Our absolute gay travel guide to Cyprus including the best places to stay, gay beaches, gay bars, clubs, top things to do, and more…
What's the best part of Cyprus? Us! Cypr-“us”… get it? Ok, sorry, that was bad…
As the humble Greek/Cypriot part of your favorite duo, it gives me immense pleasure to gush all about the marvels of traveling this island. It’s a land of superb beaches, old buildings, seaside restaurants, delicious food, tons of mythological sites, and gorgeous people – if I may say so myself!
Gay life has been quite a challenge for local Cypriots, but it is slowly evolving, becoming more and more vivacious with each passing generation. When it comes to gay parties and festivals, Cyprus is no Tel Aviv or Mykonos, but it’s still a huge draw for LGBTQ travelers and couples.
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, located south of Turkey, and close to Greece. It has a politically chequered past, with the nation being divided between the occupied North and the Republic of Cyprus in the South following a military coup by Turkey in 1974.
In our gay travel guide, we will focus on the Greek Cypriot part of the island, located in the south and west.
Looking for a place to stay in Cyprus?
Stay with The Nomadic Boys… Dear darling readers, you read right: we're offering up our place on Airbnb. You can live with us in our stunning apartment and get the true local experience. We've recently done up our place so it's super stylish, modern, with seaside views, a communal pool, and just a few minutes' drive to some of the best beaches in the world!
Gay rights in Cyprus
The lingering presence of the Greek Orthodox Church has meant many people in Cyprus hold very conservative attitudes. The LGBTQ rights of Cyprus are quite progressive, on par with Greece and Italy, but still behind the rest of West Europe. For example, gay marriage is still not law, but civil unions have been allowed since 2015, although these don’t provide the same rights and legal protections as marriage.
Since Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, the country's acceptance rate for its LGBTQ community has improved massively. They’ve introduced a robust set of anti-discrimination laws, which includes a ban on LGBTQ discrimination in employment. And in 2017, the Ministry of Education started an initiative coined “HOMBAT = Combating Homophobic and Transphobic Bullying at Schools”, which aims to train teachers to be more aware of bullying.
Accept is the leading LGBTQ-rights organization in Cyprus that does amazing work in progressing the rights for gay Cypriots, including putting together the annual Cyprus Pride parade. All their upcoming activity can be checked out via their Facebook page.
Is Cyprus safe for gay travelers?
Despite strong conservative views, Cypriots love welcoming foreigners. Hospitality is a big deal in Cypriot culture, so you can expect to be treated well when you visit, regardless of whether you’re straight or gay.
The good news is that gay culture is growing – and pretty fast! Several places like Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca, and Nicosia have a few gay bars/clubs. There are also 3 unofficial gay beaches on the island to check out.
The annual gay Cyprus Pride event in June/July in Nicosia has proven to be a massive success since starting – each year growing bigger and better since its inception in 2014 (canceled in 2020/2021 due to Covid). Organizers of Cyprus Pride had originally expected a strong pushback from right-wing groups but were gobsmacked when they received nothing but a warm embrace from locals.
The one thing we would say is that when it comes to PDA, it’s best to keep this to a minimum unless you're in queer-friendly spots, particularly in more rural areas.
Is there a gay scene in Cyprus?
There is no specific gay area or gay village in Cyprus for the very simple reason that it’s a tiny population of around 800,000. There are, however, a handful of gay scenes to check out across the big cities – Nicosia, Limassol, Paphos, and Larnaca, which we’ve set out below.
There are also an impressive 3 gay beaches on the island worth checking out – one in Agia Napa, another between Limassol and Larnaca, and the third between Limassol and Paphos – more on this below.
Look out for the occasional private gay parties that happen, which are usually spread by word of mouth. The most common is the gay boat party that happens several times in the summer months, organized by the owner of Lube Bar in Larnaca. Check the Lube Bar Facebook page for the latest info.
Landing in Cyprus soon?
There are two main airports in Cyprus – Larnaca Airport is the main one and there's also one in Paphos – so don't get mixed up with where you're landing! There is a shuttle bus serving the airports to the main cities, but we find it best to either hire your own car or pre-book a private transfer before you arrive to avoid waiting at the airport.
