Although many simply fly and flop on this sun-drenched island country, we think you could be missing a trick. Yes, the stunning beaches and warm seas should be a large part of your visit, but there’s more to enchant you and your family – and distances aren’t huge, making a tour of about a week both fun and easy. Here’s our suggested itinerary so you can get the most out of your stay.
From Paphos airport in the southwest of the island, it’s a mere 20 minutes to the gorgeous design resort of Almyra. Usually the combination of elegant interiors and excitable children don’t instil instant relaxation in parents, but here the friendly staff, outstanding food and superb spa manage to do just that. There are no fewer than 4 pools to choose from, and there’s a small patch of beach for swimming and watersports.
If recharging batteries is required, then the superbly run and equipped kids’ club (which caters for ages 4 months to teens in the school holidays, and 4 months to 12 years at other times) will be your salvation. There’s also a useful ‘Baby Go Lightly’ service so you needn’t bring absolutely everything with you. Stroll along the seafront promenade into Paphos harbour for shopping and booking excursions such as boat trips to turtle beaches, or venture further to the Archaeological Park, which has Greek and Roman ruins to wander through.
After a few days decompressing, you could steer eastwards along the coast road, before heading inland to the foothills of the Troodos Mountains to explore orthodox monasteries, ancient stone bridges and pine-shaded hiking trails. Base yourselves between the sea and the peaks, 25km northwest of Limassol, in the delightfully peaceful village of Lofou. Here you’ll find boutique guesthouse Apokryfo, which offers an authentic slice of rural life amidst vine terraces and wineries.
The guesthouse’s vernacular architecture has been embellished with stylish details and classy accessories. Rooms can be combined to make family suites; there are also 2 independent houses and an apartment for a family of 4, all of which have kitchenettes for easy self-catering (breakfast is included in the rates). There’s a small pool for cooling off and an excellent restaurant on site, with other family-friendly eateries in the village.
For your last few days continue eastwards. Visit the water park near Limassol, then carry on to one of the prettiest hamlets on the island. Midway to Larnaca, and only 3km from the coast, sleepy little Psematismenos has 6 cheap and chic self-catering suites collectively known as Modus Vivendi. They’re set around a gorgeous pool and sociable terrace, and perfect for families on a budget. Breakfast hampers are available to order, and there are great-value seafront fish restaurants 5 minutes away in Zygi for when cooking becomes a chore.
Kid-friendly activities nearby include a camel park with a play area, coves around Governor’s beach, and an amusement park. Limassol also has a medieval castle and a modern marina, and there are white beaches along the coast towards Turkish Cyprus (itself an option for a day trip). Fly home from Larnaca full of fabulous food and fun memories.