Did you know that there are excursions from Cyprus that can take you to some of the most interesting places on earth? Of course, there is more than enough to see and do in Cyprus to keep you busy throughout your stay!
But maybe you won’t get many chances to visit this region of the world again because of where you live, or your budget, and want to see as much of it as possible on one trip. Maybe you come to Cyprus all the time, and feel like doing something a bit different for a few days of your holiday.
Or maybe, you are just like me – a born traveller who finds it hard to stay still for long and who loves exploring new places! Whatever your reason, on this page we have listed the best excursions from Cyprus that you can do and the best attractions to go when you are there.
One of the things that I personally love about Cyprus is its proximity to some really fascinating places, including the last of the original ancient wonders of the world – the pyramids in Egypt. Being so close to so many contrasting countries hasn’t only contributed to the unique culture of the Cypriots – it has also added a whole new dimension to Cyprus travel!
You will generally find it much cheaper to book these excursion tours once you are in Cyprus with a local company than with your normal travel agent. You can find these local tour companies advertised all around the southern coastal regions although the trips tend to depart from Limassol or Paphos. They are legitimate companies, so don’t be put off if they seem small.
You can find some very good deals, but be aware that with some companies entry to some of the attractions will not be included. Most excursions are via boat, and in some cases stop off in more than one country. In more recent years, flight excursions to Egypt have also been made available. Boat trips can usually be for anywhere between 2-5 days, and if you choose to fly to Egypt, it is possible to go just for the day.
Excursions to Cyprus from Egypt
The pyramids of Egypt are the last of the Ancient Wonders of the World to still be standing today and for this reason Egypt tourism is still as popular as ever, although it helps that it is a cheap place to visit of course! If you are not one for extreme heat, be careful of the time that you visit as Egyptian summers are HOT – even hotter than in Cyprus.
There are some great trips available to Egypt from Cyprus so take your time and look around. We did the one with Cruise Cyprus that included a lunch with traditional belly dancers! Since the unrest in January 2011, most cruise lines are still currently not running to Egypt so please check in advance and regularly look for updates on sites such as Lonely Planet.
Some of the top things to see and do on your excursion to Egypt include:
• The Pyramids of Giza
• The Sphinx
• A relaxing Nile cruise
• The National Archaeological Museum (the entrance fee to this place isn’t usually included in the excursion price so check the price before you go. I would only really recommend this place for serious enthusiasts of Ancient Egypt).
Excursions from Cyprus to Jordan
Some tour companies, such as Varianos Travel, also offer trips to Jordan where you can experience one of the more recently declared wonders of the world – the beautiful rose city of Petra.
Other great places to visit include Mount Nebo, a religious site where you will have stunning views over both Israel and Jordan, and of course the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth, and the minerals in the water here are believed to have a great effect on the skin.
Excursions from Cyprus to Israel
Israel is known by most Christians as the Holy Land and holds many places of religious significance so travel to Israel is remains a priority for many, even if it not for pilgrimage.
If you plan to travel to different places in the Middle East, leave Israel until last as you will be refused entry to countries such as Syria and Lebanon if you have an Israeli stamp on your passport.
We recommend taking a walking tour of Jerusalem and some of the top sights in Israel include:
• The Garden of Getheseme
• The Wailing Wall
• The Church of Nativity
Excursions from Cyprus to Lebanon and Syria
Most tour companies offer these two countries in the same trip which is why I have listed them together. Lebanon and Syria are also sometimes offered as optional extras on other trips.
If you do go to Lebanon, don’t miss the opportunity to try authentic Lebanese food which is amazing! It has a lot in common with Cypriot food but its own style and spice mixes! Most tours will also take you to traditional bazaars, which is a great experience.
Things to see in Lebanon include:
• The capital of Lebanon, Beirut
• Natural caverns at Jeita Grotto
• The Lady of Harissa Church
Things to see in Syria include:
• The Castle of Crac De Chavaliars
• St George’s Convent
Remember, as I said above, you cannot enter Syria or Lebanon if you have already been to Israel.
Excursions from Cyprus to Greece and Turkey
It is possible to spend a day in Turkey if you get there from North Cyprus but not from the south and it very cheap to get across – around 100 Lira for return trips.
You travel by ferry from Kyrenia to Tasucu in mainland Turkey and on a fast ferry this only takes two hours. There are slower ferries too but these take about 5 hours to reach Turkey. It’s up to you which one to take but they cost basically the same price, and I wouldn’t recommend the longer trip if you are anything like me – i.e. suffer from sea sickness!
The ferries leave in the morning and come back very late at night. For around an extra 150 Lira, you can take a car on the ferry. I would personally recommend this so that you can drive around and do sightseeing and cheap shopping for the day.
With Greece it is a little trickier, some of the boat excursion companies do actually stop at some of the Greek islands, (usually Crete or Rhodes) but travel to Greece from Cyprus is generally done on a specific cruise.
Have fun on your excursions from Cyprus!