Cyprus is known for its soft, powdery white sand beaches lapped by crystal clear, turquoise water. Not to mention a whopping 57 have been awarded the Blue Flag.
There are plenty of stretches of sand to choose from on the third largest island in the Mediterranean. But, here are 7 of the best beaches in Cyprus, to help you decide where to soak up the sun during your stay.
Where is it? Ayia Napa
Why go? This is one of the most famous beaches on the island, known not only for its beauty but also for the partygoers that spill out of the beach bars, onto the sand. This part of the shoreline tends to attract a younger crowd and is the place to head if you’re looking for a lively atmosphere.
There are beach parties with world-famous DJs providing the music, so you can dance throughout the day, right into the evening and early hours of the morning.
The curve of this white sand beach leads down to shallow, crystal clear water. There is a selection of watersports on offer and at low tide you can walk over the sandbar to a small island.
Facilities: You’ll find everything you need here including restaurants, bars, a car park, lifeguards, toilets and changing rooms as well as sunloungers and umbrellas.
2. Coral Bay
Where is it? Paphos
Why go? Towering limestone cliffs back the gentle curve of golden sand at this beautiful Blue Flag beach.
The cliffs protect this cove from the elements ensuring the water is calm, which is one of the reasons it’s particularly family-friendly.
Lay your towel down on this popular beach, shut your eyes and listen to the waves roll into shore. There are plenty of watersports to keep you entertained too and this is the ideal spot for snorkelling and diving.
Facilities: Toilets, showers, changing rooms, restaurants, bars and lifeguards are all here for your convenience.
3. Fig Tree Bay
Where is it? Protaras
Why go? This Blue Flag beach has been listed among not only the best beaches in Europe but in the world. It’s worth a trip here just to see with your own eyes why it’s held in such high regard. Fig trees line it, providing a luscious backdrop and, as you may have guessed, this is where the name comes from.
The sand on this 500-metre-long beach is golden and the water that laps against it clear and shallow, making it ideal if you have little ones. There is a small islet that you can easily swim to and explore – make sure you take your snorkel mask, there is a wonderful array of colourful fish to see darting around beneath the surface.
You’ll also find a range of watersports including windsurfing and parasailing.
Facilities: There is a cafe, lifeguards and a car park here.
4. Konnos Bay
Where is it? Between Protaras and Ayia Napa
Why go? The natural beauty of this bay is one of the biggest draws for locals and tourists alike. The 200 metres of soft white crescent-shaped sand is situated within a sheltered bay, which means the crystal clear water is incredibly calm.
This stunning beach is backed by rich greenery and pine trees – take the path through here to the top of the hill to enjoy the views down onto the beach and out to sea. This stretch of sand is only a short distance from Nissi Beach but it feels worlds away, due to the fact that it’s far quieter and ideal for families.
Facilities: Beach bar, toilets, changing rooms, car park and lifeguards.
5. Makronissos Beach
Where is it? Ayia Napa
Why go? This Blue Flag beach is situated three miles outside of the city centre, making it one of the quieter parts of the shoreline in this lively area. It’s the perfect place to escape the crowds and relax while you get stuck into a good book.
Once you have topped up your tan, there are also plenty of watersports on offer too. Hang on tight as you fly around on a banana boat or discover the world under the surface of the water as you learn to scuba dive.
There are actually two beaches here. The main one is ideal for families because the water is calm. However the other, which is known as Makronissos Beach West, tends to be the quietest part. This half also benefits from the best waves, which is ideal if you fancy surfing or heading out on a bodyboard.
After a day soaking up the sun, you might like to make your way to Makronissos Beach Club, which is set in a cove and provides live music against the backdrop of the sparkling sea.
Facilities: Bars and restaurants line the beach so you can grab a snack or drink throughout the day. There is also a car park, if you have driven.
6. Blue Lagoon Beach
Where is it? Paphos
Why go? The blue shade of the water here is striking and unlike anywhere else in Cyprus, hence the name. It’s also warmer than the sea that laps the rest of the island and shallow so you can paddle out quite far. This is the most picturesque part of the shoreline and protected from over development, which allows it to retain its natural beauty.
Don’t forget your snorkel mask, there is a colourful reef here where you’ll be able to spot brightly coloured fish. Back on land, you may like to head up the nearby mountains to look down on this beautiful lagoon. This island isn’t as easy to access as the other, it’s one of the most isolated – you’ll need a four-wheel drive or boat to get here, but you’ll quickly see why it is worth making the extra effort.
Facilities: Due to its location, there aren’t many facilities so make sure you pack a picnic and plenty of water.
7. Aphrodite’s Rock and Beach
Where is it? Between Paphos and Limassol
Why go? This beach may not be one you’d choose to spend few hours lazing around on, and you can’t swim here because the sea is too rough, but it’s one you have to see.
Legend has it, the goddess of love and beauty rose from the water here in 1200 BC. As well as the links to mythology, the unusual rock formations, which are licked by ever-rising waves, is a spectacular sight to see. Make sure you stay here for sunset, when this part of the coastline is truly romantic and magical.
Facilities: There is a restaurant and tourist pavilion here.
So, which beaches will you visit during your trip to Cyprus?