Who can tell me about Cyprus?

Hey dopers, you’ve been pretty helpful before with travel advice so I turn to you once more.

For various reasons I going to find myself on Cyprus for three nights in mid-November. I’m flying into Larnaca (unless Air Cyprus change my flights again) and out of Paphos. My flight in is so late that I’ll have to stay in Larnaca but flights out are late enough that I could travel to Paphos in the morning and still make them.

I don’t know where to go, looking at the web there’s four cities in Southern Cyprus, Limassol is on the way to Paphos but Nicosia looks much more interesting. I’m not going to drive but I’m perfectly happy to sit on a bus for a few hours (or more).

What I want to know is, what is there to do in each of the cities?

I’m not a sit on the beach person so I’d rather somewhere with some museums, or ruins, or churches nearby and also places with a decent enough night life so that I don’t get bored (I’m a bit of a night owl). I’d prefer to avoid the really touristy places but I wouldn’t mind staying in one if it was close to some interesting stuff.

Pointing me to any decent poker games would probably help me kill a couple of hours too.

Any information would be greatly appreciated as there doesn’t seem to be much that I can find on the web.



I spent about 10 days in Cyprus in the winter of 1983/84. I was about 17. We stayed in Paphos (Nea Paphos, I think). The place was dead, so we were the main attraction for some pubs. Obviously any info herein is quite dated.

There were Roman Age ruins just on the side of the road, a hippodrome, amphitheater, and neat stuff like that. I hiked along some beaches, where Aphrodite’s Rock (“birthplace”) is, ate fabulous food, drank middle of the road to bad beer from their National Brewery and Distillery, KEO, went to a Greek Orthodox Mass. The ruins of the Temple of Opollo are supposed to be neat, and the ruins at Kourion.

If you are in the port area of Paphos, and see a place called “CHARLES’S PLACE” (misspelled in 1983, anyway), say hi to the proprietor, Charles, for me. He’s probably dead by now, but he’d shut down the pub, draw the curtains, open the cooler, and we’d party!

Let’s see. You’re off the heavy tourist season - there’ll be mainly older people there looking for a relatively cheap vacation.

I’d put in wikipedia links but sadly my work computer seems to have disabled that script.

From Paphos, if you go east along the coast road, you get to Curium (search wikipedia for “Kourion”), which is probably the most impressive greek-roman-ish structure on the south side of the island. If you like mountain driving, there are a ton of interesting little churches in the Troodos mountains (wiki search for “Troodos”), and the roads are narrow and twisty enough to be interesting, but not so much that you’ll feel like your life is at stake. Some of the villages are interesting, and you can do pretty well on food by dropping in at a random village taverna.

Otherwise, I think you’re spot on about Nicosia being by far the most interesting city on the island - it’s the only one that really feels like it has an old city to it. You can also get over to the north fairly easily now, so you could run north to Kyrenia or to Bellapais Abbey if you wanted, or just check out the north side of Nicosia, which has an interesting medieval Latin church converted to a mosque by the Ottomans.

I lived in Cyprus for several years during childhood and have returned there on holiday several times.

I second the recommendation for the mountains - it’s really quite special up there and you can still see examples of very simple traditional village life.

Ancient monuments are so abundant that it’s hardly worth recommending any - you can’t move without tripping over some kind of archaeological stuff, but yeah, Kourion is impressive. The Tombs Of The Kings - near Paphos - is pretty interesting too.

Food is cheap, plentiful and of great quality - do try the local dishes - they’re very good. If you’re feeling adventurous, find a nice looking taverna that has at least a couple of locals eating in it and order a Mezé - it’s a meal consisting of many different savoury courses, often including interesting seafood and delicious wine-soaked casserole-type dishes.
If it’s a decent restaurant, you’ll be there all evening - as they make no effort to turf you out - indeed, quite the contrary in some cases (“Come on, the evening is young! Drink some more wine!”)

I actually like Keo beer. Drink one for me.