Cyprus, an island located in the east Mediterranean Sea, is a beach-loverís paradise that has a distinct cultural divide that is one part Greek, one part Turkish. With a year-round average temperature of about 75 degrees F, and more than twice the daylight hours as cities to the north, such as London, itís no wonder Cyprus is a top travel destination. It doesnít hurt that the small island nation is ringed with some of the worldís prettiest beaches. Fortunately, Cyprus offers lots of seashore variety, meaning that if you want to spend your day in peaceful isolation or prefer enthusiastic crowds, itís easy to find a seaside hamlet that will fit your mood.
1. Coral Bay, Peyi
Coral Bay beach in Peyia, located on the west coast, has relatively restrained crowds due to restrictions on high-rise development. The horseshoe-shaped beach with golden sand and surrounding limestone cliffs is a classic Mediterranean landscape.
The calm waters at Coral Bay lend to its easy-going atmosphere and abundance of activities, including water skiing, paragliding, parasailing and diving. When itís time for a break from your R&R, the shoreline is dotted with lots of trendy cafes and bars.
2. Lara Beach, Akamas Peninsula
Lara Beach, located on the northwest coast, is known for its seclusion. Itís also one of the few remaining nesting spots for loggerhead and green turtles. For the benefit of these endangered and threatened ocean reptiles, lounge chairs and parasols are not permitted here. An added benefit for eco-loving travelers, critically endangered monk seals are known to sun by the sea caves.
3. Escape Beach, Kyrenia
Escape Beach, on north Cyprusí Kyrenia, is the seaside destination when you want to up the excitement a notch. While there is a fee to access this ocean-side spot, once inside, youíre greeted with live music and an outdoor dance floor, volleyball courts and libations. Escape Beach also caters to families. Activities include banana boats, canoeing, pedal boats and diving lessons and tours for beginners. If you get tired of the feel of sand between your toes, this spot also has a sundeck and lawn with bar service.
After a day of fun in the sun, use the onsite shower and changing facilities to continue your party into the night.
4. Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa
Nissi Beach on Cyprusí southeast coast gained its reputation for being one of the most social beaches around for its abundance of pubs, cafes and water activities, not to mention its soft white sand, crystalline turquoise waters and long coast. Offshore, an easily swimmable 75 meters (82 yards) lays a tiny island that attracts pockets of small crowds and a scenic rock-jumping cliff.
5. Konnos Bay, Cape Greco
Those looking for a chill beach vibe but not exactly seclusion need look no further than the southeast coastís Konnos Bay. A Blue Flag beach, a label awarded to beaches and marinas for maintaining strict environmental standards, Konnos is sheltered from high winds by a jagged, picturesque rocky formation. It may be less populated than other Cyprus beaches, but Konnos provides plenty fun activities. Visitors can take part a variety of watersports or just settle on long walks that pass by charming sea caves.
When traveling, especially to an island like Cyprus, itís important to protect yourself and your belongings with thigns like flight insurance and cruise insurance. Between lathering on suntan lotion a dozen times a day, jumping in and out of the sea, traveling to and fro from the beach and hotel, the chances of losing something valuable increases, and as a visitor, getting back a lost gadget, piece of jewelry or credit card may be slim. Trip insurance covers lost items as well as damaged personal property, health emergencies and more.
Cyprus beach photo courtesy of Shutterstock