Konnos Beach - Church of Saint Lazarus
Cyprus,  Europe,  Top posts

Cyprus in winter: why it’s the best time to visit!

Cyprus is a popular holiday destination for European travellers. Boasting a hot, sunny climate, a long coastline and a status as EU and Eurozone member (in the south and west of the island, at least), its beaches fill during the summer months with work-weary tourists wanting nothing more than to stretch out in the sun. But what about the winter months? Is worth the effort to visit Cyprus in winter, and what it is like to visit during the offseason?

I often travel for New Year, taking advantage of the post-Christmas quiet time for a bit of escapism after the hustle and bustle of the festive season. I must admit that Cyprus hasn’t always been on my personal radar, as my travel preferences tend more towards adventure travel and exploring the countries I visit, rather than crashing out on a beach (which is always fun for a few hours, but which I find hard to tolerate for long periods because… well, there’s a WORLD out there). But when I was brainstorming suitable destinations for my New Year break, Cyprus was suggested to me and promptly took a hold of my imagination. Maybe this was the big opportunity to check out a country I wouldn’t otherwise consider, at a time of year when the tourists are less interested and the temperatures cool enough to explore. So I set off to test out my theory.

Well, Cyprus in winter was a GREAT decision. Want to know why?


Want to check out my Cyprus itinerary for yourself? Well, now you can! Just visit my post Top Cyprus destinations: The perfect 5-day Cyprus itinerary to discover everything I saw and did for yourself!


The climate

The biggie. Visiting Cyprus in the offseason is all well and good, but iffy weather can put a serious dampener on your experience, right? Cyprus in December proved to be wonderful. Temperatures hovered around 18-20 Celsius (the mid-60s Fahrenheit), with blue skies and sunshine. For a North European such as myself, this was a perfect temperature. I spent most of my trip in a t-shirt, soaking up the rays without the overheating and sunburn that I usually encounter in hotter temperatures. Beach weather it’s not, but great mood-boosting and sightseeing weather? Definitely.

Full disclaimer: I did have about a day and a half of rain in my 5-day trip, but everyone I encountered told me this was very unusual. And the clouds were quickly forgotten when the sun came back out. Do take a waterproof jacket, though, just in case.

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The quiet beaches of Larnaca’s coastline in late December

The tourists

Well, there weren’t any. Or very few, anyway. My image of Cyprus has always been one of beaches and bars crowded with drunk foreigners (a fair chunk of them British), and this was one of the main things putting me off the country as a destination. But at this time of year, all I really encountered were locals and expats who clearly lived there over the winter months. Tourists were few and far between, and, from what I could see, sober and respectful. If you want to see Cyprus without the crowds, this is the time to go.

If you like sunshine, pleasant temperatures and historic sites all to yourself, Cyprus in winter is the perfect off-season destination! | Cyprus travel | Cyprus off-season | Winter Cyprus | Cyprus in December | Cyprus in January | Things to do in Cyprus in winter | #cyprustravel #wintercyprus #cyprusinwinter
Church of St Lazarus, Larnaca

The restaurants

Visiting when I did, I ate almost every meal at seafront restaurants with a panoramic view of the Mediterranean. Not once did I have to queue for a table, or find myself shoehorned into the back corner with a view of the bar and the toilets. With a couple of exceptions (from what I could see, Ayia Napa was a ghost town – although I didn’t venture too far in to check – and Limassol had some restaurants closed for the season), most restaurants were still open and running with steady but minimal business, which meant that I had a full choice of places to eat, but was treated to the best seat in the house and friendly service from staff who weren’t stretched to breaking point. Definitely a bonus of travel at this time of year.

The historic sites

There are so many things to do in Cyprus in winter. The country is brimming with places to visit, most of them with a history stretching back to the Crusades, the Roman period, or even back into prehistory. All of them are open year-round, and there are major advantages to visiting in the off-season. For one thing, the sites are not crowded. Although I was never the only visitor, there was plenty of space to spread out, enjoy the sites and get those all-important photos without a crowd of people blocking the view. The other great bonus at this time of year is the temperature; most of the sites have little or no shade, and the thought of visiting in temperatures of 50C+ is not appealing. But in wintertime, this isn’t an issue.

