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Cyprus is a delight year-round
Cyprus is a delight year-round | © dimitrisvetsikas1969 / Pixabay
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When's The Best Time of Year to Visit Cyprus?

Picture of Maureen Murori
Writer
Updated: 24 April 2018
With its mild winters and hot summers (and warm weather in between) you can’t really go wrong with a visit to Cyprus, whenever you go. Here’s our month-by-month guide to help you make the most of your visit – and the country’s gorgeous Mediterranean climate.

January

January is a colder month, but not to worry – rarely do the temperatures dip into single figures during the day. The first week of January is normally taken over by festive events; in Cyprus, you will find families and friends eating together either at home or in restaurants. As most people have not resumed work at this time, major tourist destinations – especially beaches – are normally jam-packed.

Catch New Year’s Eve celebrations, one of the wildest nights of the year, at major clubs and restaurants across the island. On this night, champagne is popped; the skies are fireworks-lit, and people welcome new beginnings when the clock strikes twelve.

If you are lucky to be invited into a local’s house on New Year’s Eve, you will sit among the family members to share in their vasilopitta – a traditional Greek cake. The cake is flavoured with oranges, brandy and garnished with almonds. It is served at midnight in honour of the life of Saint Basil. The days following New Year celebrations are filled with activities. Six days into the New Year, you can join in marking the festival of Epiphany at the seashore of harbours across the island.

Temperature: 15 – 17°C (59 – 62.6°F)

Water temperature: 17°C (59°F)

Rainfall: 11 days

eve-1071352_1920
Welcoming the New Year in style | © DariuszSankowski / Pixabay

February

From December throughout February and part of March, days are short with an average of 6 – 8 hours of sunlight. With the cold weather still looming, the island is less touristy compared to the warmer months, though it is still a beautiful time too. Flights and other deals are pocket-friendly at this time. Your hotel, flight, and expedition costs put together could save you money in comparison to booking a flight in a summer month like August.

Temperatures fall further in February. It is the best time to go skiing and snowboarding in the Troodos Mountains. To enjoy the best of this season, make your way up to Troodos Ski Resort on Mount Olympus. The resort also organises thrilling activities to mark World Snow Day. With the temperature at the seashore still inviting, you can enjoy a jog along the coast, sunbathe or surf. The sand is still warm; soak your feet in it. There is so much to do. While some destinations sleep, Limassol, Larnaca, and Paphos are alive with affordable tourist activities. It’s also a great time of year to capture some of the most incredible photos of the snow-capped mountains and snow-dusted plants and bushes.

Temperature: 14 – 16°C (57 – 60.8°F)

Water temperature: 16°C (60.8°F)

Rainfall: 11 days

Snow in Cyprus
Time for winter sports in the Troodos Mountains | © Leonid Mamchenkov / Flickr

March

In March, the once bare land is transformed into a green and colourful bed of flowers and blooming shrubs and plants – the island’s air is filled with intoxicating aromas of fruit and flowers. In honour of the Greek Orthodox Easter, residents hold a ten-day carnival filled with feasts, parades and fancy-dress parties. Limassol is the place to be. You will experience traditional and lively entertainment, making it the best cultural tourist experience ever. With warmer days, you can enjoy hikes or walks along the coast, deep into the forests, or you can visit the ancient monuments of Cyprus. March is filled with a lot of outdoor activities including quad bike riding, and the annual Limassol Marathon which sees a fleet of sleek antique rally cars race around the picturesque Cyprus villages. You do not want to miss out on the Cypriot Walking Festival, a two-month annual event which may well start early March and continues through May.

Temperature: 16 – 19°C (60.8 – 66.2°F)

Water temperature: 17°C (62.6°F)

Rainfall: 1 – 9 days

Festive season
Imagine being part of this festivity while touring Cyprus | © Sergey Galyonkin / Flickr

April

April is sunnier and warmer. The sun sets at seven in the evening in comparison to the winter months, when it is pitch dark at the same time. It is the best time to sunbathe without the fear of getting sunburnt. The temperatures are rising but remain comfortable, allowing you to don your summer garb, or to dive into the deep seas.

If the cold does not bother you much, you can engage in deep sea diving activities. Cyprus boasts magnificent diving spots from where you can explore the underwater. From Green Bay to Zenobia, vacationers are promised to explore the seafloor, sunken ships, and flora and fauna of the deep sea. Or perhaps you’re a film fan? Enjoy contemporary cinema and fiction feature length films at the annual Cyprus Film Days International Festival in Nicosia. The most beautiful thing about April is because most water parks are open, meaning you can have a day-long of water activities at designated locations such as Paphos Water Park.

As you go around your holiday keep in mind that most Cypriots at this time of the year are observing the Lenten fast. The good news is you get to break the fast with them come Easter. The celebrations begin on Easter Saturday night, and usually family celebrations continue for a few more days.

