When it comes to travel in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is often overlooked by nearby Greece, Italy, or even Israel as a travel destination. However, if you’re looking for a sunny, beach-filled getaway, then you might want to take a look at Cyprus instead. This country has quite a bit to offer, especially considering that it’s a fairly small island.
For the purpose of this article, I’m going to propose a 1-week trip, 7 days and 6 nights, to Cyprus. This will give you enough time to explore the island, enjoy the beaches, take in some of the history, and wander through the small towns. Mind you, some people may consider this to be too long, but this article is meant to just give you ideas.
Also, note that this estimated budget has been created for one person. If you are travelling as a couple you’ll need to double these costs (except for hotels).
The cost to go to Cyprus
Local transportation $150
Food and drink $300
Random spending $100
Total $2,350 USD
The above estimate is in American dollars, so please use xe.com to find out the average costs in your home country.
Since Cyprus is such a small island, and not one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe, it can be a bit tricky to get to. If you’re coming from North America, you won’t be able to find anything direct and can expect at least one stop-over in places like Austria, Germany, or even Cairo, Egypt. You’ll probably end up paying about $1,000 return for these flights.
Alternatively, you can easily find cheap flights to Cyprus from Europe with budget airlines like Ryanair. If you were to go this route, I’d suggest finding a flight to London, then booking London to Cyprus separately. Depending on where you are departing from in North America, you can cut your costs down as much as 50% by doing this.
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Gold Rewards Card gives you a signup bonus of up to 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $300 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees, a sign up bonus worth $250 and it comes with airport lounge access.
When it comes to choosing a place to stay, it depends on what you are interested in seeing and doing, and how much you want to travel around the island. I’ve based the estimate on the price of mid-range hotels, however, there are plenty of more luxurious as well as more budget-friendly options as well in all of the major destinations.
Paphos has some really nice beaches and resorts, along with some very interesting archaeological sites. It’s the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite and is popular with couples and honeymooners. For recommendations on where to stay in Paphos, consider:
- Luxury: Louis Ivi Mare or Amavi- Made for Two Hotels
- Midrange: Club St. George or Roman Boutique Hotel
- Budget: KATKA Hostel Paphos or C.A.T Hostel
Limassol is about 45 minutes from Paphos. It’s a much larger city that is more local than touristic. There are beaches here as well. For recommendations in Limassol consider:
- Luxury: Amathus Beach Hotel Limassol or Four Seasons Hotel
- Midrange: Harmony Bay Limassol or Pefkos City Hotel
- Budget: Jedi Hub Hostel or Lima Sol House
Larnaca is also a coastal city, it’s a port city. Again, great beaches and a lively nightlife scene. For recommendations in Larnaca, consider:
- Luxury: Lokal Hotel or Island Boutique Hotel
- Midrange: Mikes Kanarium City Hotel or Livadhiotis City Hotel
- Budget: KATKA Hostel
Ayia Napa is considered to be the party place in Cyprus and it’s where you will find mostly young people. The beaches here are beautiful but it’s the nightlife that many people come for. For recommendations on accommodation in Ayia Napa, consider:
- Luxury: Alion Beach Hotel or Hotel Napa Suites
- Midrange: Anthea Hotel Apartments or Central Square Ayia Napa
- Budget: House of Nissus
Nicosia is the capital. It’s not on the seafront but is incredibly interesting because it is the only divided capital in the world. The border of Turkish-occupied Cyprus passes through the city and as long as you have your passport, you can cross back and forth between both sides. For recommendations on where to stay in Nicosia, consider:
- Luxury: Cleopatra Hotel or Hilton Nicosia
- Midrange: Centrum Hotel- City Center or Altius Boutique Hotel
- Budget: NEX Hostel or Xanthis Hostel Nicosia City Centre
While Cyprus is small, you may want to divide your stay into a couple of different areas. Perhaps Paphos and Larnaca or Ayia Napa? That being said, if you do divide your stay, you’ll want to keep in mind that you (probably) need to get back to the same airport that you flew into.
Please note that my estimate of $100 per night is based on dates for June. If you’re travelling during low season, you’ll find that the prices drop quite a bit, however, if you come during July or August you can expect them to be higher.
If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. For example, Canadians should consider the BMO World Elite Mastercard since it typically has a sign up bonus of $250 when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership. This card does have an annual fee of $150 but it’s normally waived for the first year so you’re getting $250 for free. There’s also the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you 51,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $650.
If you plan on exploring as much as Cyprus as you can, then you’ll definitely want to get a car. While you can use the local bus service it isn’t always easy and often takes much longer. If you do rent a car, make sure to rent for at least 3 days to get the best prices. This will be about 50 dollars (for all 3 days) so about 100 for 6 days in high season or half of that in low season. Keep in mind pricing also depends on vehicle type and model.
On top of the rental cost, you will need to add in fuel costs. Again, this can vary greatly depending on how much you use the car but you expect to pay maybe another $50 in fuel if you are doing quite a bit of exploring. You may also need to pay for insurance unless you have a credit card with free rental car insurance.
Again, it is possible to take the bus if you want, or even rely on some day tours, but having a car really does make a difference.
What is there to see and do in Cyprus? Well, compared to other, larger countries maybe not a ton from a tourist perspective. But, if you are looking for beautiful beaches for swimming or scuba diving, scenic areas for photographing, picturesque old towns for wandering, and ancient ruins for exploring then you’ll be pretty happy with Cyprus as a vacation destination.
The best part? Most of these things don’t cost you anything to enjoy. Sure, you’ll need to pay to for scuba diving and yes, there are a few historical sites that you need to pay to access, but when it comes to attractions, Cyprus is quite cheap.
If you aren’t planning on renting a car you may be interested in doing a couple of day tours which may mean you need to increase your budget. If not, $200 is probably a very safe amount to put towards attractions in Cyprus.
Food and Drink
As always, food and drink are tricky to set a budget for. A lot depends on what you eat, where you eat, and how much you eat. Average costs for daily meals are as follows:
- Breakfast: $7
- Lunch: $10
- Dinner: $25
- Daily total: $43
You’ll also want to add more if you plan on having a few drinks. Additionally, while you can drink the tap water in Cyprus, it tastes awful thanks to all the chemicals used in the filtering process, so you will need to buy drinking water as well.
*If you are staying in a resort, your meals or part of your meals may be included in the price. If that’s the case, make sure to reduce this part of your budget accordingly.
Cyprus isn’t a major shopping destination and, as mentioned above, most of the big sites and things to do are free of charge as well. That being said, it’s always a good idea to add a bit of extra money into your budget in case something comes up. Maybe it’s a few extra cocktails by the pool, or maybe a bottle of wine (or two) to take home. I’d be sure to add an extra $100 for random spending.
So, how much does it cost to go to Cyprus? Well, based on my estimates one week in Cyprus will cost you about $2,350 USD. Not too bad for a week-long vacation in the Mediterranean! Sure, Cyprus may not be as well-known as Italy or Greece, but if you are looking for an affordable beach destination in Europe, definitely consider Cyprus.