A Cyprus Family Holiday – A Treasure Trove Of Outdoor Family Adventures
Taking a family holiday in Cyprus is often only equated with experiencing both rich history and culture. And, while there are countless historical sites in Cyprus ranging from mediaeval castles to Roman ruins to neolithic villages, there are also equally as many places for outdoor family adventures.
This guide is going to cover a number of active and outdoor things to do in Cyprus with kids. From hiking, to cycling, to SCUBA diving to windsurfing (as well as a few less active things to do with kids in Cyprus), a Cyprus family holiday can certainly include as much history as you’d like, but it can also be packed full of outdoor adventures!
If you have any questions about all of this, feel free to leave us a comment below, and then start planning your own family holiday in Cyprus!
A Bit Of Cyprus’ History
Before you start your Cyprus family holiday, it’s important that you know at least a bit about Cyprus’ history. And since the history of Cyprus is long and complex, here is just a bit of Cyprus’ long story, and in particular how things are there today.
In short, Cyprus is divided in two. Turkey controls the North and the Cypriots control the South. (Some people believe the Greek/Cypriots control the South – depending on your political stance). As a matter of fact, only the South is part of the European Union.
The divide happened in 1974 when Greek nationalists, with the support of military junta in Greece, performed a military coup. Since there was not total support against the coup, Turkey invaded the northern portion of the island, and to this day, they have controlled that area.
So, why did the split happen? Before ’74, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots lived together peacefully and cooperatively, but tensions rose when Greece and Turkey began to dispute who exactly owned the island. To this day, there is quite a bit of military presence in Cyprus, and if you want to visit the North you’ll need to pass through a handful of checkpoints and present your passport.
Where To Stay In Cyprus
Part of having an enjoyable family holiday in Cyprus is choosing the right place to stay. Our main advice here is stay within close proximity of the outdoor family adventure you plan to do. The usual suspects such as AirBnB, Booking.com and Hotels.com are good places to start for quite a number of accommodations.
However, if you’re particularly tired after your outdoor family adventures, and you’d like a real Cypriot treat, you might want to rent a villa in Cyprus. The options are nearly endless, and they range from more modest homes to extravagant beach front properties with their own private pools. When we travel as a family we usually like having more amenities than a hotel room or hostel has to offer, though we’ve yet to experience our own beach front villa with a private pool. But maybe we will someday!
When To Visit Cyprus
Frankly, if you’re planning a Cyprus family holiday around outdoor activities, it’s best to consider Cyprus’ seasonal weather trends. Broadly speaking, the best time to visit Cyprus is between May and June. At this time it’s not yet super hot and it’s also not super rainy. Much after June you’ll be battling the summer heat, and much before May you’ll likely encounter a lot of rain. Ultimately, it is possible to enjoy the many outdoor things to do with kids in Cyprus at any time of year, but again, aim for May to June if you can.
How To Get Around Cyprus
Rent A Car
While you’re on your family holiday in Cyprus, you’ll discover there is no single “best” way to get around. If you want the most convenience, you don’t have an endless amount of time and you’re willing to pay the highest price, consider renting a car in Cyprus.
Travel By Bus
If on the other hand you’ve got an open schedule, you’re willing to endure some of the inconvenience and discomfort of public transit and you’re a budget-conscious family, you can get around Cyprus by bus. Keep in mind, while sometimes you’ll buy a ticket ahead of time in a bus station, other times you’ll simply get right on the bus and pay the driver directly.
No Uber But nTAXI
No Trains Either
There is no railway system in Cyprus, so train travel isn’t an option here.
Outdoor Family Adventures In Cyprus
Finally we’ve come to the section on some of the incredible outdoor family adventures you can experience on your Cyprus family holiday. Now, keep in mind our list here is NOT exhaustive. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the things you can do in Cyprus with kids. Use this as a jumping off point for creating your own bespoke outdoor and adventurous family holiday in Cyprus. And if you need more ideas after reading through our guide, check out Cyprus’ tourist website for more.
Map Of All The Adventures
Who doesn’t like a good map? To make things a bit easier for you, we have put all of the outdoor family adventures we mention below on the following Google Map. Make sure to click the menu button to see all the details and to toggle on/off the different routes, etc.
Cyprus Family Holiday – Hiking Cyprus
There are a TON of family friendly hikes in Cyprus. The two we’ve selected below are both suitable for families. They are both located in the Troodos Mountains which is also where you’ll find the tallest mountain in Cyprus, Mount Olympos (1,952 m / 6,404 ft).
For hiking in Cyprus, you’ll want your basic day hiking gear. Think water, snacks, sun protection, sturdy shoes, some basic first aid, and of course your camera! While not necessary, it’s also always nice to have a phone in case of emergencies.
Hiking In Cyprus – Caledonia Waterfall
While the Caledonia Waterfall isn’t deep enough for swimming, it’s definitely deep enough for wading, and nevertheless, it’s beautiful! At only 2.4 km (1.5 mi) round trip, and with easy terrain, this is a perfect place for family friendly hiking in Cyprus. Consider bringing some picnic supplies and turning this into an even longer outing.
