Cyprus might seem a quiet, relaxing beach resort on the Mediterranean, home to some of Europe's most beautiful beaches, but this country also offers ample outdoor adventure to those who can pull themselves away from the sand. Here are your options.
Cruises and Boat Tours
With some 400 miles (650 kilometers) of coastline, many of Cyprus' outdoor pursuits involve the water. From Paphos, boats head out into the beautiful bays of Akamas, where you can swim or snorkel in the clear waters of Blue Lagoon or practice cliff jumping from the rocky edges of Fontana Amorosa before stopping at the famous Baths of Aphrodite. Day cruises also run from Protaras to Cape Greco—a stunning area to explore natural sea caves. Sailing at sunset is another great way to experience the coast, with yachts departing in the late afternoon and including an al fresco barbecue dinner. Traveling with kids? The Black Pearl Pirate Ship plies the seas from Ayia Napa Harbour for a day of sunning, swimming, and swashbuckling fun.
Into the Mountains
While Cyprus might be more famous for its beaches, its mountains are no less beautiful. The Troodos Mountains stretch across the southern half of the island, providing a cool, pine-scented escape dotted with villages and natural springs. There's also the 11th-century Kykkos monastery and the UNESCO-listed Virgin Mary of Asinou Church. Meanwhile, the limestone Avakas Gorge, set 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Paphos, affords trekkers spectacular views and the chance to see abundant local flora and fauna, including the endangered centauria akamantis, found nowhere else on Earth.
If you really want to dial up the adrenaline, head to the Sayious Adventure Park just outside of Limassol for some off-roading in a caged buggy, an ATV tour of the surrounding mountains, or a go-kart race among friends.