If you’re looking to escape the grey, gloomy British winter, than the gorgeous and diverse island of Cyprus is magnificent choice. With winter temperatures comfortably floating around 20c, beautiful nature reserves, less crowded beach resorts, incredible historical sightseeing opportunities, and masses of fun activities, a winter holiday in Cyprus is a guaranteed memorable getaway for everyone!
Cyprus is a very sunny destination even during the winter, and is a great choice for those who want sun, but don’t enjoy the soaring summer heat. Winter in Cyprus lasts only from December to January, and even during that time, the weather is particularly mild. It is possible that there will be days of rain in the winter, though it is very rare they will last for very long. In the mountainous regions, temperatures can drop considerably in the winter, and skiing is possible.
If you are a nature lover, happy to spend your days outdoors, Cyprus is a wonderful holiday destination in the winter, as the landscape is transformed from dry a dusty and sun baked, into lush, green and fertile. The Troodos National Forest Park is the largest on the island with over 9,000 hectares, and is home to the largest number of plant life in Cyprus. There are numerous other nature parks on the island, most of which offer outstanding camping amenities. A sunny camping holiday is wonderful way to spend a relaxing family holiday in Cyprus, and there is the added benefit that winter is strawberry season in Cyprus, and they always taste best freshly picked!
A holiday to Limassol, situated on the southern coast, enjoys a pleasant winter climate, with average temperatures of around 20c (compared to 5c in London!). On a sunny day the beaches are peaceful and overcrowded, and if you don’t fancy a day on the beach, the city of Limassol has masses of fascinating historical attractions. The city’s main tourist attraction is the Lemesos medieval castle, built in the 14th century on the remains of a Byzantine castle, the castle has been occupied at various times by the Venetians, Ottomans and the British, and according the legend Richard the Lionheart was married here, the imposing architecture and grand history of this castle should not be missed!
Just west of the city you will find the huge Kolossi Castle, founded by the knights of Saint John in 1210, a superbly preserved peace of military history.
12 miles west of Limassol you will also find the ancient city of Kourion, arguably the most impressive archaeological site on the island. It is home to spectacular Greco-Roman ruins that include an amphitheatre originally built by the ancient Greeks around 200BC, and extended by the Romans for the use of Gladiator fights. Kourion also has a beautiful Temple of Apollo and exceptional examples of Roman aqueducts and baths.
Limassol has several fascinating museums including Folk Art Museum, the Limassol District Archaeological Museum, and also benefits from being the capital of Cyprus’ wine industry.
Beautiful Paphos is one of the most popular destinations in Cyprus, and not just for its stunning beaches – the whole town has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the dramatic Paphos castle is not to be missed. The defensive walls, and harbour area were originally built by Alexander the Great, so a holiday to Paphos is not to be missed.
Possibly a surprising sport to associate with sundrenched Cyprus is skiing, but there are excellent opportunities to be found in the Troodos Mountains. The snow on Mount Olympus, over 2000 metres high, is fabulous during the winter, with facilities open from January through to March. There are four ski lifts and slopes that range from beginner to advanced, including the daunting ‘Zeus’ on the north face of Mt Olympus.