It’s well known that Cyprus loves families. Having lived here now for 25 years, I still appreciate how much this country welcomes children. You will always see locals saying a kind word to them, and they often give children a sweet treat in restaurants. So, if you’re thinking of buying a holiday home, where are the best areas for families?
Limassol and Paphos
Limassol and Paphos are popular holiday towns, and are a clear favourite with the British. You will never be short of things to do here. Of course, the main attraction for children is the sandy beaches and the wonderful blue sea. The sea is safe in depth, calm, and so refreshing during the hot summer weather. You will see children of all ages playing beach games on the sand, and you can join in with volleyball or tennis games too. There is also an outdoor Olympic size swimming pool at Tasoudi beach, Limassol which at the time of writing is free to use. And if you prefer, you can also go to one of the hotels to use their swimming pools. I take my children to Ajax Hotel Limassol and use their outdoor pool. This is free if you also eat and drink at the hotel.
The sea is safe in depth, calm, and so refreshing during the hot summer weather.
Linked to the sea and the sand are watersports. Your children can learn surfing, yachting, canoeing, wind surfing, scuba diving with UK/USA trained instructors. And if you are in Cyprus only for holidays your children can attend “summer schools” for a fee. These are organised by local private schools e.g., The American Academy Private Schools and various sports clubs and institutions. You can join these even if you don’t attend the school or institution.
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You will find age-appropriate activities for children of all ages with excellent instruction and supervision. Activities include musical theatre, tennis, football, volleyball, dancing, ballet, street dancing, canoeing, kayaking, boxing, swimming among others. Your children meet new friends and they will mix with the local children too.
Getting here: Paphos Airport 20 minutes away by car from Paphos and 50 minutes away by car from Limassol. Larnaca Airport 1 hour 25 minutes from Paphos and 45 minutes by car away from Limassol.
Property prices: Three-bedroom villas with a pool: €340,000. Two-bedroom apartment with pool: €145,000.
For those of you with teenage children, Ayia Napa is the place to be. Like Limassol and Paphos you have the sand and the sea, but in Ayia Napa you also have nightclubs and cafes that are tailored to teenagers and young people. So by day your children can sunbathe and swim and then dance and have fun in the evenings. In between they can go to cafes and/or bars. Most of the local teenagers go to chain cafes like Costa Coffee or Starbucks (these are island wide). Some hotels organise football or tennis coaching academy courses with footballers from the Premier League like Rio Ferdinand, Wes Brown and others (these courses are also available in Limassol). And Liverpool Football Club has its own youth academy on the island too.
Larnaca is the upcoming town. It has recently been modernized and it now has a brand new marina where many events are organised. It is also on the seafront and you find a huge emphasis on water sports here, particularly boating and yachting. Again, there are chain cafes and also many local cafes where children can meet. Similar to Limassol, there are also funfairs and a visiting circus that comes every summer.
Getting here: Larnaca Airport 20 minutes away by car. Paphos Airport 2 hours away by car.
Property prices: Three-bedroom villas with a pool: €260,000. Two-bedroom apartment with pool: €100,000.
For those of you who prefer peaceful surroundings and cooler weather you can make Platres your base. This is a popular large village located towards the Troodos mountains but it is also close enough to Limassol, about a 20-30 minute drive away. In Platres itself you can find local hikes and cycling tracks with nature trails. And you can make daily trips to Limassol or Paphos to take advantage of the activities available there. In Platres too there are local cafes whose local ice cream is hard to beat!
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So I am sure you will agree with me when I tell you that Cyprus is a great for families, whether you decide to live here permanently or if you want to live in your holiday home here with your children. I would say that what stands out for me is the freedom that your children will experience compared to the more restrictive lifestyle back in the U.K. And even more important, Cyprus is still relatively safe. Hopefully, this article has given you a good insight into what you can look forward to in Cyprus as a family.
Getting here: Larnaca and Paphos Airports 1 hour 10 minutes away by car.
Property prices: Three-bedroom villas with a pool: €300,000. Two-bedroom apartment: €120,000.