Most likely on your visit to Cyprus, you will be traveling between Larnaca and Limassol. But instead of using public transportation between these two cities, why not rent a car and go on a mini road trip? Just go not along the coast (there is not much to see on that stretch) but better through the mountains.
In this way, you will be able to see the most interesting villages in mountainous Cyprus, including the Troodos mountain range and the highest peak – Mount Olympus.
Cyprus is famous for some really cool road trips. And Larnaca to Limassol drive is one of them. It can be done in one day and if you leave early, you’ll be able to see all the highlights of this route with incredible vista points and waterfalls.
However, if you feel like staying longer in each place and having a more thorough experience, spend a night in one of the villages. They have really beautiful traditional accommodations which are very different from any hotel on the coast.
Since the route is circular, departure is possible both from Larnaca and Limassol. But I would leave Larnaca with an overnight stay in Limassol (if you don’t stay anywhere on the way) and end the trip with dinner in a beautiful local marina in one of the restaurants overlooking the sea, yachts, and a walking evening promenade.
Do you like this plan? Then let’s go.
Psst: I have a full guide on how and where to rent a car in Cyprus, with many other small tips. If you never rented a car in Cyprus before, I suggest you check it out first.
As for shorter reference what works best in Cyprus, in my experience these two companies – MyRentaCar and Discover Cars. But which one is better depends on the season and a few more factors that I discuss in my post to Cyprus car hire, give it a read!
Larnaca to Limassol by Car – a Few Things to Know
The length of the route from Larnaca to Limassol (through the mountains) is 220 km, the travel time is 5 hours. To be able to cover everything in one day and have lunch, you need to leave Larnaca (or Limassol) as early as possible.
If you would like to see a map of Larnaca to Limassol by car trip, see a Full Route on Google Maps here.
Places to Visit on Larnaca to Limassol Road Trip
Since the main international airport is in Larnaca, it makes the city the best starting point for road trips on the island. It is convenient to rent a car either right on the arrival or on the following day. You can always spend a night or two in the city and then start the adventures.
Even if you are staying in Ayia Napa, you’ll be going through Larnaca anyway. But if you are staying in Limassol, then start a road trip from there and finish in Larnaca.
When in Larnaca, don’t miss the following sights:
- Larnaca Castle (small, like other fortresses in the southern part of Cyprus, it was built by the Turks).
- Church of Saint Lazarus (the most famous church in Larnaca which houses the tomb of Saint).
- Finikoudes Promenade (with many different hotels, fancy restaurants, and street performers. I like this promenade much more than the promenade in Cannes).
- Larnaca Marina (a very nice and cozy place. It is here where sea excursions start and where you’ll find a couple of good bars).
The first stop after Larnaca is still pretty much in the vicinity of the city.
Aqueduct Kamares (also Bekir Pasha) is a grandiose structure for the time of its construction, and today one of the few architectural and historical sights in Larnaca. You can view it from the side or climb and walk along the trough intended for water supply.
Its construction began during the Ottoman period in 1747 and was completed in just three years. The bridge was intended to supply water from the mountainous regions to Larnaca, this is why its length is 16 kilometers. It was used for its original purpose until 1939, but then there was no need for it. Most of the aqueduct was dismantled, leaving only a small section of about 200 meters, which has become today’s historical landmark.
There are no tours or information center, you can make a quick stop on your own and it is free to visit.
Stavrovouni Monastery (which means “Mount of the Cross”) is one of the oldest and most holy monasteries in Cyprus. You’ll find it on the highest point of the southern coast, about a 20-minute drive from Larnaca.
This monastery is unique and has a rich history. But additionally to that, there is an observation deck that offers amazing views of Cyprus’s southern coast and in good weather, the view of the bay from Larnaca to Limassol.
Before you go, there are a few things to know. First of all, the building is not located directly on the way, reaching it requires a little bit of a detour. Although the drive to it is spectacular.
Second, even though the monastery was founded by a woman (Saint Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine), today it is a men’s monastery and women are not allowed on its premises at all. Ladies can only enjoy the surrounding territories with vista points and enter the Church Of All Saints, nearby the monastery’s entrance.
Pano Lekara is the next stop on Larnaca to Limassol drive with quite a few things to do, so it makes it easy to spend even half a day there.
Lefkara is one of the most famous villages in Cyprus, located only 40km from Larnaca. The village is divided into Pano Lefkara (means upper town) and Kato Lefkara (lower town). I recommend visiting Pano Lefkara since it is more interesting, especially on a limited schedule.
It is such a photogenic village that in many places you just want to reach for the camera and take photos on each corner. Don’t miss its main street full of cute little shops, souvenir stands, and adjacent old stone-paved walking streets.
After you leave your car, walk to the Church of the Holy Cross, admire the panorama of Lefkara from the upper road, and if you love shopping and bringing home authentic handmade things, then make sure to check handicrafts, silver jewelry, and lace clothes on the main street. Because this is what Lefkara is famous for!
