I recently returned from a trip to Cyprus, and saw some beautiful parts of the island. The weather was sensational – barely a cloud in the sky throughout the duration of the trip. For a country with 320 days of sunshine a year, perhaps this wasn’t a huge surprise. As one of the ultimate destinations for sun in Europe, there’s so much to see and do on the Mediterranean’s third biggest island including some incredible beaches. There are plenty of Blue Flag beaches, meaning excellent water conditions and cleanliness for sunbathing and swimming. From popular spots to secret coves, there are so many great beaches for Cyprus’ endless summer. Here’s my guide to the best beaches in Cyprus.
Quick tips for visiting Cyprus
Get this: affordable car hire from Cyprus’ main airports. This means you can get straight into the car and on the way to your hotel once you’ve landed, without faff.
Don’t miss: a guided tour to the Blue Lagoon – it was my favourite thing to do in Cyprus, and you can swim in the most gorgeous turquoise waters.
Bucket list experience: an introductory scuba dive lesson and dive (with transfer from your hotel) to discover Cyprus’ incredible marine life.
Flights: find the cheapest flights to Cyprus with Skyscanner
Stay: Find the most affordable hotels in Cyprus on Booking.com
Coral Bay, Peyia
A beautiful Blue Flag beach, Coral Bay (or Kolpos ton Koralion) boasts some of the cleanest waters on the island, making the beach perfect for swimming. One of the best beaches in Cyprus, Coral Bay is a beautiful golden stretch of sand north of Paphos in the adorable village of Peyia. Easily accessible from Paphos with ample beach parking, Coral Bay is protected from strong currents by its neighbouring cliffs making it a calm spot for sunbathing. There are plenty of sun loungers and parasols for catching shade in the summer months. For those with itchy feet, you’ll find a number of water sports along the beach. Explore Coral Bay’s impressive cliffs and sea caves, and stop by the bustling al fresco restaurants and bars along the beachfront.
Looking for beautiful beaches to enjoy? Check out my guide to my favourite beaches in the world.
Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa
Located in the popular party resort of Ayia Napa, it may not be a surprise that Nissi Beach is known as the beach that never sleeps. Undoubtedly one of the best beaches in Cyprus, it’s popular because of its white sand and clear turquoise waters. On Nissi Beach, you’ll find Cyprus’ young and beautiful sunbathing by day, and relaxing on the beach by night often after hitting up one of Ayia Napa’s many nightclubs. Here, you’ll find sun loungers and parasols dotted along the stretch of white sand. For those looking for something a little more active, you can go paragliding, water skiing and windsurfing. A vibrant beach, sunbathers can also enjoy the bustling beach bars and taverns to enjoy an icy cold drink. During low tide, you can take the sandy walkway over to the island of Nissi. Nearby, you can also find the ancient Roman Makronissos tombs. Nissi Beach can be easily reached by bus from Larnaca and Nicosia, and there’s plenty of parking.
Fig Tree Bay, Protaras
For a beautiful beach popular with locals, head to Fig Tree Bay in Cyprus’ resort of Protaras. Boasting gorgeous golden sands and lined by its namesake fig trees, it is a beautiful sight and one of the best beaches in Cyprus. A long, moon shaped stretch of beach, Fig Tree Bay has its very own cove and shallow waters that make it perfect for kids to enjoy paddling and swimming. The beach is also a Blue Flag, meaning clean and safe waters to enjoy – some even say it is one of the best beaches in Europe. Just a short walk from the heart of Protaras, Fig Tree Bay is also easily accessible by car with lots of parking near the beach. Visitors can enjoy plenty of sun loungers for relaxing on, as well as watersports and refreshments for cooling off from the hot Cyprus sun. Confident swimmers may want to swim across the shallow waters over to a small islet just off the shore and enjoy the breathtaking views.
