Travelstick Southern Cyprus

Southern Cyprus

Based on two people traveling together, you can travel Southern Cyprus on a budget of 35-40 Euro per day per person. This includes renting a car from Hertz at Paphos Airport (77 Euro for 1 week), a self-catering apartment (20 Euro per night) and all other expenses such as food, drinks and entrance prices. We traveled Cyprus in January 2020 (low season), the best time for budget travel in Southern Cyprus.


The Baths of Aprodite are located in the Akamas National Park on the westernmost tip of the island. The baths themselves are a natural pool of water surrounded by trees and vines. The water trickles out of the surrounding rock walls forming a small cave. It is at this shady and mysterious spot that Aphrodite is said to have bathed. The peninsula itself is a great place for hiking and has many nature trails to follow. Some, like the Aphrodite trail, start from the baths. The trail is 7.5 km long with a few steep sections and passes through some beautiful scenery.

The Akamas peninsula is located in the far west of the island near the town of Polis.

Entrance free (2020)

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A UNESCO World Heritage site, also known as Kato Pafos Archaeological Park, this site contains ruins dating from the 4th century BC to the Middle Ages. However, the most impressive remains are those from the Roman period. The four Roman villas (the houses of Dionysos, Aion, Theseus and Orpheus) contain beautifully intricate and well preserved floor mosaics depicting scenes from Greek mythology. Other monuments include the interesting Saranta Kolones (forty Columns) Castle and the Odeon, an ancient ampitheater which is still used today for live music and dance performances.

The Park is located on the West side of Pathos harbour, close to the Fort.

Entrance 4.50 Euro (2020)

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Originally there were two forts guarding the entrance to the harbour. The oldest one is now only a pile of rock out on the breakwater. The one that remains was originally a Byzantine fort that was destroyed in an earthquake in the 13th century and rebuilt by the Lusignans. The Lusignans were a royal house of French origin and between the 12th and 15th centuries they ruled a variety of kingdoms including Cyprus, Armenia and briefly the Kingdom of Jerusalem. After the island was captured by the Ottomans the Fort was used as a prison. Throughout the life the building it has seen many uses. It has served as a fortress, a prison and even a warehouse for salt during the British occupation of the island. Nowadays the building is mostly empty.

The fort is located on the Western end of Paphos harbour.

Entrance 2.50 Euro (2020)

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The site consists of a series of underground tombs carved out of solid rock. Despite the name there were actually no kings buried here. It is thought to be a burial place for aristocrats and high officials from the 4th century BC to the 3rd century AD. Most of the tombs consist of a central atrium with the burial chambers arranged around it in a design that is said to imitate the style of houses at the time.

This site is located in Paphos, approximately a 30 minute walk North of the harbour.

Entrance 2.5 Euro (2020)

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The Panagia Chrysopolitissa Church was built in the 12th century on the site of an early Byzantine basilica. The ruins of the Basilica still surround the church including the remains of ancient floor mosaics. The site also contains the Pillar of St Paul, where legend has it that Paul was flogged for preaching Christianity in 45 AD. The story goes that the apostles Barnabas and Paul came to Cyprus to teach the inhabitants the ways of Christianity. However, they faced fierce opposition from the Roman governor and Paul was sentenced to 39 lashes. Apparently the governor later changed his mind and became a Christian.

The site is located just off the road leading North from the harbour.

Entrance free (2020)

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This small site contains remains of a settlement from the Chalcolithic Age which lasted from 3900 to 2500 BC. Replicas of five of the houses have been reconstructed using the same materials and building methods as were used at the time.

Located in the village of Lempa (sometimes written Empa) 4km north of Paphos. Follow signs to "Prehistoric Settlement".

Entrance free (2020)

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The exact founding date of the monastery is unknown but the kaholicon (monastery church) is dated to the 11th century. The interior of the church is covered with paintings dating from the 11th century and a small museum nearby contains further examples of Byzantine art, mostly icons painted on wood.

The monastery is located in the village of Kalopanagiotis, northwest of Troodos.

Entrance to the monastery is free except for the museum which charges 1 Euro (2020)

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The Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis (Church of St Nicholas of the Roof) is an 11th century church that was once part of a monastery complex. The monastery flourished from the Mid-Byzantine era and declined during the 18th century, finally ceasing to function as a monastery by the end of the 19th century. Apart from the church, no other monastic buildings survive today. The name comes from the steep tiled roof that was built over the church to protect the original domed roof. The interior of the church is decorated with beautiful frescoes dating from the 11th to the 17th century.

The church is located 3km from the village of Kakopetria on the northern slopes of Mount Olympos. It is signposted as you approach the village.