Gay hotels in Cyprus
Whilst there are no outright gay hotels in Cyprus like you'd find in Fort Lauderdale and Key West, there are a whole bunch of local and boutique hotels. Each of the accommodations on our list below are places we’ve tried, tested, and loved – that were not only gay-friendly, but also had that extra je ne sais quoi that completely captivated us…
The Nomadic Boys Airbnb listing near Agia Napa
Do it like a local by staying in this stunning apartment, owned by a true gay Cypriot…ME! You not only get to hang out with us in this gorgeous, comfy, and super stylish apartment with sea views, you’ll also have access to our communal pool. The other big highlight is that you're just a few minutes drive away from some incredible beaches, which are also home to turtles.
In a nutshell
- Luxurious gay friendly five-star beachside resort
- Excellent wellness spa and fitness center
- Multi-layered swimming pools with waterfalls and swim-up bars
- Multiple restaurants and bars on site
If we had to describe our vision of luxury, this would be it! Heck, any place where we can sip a fruity cocktail beneath a shady palm tree is akin to The Ritz as far as we’re concerned!
Rooms are elegantly simple coated in fresh white paint and soft furnishings. If you can, try to get a seaside view so you can experience waking up to the rushing sound of the water and the scent of that tangy, salty air!
Annabelle calls itself an “oasis” on the Mediterranean coast – and we concur. We loved strolling along the poolside, dipping in and out of the cool waters before popping into their wellness spa for a hot stone massage. The best part, no one here batted an eyelid when they saw this openly gay couple sashaying their way around the hotel grounds!
In the evening, if we weren’t out on the town, we’d head to Annabelle’s gorg on-site restaurant, Amorosa, then to their Ouranos rooftop bar – it's the place to go for a nightcap with breathtaking views of the Paphos area.
Prices at Annabelle start from $320 per night:
STAY WITH A GAY LOCAL
Misterb&b is the Airbnb equivalent for the LGBTQ community. Unlike on Airbnb, you know your host is gay, voiding any nasty surprises when you check in. It is also a great way to meet gay locals and discover the underground gay scene. Click below to get 10 € (or $10) off our first booking.
Oikia Roti Bed & Breakfast
In a nutshell
- Charming gay owned guesthouse in the mountains
- Intimate with just four suites
- Delicious morning breakfast
- Swimming pool and sun-lounging area
Oikia Roti is located in the super charming mountain village of Vasa Koilaniou, around 22 miles (35km) from Limassol. It is owned by gay couple Costas and Erick who love to welcome LGBTQ travelers.
We love that this absolutely gem of a guesthouse is surrounded by vineyards and local wineries to explore along with plenty of hiking trails around the Troodos Mountains. And that’s before we’ve mentioned their beautiful outdoor pool where you can spend hours taking in the sunshine and surrounding scenery.
There are 4 types of suites to choose from, each one slightly different in size. We loved “La Juliette”. It’s the biggest room with a private balcony, bathroom and lounge area that can sleep two extra guests.
Every morning Costas and Erick serve guests a bountiful traditional Cypriot breakfast – a true highlight in itself! The guys go all out to make every guest feel like family, and we love them for this!
The village of Vasa itself is just screaming to be explored. It reminded us of stories and fables from Ancient Greece, with its stone buildings, cobbled pathways and ancient churches.
Contact owners for prices at Oikia Roti:
Leonardo Plaza Cypria Maris Beach Hotel & Spa
In a nutshell
- Lovely romantic and gay friendly beachside hotel
- Fabulous spa and swimming pools
- Multiple restaurants and bars
The place where love stories are born or rekindled!
As soon as we walked in the door at Leonardo Plaza we noticed there were a lot of couples, especially gay couples, newlyweds and even a few pairs in their golden years – it was like the Noah’s Ark of romance!
We rarely spend too much time in our hotel during our travels but this place had so much going on, we could barely pull ourselves away. From a clubhouse in the evening, which played a great mix of electropop and house music, to their incredible selection of restaurants that whipped up local or international dishes.
Of course, when the place is literally called a hotel AND SPA, we had to also try out the KG Hair & Spa Centre – which is the only destination in Cyprus with a registered Garra Rufa Fish Spa. Yep, that's right, the little fish that nibble dried skin off your toesies!
