Welcome to an island where the beaches glitter gold and white under virtually endless summer sun, where the tavernas churn out the best darn honey-doused haloumi you’ve ever tasted, and where the archaeological dig sites reveal the secrets of ancient civilizations. Tempted? Of course you are! But is Cyprus expensive?
That’s where this guide comes in. Here, we’ll pick apart the budget for seeing this much-loved holiday island of the eastern Mediterranean to outline what you’re likely to spend on everything from hotels to activities. We’ll also offer a ballpark figure for what we think the average holiday to Cypriot shores will set you back.
The good news is that Cyprus is by no means the most expensive place to vacation in southern Europe. You can spend loads here if you like, but you can also get your fix of Vitamin Sea and turtle-crawling beaches for less if you’re looking to travel on a shoestring. Let’s take a look…
The average cost of a holiday to Cyprus
Overall, we’d say a week-long trip to Cyprus will cost you in the region of $1,155 per person. That’s based on coming in the peak season of summer (as the vast majority of people do, mainly because the weather’s better) and staying in a midrange, three-star hotel. We’ve included a cost of $200 for flights to Cyprus in the first place but remember that they will be A LOT more if you’re starting your travels in the USA, not Europe.
To reiterate: This is midrange travel. Those who want to push out the boat and get a taste of luxury will certainly spend more. Beachfront hotels and villas with pools can cost upwards of $200 a night in these parts, and you can drop a lot more cash on food in swankier bistros if you like. On the flip side, it’s possible to visit Cyprus for MUCH less if you’re travelling on a shoestring. For that, check out the bargain hostels in Nicosia and think about coming in the off season of winter.
Is Cyprus expensive to get to?
Here’s some good news to get us rolling: Cyprus isn’t at all that pricy to get to in the first place. Things have changed in the last couple of decades and now oodles of low-cost carriers link the isle to major European hubs. There are two main arrival points. The largest is the Larnaca International Airport, which hosts upwards of nine million passengers each year. Then there’s the Paphos International Airport, which hosts three million but is closer to the popular resorts of the western coast.
As mentioned, you’ve got loads of choice when it comes to carriers here. Everyone from BA to Lufthansa is in on the action. So, too, are the money-saving budget airlines of Wizz, Ryanair, and easyJet. The upshot? High competition means lower prices, which is why you can sometimes score shoulder-season airfare for something like $25 each way without bags.
The cost will spike during the main summer season. That typically starts in earnest around early July when the main European school breaks begin. When that happens, you’re looking more in the region of $200 return without bags, though there are some bargains to be had if you book at least 90 days prior to take off.
It’s not such a rosy picture for travelers coming in from the USA. Sadly, neither Paphos nor Larnaca have long-haul links stateside. In fact, they don’t host any long-haul arrivals whatsoever. That means you’ll need to sort the transatlantic link across to Europe before heading to the beaches and ancient ruins. That can add around $400+ to the cost of your travel.
Finally, don’t forget that Cyprus is split in two. North Cyprus is accessed via the Ercan Airport, but it only has connections from mainland Turkey and nowhere else. The better way to get there is to fly to south Cyprus and then drive across in a taxi.
The cost of hotels in Cyprus
Cyprus is no Monaco. In fact, it’s got a whole medley of hotels that are specifically aimed at the budget and midrange end of the spectrum. They’re largely strewn up the west coast, which is where you find the most-trodden resort towns of Coral Bay, Paphos, and Peyia, but there are also lots in the south (more developed) and in the north (quieter). Self-catering accommodation is very common and can also help you save more. There are also charming B&Bs and local guesthouses, often attached to a taverna.
Naturally, you can expect to pay more the closer you stay to the beach. That’s the way it is all across the Med. On top of that, there are some resorts in Cyprus that command higher rates overall when it comes to hotels – Coral Bay, Limassol, Ayia Napa. Oh, and the cost of rooms will soar in the summer season to more than 20-40% what it was only a month or two before, which is why shoulder-season travel is a doozy for those watching the piggy bank.