Entrance free (2020)

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The Church was originally built in the 9th century by the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI and restored in the 17th century when its distinctive tower was added. It is named after Lazarus of Bethany who came to Cyprus after being resurrected from the dead by Jesus. Here he was appointed as the first Bishop of Kition (present-day Larnaca) by the Apostles Barnabas and Paul. He lived in the town for 30 more years until his (second and final) death. When the tomb was discovered in 890 Emperor Leo VI had Lazarus's remains transferred to Constantinople. As compensation to Larnaca for stealing their Saint Leo VI built the church over the tomb. After the sacking of Constantinople in 1204 the Crusaders brought the Saint's body to Marseille. The remains later disappeared and have never been traced. The empty tomb can still be seen under the sanctuary of the church.

The church is located a short walk inland from Larnaca Fort.

Entrance Free (2020)

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There is some debate about the date of origin of this fort. The earliest sources say it was built during the reign of the Lusignan king James I of Cyprus (1382-1398) to protect the harbour of the town. 18th century sources say it was built by the Turks in 1625. Later the fort was used by the British as a prison and the remains of the gallows can still be seen by the entrance. The last execution took place in 1948. The building also houses a museum with exhibits from the site of Kition.

The Fort is located on the seafront at the south end of Larnaca Beach.

Entrance 2.50 Euro (2020)

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Kolossi Castle was originally built in the 13th century. There are different opinions regarding who were the original owners, with different sources naming the Knights Hospitaller, the Order of St John of Jerusalem and the Knights Templar. After the castle was destroyed in the 15th century it was rebuilt by the Hospitallers under the Commander of Kolossi Louis de Magnac, whose coat of arms can be seen carved into the castle's wall.

Although the castle's function as a military stronghold has long since been lost it was also a notable economic center, due to the fertile agricultural land around it and is still famous for its produce today. The best-known of these is the Commandaria, a dessert wine thought to be one of the oldest manufactured wines in the world.

Kolossi Castle is located a few kilometers south-east of Lemesos and is well signposted.

Entrance 2.50 Euro (2020)

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The Tekke is the burial place of Umm Haram, who has been variously described as the aunt, the foster mother or a companion of the Prophet Mohammed. The story goes that she was accompanying Arab raiders in Cyprus in 649 AD when she died after falling from her mule. She was buried on the spot and a mosque was later constructed around the tomb. Today, the mosque is the main Muslim pilgrimage site of Cyprus.

The Tekke stands on the western shore of the Larnaca salt lake next to the airport.

Entrance free (2020)

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Akrotiri Marsh is part of the unique Akrotiri wetland complex on the Akrotiri Peninsula near Lemesos. The marsh covers an area of around 150 hectares and is an important habitat for rare bird species, amphibians, invertebrates and plants.

The connection between the marsh and humans dates back centuries as the area supplied the raw materials for the traditional activity of basket weaving and for grazing animals. However, the Marsh has been unmanaged for decades, resulting in the overexpansion of reeds and the consequent loss of bird and plant diversity. Lately important restoration works have been carried out. A combination of landscaping, water management and management of vegetation using grazing animals took place in order to create a mosaic of habitats and increase species diversity.

Akrotiri Marsh is a great spot for bird watching with look-out huts at two separate locations, each a short walk from the road down dirt tracks. To get to the marsh follow signs to Kolossi Castle and then continue south towards the village of Akritiri. Look for signs to "Akrotiri Marsh".

Entrance free (2020)

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The salt lakes of Cyprus are remarkable phenomena, each measuring several square kilometers. Why the lakes exist at all is still a mystery. Geologists say that seawater from the adjacent shore passes through the porous rock and is trapped, forming a shallow lake below sea level. In the summer the lakes almost completely evaporate and at this time the salt can be collected. In winter the rain quickly fills up the lakes, which will measure only 2.5 meters at the deepest point.


As the lakes fill up a spectacular scene takes place when the Flamingos arrive in huge numbers (3,000 - 20,000). They arrive usually around November or December and leave in March. Flamingos are not actually born pink. Their grey feathers naturally turn pink over time due to the high levels of beta carotene that they obtain from their diet of brine shrimp, crustaceans and blue green algae. Most of the time they are to be found in the middle of the lake, so make sure you have binoculars and a good camera with you.


For Akrotiri Lake near Lemesos follow signs to Kolossi Castle and then continue south towards the village of Akrotiri. With a bit of luck you will spot the flamingoes as you drive along the shores of the lake. The Larnaca salt lake is located next to Larnaca Airport. The Chala Soultan Tekke, which stands on the shore of the lake, is a good spot for flamingo sightings.

Akrotiri western Cyprus Map and Larnaca eastern Cyprus Map

Larnaca Lake

Akrotiri Lake

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