Hiking In Cyprus – Artemis Loop Trail
Given the length of the Artemis Loop hike, 7.9 km (4.9 mi), as well as the terrain, this one is more well suited for slightly older kids (5+). However, if you do have kids who are a bit beyond their toddler years, again, this is a great option for some family friendly hiking in Cyprus. There are a few ruins along the way, and since this route loops around Mount Olympos, the views are fantastic.
Hiking In Cyprus – European Long Distance Path E4
If you are planning a Cyprus family holiday, and you’ve got children who are old enough to do some long distance backpacking, section E4 of the European Long Distance Paths runs through Cyprus. Backpacking any of this will definitely require some pre-planning, including a good backpacking packing list, but if you’re well prepared and your kids are old enough, this could be a massively memorable outdoor family adventure in Cyprus!
Again, click the menu button in the map below to toggle on/off the E4 Trail.
Cyprus Family Holiday – Cycling Cyprus
If you’re anything like us, a family holiday in Cyprus wouldn’t be complete without some cycling. Again, there are many options for cycling in Cyprus. So, use the two family friendly routes below as a starting point for planning more cycling adventures in Cyprus.
Cycling In Cyprus Road Bike Loop From Mazotos
At 25 km (15.8 mi) this route is just long enough that you and your kids will be tired by the end of it, but not so much that you’ll be completely beat. Covering both coastal and mountain stretches, this ride is good for sampling the varied landscape in Cyprus.
Cycling In Cyprus Zygi – Beach Loop From Mazotos
A 48 km (30 mi) route regardless of the terrain is quite challenging, so we only suggest you do this route if you are cycling in Cyprus with your teenage children. Regardless, this route again gives you a good taste of both the coast and the mountains, so it’s a nice ride for seeing the variety of scenery on offer in Cyprus.
Cyprus Family Holiday – SCUBA Diving Cyprus
SCUBA diving is thrilling! And, kids can indeed SCUBA dive, as long as they are over 10-years-old. Moreover, SCUBA diving in Cyprus is world famous. From reef dives, to drift dives to dives for taking underwater photos, there are plenty of ways to experience the beautiful marine scapes in Cyprus.
Head to the Larnaca District in southeast Cyprus, and you’ll have lots of choices for dive shops and dive itineraries. Of particular note is the Zenobia Wreck. This massive ship is regarded as one of the best wreck dives in the world. At 42 meters (126 ft) underwater, this site is only going to be accessible to older teens and adults, but again, there are plenty of other sites that are suitable for younger kids.
NOTE: If you’re near the Larnaca Marina, consider checking out the lovely promenade walk.
Cyprus Family Holiday – Windsurfing
On the topic of water sports, with Cyprus’ 648 km (402.6 mi) of coastline, whether you’re a seasoned expert or just starting out, there are plenty of places for you and your family to experience this thrilling sport! In particular, if you head to Mackenzie Beach, there are plenty of rental shops to choose from. Some of them even offer lesson deals along with the rentals, so do a bit of shopping around before you settle on one shop.
Less Active Things To Do In Cyprus With Kids
We realize it’s not realistic for every day of your Cyprus family holiday to be filled with intense and action packed adventures. So, if you and your kids need a bit of a down day, here are a few suggestions for some more mellow adventures.
There are a number of places to spot turtles in Cyprus. If you have a good amount of time, consider volunteering to help with some turtle conservation work.
Cheese Making Workshop
If you didn’t know, Cyprus is regarded as the home of Halloumi cheese. This hard and tangy treat can be eaten in countless ways. It’s also something you and your family can make, if you participate in a Halloumi cheese making workshop. As many of the workshops are all day affairs, this is an activity best suited for older kids.
Self Guided Walking Tour Of The Capital City Lefkosia/Nicosia
Now this one isn’t a completely mellow option, but a bit of a walk shouldn’t tucker you out too much. So, consider taking a self-guided walking tour of Lefkosia/Nicosia. It’s completely free, and you’ll be able to enjoy as much or little of the rich history and culture in this capital city as you’d like.
Go Camping In Cyprus
Last but certainly not least, of the many things to do with kids in Cyprus on your family holiday, you should seriously consider going camping. There are tons of places to go camping in Cyprus, and if you do end up renting a car, there are sites you can drive up to, so again, this could be quite a mellow option.
Road Tripping In Cyprus
Taking a good old-fashioned road trip in Cyprus is also an option for seeing this magnificent country yet doing something a bit less active. Of course, make sure you familiarize yourself with the various road rules in Cyprus, and get the proper international drivers license, but after you’ve done those two things, you’ll essentially be ready to hit the road!
Plan Your Own Family Holiday In Cyprus
With all these ideas for outdoor family adventures in Cyprus, it’s now time for you to plan your own Cyprus family holiday. Again, what we’ve shared above is just a small sampling of the outdoor activities in Cyprus, so if you have any questions/comments, leave them below, and we’ll get back you just as soon as we can!