The lesser known places of Cyprus

Inside the Byzantine Monastery

Cyprus is full of great beaches and popular destinations to catch the Mediterranean sun and the Cypriot way of life.  But if you are looking to get away from the crowds, Cyprus has lots of possibilities which should fit in perfectly with cheap holidays to Cyprus.

A local treasure

Visit Akarama Inn in Kato Akourdaleia – just outside Paphos – to dine Al Fresco on the most amazing local food and wine.

Natural beauties

At Cape Greco close to Ayia Napa on the south east corner you can drive down a narrow road to the rocky headland.  At the gate which blocks the entrance to the (military owned) land you will then need to make the rest of the journey on foot. It’s a favourite with divers for the shipwrecks in the area.

The White Rocks

A stretch of coastline from St George’s Monastery to Governor’s Beach just 15 miles from Limassol is a nature reserve.  It stretches 6 miles and is dotted with tiny coves with sandy beaches each just big enough for one family.  Access is along rocky paths and there are no facilities but the calmness and beauty make it worth the escape.


Chantara Waterfalls

These waterfalls – also called the Handara Waterfalls – are near Platres between Phini Village and the non-public Trooditissa Monastery.  It’s about a 2km drive on a rough earth track to get to them but they are definitely worth the journey.

Religious treasures

Drive up the hill in Protaras near to Cape Greco to find the Church of the Prophet Elias.  At the car park there are hundreds of steps to ascend to the tiny chapel but your efforts will be rewarded.  Outside of the chapel are the wishing trees where visitors can leave their wishes tied to the trees … perhaps for an easier descent!

The Monastery at Orounda

Right off the beaten track is Orounda Monastery which is still inhabited by nuns.  You’ll need to obtain the keys from them if you want to look around the tiny but ornate chapel.  It is also customary to leave a donation in the chapel box for the nuns’ hospitality.

The Mosque of Paphos

Although tourists aren’t permitted to look inside the mosque, the architecture of the building is worth admiring from the outside.  There is also a cemetery at the back of the mosque.  You can find this treasure about 100 metres from the covered market.

Kalopanayiotis – a UNESCO Heritage site

Visit this small traditional village in the Troodos Mountains which sits 700 metres above sea level.  It seems to have everything from traditional architecture to thermal springs, which have been used for medicinal purposes and healing over hundreds of years.

Things to do here:

  • Enjoy the architecture including the Venetian bridge over the sulphur springs
  • Visit the old Byzantine Monastery of Agios Ioannis Lampadistis
  • See the museum next door to the monastery
  • Sample the local sweets made from grapes and almonds sold in the village shops
  • Walk the nature trail to the renovated 17th century Kykkos Water Mill
  • Fish for trout at the trout farm next to the Kalopanayiotis dam

It’s great to know there are still some quiet areas of interest on this popular holiday island – why don’t you visit?

Written by Leigh Cooke for Beat the Brochure.

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