If you like sunshine, pleasant temperatures and historic sites all to yourself, Cyprus in winter is the perfect off-season destination! | Cyprus travel | Cyprus off-season | Winter Cyprus | Cyprus in December | Cyprus in January | Things to do in Cyprus in winter | #cyprustravel #wintercyprus #cyprusinwinter
Clifftop walk near Konnos Beach, Cavo Greco, southeast Cyprus

The hiking

With its beautiful Mediterranean coastline and the gorgeous Troodos mountains at its heart, the island is a great place for hiking and walking. Visiting Cyprus in January means the temperatures are perfect for a bit of outdoor exertion. I enjoyed clifftop walks on the Cavo Greco (Cape Greco) peninsula, as well as inland north of Limassol, where rolling countryside is punctuated by lakes and dried up reservoirs which make for fascinating views. The Troodos mountains get snow in winter, so it’s possible to take a snowy hike or even go skiing in the morning, before heading down to the coast for a bracing dip in the sea in the afternoon. Without heat to worry about, it’s a great time of year to check out Cyprus’s outdoors.

If you like sunshine, pleasant temperatures and historic sites all to yourself, Cyprus in winter is the perfect off-season destination! | Cyprus travel | Cyprus off-season | Winter Cyprus | Cyprus in December | Cyprus in January | Things to do in Cyprus in winter | #cyprustravel #wintercyprus #cyprusinwinter
Inland landscapes north of Limassol, southern Cyprus

Accommodation prices

If you want access to a wide range of accommodation at reasonable prices, Cyprus in winter is a great choice. By travelling out of season, you have less competition for rooms, and rates are very reasonable. Some hotel services might be lacking at this time of year (hotels bars and restaurants suffer from the lack of guests), but there is so much available outside your hotel that this really isn’t an issue.

I stayed at the Apollonia Holiday Apartments in Paphos, and can highly recommend them for location, hospitality and facilities if you are staying in the west of the island and want affordable, good value accommodation. Check out http://apolloniacy.com/ for more info (not sponsored).


If budget can be a struggle when planning your travels, check out this great post I was involved with for top tips on how to turn your travel dream into a reality!


If you like sunshine, pleasant temperatures and historic sites all to yourself, Cyprus in winter is the perfect off-season destination! | Cyprus travel | Cyprus off-season | Winter Cyprus | Cyprus in December | Cyprus in January | Things to do in Cyprus in winter | #cyprustravel #wintercyprus #cyprusinwinter
Aphrodite’s Rock, southwest Cyprus. New Year’s Day 2018

So, should I visit Cyprus in winter?

Well, it’s pretty obvious what my answer to that would be. If you’re looking for a beach holiday, you should probably head a little further afield at this time of year, but if you are a history and culture buff, a fan of discovering local towns and hiking the cliff paths, or just in need of a peaceful break in a sunny climate, it’s the perfect time of year. Just don’t tell your friends. We don’t want the secret getting out!

Enjoyed reading about Cyprus in winter? Considering winter in Paphos Cyprus? Click an image below to pin it!

I'm Jill, and I'm a British blogger who has been travelling for two decades, visiting more than 70 countries on 6 continents. I love to travel both solo and with groups, and to discover the cultures and peoples of the countries I visit. And I love to share a good story or two along the way!

35 Comments

  • Mike from TravelAndDestinations

    Cyprus sounds like a great destination to visit at any time of year. I’ve not been before but would now definitely consider it in the winter. 18-20c sounds like a nice temperature too for exploring and hiking.

  • Raquel

    Cyprus seems like a good idea during off-season! I wanted to add this destination to my travel itinerary this year but I was thinking more along the lines of early June. Is there any particular place in Cyprus you definitely recommend not missing out on? Thank you for sharing!

