If you’re looking for Insta-worthy beaches where you can put up your feet and soak in some sun, then look no further than Cyprus. Generally, the beaches here aren’t as packed with tourists as destinations like Hawaii or Mexico but offer just as impressive (if not more impressive) settings. Need a primer? Here are five beaches in Cyprus we highly recommend:
Based in the southwestern Limassol region, Kourion Beach’s starring feature is undoubtedly its limestone cliffs. They’re somewhat reminiscent of the Cliffs of Dover, though visitors can only see the cliffs from a distance. The beach itself is largely comprised of stones, so it’s not the best for lounging and sunning (despite the umbrella-docked chairs flanking the surf), but it is great for a peaceful retreat with breathtaking views of the horizon. If you get hungry, amble north to Cava Restaurant & Tavern in Episkopi. A pan-European-meets-Mediterranean stop, Cava is an elegant way to end a day reflecting on the imposing natural features of cliffside Kourion.
Up on the northwestern coast of Cyprus sits Yiannakis Beach, another rocky destination that nonetheless enjoys bounteous rays, gentle surf, and blissful breezes. Grab a lounge chair under an umbrella and a Tito’s Bloody Mary, then ask yourself all the important life questions. Or, wade into the warm water and let the frothy tide wash over you. One thing’s for sure: You won’t be competing with sun-hungry tourists. For a simple meal between tans, head to nearby Ttakkas Bay Restaurant where seafood feasts abound.
3: Latsi Beach
While a bit more trafficked given its location next to Latchi Harbour, Latsi Beach is nonetheless a great swimming spot. Rent a sunbed and/or go wading in the water with the whole family; you can rest easy knowing there are lifeguards on duty to protect the little ones. Right next door is the quaint harbor, where boats are docked alongside palm trees and thirsty travelers enjoy a little tipple at Limani Bar Café or take in a full crustacean feast by the water at Limani Taverna.
Of all the beaches in Cyprus, the U-shaped Vathia Gonia Beach at the southeast corner of the island is perhaps the most breathtaking; the beautifully translucent, aquamarine bay; supple, sandy beaches; scenic caves; and natural bridges truly wowed us. Plus, it’s great for snorkeling and, according to recent visitors, much less crowded than the nearby Nissi Beach (see below). A delightful English restaurant, Magic Sandy Bay, sits on the far side of the beach and dishes up some delectable midafternoon sundaes (copiously rung with whipped cream) and brilliantly colored cocktails (the fruity kind). You can also get snorkeling and other water sports equipment at Sandy Bay Water Sports, opposite Magic Sandy Bay Restaurant.
If you’re more of a “watch the water undulate while I sip my vodka tonic” kind of beach-goer, then the Shayna Beach Club is likely more your style. Up north — where precious few beaches lie — Shayna will treat you to dayboat catches sourced feet away, or simply indulge your desire to sip on a cocktail, chat with a travel buddy, and take in the sun-soaked surroundings. Be sure to find a shaded table right next to the water, where you get a front-row seat to oceanic action.
Beaches to avoid
As with most tropical locales, Cyprus has plenty of desirable beaches that are, unfortunately, overrun with tourists. We recommend skipping these spots as Cyprus has its fair share of gorgeous beachfront with mesmerizing views, delectable eats, bronzing sun — and no tourist throngs.
Here are the beaches in Cyprus we recommend skipping:
Another southeastern fixture, this Cyprus beach draws hordes thanks to its soft sandy character and intriguing ancient burial site nearby. There are lots of loud, young families here, so if you’re looking for peace and quiet, we recommend heading elsewhere. Don’t worry; there’s plenty of sand to go around.
A hop, skip, and a jump away from Makronissos is Nissi Beach, beloved for its size, brilliantly blue waters, and nearby restaurants. The sad fact is, though, it’s hard to see much sand with all those sunbeds and umbrellas all over the place. Best to go to Yiannakis instead.
Given its nearby resort and the abutting Cape Greco National Forest Park, Konnos Bay is a very popular beach in Cyprus. Instead of beach-lingering first and touring the park second (a common itinerary), we recommend skipping the beach altogether. Trust us; you’ll avoid unnecessary crowds and enjoy the natural features of the park much better.