Part of the charm of Cyprus is that each region has a distinctive character, so deciding on what you want from your holiday experience is the first priority.

Republic of Cyprus

In the south, Larnaka is at the centre of the most tourist-driven part of the island, with nearby Agia Napa still the clubbing capital. To the west, sophisticated Lemesos is the restaurant hotspot and an ideal central base for exploring inland and further afield. Still due west, Pafos is a favourite with families and tour groups, but also provides easy access to the unspoiled west-coast beaches and the Troödos Massif. The urban flip side is the capital, cultural Nicosia (Lefkosia), with fantastic museums, galleries and historic sights.

Northern Cyprus

In North Cyprus, Kyrenia has some superb hotels overlooking the harbour while, to the west, the Karpas (Kırpaşa) Peninsula is perfect for those who want to get away from it all, surrounded by stunning scenery, pristine beaches and coves. In general, because of the economic situation, hotels away from the main tourism areas can seem rundown and a few may even be thinly disguised brothels; check the room and clientele (as far as possible!) before you check in.