Cyprus gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960. The island has been divided since 1974 when, following a military coup, Turkey invaded the north. Whilst now peaceful, a symbolic UN peacekeeping force still controls the buffer zone between the north and south although new peace talks in 2017 seem to promise a resolution.
Tourism is a huge industry on Cyprus. It offers an average of 340 days of sunshine a year, beautiful beaches and archaeological sites, all of which attract around 2 million tourists each year.
Whilst socially conservative, Cyprus has enacted LGBT laws to comply with EU requirements. Same sex activity is legal and there are limited anti-discrimination laws. Similar anti-discrimination protection came into force in Northern Cyprus in 2014. However, gay life continues to be very discrete with very few openly gay venues.
Between May and October, you can swim and sunbathe on one of Cyprus’ gay beaches.
The easiest to get to is at Pissouri, on the west of the island, halfway on the road between Paphos and Limassol. You can reach it by driving to Columbia Pissouri Hotel carpark and then walking down on the path to the left.
The best known gay beach is in the south of the island, at White Rocks (Aspra Vrahia) at Governor’s Beach, between Limassol and Larnaca. Drive out of Limassol for twenty minutes until you reach Governor’s Beach. Drive through the carpark and go to the right. This is where the gay section is situated.
The final, smaller beach, Kermia, is by Ayia Napa, in the east of the island by Hotel Kermia Beach, and is almost exclusively gay.
The only exclusively gay nightlife in (or perhaps more accurately, near) Limassol is the Thermos Spa and Elysium Bar Complex. This is located twenty minutes by car from Limmassol centre, just off the road towards Germasogeia. It attracts guys from all over the island.
weekday: Wed 19:00 - 00:00
weekend: Fri,Sat 17:00 - 03:00
The only gay sauna in Cyprus. Thermos Spa is a private members club, but membership is free of charge. Just show proof that you are over 18 years.
Facilities include a sauna, steam room, well-equipped dark room, private cabins, lounge and bar.
Located in in Southern Cyprus, near Limassol. You will need a car or other form of transport. Open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights.
weekday: 16:00 - 02:00
weekend: 24 hours
New gay sauna in Cyprus, offering 4-dimensional fun. Facilities include lockers, bar, café, sauna, steam room, private cabins, jacuzzi, gym, private shower facilities, massage services, free WiFi.
Check Vinci’s website for details about current offers and special events. Located in Larnaca, a port city on Cyprus’ southern coast. June 2017 – not currently open due to building works continuing.
weekday: 18:00 - 03:00
weekend: 18:00 - 03:00
Small gay bar in Cyprus, located on Bar Street in Paphos Different Bar is quite small and almost always full of tourists. As it is so central, you won’t find many locals here.
They prefer the anonymity of Limassol, because Paphos is a small village, and everyone knows everyone else.
If you find yourself with straight friends on holiday in Ayia Napa, don’t think you are there alone. The resort has its own gay cruising area: the garden path behind the monastery after 2am.
Nicosia is the last divided capital in the world. A “Green Line” cuts the city in two. To the north is the capital of Northern Cyprus (recognised only by Turkey). To the south is the capital of the Republic of Cyprus.
There are no gay bars in Nicosia, just open-air cruising by night in the National Gardens which is also preferred by Turkish Cypriots.