Blue Lagoon Beach, Akamas
There’s no denying that Cyprus’ Blue Lagoon Beach boasts some of the most extraordinary waters on the island. Although noone is exactly sure how the waters are just so vivid and blue, it’s a must-see when visiting Cyprus. While a relatively remote spot in Cyprus, Blue Lagoon Beach is definitely one of the best beaches in Cyprus. Located in the Akamas region of the island, the Blue Lagoon Beach is shielded and has slightly warmer waters than other beaches on the island. It has a sandy beach and a reef that is perfect for snorkelling and diving for spotting colourful fish and marine life. You can also spot boats and yachts frequent the area because of its gorgeous waters. The easiest way to reach Blue Lagoon Beach is either by 4×4 due to the wild terrain, or by boat from the harbour town of Latchi.
Lara Beach, Akamas
Also located on Cyprus’ Akamas Peninsula, Lara Beach is a gorgeous rugged beach near Coral Bay. One of the best beaches in Cyprus, Lara Beach is best access by a 4×4 vehicle in order to reach this isolated paradise. What really puts Lara Beach on the map is the absence here of artificial light, meaning green and loggerhead turtles come to the beach to nest. In the summer months, you may be lucky enough to spot baby turtles heading for the sea when hatching from their eggs. Lara Beach itself is beautiful with turquoise waters. There are also two stretches of golden sandy beach on the crescent which are unspoilt thanks to the accessibility by 4×4 of the beaches here.
Aphrodite’s Beach, Latchi
One of the island’s most popular beaches, Aphrodite’s Beach is also one of the best beaches in Cyprus. Visit especially for the magical sunsets, and see the beach’s main attraction: Aphrodite’s Rock. Aphrodite’s Rock is where Aphrodite is believed to have risen from the sea and been born. Rumour has it that if you swim around the rock, you will be blessed with long lasting beauty. Along the beach, you’ll find dramatic scenery and coves along the coastline. The pebbly beach is perfect for relaxing with views across to the white cliffs. It’s also a refreshing swimming spot after a long day of sunbathing. Easily reachable from Paphos and Limassol, you’ll find parking here, as well as a shop and a restaurant.
Mackenzie Beach, Larnaca
Around 15 minutes from Larnaca’s Pervolia, Mackenzie Beach is a beautiful stretch of sand and one of the best beaches in Cyprus. Perfect for families, Mackenzie Beach is a Blue Flag beach, meaning clean waters that are great for swimming. You’ll find plenty of sun loungers and parasols at the beach for sunbathing, as well as water sports including jet skiing and windsurfing. Keen divers will love Mackenzie Beach due to the Zenobia shipwreck there is to explore offshore. There’s a kilometre stretch of sand and shallow waters which makes it popular with families and locals alike. The beach is lined by palm trees for an exotic feel, and there is plenty of parking near the beach itself.
Best beaches in Cyprus: FAQs
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the best beaches in Cyprus.
Which side of Cyprus has the best beaches?
Both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides of Cyprus boast beautiful beaches, each with its own unique charm. Here are the areas I’d recommend visiting for the best beaches in Cyprus:
Greek Cypriot Side (Republic of Cyprus)
- Protaras and Ayia Napa: The southeastern region of the country is known for its stunning, sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters, as well as being Cyprus’ party destination. Fig Tree Bay in Protaras and Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa are popular for their gorgeous beaches and water sports.
- Larnaca: The Larnaca region has several beautiful beaches, including Finikoudes Beach, known for its palm-lined promenade, and Mackenzie Beach, which is great for kite-surfing and other water activities.
Turkish Cypriot Side (Northern Cyprus)
- Kyrenia (Girne): The northern coast near Kyrenia is known for its picturesque beaches, each with a beautiful backdrop of mountains. Escape Beach and Alagadi Turtle Beach are some of the most stunning beaches. Alagadi is also a nesting site for loggerhead and green turtles.
- Famagusta (Gazimağusa): The Famagusta region has some stunning beaches like Golden Beach, which lives up to its name with golden sands, and the Karpas Peninsula with its remote and unspoiled coastline.
Both sides offer a mix of popular, tourist-friendly beaches and quieter, more secluded spots. The choice of the best beaches in Cyprus often depends on your preference – some people prefer vibrant, bustling beaches with water sports and amenities, while others seek tranquility and natural beauty.
Are there white sandy beaches in Cyprus?
