Top Events

Lemesos Carnival, February

Bellapais Music Festival, May

Lemesos Wine Festival, September

Fengaros music festival, August

Kypria International Festival, September

January

Weather-wise January is generally mild, but the Troödos Mountains can be snow-capped so remember to pack your skis. Tourism is down and some resort-based restaurants and hotels are closed.

Epiphany

On 6 January, religious processions celebrating Jesus' baptism wind their way to the shore at Agia Napa, Larnaka, Lemesos, Pafos and Polis where the holy cross is ceremonially thrown into the sea and then retrieved by young male divers.

February

The weather is mild, so good for cycling and hiking the trails (although it can be wet). It’s also fiesta time with the high-octane annual carnival.

Lemesos Carnival

Fancy-dress parades, festive floats and carafe-loads of partying on the streets, the Lemesos Carnival is a fabulous family-geared celebration.

Green Monday

The first day of Lent is marked throughout the South by Greek Cypriots taking the day off and flocking to the countryside for a meat-free picnic, an unusual feast for an island of carnivores.

March

Enjoy wildflowers, particularly orchids, with more than 32 endemic varieties. Birdwatching, hiking and the occasional sunbed on the sand make this a good month for a spring break.

Marathon Season

Like some coastal views with your run? Both the Limassol Marathon (www.limassolmarathon.com.cy), along the Lemesos coastline, and the Logicom Cyprus Marathon (https://logicomcyprusmarathon.com), with a route stretching from Petra tou Romiou to Pafos harbour, are on this month.

Cyprus Walking Festival

Pack your hiking shoes. Geared towards all levels of fitness, the Cyprus Walking Festival offers a program of walking tours in the Akamas, Troödos Mountains and Cape Greco with free transport to boot.

April

The temperature can be perfect but expect crowds and a hike in flight and accommodation prices; it’s school-holiday time during the Easter break.

Easter Parades

Chocolate eggs take a back basket during Easter week, when there are solemn parades with religious floats adorned with elaborate floral decorations, culminating in a spectacular firework finale. This is the most important religious festival for Greek Cypriots.

Cyprus Film Days

Movie fans get a treat with this festival's 10-day program of award-winning films, screened in both Nicosia (Lefkosia) and Lemesos.

May

A great month to visit, with plenty of towel space on the sand, an average temperature of 26°C and warmer evenings for dining alfresco.

Bellapais Music Festival

The arches of Bellapais Abbey are an atmospheric and fittingly regal venue for this feast of classical music and choirs which runs across May and June.

International Pharos Chamber Music Festival

This swag of chamber-music concerts by internationally acclaimed classical musicians is held in both Nicosia (Lefkosia) and Kouklia village, in the Pafos district.

Classic Cars

Grab the tweed cap and don the shades – in May the Historic Car Rally (www.lespafipa.org) takes place, covering 300km across the island.

Street Life Festival

Live music and street performers take over town and there's plenty of arty fun to be had at this one-day festival in Lemesos.

June

The weather is a delight with an average of 11 hours of sunshine daily. Book accommodation well ahead: it’s the start of serious summer hols.

Kataklysmos Festival

Particularly appropriate for this sunny time of year, kataklysmos (meaning ‘deluge’ in Greek) is a traditional celebration of Noah and his escape from the flood. Rather the opposite takes place, however, with good-humoured water fights and water-based activities in Larnaka.

Güzelyurt Orange Festival

Running since 1977, the Güzelyurt Portakal Festivali at the end of the month offers a street-party atmosphere and a schedule of activities and tournaments for kids, plus music concerts in the evenings.

Shakespeare at Curium

Every June one of the Bard's famous plays has a three-night run in the wonderfully dramatic location of Ancient Kourion's theatre (www.shakespeareatcurium.com).

July

The mercury is rising but the average temperature in the southern resorts is still a tolerable 32°C. This is the best month for music lovers, with several world-class festivals.

International Famagusta Art & Culture Festival

The North’s biggest festival is the International Famagusta Art & Culture Festival, with a program of concerts ranging from orchestras to modern rock taking place across July in Ancient Salamis' theatre and at Othello's Tower in Famagusta's old town.

International Festival of Greek Drama

One of the Republic's major annual events, the International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama brings classical theatre to life. Productions by local and international drama troupes take place throughout the month at Ancient Kourion, Pafos and Nicosia (Lefkosia).

