Cyprus is an almost perfect holiday for families. Small enough to get around easily but densely packed with history, myth, legend and the fascinating influences of the many cultures who’ve called this lovely place home at one time or another.
It’s where Aphrodite was born (supposedly) has its own Mount Olympus and the city museums have collections which wouldn’t look out of place in Paris or Rome. Younger kids just love the beaches, the warm, friendly welcome-anywhere atmosphere and the general fuss that’s made of them everywhere. Teenagers get easily swept up in the rugged landscape whether its walking behind waterfalls, climbing craggy peaks, delving deep into caves or cycling for hours along the gorgeous and seemingly never-ending coast. Hot and dry in summer, warm and pleasant in winter, Cyprus is about the only European that can really guarantee December sunshine, so any time is a good time to go.
Low cost flights from London to Larnaka or Paphos all year round. Flying time 4 hours and 30 minutes.
Temperatures between 25 and 30˚C from June to September. December temperatures of 20˚C.
Archaeologically Cyprus dates back 10,000 years.
The country was first settled by Mycenaean Greeks in the 2nd century BC and has strong legacies of Phoenician, Assyrian, Egyptian, Roman, Venetian, Ottoman and British
Cyprus has three World Heritage sites: Choirokoitia, the Painted Churches in the Troodos Regionand Paphos.
The largest and most visited national park is Troodos, covering over 9000 hectares and including the beautiful Troodos Mountains.
One of Europe’s top destinations for walking and cycling, Cyprus is covered in well-marked, safe routes and most of them are helpfully themed for visitors.
Cyprus welcomes over 2 million visitors every year and places to stay cover all family budgets from luxurious resorts with spas, golf courses and kids’ clubs to holiday villages, cosy self-catering apartments, charming traditional country houses and spacious family villas. The south coast from Larnaka to Paphos is best for beaches and family accommodation, within easy reach of the rest of the island and close to both main airports.
Home to World Heritage Katos Paphos, charming little villages, ancient towns, the lovely Akamas National Park and many iconic beaches, the Paphos region is Cyprus’ most historic area and an ideal holiday base. The main resort town of Polis Chysochous is bright and modern, lively for kids and good for family hotels and self-catering apartments.
Larnaka is Cyprus’ ancient port. A mix of mesmerising historic drama and energetic holiday atmosphere, it’s one of the very few Mediterranean cities to combine both so easily and still manage to charm. In and around Larnaka is a great area for family accommodation and the lively day and night activity works particularly well for older kids and teenagers.
The second largest city in Cyprus and the country’s main port, Limassol is also the family holiday capital, home to great resort hotels and land of blue flag beaches. The city’s coast stretches for 15km and the glamorous marina is at the heart of a strip of shops, restaurants and cafés.
About 40km south east of Limassol, Ayia Napa is known as the country’s party area and
deserves the reputation. With over 40 gorgeous beaches, waterparks, theme parks
and more than its fair share of extreme water sports, it’s a fun place to visit with kids but not the most family-friendly area to stay.
Cycle and walk as much as you can in Cyprus, nothing is more rewarding, especially with kids. Cities and towns are compact and pleasant to get about on foot. But a car is an essential if you want to explore the interior, travel to different beaches and see all the monuments and major attractions easily.