cyprus. There are several border crossings. It is important that you bring your passport, because you actually cross a border. Do you rent a car in Cyprus? Check upfront with the rental company if you can cross the border with the rental car. This is often not the case.
To make it even a bit more difficult, when you take a look at the map of Cyprus you will see that there is another country to be found in Cyprus. There are a number of English enclaves on the island. A large part of this area is not accessible, for both locals and tourists. You will have to drive through other parts to get from A to B.
Rent a car in Cyprus
If you want to make a great road trip on Cyprus with a rental car, we recommend that you rent a car with the company Sunny Cars. Sunny Cars is great, because through them you are always 100% insured and you do not have to get extra insurance. Your deductible is always fully covered and is refunded by Sunny Cars. So, no worries!
It is important to remember that they are driving on the left side of the road all over Cyprus. If you have little or no experience with this, it may be wise to choose an automatic car. The roads in Cyprus are generally good and outside the cities it relatively quiet. This makes Cyprus an ideal destination for a nice and easy road trip.
A Cyprus road trip generally starts with the arrival at Larnaca International Airport, but flying to Paphos on the other side of the island is also possible.
Larnaka: Your first introduction to Cyprus
Larnaka – or Larnaca – is a port city on the southeast coast of Cyprus and is one of the country’s most popular beach sides. The city does not really have that authentic feel to it. It feels a bit like the “Benidorm” of Cyprus and along the beach you will find mainly hotels, restaurants – whit the focus on the English – and many other tourists. Even in the low season. Do you want to see something really unique? Take a stroll through the old center and admire the beautiful street art.
The surrounding of Larnaka is very beautiful, especially the salt lake of Larnaka, which can be reached on foot from the city center. During the winter months – from November to March – hundreds of flamingos live here. With a bit of luck, you can come up really close!
One day is enough to discover Larnaka and the salt lake.
Where to stay in Larnaca
We stayed in Hotel Opera opposite the church in Larnaka. A great hotel with nice ensuite- rooms and a balcony. Breakfast is not included, but you can drink coffee, tea, juices and water for free all day and grab some small bites like cakes and fruits. Parking is also for free.
Cyprus’s capital: Nicosia
Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus, for both the northern and southern part of the country. The dividing line runs straight through the city. From Larnaca you can travel to Nicosia in less than an hour. Although Nicosia is the capital, it is not a big city. I recommend that you park your rental car to walk to the border with Northern Cyprus. According to many people, the north of Cyprus is a lot more authentic and less undiscovered than the south of the country. Hopefully we will experience this ourselves in the future.
The Troodos Mountains
Inlands you drive straight through the Troödos Mountains, the highest part of which is 1952 meters high. The nature is beautiful here, you will come across waterfalls and you can make beautiful hikes. Are you a nature lover? Then this is the place to spend most of your time during your road trip Cyprus.
Limasol and Kourion
From the Troodos Mountains you can drive to the south of Cyprus to the port city Limassol and Kourion. Limassol is a large port city that is expanding over the past years mainly by the hands of Russians. I would not recommend to spend a lot of time here but Kourion is worth a visit.
The entrance fee for Kourions is 4,50 per person. You will probably spend about an hour here. Most of the remains of Kourion are from the Roman period. The theater with a beautiful view of the sea and huge cliffs, is one of the highlights during your visit to Kourion.
Paphos and the west coast of Cyprus
Our last stop on our Cyprus road trip is the resort of Paphos, or Pafos. Paphos is divided into two parts, Lower Paphos and Upper Paphos. The upper part is the historical center of the city and below – in Kato Pafos – you will find many resorts,hotels and restaurants, but also some important sights, such as the Tombs of the Kings and Paphos Castle.
From Paphos you can take a number of beautiful trips with a rental car to the west coast of Cyprus, where you can visit the Manolis Bay and the Blue Lagoon. At about half an hour drive from Paphos you will find Avakas Gorge where you can make a nice hike.
Where to stay in Paphos
During our time in Paphos we stayed at Princessa Vera Hotel Apartments which is centrally located between Paphos Old Town and Kato Pafos. The hotel features two swimming pools and a bar and an extensive breakfast buffet is included.