We felt completely welcomed here as a gay couple. We found the staff to be welcoming and had clearly “experienced” hosting gay travelers before. Getting a double bed was no issue at all, which is what made it feel like a gay friendly hotel to stay in Paphos.
Prices at Leonardo Plaza start from $294 per night:
Hotel Napa Suites
In a nutshell
- Adults-only gay friendly resort
- Stunning rooftop infinity pool
- Excellent complimentary breakfast
- Incredible pan-Asian restaurant on site
If you’re an Insta-hun like we are, then this gay friendly adults-only hotel in Agia Napa is perfect for you! We must have snapped over a hundred pics from the rooftop infinity pool alone…
This rooftop is also where you’ll enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning – and trust us, there’s no better way to kickstart your day. We're talking LOTS of fresh fruit, pastries, juice, coffee, sausages, eggs, bacon, has browns and even baked beans.
The eccentric energy of the city pours through the walls of this place, with cheerful staff and tons of activity to get up to. For dinner, you can dine in a pan-Asian restaurant named Umami or toast to good fortunes and burgers at their sublime rooftop bar. There's even The Little Gin Bar (yes, that's what it's called) for an intimate drink on glamorous fur-covered bar stools.
The rooms are cozy and chic, without being overly decorated. We recommend splurging on their premium suite, which includes an in-room bar, private terrace that overlooks the gorgeous grounds and a choice of your own pool or Jacuzzi!
Prices at Hotel Napa Suites start from $147 per night:
Melissi Beach Hotel & Spa
In a nutshell
- Beach access and multiple swimming pools
- Plenty of sporting facilities
- Incredible spa
- 3 bars and 4 restaurants on site
With the most beautiful beaches in all of Cyprus on your doorstep and the bustling city centre a quick 10-minute walk away, you can’t go wrong with the uber gay friendly Melissi Beach Hotel.
The Sporty Spice of your group will be pleased with its range of physical activities – everything from a state-of-the-art gym, tennis, and volleyball.
We were obsessed with the multiple (adults-only) outdoor swimming pools. They were lush – the ideal spot to chill if you don’t want to head to the beach. We also escaped into their Apis Spa every chance we could for some rejuvenating treatments and massages.
Rooms are sufficiently decorated with massive beds, stylish furniture, and great views of either the garden or sea. Our top pick is the luxurious Grand Suite, which has its own private terrace and outdoor whirlpool. It’s the perfect choice for honeymooners. We also checked out their on-site restaurant, Thalassa, for their dinner buffets. They had so many options from all the corners of the world but their particular specialty is local Cypriot cuisine, Italian, and Asian.
Oh, and most importantly, an extensive wine list. Gold stars from us!We were obsessed with the multiple swimming pools, especially the adults-only one. Not only was it a relaxing space, but it gave us the chance to meet other guests and find out about their travels. We also escaped into the Apis spa every chance we could for some rejuvenating treatments and massages. It was just divine being able to enjoy the sauna, steam bath, indoor hydro pool, ice fountain and heated loungers too!
Prices at Melissi Beach Hotel start from $194 per night:
Gay bars in Cyprus
The gay scene across Cyprus is, at present, like a baby flower. It’s small, dainty, and a bit meek, but honey, a beautiful thing is about to emerge! As public acceptance evolves, gay spaces in Cyprus are beginning to flourish at a higher rate than ever before. Across almost all the main cities you are close to least one gay hangout. We've summarized them all below:
Ithaki in Nicosia
Whose genius idea was it to mix burgers with club life? No one does parties like the gays at Ithaki. Loud pop music. Sweet cocktails. Campy, sharp-tongued hosts. And delicious burgers delivered by their neighbour, Street Sins. It’s all part of what makes the Friday night event “Think Outside the Box’ at Ithaki so darn popular with the queer community in Nicosia. Other themed events throughout the week include RnB Saturday, which also attracts a young and international crowd.
Open: Ithaki is open Wednesday/Thursday from 7pm until 2am and on Friday/Saturday until 3am
Location: You can find Ithaki at Nikiforou Foka 33, Nicosia
Lube Bar in Larnaca
Did you do a double-take with that club name? Us too. And just like the gel, this gay bar promises a fun, sexy night out, that’ll leave you dripping… with sweat. At Lube, they like to give pleasure to all the senses. Excellent dance music for your hearing. Neon lighting and hot bar staff for your vision. Every Friday is karaoke night, and Saturday night sees an awesome fun party with live DJs.
