If you want to escape the winter cold in Europe in December, the island of Cyprus is one of the top destinations to do that. Read on to learn why!
We had been to Cyprus in December 2020, and we did it again in 2021 and 2022. We’ve spent most of the month there. And while it’s generally a rainy season at this time of the year, we still got lots of sunny days. December in Cyprus is what early spring looks like in most of Europe.
Indeed, the rain that falls here in winter is a high time for local flora to refresh. So when everything dies down in the continent for the cold season, it’s the opposite in Cyprus — it’s never as green as in December and the “cold months.”
On the other hand, the low season as far as tourism means fewer things to do while there. Although there’s still plenty, and fewer tourists mean less crowded attractions. It’s the ideal time for a relaxing getaway with the family.
Here’s what you can do in Cyprus in December.
What's This About?
The Weather in Cyprus in December
The Winter season starts here at the end of October. It may rain at times, but usually, there is sunshine. Meteorological statistics indicate that December is the wettest month of all in Cyprus! Usually, rain falls for at least one day every week. Disturbed weather periods may last for several days at a time.
In general, December is warmer than January and February. About half the days are dry and sunny, with a temperature of about 15-25 °C. Even during the day, when it’s warm outside, nightfall brings cool air from the sea, so be prepared for chilly weather at night.
In the mountains, temperatures vary from day to day but rarely drop below freezing during the winter months. Troodos gets snow this time of the year (yes, it snows in Cyprus!). There may be some chance of hailstorms too. Frosty mornings are common inland but seldom severe.
How to Prepare for a Trip to Cyprus in December
It’s something worth considering when planning for a trip. Here is a list to help you prepare for a trip to Cyprus in December. Carry everything you need for your vacation and be prepared for any eventualities.
- If you’re planning to visit Cyprus during winter months (December through February), be sure to bring an umbrella and light coat with you.
- You need warm clothing for cold weather.
- Many beaches in Cyprus have rough and rugged cliff edges. You need to wear comfortable shoes that are suitable for walking or hiking.
- Although the weather in Cyprus during winter months isn’t usually too warm, wearing flip flops, sunglasses, a hat and a sunscreen lotion could prove useful nonetheless.
What to Expect?
Temperatures in December are cool, but you might experience some rain during this season. During Christmas, people celebrate with lots of parties and celebrations. This is the most important holiday for Christians.
People will be busy shopping, decorating their homes, and attending parties.
The best way to explore Cyprus during the winter months is to rent a car. With a rental car, you can travel wherever you want in Cyprus.
Cyprus winter holidays offer a variety of activities. If you plan on visiting Cyprus during the winter months, you should consider taking advantage of these activities.
There are many things to do in Cyprus in December. The weather is generally pleasant and mild.
Top Things to Do in Cyprus in December
Cyprus has many beautiful places to visit during December. There are plenty of things to do in Cyprus during the winter months. Here’s a shortlist:
- Visit Ayia Napa Beach – One of the most popular beach resorts in Cyprus. In December it’s off-season so you’ll get to enjoy long beaches almost etirely all by yourself.
- Visit Paphos – Located in the south-west of Cyprus.
- Visit Akamas Peninsula National park – You can enjoy the beauty of the park by walking along the beach, visiting the ruins of Kourion, Kolossi Castle, and many more.
- Visit Limassol – A cosmopolitan city where you can enjoy shopping and dining.
- Take part in Santa Run in Limassol.
- Visit Kakopetria – A picturesque village located near Troodos.
- Visit Troodos Mountains – A mountain range in the north of Cyprus.
- Visit Nicosia – The capital city of Cyprus.
- Visit the Polis Christmas market.
- Visit the Baths of Aphrodite.
- Visit Latchi, a picturesque coastal village in Cyprus.
In Cyprus, driving conditions are not very different from other seasons. Roads are well maintained, and traffic is moderate. However, roads tend to become slippery after heavy rains. Driving in Cyprus during the winter months is easy. Most major roads are paved, and highways are well maintained. Road signs are marked, and road markings are visible. Roads are lit at night. Most drivers use headlights while driving at night. Cyprus has a network of motorways and expressways. These roads are well maintained and safe.
However, take note of the weather conditions in Troodos. Because snowfall is a possibility, you have to be cautious when you go there. Because most rental cars are only equipped with all-season tires, snow chains may be necessary during extreme situations.
December Strolls in Ayia Napa
In December, when the sun no longer blazes but instead offers a gentle warmth, a leisurely walk along the main beaches of Ayia Napa becomes a sheer delight. One can marvel at the rhythmic dance of the sea waves and feel the soft golden sand underfoot. At the beginning of the beach, near the harbor, there are a few operating restaurants perfect for a delectable lunch. Among them is Ocean Basket, known for its mouth-watering and fresh seafood. A short walk away stands the Agios Georgios Chapel, where the town’s central Christmas tree is displayed amidst beautifully festive decorations. Right in that square, the ever-open café, Second Cup, invites visitors to savor rich coffee paired with warm waffles, adding to the festive spirit of the season.