Temperature: 20 – 22°C (68 – 71°F)

Water temperature: 18 – 20°C (64.4 – 68°F)

Rainfall: 1 – 3 days

Divers
Deep sea diving – how about exploring the sea? | © skeeze / Pixabay

May

This is the month for new awakenings in Cyprus. Most of the entertainment joints that closed in winter are now open. A number of celebrations are lined up for this month starting with Labour Day holiday on May, 1. For Cypriots, May is the month of souls and plants. To mark the Anthestiria (the annual celebration of spring and flowers) event, Cypriots display flowers and plants in major cities. If you have a Cypriot friend, it’s a good idea to gift them with flowers, as they would appreciate it.

Are you a fan of a magnificent accordion performance? Then you need to be in Pera Oreinis, a village in Tamassos, Nicosia. Bring your camping gear. There is no entrance fee, and you will get free camping space as well. There is no better way to get an in-depth understanding of the local culture than being part of an artistic event such as this. Daytime temperatures are high, but at night it could drop considerably to around 14°C (57.2°F). As such, always carry a light jacket with you.

Temperature: 23 – 27°C (73.4 – 80.6°F)

Water temperature: 20 – 25°C (68 – 77°F)

Rainfall: 2 – 3 days

June

Have you ever thought of celebrating Noah’s involvement in saving mankind and animals in the Old Testament? Well, you can do it in Cyprus. Named the Festival of the Flood (Kataklysmos) the event is marked 50 days after the Orthodox Easter. All seaside areas are transformed into large open-air fairs where you can sample local food, and take part in fun games, music, and dance, as well as boat and swimming competitions with the locals. The event which lasts for 7 – 10 days is widely celebrated in Larnaca. This year’s event, however, runs from May, 25 – 30, as it is affected by other religious events such as the Easter celebration.

This year welcomes another new event, Red Summer Festival. The three-day event will be held at the Orfeas Stadium in Nicosia. And while you enjoy all these things, you can be munching on watermelons, which are in season. Most importantly you can attend Cyprus’s International Film Festival which happens around this time of the year. Meet and interact with new and upcoming filmmakers of various disciplines at this artistic event. You might even find some like-minded people willing to engage in analysing the motion pictures with you. Catch a midsummer entertainment and charity event dubbed Shakespeare Festival. The annual Shakespeare event is held at the ancient theatre of Kourion. June is a perfect time to set sail into the sea,with clear skies at night and calm days.

Temperature: 25 – 28°C (77 – 82.4°F)

Water temperature: 20 – 25°C (68 – 77°F)

Rainfall: cloudless nights reduce the chance of rain at this time of the year

kite-surf-1277471
It is summer, let’s go out and enjoy! | © dimitrisvetsikas1969 / Pixabay

July

July is lined up with one activity after the other. It is already summer, and most visitors are coming down to Cyprus for the holidays. Some people think of alcohol as a thirst-quencher – different cities in Cyprus host wine and beer festivals during this scorching weather. Water sports at this time are the best activities to engage in, and Cyprus has them in spades. From parachute to catamarans, kayaking, fishing, snorkelling and many other activities, your days will be filled with fun.

Save your evenings for visits to ancient monuments and museums which open till late to allow you to have the best of your holiday. If boat riding which culminates into foam parties on the beach or open-air clubs is your kind of fun, Ayia Napa, Limassol, Paphos should be where you spend your evenings and nights. July can be extremely hot. If you cannot bear the heat, avoid Cyprus altogether. Or go to the Troodos mountains, where most of the locals camp to experience the desired cool temperature. Air temperature in the mountains is 10 degrees lower than what you will experience on the coast.

Temperature: 29 – 33°C (84.2 – 91.4°F)

Water temperature: 29 – 33°C (84.2 – 91.4°F)

Rainfall: little to no rainfall

Tombs of the kings
Save your evenings for visits to ancient monuments when the sun is cooler | © dimitrisvetsikas1969 / Pixabay

August

By now, the temperatures are at their highest. Still, if you love hot summers, the island has endless beach parties, and other popular activities to keep you and yours entertained. In Nicosia, the temperatures can reach above 45°C (113°F). You should be well-equipped with sunburn protection, or treatment products. At this time, most people prefer water activities at the beach during the day and night parties later in the evening.

This is also a great time to get lost in Cyprus’s Lefkara and Omodos villages which celebrate the harvest festivals. Immerse yourself in the Mediterranean culture, as you listen to folk music and dance your holiday away. In Limassol, the wine festival is highly appreciated. It is associated with honouring the ancient god of vine and wine – Dionysus. One of the religious festivals held in Cyprus during this time is the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on August, 15. The event is preceded by a two-week fast. Additionally, it is ‘name-day’ celebrations for anyone with names related to the event including Maria, and Panayiota, among other names.