Larnaka Summer Festival

Plenty of musical concerts, dance performances and theatre come to town when Larnaka hosts its long-running summer festival.

August

This is the month you use your umbrella – for shade: the sun is at its hottest, though it still rarely sizzles above 35°C. This is peak tourist season; expect crowded beaches and higher prices.

Village Festivals

August is a popular month for village festivals. Keep an eye out for posters and ask at the local tourist offices. These annual fiestas have a real carnival atmosphere with live music, traditional dance and plenty of food and drink.

Lemesos International Documentary Film Festival

Screenings of the latest top independent documentary picks from across the globe, with a focus on innovative films and socio-political issues; as well as workshops and lectures (www.filmfestival.com.cy).

Mehmetçik Grape Festival

The village of Mehmetçik (Galateia) on the Karpas Peninsula celebrates its vineyards with food feasting, folk dancing, concerts and a King and Queen of Grape contest at their festival, held annually for over 50 years.

Fengaros

The teeny village of Kato Drys is the setting for the Republic's big modern music event. Organised by Louvana Records, Fengaros brings three days of rock, pop, dance, blues and folk to the hills above Larnaka.

September

This is still a hot and hectic month. Escape the clamour of the coastal resorts by heading inland to the Troödos Mountains for wine tasting, picnicking or gentle autumnal strolls.

Lemesos Wine Festival

Raise a glass to Dionysus. Locals and tourists alike celebrate the Lemesos Wine Festival in the Municipal Gardens with plenty of sniffing, swirling, spitting – and tasting.

Pafos Aphrodite Festival

Sneak a bit of culture into the evening after a long day at the beach. Opera performances are staged under the stars at Pafos Castle during the Pafos Aphrodite Festival.

Kypria International Festival

September and October host a swag of theatre and orchestral productions at venues across the Republic as part of the Kypria International Festival.

Agia Napa Festival

Agia Napa's long-running festival brings folk dancing, concerts and a program of cultural events highlighting traditional Cypriot customs and crafts to town in late September.

Cyprus International Film Festival

Held over two weeks in Pafos, the Cyprus International Film Festival (http://cyiff.cineartfestival.eu) celebrates independent shorts and feature films both by local directors and from across the world, all competing for the Golden Aphrodite award for best film.

October

Enjoy autumn golds and reds in the leafy Troödos with temperatures hovering around 27°C – perfect for striding out…

Kyrenia Olive Festival

Held in Kyrenia (Girne) and nearby Zeytinlik, this festival has folk dancing, shadow theatre, local crafts and other eclectic performances. You can taste olives and even help plant the trees.

Pharos Contemporary Music Festival

The Pharos Foundation bring 10 days of recitals and concerts to Nicosia (Lefkosia), shining a light on talented upcoming composers and classical musicians.

November

Expect a mix of weather, including clear summer days. It’s a quiet month for annual festivities and many hotels and restaurants pull down their shutters for the winter break.

Calling All Runners

The annual Cyprus International 4-Day Challenge (www.cypruschallenge.com) has four races, ranging from novice to marathon level, with routes set around the stunning Akamas Peninsula.

Cultural Winter

An annual program of free concerts, recitals, theatre and dance performances is rolled out between November and March in Agia Napa and Larnaka.

Buffer Fringe Festival

Just the zaniest little festival on the island. The Buffer Fringe, held in the UN Buffer Zone between Nicosia and North Nicosia, hosts three days of cutting-edge and experimental performing arts.

December

A month for family reunions, with Cypriots returning home to celebrate the festive season. The weather is changeable but overall mild with the occasional beach day – though the sea is very cold!

New Year’s Eve

Fireworks and music into the night around Nicosia’s Plateia Eleftherias and in other towns around the island.

Ramadan

The most important Muslim annual event is the holy month of Ramadan (Ramazan in Turkish) in which pious Muslims fast during daylight hours. As the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar year, religious holiday dates shift by 11 days annually. Many Turkish Cypriots do not strictly adhere to Ramadan fasting, and businesses and restaurants open as normal, meaning travellers in Northern Cyprus at the time are not affected. At the end of Ramadan, the (usually three-day) public holiday of Şeker Bayram is a time of family get-togethers and feasting, with banks and offices closed during this period.