A Winter Retreat in Paphos
Paphos is an ideal destination to spend the cooler season in Cyprus. The city boasts a myriad of attractions, including a picturesque old town situated not far from the sea. Numerous shops and restaurants remain open, catering to both locals and visitors. Additionally, the presence of a shopping mall ensures a diverse retail experience. One of Paphos’s highlights is the extensive pathway stretching from the city’s beginning to its end along the coast. This path is perfect for jogging, exercising, or simply taking a serene walk while basking in the beauty of a sunset over the Mediterranean.
Discovering Polis in December
In December, a visit to the town of Polis is highly recommended. The town comes alive with impressive Christmas markets that showcase traditional dances and songs. Dive into local flavors with traditional dishes, and as the evening chill sets in, warm up with cinnamon tea or a delightful local mulled wine. Children are catered to with a range of activities, from trampolines to face painting, and even workshops run by Santa Claus himself. Local vendors generously offer sweet mandarins and oranges grown in their orchards, abundant in this region of Cyprus. Nearby, the village of Latchy, right by the sea, is a gateway for boat trips that capture mesmerizing sunsets and the golden hue the evening sun casts on the surrounding mountains. By the sea, large playgrounds entertain the kids, while the harbor boasts restaurants perfect for a sumptuous dinner. Make sure to include the Polis region in your December itinerary for a memorable Cypriot experience.
A Serene December Visit to the Baths of Aphrodite
Visiting the Baths of Aphrodite in December proved to be a splendid idea. The absence of the usual tourist crowds allowed us to leisurely explore this iconic Cypriot site and capture stunning photographs. The weather was delightful, prompting us to wander the nearby trails. This region of Cyprus boasts numerous fruit orchards, and it’s common to encounter roadside sellers or bags of fruits with price tags left for passersby. We managed to procure mandarins and Dragon Fruits very cheap. The fruits were so flavorful that we regretted not buying more. It was a day well-spent in the serene embrace of nature.
The Santa Run in Limassol: A Festive Family Affair
One of the most entertaining sporting events for the whole family in Limassol is the Santa Run. Upon registration, each participant is provided with a Santa Claus costume to wear during the five-kilometer run. Even if you’re not an avid runner, you can simply enjoy a leisurely stroll alongside other festive participants. The emphasis is on the joy of participation in this vibrant family and friends’ celebration. It promises an abundance of positive emotions and photo opportunities, appealing to both young and old alike. After the run, refresh with freshly-squeezed juices available on-site and indulge in deliciously steamed and grilled corn-on-the-cob. It’s a delightful experience not to be missed!
Skiing in Cyprus?
Many people wonder whether it is good to go skiing in Cyprus in December. The answer is yes because you’ll enjoy your trip even more than usual. You’ll get to see the snow-covered peaks of the Troodos Mountains, which are often covered by heavy fog. Also, you’ll be able to take advantage of the many excursions that aren’t possible in the summer.
Can You Swim in Cyprus in December?
It’s possible to swim in the sea in Cyprus in December, and some people do. However, swimming in open water should only be attempted by experienced swimmers. Swimming in open water requires solid muscles and nerves. If you’re not confident in your ability to swim safely, it’s best to avoid swimming in open waters.
Most beaches in Cyprus are safe to swim in. However, you must wear appropriate clothing while swimming. Even though the water is relatively warm, it can still be dangerous. If you’re visiting Cyprus in December, you should check the local news to see what warnings are issued regarding swimming.
Winter Festivals in Cyprus
Christmas is a big deal in Cyprus. People decorate their homes with elaborate decorations and flashlights. There are also Christmas trees and nativity scenes. Christmas day is family time. Things close down until December 27th.
In addition, in December, Cypriots celebrate the New Year. They begin preparations in November. Their houses are decorated with olive sprigs and ribbons. People walk around in costumes of St. Basil the Great (Cypriot Santa Clause).
Christmas trees are set up in the resorts, and festivities and fireworks occur around them.
Larnaka is typically the warmest part of Cyprus in December, but most of the island’s southern coast enjoys mild temperatures rarely falling below 15 degrees C during the day.
If you want to avoid the crowds, December is the best month to visit Cyprus. Because of the low season, prices tend to be lower than in July and August. The weather is usually pleasant throughout the year. However, winters in Cyprus can be chilly. Be careful when driving at night. Heavy rain can cause flooding and landslides. November is another good time to visit Cyprus. The weather is usually milder than in December.
Renting a car in Cyprus costs between $40 – $100 per day. Prices vary depending on the type of vehicle you choose. For example, renting a small car will cost less than renting a large car.
Christmas celebrations in Cyprus are similar to those in other countries. People celebrate Christmas by going to church services. Families often exchange gifts and attend parties. Many people decorate their homes and put up lights and Christmas trees.
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