Open: Lube Bar is open Wednesday to Sunday from 8pm until 2am (and until 3.30am on Saturday nights)
Location: It's located at Stavrou Poskoti 19, Larnaca
Aruba Bar in Agia Napa
In Aruba Bar in the Agia Napa party village, it’s all about community. Loyal patrons and friendly bar staff surround the bar every night of the week… but Saturday is when they have their official LGBTQ night. Camp dance music, hot guys from across the vicinity, and drink deals you can't refuse make the night one to remember… or rather, one to forget (if you’re truly having a good time). Be sure to check out their Facebook page for details of the next gay night as the Agia Napa scene is particularly alive during the summer months.
Open: Aruba is open every day from 8pm until 2am (but closes earlier at midnight on Sundays)
Location: It can be found at Ippokratous 1, Agia Napa
Diferent Bar in Paphos
They love unique people so much, they put it in their name! In terms of music, Seby and I love an oldie just as much as we like the current radio stuff – so you can imagine our pure elation when songs from Madonna’s heyday were put on. Or Cyndi Lauper, followed by a Gaga song, then back to some good ole’ Pet Shop Boys. We were a bit clueless with what drink to get and rolled our eyes when the bar guy recommended their strawberry daiquiri… but, oh boy, is it to die for!
Open: Different Bar is open every day from 7pm until 3am
Location: It's located on Bar Street, Paphos
Zester Bar in Limassol
Reawaken your zest for life! Whilst it’s not exclusively a gay bar, Zester adds a sprinkle of campness to its mostly hetero vibe, by having excellent dance music, fizzy cocktails, and a liberated mindset. The most popular spot is the beer garden, with rickety tables and chairs, surrounded by plants and trees. Cozy ambience for meeting with or making friends, especially in the summer months, when the air is cool and spirits are high!
Open: Zester is open Wednesday from 5.30pm until 10.30pm, on Thursday and Friday from 5.30pm until 11.30pm, on Saturday from 10.30am until 11.30pm and on Sunday from 10.30am until 10.30pm
Location: You can find it at Eleftherias 108, Limassol
Gay Beaches in Cyprus
Is there anything not to love about a gay beach? Nowhere else can you let it all hang out (literally and figuratively speaking!) with other queer people, unperturbed in pure bliss. Although Cyprus isn’t lacking in beaches (that’s for darn sure!), you may need to do some extra scavenging to find the gay ones. Each of the following gay beaches in Cyprus are so secluded that the chances of anyone spotting you are nil. The only downside with the gay beaches of Cyprus is that they are mainly rocky not sandy.
Kermia Gay Beach in Agia Napa
Agia Napa is a favourite for tourists. The white sands and shining blue waters are truly irresistible for holidaymakers. But unbeknownst to the majority of travelers, a gay portion of the beach lays tucked away…*it’s our furry pink secret*! Locally we call it “Kermia Beach” because it’s close to Kermia Hotel. It's not a sandy beach so be prepared. You’ll need to climb down the rocks to reach it, so make sure you wear shoes or flip flops rather than going barefoot.
To reach Kermia beach, add the follow coordinates to your GPS: 34.973000, 34.033167. This takes you to the car park. Note there is a direct link to the car park from the main road but Google Maps doesn’t quite pick up on this. From the car park, walk straight along towards the sea over the rocky terrain, right to the edge cliff, then down below you’ll spot the gay area.
Pissouri gay beach near Paphos
Pissouri is located just outside of Paphos towards Limassol. It’s a long stretch of sand – one end of it is the unofficial nudey area where both straight and gay couples congregate. The bit right at the end of this is the gay bit. It’s a bit of a trek, but as a result it’s totally secluded.
To reach Pissouri gay beach, add the following coordinates to your GPS: 34.6482630, 32.7352600. This is the actual location of the gay beach. To get to it, drop your car at this location in your GPS: “MP2F+6QP, Pissouri 4607, Cyprus”. From here walk down to the beach and walk East (ie left) until you reach a load of rocks. Climb over these and keep walking along. You’ll first reach the general nudist area – keep walking beyond this (climbing around a few more rocks), and you’ll eventually arrive at the gay area.