Temperature: 30 – 37°C (86 – 98.6°F)

Water temperature: 25 – 28°C (77 – 82.4°F)

Rainfall: little to no rainfall

Holiday
Enjoy a walk at the coast and take great photos when you can | © stux / Pixabay

September

Silence falls over the island. Locals prepare to head back to school and their jobs. Most tourists at this time are also returning to their countries as well, making the island seem rather dull after so many festivities. Activities of the previous months feel like a distant memory. But if you thrive in tranquillity, this is a great time for you to visit Cyprus. Like the tourists, the temperatures are also reducing, though it is quite hot. Dinners at taverns or on the veranda as you watch life go past will leave lasting memories. Hotels are starting to feel the gap, and most of them are offering reduced packages, meaning you can save a little on vacation.

Join other opera lovers in the coastal city of Paphos under the stars for three days of musical love and passion in the annual Paphos Aphrodite Festival. If you ever desire to escape to nearby countries, you can catch a cruise ship to Egypt or Israel. You will enjoy autumn at sea and come back in time for the Commandaria Festival. The festival will take you around the 14 villages where the Koumandaria grape is cultivated. Join locals and visitors in harvesting, wine-pressing and learn how to make the legendary drink.

Temperature: 23 – 27°C (73.4 – 80.6°F)

Water temperature: 20 – 25°C (68 – 77°F)

Rainfall: little to no rainfall

October

October, 1 marks when Cyprus gained independence from the British. As the rest of Europe experiences cold winds, rain and other countries like Russia begin to snow; Cyprus’s weather is still pleasant. Although temperatures are falling bidding the summer heat goodbye, it is still hot. Cool sea breeze calms the effects of the heat. If you need to swim one more time before winter hits home, sea water is still warm. At night, people re-introduce the forgotten sweaters and blankets. It is time for warmer drinks as the sun set into the horizon leaving beautiful golden rays in the skies. By now, only a couple of beach parties remain, and the audience has changed from young partygoers to older people and families with children. The sun and clouds are competing for dominance. The clouds cover up the sun very briefly, but the sun confidently reappears to reassure warmth and happiness.

Some businesses are preparing for the winter season, while other places are closing until spring. You will enjoy huge discounts if you are still around as the number of tourists as reduced tremendously. With the discounts, you might want to extend your summer holiday into November.

Temperature: 23 – 27°C (73.4 – 80.6°F)

Water temperature: 20 – 25°C (68 – 77°F)

Rainfall: 1 – 4 days of light showers

Fikardou Village
Take time to explore Cyprus’s village life in Fikardou village | © dimitrisvetsikas1969 / Pixabay

November

The first signs of winter start to show. Clouds take over the skies and rainfall becomes more regular now. November is a good month to venture into the mountains for a walk, visit ancient monuments or the zoo. The calm breeze ensures that your hiking is cool as you walk on soft, coloured leaves underfoot. Windsurfers find this weather inviting as they can fly over the water with the help of the wind and sea waves.

With most of the tourists gone, the island is slowly returning to its cocoon. The number of people engaging in night activities falls fast and those who do dress warm or carry a cardigan over their shoulders. Cold drinks are now replaced by hot tea, coffee, or full-bodied wines, as people chat the evening away. Once again, it is time to dream. Shops and public areas are now adorned with Christmas trees, coloured ornaments, and toys. It is time for the December holidays.

Temperature: 16 – 18°C (60.8 – 64.4°F)

Water temperature: 15 – 16°C (59 – 60.8°F)

Rainfall: 3 – 6 days

Windsurfing in Cyprus
One more outdoor activity before you call it a year! | © dimitrisvetsikas1969 / Pixabay

December

The air is filled with excitement with almost every corner decorated with Christmas trees. On the other hand, however, the sea, and the sky do not seem excited at all. They change from blue-black to dark grey. From a distance, winter storms threaten to take over the scene. Waves of the sea surge and the winds shake trees and shrubs in their wake. This does not stop the celebrations from taking place. People rush to make last-minute Christmas shopping for their families. Christmas markets are open encouraging friends and families to buy gifts and souvenirs for their loved ones. Enjoy such street delicacies as sweets and barbecue meats sold by street vendors.

If you love the thrill of engaging in water sports in the windy and ranging sea waves, this is a perfect time for you. Paphos zoo organises comfortable tours around its vast land for your pleasure. Clubs and restaurants start organising their holiday programs which are filled with exciting activities to keep you entertained despite the cold weather. From Christmas Eve to the beginning of the following year, Cyprus is full of celebrations, many of which are culminated in Christian temples and family houses.

Each month in Cyprus is marked with exciting activities which will entice you to want to keep rediscovering the island over and over again. The island offers something to everyone throughout the year.

Temperature: 14 – 16°C (57 – 60°F)

Water temperature: 18 – 20°C (64.4 – 68°F)

Rainfall: 9 days

Christmas
Christmas is here! Time to wine and dine | © Bru-nO / Pixabay

When not to go to Cyprus

Usually, Cyprus is friendly to visitors all-year round. But you will find few visitors on the island in December and early January. Although Christmas and New Year are big events on the island, they are not as commercialised as observed in other European cities. In Cyprus, they are more religious and family-oriented celebrations. You will find locals at home enjoying traditional celebrations, sharing in food, drinks, and having a good time.