When the days are a little chilly, time spent by the seaside can be truly refreshing and rejuvenating! Take a drive to the island’s east coast for an altogether different wintry experience. White sand beaches are empty, the whole town is peaceful, and there is plenty of culture, history and natural beauty to take in!
1. Cape Greco National Park
Nothing beats a winter walk by the coast, and the Cape Greco National Park is the perfect place to enjoy the best of the natural world when it’s cool enough to conquer long distances. After all, the stunning national park is dissected by several signposted nature trails, one of which forms part of the E4 European Long-Distance Trail. Stop off at the whitewashed church of Agoi Anargyroi and be sure to sit back on a bench to soak up the beauty of the wild surrounds.
2. Ayia Napa Monastery
Forget the madness of summer bars and clubs; the central square of Ayia Napa in the winter months is a pretty peaceful place and it’s not widely known that it’s also where history comes to life. Step into the Ayia Napa Monastery for a glorious taste of the island’s past. Dating back to the 15th century, this Venetian Monastery built in Gothic style offers a haven of tranquility. Sit back and enjoy a lovely courtyard and fountain and take note of the sycamore tree near the south gate which is said to be over 600 years old.
3. Ayia Napa sculpture & Cactus Park
The Ayia Napa Sculpture Park is not only a beautiful site to see, it’s actually home to some of the best sculptural works of art in the country. Head here on a sunny winter’s day to take in the majesty of it all, with sculptures by over 50 artists from around the world on show. The views out to sea are just as impressive as the artwork, and there’s a Cactus Park to take in too, with plenty of rare cacti and succulents to impress the green-fingered and the nature lovers.
4. Makronissos Tombs
Chances are, if you’ve been to Makronissos beach in the summer, you haven’t wanted to do much more than enjoy a cool dip in the sea before lazing back on the sun lounger. But visit the area in the winter, without the harsh sun, and you can take in a bit of history while enjoying the benefits of the rejuvenating sea air. The adjacent Makronissos Tombs were used during the Hellenistic and Roman period and nineteen of them have been excavated to date alongside a small sanctuary to the east of the burial grounds.
5. Thalassa Museum
The whole family will love this museum set out over three floors, giving visitors insight into the history of Cyprus and its longstanding relationship with the sea. With much to delight young and old, you can take a good look at exhibits on show in chronological order, from paleontological periods until the present day. The museum also boasts a café and shop that provides unique mementos from your visit to Ayia Napa.