Governor’s gay Beach near Limassol
Located a 20-minute drive from Limassol (towards Larnaca) is Governor’s Beach. It’s right on the border between the Limassol and Larnaca regions, which has a mix of beaches and coves, most of which are served by a restaurant or beach bar.
To get to the gay area of Governor’s beach, use the restaurant area of Governor’s Beach as a point of reference. Leave your car here, then walk down to the beach and head west side (i.e. on the right) towards the quayside until you hit the “Aspra Vrahia” (White Rocks). The gay beach is just beyond the rocks.
Gay Pride in Cyprus
Rising from the ashes of a once ultra-conservative country, Cyprus Pride has grown in popularity since its inception in 2014. Government-supported, star-studded, and socially adored, you can’t help but get caught up in the magic when Pride comes to the Cypriot city of Nicosia.
Accept, the country’s national LGBTQ-rights organisation, have run the festival each year. They put together a massive parade route through the city every June/July (except the Covid affected years of 2020/2021), in which a variety of groups participate.
A few famous faces, like Anna Vissi and Eleni Foureira, have been known to pop up for a singsong, to honour their queer fandom. It’s a fun-filled, campy day out for all. Check out the Pride’s Facebook page to see what events are happening this year and don't forget to read our post about experiencing Cyprus Pride!
Gay saunas in Cyprus
There are currently no active gay saunas in Cyprus. The Vinci Sauna in Larnaca was the only gay sauna in Cyprus but has been temporarily closed since Covid-19 hit. In any case, the gay sauna scene in Cyprus has been slowly disappearing over the past decade due to the rise in the popularity of gay dating apps.
There are however many popular cruising grounds in Cyprus, mainly in and around the gay beaches which we mentioned above.
Best restaurants in Cyprus
If you’re going to Cyprus, having “mezedes” in an authentic village taverna is the way to go. “Mezedes” or “meze” is like tapas – lots of small local dishes served in a large quantity. It’s the best way to get a flavor of the local food. Across the island, there are a bountiful amount of excellent tavernas to try. These are some of the ones that we loved the most, but this list is by no means exhaustive!
Mousikos Taverna in Sotira village
Mousikos Taverna is an exquisite outdoor taverna with round archways, long tables, fine wine, and scrumptious island food. Could you forgive us for soaking up our Mamma Mia fantasy? And unlike Meryl Streep, we’ll be going back for a full sequel (sips tea). Mousikos is one of the most famous tavernas in all of Cyprus – and for good reason. Their meat meze is one of the best we’ve tried on the whole island, especially their halloumi – it’s famous! But it’s super popular as well, so you’ll need to call ahead to reserve a table, especially on a weekend evening.
Kalamies in Pernera
With the rushing sounds of the Mediterranean, the cool salty breeze, and the fresh, delicious seafood, it can only be a night at Kalamies. It has sat by the beach in Pernera since 1976, having been set up as a family business, and it’s still going strong. Their fish meze is our favorite of all tavernas we’ve tried in Cyprus. Most fish meze focus on fried kalamari. Here, there is far more variety of dishes included, some that we’ve never tried before. 100% recommended!
Agios Epiktitos Taverna in Limassol
Go for the local Cypriot food. Stay for the wine! With exceptional views, cheerful waiting staff, and mouth-watering food, it’s no surprise Agios Epiktitos is as popular as it is. Their meat meze is one of the best in Limassol. To give you an idea – all meats are grilled on Cypriot carob wood, the lountza (Cypriot smoked ham) cooked in a yummy rich wine sauce. The other reason we love this place so much is because it’s super romantic and the views over Limassol are very impressive!
