in the middle
A sparkling jewel in the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus is ringed by bays of cerulean blue, threaded with yellow sands and dotted with great cliffs and craggy headlands. Over the centuries, this beautiful, rugged land has hosted superpowers aplenty. First came the Mycenaeans from Greece, and then Alexander the Great used it as a stepping stone to Asia. Add to that the Romans, the Turkish Ottomans and the British, the ancient ruins of Paphos and the crumbling castle of St Hilarion, and this small republic becomes much more than just sun, sea and sand.
Dealchecker has a fine array of Cyprus hotels which will allow you to explore everything from the Tombs of the Kings and the babbling Baths of Aphrodite to the shimmering beaches around Larnaca and the painted Kykkos Monastery.
Summertime sun seekers and beach lovers flock to the southern coast of the island from May onwards. Flying into Paphos, they quickly make a beeline for the riviera and for places like Larnaca and Ayia Napa. Popular spots to settle include the sands of Coral Beach, the golden stretch of Governor’s Beach, and on the shimmering white strip of iconic Nissi Beach.
Polis on the northern coast offers a balance of culture and seaside fun. Close to the dusty peaks and eucalyptus-dressed coastal summits of the Akamas Peninsula National Park, it's steeped in ancient legends and has excellent seafood eateries – perfect for a well-rounded Cyprus holiday.
Adventurers and intrepid types might prefer the chiselled peaks of the Troodos Mountains. This far-flung and wild landscape cascades down the ridges of Mount Olympus in the heart of the Greek side of the island. Dense swathes of Calabrian pine forests dress the vistas and ancient Byzantine churches rise next to babbling highland streams.
The island's divided capital Nicosia fuses the Turkic and the Greek. Cut-through at the center by cafe-dotted Ledra Street, it's home to Ottoman mansions and historic mosques. There are formidable Venetian walls to tour too, and the enthralling rooms of the Cyprus Museum to boot.
Bobbing fishing boats and one charming harbour keep bringing visitors to Kyrenia in the north. Join them for a feast of freshly caught fish and to gawp at the colossal outline of the mighty Byzantine castle that commands the port.
Sun-splashed Limassol has some of the best bargains on cheap hotels in Cyprus for travellers eager to stay close to the sea and the south coast. Away from the mega resorts of Paphos and Ayia Napa, holidayers here still get easy access to the beautiful beach with Aphrodite's Rock, shimmering Konnos Bay and the lively boardwalk-backed sands of Protaras.