Not all beaches in Cyprus are white and sandy, but yes indeed – Cyprus does have white sandy beaches, particularly on the southeastern coast in areas like Protaras and Ayia Napa on the Greek Cypriot side. These beaches are famous for their soft, powdery white sands and crystal-clear waters. Some of the most famous white sandy beaches in Cyprus include:
- Fig Tree Bay (Protaras): this beach is famous for its golden sands and shallow, turquoise waters. It’s one of the most popular and picturesque beaches on the island.
- Nissi Beach (Ayia Napa): another stunning beach with white sands and clear waters, Nissi Beach is known for its lively atmosphere, water sports, and shallow pools that make it ideal for families.
- Makronissos Beach (Ayia Napa): featuring a series of beautiful sandy coves and calm waters, Makronissos Beach is known for its pristine white sands and natural beauty.
- Landa Beach (Ayia Napa): Landa Beach offers a wide stretch of soft white sand, making it an excellent spot for sunbathing and relaxing by the sea.
Which part of Cyprus is best for holiday?
Choosing the best part of Cyprus for a holiday really depends on your own personal preferences and what you’re looking for during your holiday. I’ve tried to round up the most popular holiday destinations, and what they’re best known for:
- Protaras and Ayia Napa (Southeastern Coast – Greek Cypriot Side). This part of Cyprus is ideal for those looking for vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches with soft white sands, and a lively atmosphere. Ayia Napa is known for its club scene, while Protaras offers a more relaxed environment with family-friendly beaches.
- Paphos (Southwest Coast – Greek Cypriot Side). Rich in history and culture, Paphos offers archaeological sites, a charming old town, beautiful beaches, and a relaxed atmosphere. This is where I stayed the first time I visited Cyprus. It’s a great destination for families, history buffs, and those seeking a more laid-back holiday.
- Limassol (Southern Coast – Greek Cypriot Side). Known for its vibrant city life, bustling seafront promenade, and cultural attractions, Limassol offers a mix of beaches, shopping, dining, and nightlife. It’s perfect for those seeking a blend of activities and being among the hustle and bustle.
- Kyrenia (Girne – Northern Cyprus). Known for its picturesque harbour, historic sites, and stunning mountain backdrop, Kyrenia is a quieter and more scenic option for a holiday in Cyprus. It’s perfect for those who prefer a more relaxed holiday with a focus on natural beauty and exploring the local culture.
Each region of Cyprus has its own unique appeal, whether it’s lively nightlife, family-friendly beaches, historical sites, or natural beauty. Deciding on the best part of Cyprus for your holiday largely depends on your interests and the type of experience you’re seeking.
Where is the clearest water in Cyprus?
Cyprus is known for its crystal-clear waters around the entire island, but some regions stand out for their exceptionally clear and pristine waters:
- Protaras and Ayia Napa (Southeastern Coast – Greek Cypriot Side): This area is renowned for its incredibly clear waters. Beaches like Fig Tree Bay and Nissi Beach have transparent turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
- Paphos (Southwest Coast – Greek Cypriot Side): While Paphos is more known for its historical sites, it also boasts beautiful beaches with clear waters. Coral Bay, in particular, is known for its crystal-clear sea ideal for swimming and water activities.
- Cape Greco (Southeastern Coast – Greek Cypriot Side): Not far from Protaras and Ayia Napa, Cape Greco is an area of natural beauty with stunning cliffs and some of the clearest waters in Cyprus. The sea here is exceptionally transparent, making it a great spot for diving and snorkeling.
- Karpas Peninsula (Northern Cyprus): In the northern part of the island, the Karpas Peninsula is known for its unspoiled and secluded beaches with clear waters. This remote area offers pristine coastline and relatively untouched beaches like Golden Beach and Turtle Beach.
These areas are known for their exceptionally clear and transparent waters, making them perfect for various water activities such as swimming, snorkelling, and diving. The clarity of the waters adds to the beauty and allure of these coastal areas in Cyprus.
That’s my guide to the best beaches in Cyprus – I hope you found it helpful. Are there any other Cyprus beaches you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments below.