Piatsa Gourounaki in Nicosia
One of the best restaurants in Nicosia according to TripAdvisor, Piatsa Gourounaki sure knows how to take care of its customers. We rarely go back to a place more than once on our travels but for this place, we had to make an exception. On our second round, the staff remembered us by name – that’s how much they love their guests. The food itself is so affordable, given how delicious and filling each dish is. Both Seby and I (shamefully) had to undo a belt buckle at the end of our meals…
Things to do in Cyprus
The #1 thing to do in Cyprus is to get your sweet dose of Vitamin Sea! Cyprus has some of the best beaches in Europe, especially the eastern side of the island around Agia Napa. Thanks to its location in the southeast Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus has an incredible climate almost throughout the year. Beyond the beaches, be sure to also check out the mountain villages, many of them famous for their vineyards. We've put a summary of all this and more of our favorite highlights of Cyprus right here:
Tan on the beach
Cyprus has some of the best beaches in Europe – maybe even in the world, but being part-Cypriot myself, I am totally biased! The waters are the kind of crystal clear, Mediterranean blue that people dream about when going on holiday. The best beaches of Cyprus are mainly located on the east side of the island near Agia Napa like Nissi Beach, Konnos Bay and Fig Tree Bay. If you get really lucky you can even spot a few turtles out in the beaches of Malama, Cavo Maris and Green Bay.
Trekking in mountain villages
Ok, so we’ve gushed about the beaches, food, and wine. Now it’s time to strap on a pair of hiking boots and get moving! You didn’t think we were going to let you off that easy, did you? There are many gorgeous villages across the Troodos Mountains where you can base yourself in like Platres, Vasa, and Vouni. Head out on a clear day to capture the magnificent views from the summit. More importantly, bring a camera, so you can immortalise the sights in your memory forever!
Wine tasting in the mountain villages
No Nomadic Boys Mediterranean holiday would be complete without a wine-tasting experience! One of the best things to do in Cyprus is head to one of the wine villages (like Omodos, Platres, Lofou, or Pachna), either by yourself or on a tour, and check out the local vineyards. This Cyprus wine tour experience takes you around the stone-built village of Omodos, located on the border of Paphos Forest. Along the way, look out for medieval Venetian landmarks and Byzantian Churches, then enjoy some exquisite wine tastings in the wineries.
Nicosia is the last divided capital of Europe… and visiting it is very much like returning to the Cold War days. On the southern side, you’ll find a thriving, modern city that is full of high street stores and places like Starbucks. But just across the border on Ledra Street to the Northern occupied side (you’ll need your passport!) it feels like you’ve gone back 50 years. We recommend seeing the Shacolas Tower. At the top are extraordinary views of the city and it also has a small but fascinating museum about Nicosia.
Snorkeling and diving
Up for a dive? Whether you love swimming with sea turtles or discovering shipwrecks, there are plenty of excellent snorkeling and diving spots along the Cypriot coast. One of the most popular dive sites is the Zenobia shipwreck in Larnaca. It’s a cargo ship that sank 138 feet (42m) beneath the surface after getting into some technical difficulty whilst trying to dock. For a fun snorkeling experience, head down to the eastern beaches where there is an abundance of turtles, particularly around Cavo Maris and Green Bay Beach.
Explore Limassol old town and promenade
Take a gander around Limassol’s historic center, known for having one of the oldest fishing ports in the city. We loved taking in the colonial-style buildings, meandering cobblestone paths, and famous medieval castle. The square outside the castle is a bustling marketplace, full of tea shops and coffeehouses where you could lose yourself for hours. Also, check out the busy shopping streets and pick up some local goods, like wine, olive oil, honey, and leather.
Tomb of the Kings in Paphos
Believed to be the burial sites of many Paphitic aristocrats and high officials before the 3rd century, the UNESCO-listed Tomb of the Kings is a must-see for history lovers. We’re total geeks for Ancient Classical stuff, so we loved getting the chance to explore the stony sites and imagining what kind of people could be resting there. Sadly, very little is known about who is buried there – some reports indicate grave robbers were responsible for robbing bodies of any identifying goods.
A beautiful national park on the south-eastern tip of the island – Cape Greco is the ideal spot for swimming or sunset watching. Right beside one of our favorite beaches, Konnos Bay, there is so much to marvel at. From the sea caves to the Lover’s Bridge (a nature-made archway), we spent a whole afternoon here exploring the area on foot and drinking in the stunning views. There is also an excellent hiking trail through the area with many impressive dramatic coastline views along the way.
Blue Lagoon Beach in Akamas
They weren’t kidding when they called it “blue” – as it is the bluest blue to ever blue! It’s the largest bay in the Akamas district as well as an optimal spot for swimmers, largely because of how warm the water is here. It’s quite a tricky spot to get to though. The safest way to reach it is to pass through the village of Neo Chorio. From there, you head towards Fontana Amoroza until you eventually reach the Blue Lagoon. Alternatively, you can simply join a day trip so someone else can drive you and you just get to enjoy yourself!