Luxury seekers also have plenty on the menu. A good clutch of high-class resorts come with pools and spa facilities if that’s what you want. You can also score private villas in the hills behind the beach. They usually have private swimming spots, big land plots, fantastic views, and plenty of seclusion.
Here’s a look at some of the top hotels in Cyprus from all price brackets:
- The Ivi Mare ($$$) – Relax and unwind in style at this adult’s only hotel with a stunning pool within walking distance of the Paphos Old Town.
- Our House ($$) – Bed down in a traditional Cypriot cottage in the mountains, only with the added bonus of a hot tub with views!
- NEX Hostel ($) – You won’t break the bank with this dorm hostel, which puts you in the buzzing capital of the country, Nicosia.
Overall, we’d recommend budgeting in the region of $60-90 a night for your hotel in Cyprus. That’s about $525 for a whole week.
The cost of food and drink in Cyprus
You’re not going to want to skip out on the food in Cyprus. This island is the veritable home of haloumi cheese and, yes, the chewy dairy does taste better here! You’ll find it served up in the taverns in a mix of styles, fresh from the BBQ grill, sizzled with lemon and thyme, or topped with a glaze of honey. On top of that, you have a medley of fantastically fresh Mediterranean seafood, Greek gyros, Turkic kebabs – you name it!
If that’s got the taste buds a-tingling then read on…We’d estimate that the cost of a meal in a midrange Cypriot taverna is around the €12 ($12.80) mark. That’s just shy of $26 for two but it includes a house wine or soft drinks. You can spend less by eating at the hole-in-the-wall joints, where a pita will cost less than $5 a pop, though those sorts of places are only available in larger resorts like Limassol and Paphos.
Groceries are about 15% cheaper here than they are in the UK and the US. That’s not a whole lot, but remember that this is an island, so anything that’s not made in Cyprus itself needs to be imported. Example prices are €1.27 ($1.30) for a loaf of bread, €4.30 ($4.60) for a lump of local cheese, and €1 ($1.07) for a pound of tomatoes.
We’d recommend budgeting $40 per day for food, but less if you’re planning on going self-catering and cooking for yourself.
The cost of activities in Cyprus
We’d say one of the best ways to get out and exploring the whole isle of Cyprus is to have your own car. Hitting the road here isn’t that stressful at all. They drive on the left (as in the UK) and many of the highways are pretty new, but there are some mountain roads that weave and wiggle around the peaks when you head inland. The good news is that car hires tend to be cheap – you’re looking at about $250 for a whole week in the peak of summer.
There are also oodles of other activities to think about here, some of which we’d say should be on every first-time traveler’s Cyprus bucket list:
- The Kato Paphos Archaeological Park (€3.40/$3.63) – Go and see the amazing ruins and mosaics of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a must for history buffs.
- A package of three scuba dives (€135/$144) –Cyprus is a mecca for scuba aficionados, with the dive sites of the MS Zenobia and the sea caves of Protaras on the menu.
- A boat trip to the wonderful Blue Lagoon on the Akamas Peninsula (€29/$31) – Sail around to some of the most spectacular beaches on the island and spot sea turtles in the wild.
- A day trip up to the Troodos Mountains to hike and see old Orthodox shrines (€44/$47) – The mountains of Cyprus are a wonderworld of adventure. Day trips are a great way to escape the beach resorts and see them during your holiday.
We’d factor in an extra spend of about $150 for activities in Cyprus during a week-long stay.
Is Cyprus expensive – our conclusion
Is Cyprus expensive? Yes, and no. It’s a touch pricier than other destinations in the southern Mediterranean, especially in the Balkans region. However, it’s nowhere near as dear as places in Scandinavia or Western Europe. We’d estimate a total spend of about $1,155 for a week-long trip. And remember, you can cut that outgoing significantly by choosing to visit outside of the main summer season (June to August) and staying further away from the beaches, especially the popular resorts of Limassol, Ayia Napa, and Coral Bay.