Found on Cyprus’s rugged north-west coast, this often deserted beach is more of a local haunt than a tourist one.
Despite a slightly arduous journey to find it – a four-wheel drive is recommended – it’s definitely worth the effort. Calm waters and a wide expanse of sand means that Lara Beach is as far removed from the over-populated beaches of Paphos as you can get – a great place for kids to run around freely. Go early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid scorching temperatures (and too-hot-to-bear sand underfoot). Take your own parasol if possible as Lara Beach is also a haven for loggerhead and green turtles so there are no sun loungers or umbrellas provided. Nature lovers should check the website of the Cyprus Society for the Protection of Turtles () as there are occasional organized night-time walks along the beach in egg-laying season, when you can see the turtles coming ashore.
For more of a buzzy beach vibe, Coral Bay on the west coast, 14 miles north of Paphos, is a good choice. The Blue Flag beach has shallow, gentle waters and white sands with plenty of facilities, such as child-friendly cafés, restaurants and reasonably-priced sunbeds.
There are also lots of water sports on offer here – from diving to parasailing. The horseshoe-shaped cove is a picturesque spot, framed by limestone cliffs and, surprisingly, it remains relatively uncrowded even at the height of the season.
Another one of Cyprus’s Blue Flag beaches (the island actually has an impressive 57 in total), found a mile east of Ayia Napa, Konnos Bay is a pretty, sheltered beach with wonderfully clear waters. Close to the national forest and rugged coastline that is Cape Greco, this is a great choice for families with older children – if you get the chance, take a boat tour out to the many sea caves that are found around this stretch of coast.
A family favourite, Fig Tree Bay, on the southeastern tip of the island, is one of the most scenic of Cyprus’s beaches. Shallow, turquoise waters and soft golden sands make it perfect for young children. A great place to chill out for the day – there’s even Wi-Fi (if you must).
Confident swimmers can venture out to the tiny uninhabited islet that is in easy reach through shallow waters. History buffs may be intrigued to know that in 2010 an ancient Greek tomb – containing four coffins - was found on the road leading to the beach, thought to have been untouched for thousands of years.
Located between Paphos and Limassol, Pissouri Beach is a great all-rounder - with its wide sweep of sand, crystal-clear waters, and water sports on offer – making it brilliant for families. The nearby Pissouri Village retains its traditional Cypriot character and is a great spot for lunch, with a choice of tavernas and restaurants.