It’s a well-known fact that Cyprus loves families. Having lived here now for 25 years, I still appreciate how much this country welcomes children. You will always see the locals saying a kind word to them, and they will often give children a sweet treat in restaurants. The family unit here is very strong and it is undoubtedly part of the Cypriot culture. Here are threeplaces to live in Cyprus that are great for children.
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Limassol is a wonderful place to buy for your kids, and 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 beach and the wonderful blue sea, 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 which is currently free to use. You can also use one of the hotel swimming pools. I take my children to Ajax Hotel Limassol and use their outdoor pool; it’s free if you eat and drink at the hotel.
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. If you have grandchildren visiting you in Cyprus for holidays you could book them into one of the “summer schools”. These are organised by local private schools, such as The American Academy Private Schools, or various sports clubs and institutions. They don’t need to be attend the school or institution, and like in British private schools, the facilities can be superb.
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, swimming and even boxing. Your children meet new friends and they will mix with the local children too, and what a treat to send them back to the UK after the holidays with a new skill!
Getting there: You can get to Limassol from either Larnaca or Paphos International Airports in approximately 40-45 minutes.
For those 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. Indeed such courses are also available in Limassol. Liverpool Football Club has its own youth academy on the island too.
Getting there: The drive from Larnaca Airport takes about 40 minutes to Ayia Napa. Larnaca is the nearest big town to Ayia Napa and it’s a really up and coming town. It has recently been modernised, including 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.
For those who prefer peaceful surroundings and cooler weather, make Platres your base. This is a large village, located towards the Troodos mountains but 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!
Getting there: You can get to Platres from either airport. From Larnaca Airport it’s around 80 minutes and just a little less from Paphos.
I’m sure you’ll agree, Cyprus sounds extremely family friendly 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.