Summer in Cyprus is everything you could hope for from the Mediterranean: warm waters, hot days, plenty of sun, crowds that never stop partying in the resort towns, and good walking weather in the hills.
In the months before and after the summer peak, the weather is simply gorgeous – everything is open, but the number of visitors is manageable and prices dip. Late spring and early fall feature cultural festivals that have international appeal. In winter, the island cools off, seasonal businesses close and celebrations are built around families and uniquely local pursuits.
Here's a guide to the best times to visit this fun-filled Mediterranean island.
Low Season: November to April
Best time for quiet exploring
During Cyprus' off-season, rates in hotels plummet from tourist season highs, in line with the falling tourist headcount. Storms blow in from the Mediterranean, cloudy and rainy days become more common, and many businesses and attractions close. However, the countryside, especially in the mountains, can be crisply beautiful. Snow brings a brief ski season to the Troödos Mountains and 1,952m (6,404m) Mt Olympus.
Shoulder season: May and June, September and October
Best time to enjoy the sun without huge crowds
In the months immediately before and after the summer peak, almost everything is open. You can enjoy letting the hours slip past at a beachside cafe without having to share the experience with a crush of sun-seekers. Like the temperatures (in the higher 20s Celsius by day), the crowds are rarely overheated and there are some big cultural festivals. With lower daytime highs, this is the perfect time for walking in the mountains.
High season: July and August
Best time for full-on holiday fun
In the peak summer season, everything is open and special events aimed at visitors erupt across the island. Temperatures climb past 30°C (86°F) to oven-temperature heights, and the Mediterranean is warm and endlessly swimmable, but prices peak. Crowds add to the party atmosphere on the coast, particularly around Agia Napa, Lemesos (Limassol) and Pafos, while towns inland are quieter; it's easy to escape the crowds by heading for the hills.
Although the weather tends to be mild, the mountain peaks may get snow, ushering in a short ski season. This is the lowest-of-the-low season for tourism and many businesses are closed. Epiphany (6 January) is an important religious holiday in the south, with ceremonies and processions at every church in every village.
Key Events: Epiphany
Temperatures tend to be mild, so hiking and biking in the mountains are popular activities. Carnival is celebrated in the main squares of towns large and small, and on the first day of Lent in the south (Green Monday), everybody takes the day off from work for a meat-free picnic in the countryside.
Key Events: Lemesos Carnival, Green Monday
Wildflowers erupt across Cyprus in March (see if you can spot all of the 32 varieties native to the island), which makes this one of the best months for walking. Scattered warm days bring people out to the beaches but the sand is rarely crowded. The temperate weather means March is a big month for athletic festivals.
Key Events: Limassol Marathon, Logicom Cyprus Marathon, Cyprus Walking Festival
The weather is usually lovely during the month of April. Expect a taste of summertime crowds during Easter week – a popular time for spring holidays for locals and visitors alike. Every Greek Orthodox church has solemn processions and services punctuated by huge family celebrations. Should you get an invite to a family gathering, expect a raucous and memorable celebration that continues into the early hours. Note that the date (and sometimes month) of Easter changes every year.
Key Events: Greek Orthodox Easter
Most tourism-related businesses open for the season at Easter, so Cyprus is ready for warm-season visitors by May. The weather is often gorgeous (clear and sunny but not oppressively hot). You'll avoid the crowds of peak summer, but cultural festivals can still fill resorts and hotels.
Key Events: Bellapais Music Festival, International Pharos Chamber Music Festival
For many, June is a favorite month to visit Cyprus as you get peak-season energy without the overheated mobs. Advance planning pays off when it comes to bookings for accommodation, rental cars and tours as the peak summer season approaches (the last-minute selection is often meager).
Key Events: Kataklysmos Festival in Larnaka, Güzelyurt Orange Festival
Daytime highs on the beaches average 32°C (90°F) and there is little vacant sand at the popular beaches. Major music festivals draw visitors and performers from around the globe. For a calmer experience, head to outlying beaches on the Karpas and Akamas peninsulas.
Key Events: International Famagusta Art & Culture Festival, International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama, Larnaka Summer Festival
Beaches are packed, prices are high and the temperatures are even higher – often over 35°C (95°F). The clubs heave and the resorts never sleep. For a change of pace from the coastal mania, head to inland villages, many of which celebrate local festivals in August.
Key Events: Village festivals across the island, Mehmetçik Grape Festival, Fengaros Festival in Kato Drys
The start of the new school year calms the crowds, but everything remains open. The weather stays hot but at this quieter time, you might just snag a choice lounger on the beach. The vineyard and olive harvests begin, bringing a flurry of activity to the countryside.
Key Events: Lemesos Wine Festival, Pafos Aphrodite Festival, Cyprus International Film Festival in Pafos
The changing colors of autumn make countryside hikes — especially in the hills — both beautiful and relaxing. Tourism to Cyprus begins winding down as the month progresses, but you can still enjoy a meal at a top restaurant and lounge away the day on a seafront chaise thanks to the mild temperatures.
Key Events: Kyrenia Olive Festival, Pharos Contemporary Music Festival, Buffer Fringe
Occasional summer-like days contrast with chillier ones as Cyprus looks inwards and tourist attractions and businesses close. It’s a fine time for long and contemplative walks along the seashore.
Key Events: Cultural Winter in Agia Napa and Larnaka
As December ushers in the brief, mild winter, Cypriots return home for the holidays. Family gatherings dominate even as the weather cheats winter with a few warm days. Town centers come alive with fireworks and frivolity on 31 December.
Key Events: New Year’s Eve
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