Many tour companies include Lefkara in their excursion programs, so if you can – arrive early. Parking is ample but during the high season, it is still better to arrive in the morning while there are no crowds of tourists. In other villages on this road trip, there will be no such congestion of tourists. And this is another reason to start the drive from Larnaca via Lefkara.
A Tiny Village of Phicardou
Phicardou is another cute village on the route but compared to Lefkara, here you won’t have to spend a lot of time. It is mainly famous for the fact that it is the smallest village in the Troodos mountains with only 3 permanent residents living there (!). Other people have slowly moved away during the centuries after frequent raids on them.
There is not much to do in Phicardou but interesting to walk around and see an interesting example of the village life of the last century. Some houses are open to the public, the atmosphere of those times has been preserved intact. And by the way, it is a candidate for inclusion in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.
Before you reach Phicardou, you will pass another small village called Lazanias. Make a stop at a nearby Machairas Monastery, considered as one of the most beautiful monasteries in Cyprus. All visitors can go on a tour around the monastery which, according to custom, end in the forest.
Visit to spend some time in solitude, see the grandeur, and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature. However, women are also not allowed to enter the territory of the monastery, just to walk around it.
This village was a complete discovery for me. It surprised with three things that are very unique to this area (and Cyprus as a whole). They are roses, jams, and meats. In one word – Agros village is a “delicious village” and is famous for it.
First, its roses. A small factory here produces a variety of rose products such as rose oil, perfumes, soaps, syrups, liqueurs, jams, candles, and delicious rose water. All of them are made from the tea rose growing here on the slopes of the mountains.
Every year at the end of May, after the completion of the collection of roses, you can also come to Agros to see a rose festival. It is a very beautiful holiday when all the villagers participate and create a special atmosphere. And the entire square in front of the factory gets decorated with rose petals and rose compositions.
The second reason to visit is to taste various meat products of all kinds. Several factories producing Cypriot delicacies here have stores that offer raw smoked goat meat (tsamarella), smoked pork lunza, minced pork sausages, pork soaked in vinegar and lemon juice with seasonings, smoked beef basturma, and this is just a part of a large assortment.
Stop by the store called Kafkalia and try the smoked Hamon soaked in wine. Besides tastings, you can buy meats and also learn about the making process.
Third, also try their jams. Besides meats and rose products, Agros also has unusual jams. People here produce 50 varieties of jams made from cherries, apricots, watermelon, melon, carrots, tomatoes, walnuts, eggplants, zucchini, and even onions or garlic. I can guarantee you won’t be able to find some of these flavors anywhere else!
Kakopetria is another stop not to miss on the road trip from Larnaca to Limassol. Many guides add this village to their Cyprus itinerary to tell about the wonderful and ancient Byzantine church Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis. The church really impresses with its antiquity and atmosphere around.
However, in addition to this church, there are at least a dozen other attractions to see here. And if you are visiting in spring or fall, you can hit one of the hiking trails in the local mountains.
The main attraction point for Kakopetria is the many cafes and restaurants serving excellent food. You can have lunch here (especially considering it is halfway through the road trip) and try the village’s main dish rainbow trout prepared according to Cypriot recipes.
Kakopetria is one of the cutest villages to visit in Cyprus to escape the summer heat and all the busy coastal life. Even if you skip it on a road trip, return later on a day trip from Nicosia or Limassol.
One more mountain village in Cyprus which has a lovely location on the northern slopes of the Troodos ridge at an altitude of about 1100 meters.
Just like the rest of Cyprus’s mountainous villages, the history of Pedoulas dates back to Byzantine times. Exactly then the raids of Arab tribes forced the Cypriots to leave the coast, move to the mountains, and form settlements there. In Pedoulas, people started to make leather goods as well as growing grapes and cherries. So this village is a cherry capital in Cyprus.
It is also one of the centers of agritourism where you can find delicious produce.
Among the attractions, there are two museums – the Byzantine Museum and the Folklore Museum. Other interesting objects are the historical church of the Archangel Michael of the 15th century, the Holy Cross and St. Raphael churches from the 20th century.
But even this is not what makes the village special. Pedoulas has an incredible atmosphere, picturesque mountain landscapes, fresh air and many, many cherry orchards.
Because of its excellent infrastructure and various hotels, it is the best place in the Cyprus mountains where to spend a few days. So if you plan to stay there overnight in summer, make sure to make accommodation reservations in advance.
After visiting so many lovely villages, you get to reach the next stop which is the highest point in Cyprus – Mount Olympos (1951 meters above sea level).
You won’t have a chance to drive to the top of the mountain since it’s taken by the radars of the British military base. But what you can do is to leave your car at this parking lot and take a walk while admiring the surrounding panorama.