Aphrodite’s Rock (Petra tou Romiou)
Just off the shore along the road to Limassol, you’ll find Aphrodite’s Rock – the fabled birthplace of the ancient goddess herself. Its dramatic beauty and choppy waters are what make the attraction so popular. According to legend, if you swim around the rock 3 times, it will bring you luck for true love, fertility, eternal youth, and beauty. Not that you need it, of course, but it can never hurt to get more! It’s a handy stopover if you’re driving from Limassol to Paphos, or you could book this ATV safari to the rock for something totally different!
Plan your trip
We've put together some handy hints and tips to help you plan your own trip to Cyprus. Read on to find out everything the gay traveler should know before they go.
How to get there: Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean so you'll most likely be flying into one of the two international airports. Larnaca is the main airport but some budget carriers also arrive in the Paphos airport. There are shuttle bus services (and taxis) from both airports, but we personally prefer to pre-book a private transfer. If you're arriving at Larnaca Airport be sure to check out our detailed guide on getting from Larnaca Airport to Ayia Napa.
Visa requirements: Cyprus is a member of the EU but not the Schengen Zone. Citizens from most countries (including America, Canada, and Australia) don't need a visa to stay in Cyprus for up to 90 days as a tourist. If you're traveling from somewhere else or just want to make sure, check your personal visa requirements before booking yuor holiday to Cyprus.
Getting around: We strongly recommend renting a car to explore Cyprus, as the public transport system is very limited and super slow/unreliable. You can organize to pick up a rental car from Larnaca or Paphos Airports, but do beware that you drive on the left-hand side of the road here (ie like in the UK)! The Cyprus By Bus website can help you figure out the local buses, and for taxis, we recommend downloading the Bolt app.
Power Plugs: Cyprus uses the same 3-pin power plugs as the United Kingdom. If you're traveling from anywhere else you will need to bring a travel adaptor with you. At least, if you want to be able to charge any of your electronic devices!
Travel insurance: Even though Cyprus is a very safe destination we still always recommend getting travel insurance since you never know when something like lost luggage, canceled flights, or illness can completely ruin your holiday. We've been using World Nomads Travel Insurance for years and always been happy with them. Their cover is comprehensive and affordable, plus it's pretty straightforward to make a claim online.
Vaccinations: The CDC recommends that travelers to Cyprus be up to date with all routine vaccinations, for things like measles, mumps, chickenpox and Covid-19. It's also recommended that unvaccinated travelers be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B.
Currency: Cyprus uses the Euro, like many other countries in the EU. The symbol is € and $1 converts to about $0.84, while £1 is worth about €1.16.
Tipping culture: In Cyprus, restaurant and hotel bills often include a service charge, so make sure you check for this before tipping any extra. In other places (like bars, cafes or taxis) you are not expected to tip, but can also leave a couple of euros or round up the fare if you want to. Here is some more information about tipping etiquette in Cyprus.
Accommodation: For more accommodation options in Cyprus make sure you check out Booking.com. They have so many excellent listings to choose from, at the best prices, and many offer free cancellation so you can be spontaneous if you like to! They also have excellent online customer support that's available 24/7 if you need help with anything.
Sightseeing and adventure: For more fun tours and activities in Cyprus we recommend GetYourGuide. Whether you're into adventure or romance, history or food, there'll be something fun to tickle your fancy. Their online customer support is also available 24/7 and excellent, plus it's really easy to book online.
When to visit: Cyprus has a subtropical Mediterranean climate, so it's lovely and warm in the winter and very hot/humid in the peak season months of July/August. The best time to visit is in May/June or September/October when it's not too hot or busy, and the sea is still warm.
Gay map of Cyprus
We've put together this map to show you all the places we've mentionned in this gay guide. Use it to help plan your own fabulous gay trip to Cyprus!
For more inspiration:
- For more sun and sand, these are the best gay beaches around the world
- As well as the best gay beaches in Europe
- If you don't mind getting your kit off, check out the best nude gay beaches around the world!
- Or perhaps you'd enjoy one of these fabulous gay nude cruises…
- If you're heading east, check out our gay travel guide to Lebanon
- And our gay city guide to the capital of Beirut