    • Jill Bowdery

      June will be hot!! But I’m sure you’ll love it! The archaeological sites around Paphos are definitely something you shouldn’t miss – and try and get to Kourion near Akrotiri as well. But take a hat and water as there’s very little shade. The Troodos mountains are supposed to be great as well, especially in summer – I didn’t go because it was icy up there in December, but I’ve heard great things!

  • Nicky

    Cyprus is somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a while, but the thought of drunk tourists always puts me off – this sounds perfect!! Thanks for sharing the secret! (though we’ll keep it a little quiet still, heheh)

  • Daniela

    I’ve been so many times to Cyprus in the summer and I must admit it’s one of y favourite places, especially the Turkish part. I found then the Greek too touristy for my liking. Never thought of going back in the winter, though.

    • Jill Bowdery

      I’d love to get back to see more of the Turkish part. But there’s definitely loads of great things to see in the Republic, it’s just a question of picking the time when the tourists aren’t around!

  • Jamie

    I enjoy hearing about places to visit in the off season and if it’s really a good time to visit. It sounds like Cyprus in the winter is perfect. Now just to find the time to get there!

    • Jill Bowdery

      It’s definitely the perfect time if you want to actually explore the country, not just endure the tourists! But I share your pain about finding time to see everything I’d like to see!

  • Savannah

    I love discovering places in the off season! It’s so different and I feel like you really can soak in the true atmosphere without 100s of other tourists! I love hiking too so that’d be my favorite thing to do! Great post!

  • Mina

    Lovely post. Honestly, I’ve never considered visiting Cyprus exactly because I imagine it super crowded and hot, but it actually looks amazing in winter. Thank you for the different perspective

  • Dani

    I’m sold! Unlike you, I’m a total beach bum so I’d always kinda fancied Cyprus haha, but I didn’t really know anything about it! It seems as if it really has a lot to offer, and I love all of your pictures 🙂

  • Agness of a Tuk Tuk

    Cyprus seems so picturesque, Jill! I would love to go hiking there. When’s the best time of the year to go hiking there?

  • Sophia Collins

    I totally vouch for Cyprus in winter season. I’ve been there in January, and I have no reason to discourage anyone about winter. Besides comfortable hiking conditions, lower prices, and few tourists, another advantage is great birdwatching. I’ve seen lots of flamingoes at Oroklini Salt Lake and Paralimni Lake.

  • Danielle

    Cyprus definitely isn’t somewhere I would have thought to visit in Winter! But it all makes sense really – I visited in August one year and it was too hot to do anything! Glad you had a great time!

  • Summer @ OutsideThisSmallTown

    My husband and I have been considering this destination along with Turkey for a while for this upcoming winter. SO glad I ran across your blog! You’ve inspired me even more to visit.

  • Kristin

    I know that I myself am a tourist, but I sure do love visiting places when there aren’t so many darn ones around! Haha I’m not one to lounge on the beach all day anyway, so I could totally enjoy hiking, eating with a view, and sightseeing in Cyprus in winter!

  • clara

    Your article is very good and inspired me. I am happy to be able to read your article. Thank you for sharing your holiday experience.

  • Éva

    Dear Jill,

    I enjoyed reading your Cyprus winter blog and would love to have your 5-day itinerary you offered
    “BONUS: Get my personal 5-day itinerary (plus map) for the perfect Cyprus winter trip! Just sign up below to get it straight to your inbox.”
    but can not find it anywhere where to sign up. ??
    Please help

    • Jill Bowdery

      Hi Éva – so glad you enjoyed the post! There should have been a big (very obvious) box below where you saw that message for you to add your email address. It looks like you have managed to sign up since you left the comment, but if not, please let me know and I will email the itinerary to you!

  • Jason G. Davidson

    I have found your article very informative and interesting. I appreciate your points of view and I agree with so many. You’ve done a great job with making this clear enough for anyone to understand.

  • Tracy

    great post, enjoyed reading this and I have just booked a 7 days Cyprus holiday over Christmas. Excited much. will sign up for the 5 days itinerary. thanks for sharing.

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