After that, continue your drive towards the next stop on my list, the villages of Platres. But on the way there, make one more stop by the Kaledonia Falls. It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Cyprus. And it’s conveniently located along the route.
Another village which is best to visit on Larnaca to Limassol route by car. It is closer to Limassol, so it’s also easy to return on any other day if you don’t have much time to see it on this road trip.
Platres is a small village on the border of the Troodos mountainous region at an altitude of 1200 meters. It is home to only a few hundred local residents but at the same time, it serves as a great base for tourists in the region.
In summer, the village of Platres is a wonderful place where to hide from the heat while having access to beautiful mountainous nature.
When visiting in winter, it is one of the most convenient and most affordable places for skiing. True, the mountain trails and lifts on the slopes of Mount Olympus are 14 kilometers away, but reaching them by car or taxi is much cheaper than staying in the Troodos village.
The highlights of Platres are the 19th-century Panagia Faneromenis Holy Church, The Chapel of Panagia Iamatiki, and St. Nicholas Chapel. It will be also interesting to look at traditional Cypriot stone houses and cozy courtyards entwined with vineyards.
2 kilometers from Platres is the Kaledonia Waterfall, which I suggested for a visit on the way to this village. From Platres though, you can also walk to it following the signs and walking trail. If you opt for a mini hike to Kaledonia, you’ll have to wade shallow streams several times, so better wear shoes for slippery rocks.
One kilometer from Platres there is another waterfall – Millomeris Waterfall. This waterfall can be reached on foot or by car. There is a path from Panagia Faneromenis Holy Church, a little over a kilometer to walk.
The Village of Omodos
The last stop before Limassol is in the village of Omodos, a beautiful holiday village in Cyprus that has preserved its ancient beauty and color.
Since ancient times it has been famous for its winemaking and orchards, narrow streets, picturesque views, taverns, and old stone buildings with carved wooden balconies. A special place among them is given to the monastery of the Holy Cross.
Omodos village sits in the Troodos foothills and is a great place to imbue with the spirit of Cyprus. Walk its narrow streets, see stone houses, smell the flowers, and pop into local shops where you can buy everything from souvenirs to local crafts – embroidery, leather, glass, sweets, and local wine. Since winemaking is big here, try wines of local brands Marion, Herolimo, and Linos.
It also worths seeing several of the village’s churches and the local treasury museum.
Note, if you’ve been stopping in every place mentioned in this post trying to see everything in one day, then most likely you’ll arrive in Omodos in the late evening. Most places will close by then.
So you may want to skip it and go straight from Platres to Limassol (it will be closer). But then return here on another day. Omodos is about 40 kilometers from the historic center of Limassol. Thus it may be better to come back on that day when you have more time.
Limassol doesn’t need any introduction. It is one of the oldest cities on the Cyprus island with 4,000 years old history, a major municipality, and an important Mediterranean port.
Limassol is famous for many things. For its cultural traditions, stylish hotels, quirky bars, antique architecture, archaeological parks, waterparks, and more.
From my couple of visits to this city, I can say that over the past few years Limassol has changed a lot. The long seafront promenade is still considered the best place for walks while the refurbished marina, which is now more than a luxury yacht marina, is the best place to dine.
Limassol marina by the way looks like a mini-city in a larger city with restaurants, mini promenade, and shopping centers. I recommend you Marina Breeze Lounge Bar where a local chef cooks excellent octopuses and other seafood delicacies. They have a varied menu and beautiful views. Prices are moderate, lunch for two will cost around 30-40 Euros.
Where to Stay on a Road Trip From Larnaca to Limassol
As I mentioned above, you can do this road trip in one day if leaving Larnaca early and arriving in Limassol late. Yet, a few villages on this route are so cute and special that you’d want to pause in one of them for a night.
I’d like to share a few hotels that I personally like and have them saved on my map:
Sea Gate Penthause in Larnaca – a perfect apartment for a couple (or family with a child) in a wonderful location. It has an incredible sea view, central but quiet location, pool, and all you need for a stay!
Lazaros Stonehouse in Pano Lefkara – a lovely hotel built in an old traditional house in the center of the village. Staying here will make you feel as if you have been transported to the last century!
AgroSpito Traditional Guesthouse – a traditional stone house in Agros village with fantastic views of Troodos mountains. They offer plant-based food, excellent location, and guarantee a tranquil holiday!
Vasiliki Guesthouse – another traditional village closer to Limassol. Perfectly located in Pedoulas village, it offers clean rooms with interesting design, veranda for dining and relaxation, and mountain views.
P.S.N. Platres – another traditional stone house but in historic Platres village.
More Cyprus Travel Inspiration
- Best Spa Hotels in Cyprus – for a romantic getaway
- 15 Lovely North Cyprus Hotels & Resorts – to choose for your vacation
- Visiting Cyprus in Winter – What’s It Like?
Have you traveled from Larnaca to Limassol by car taking another route? Let me know where you went, I’d love to know!