Best ways to get From Ayia Napa to Nicosia [2023]

The best thing about holidaying on an island is being able to visit almost every part of it and in this guide, you’ll discover how easy it is, and, all the best ways, to get from party central Ayia Napa to Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus.

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Cyprus is relatively large, so you might need a whole week to see everything the island has to offer, but that’s not such a bad deal!

Ayia Napa is a town in Famagusta District and is perhaps the most popular seaside town in Cyprus because of its powdery sandy beaches, azure waters, and very lively beaches and nightlife.

Ayia Napa is certainly the place in Cyprus where students come for Spring Break and young people come to party.

Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa, Cyprus

But for a more cosmopolitan holiday, Cyprus is a wonderful island to explore. If you are planning to use Ayia Napa as your base, then it’s easy to travel from Ayia Napa to Nicosia, if only for a day trip.

Nicosia is Cyprus’ capital and the largest city and features a combination of modern and traditional architecture, many museums and archaeological sites to visit, and various cafes, restaurants, and shopping streets for endless hours of entertainment.

So, keep reading to discover how to get to Nicosia from Ayia Napa and the best things to do on the journey.

How to get from Ayia Napa to Nicosia

The trip from Ayia Napa to Nicosia is relatively short and has beautiful sea views. You can travel by public transport (bus) or by renting a car to drive there yourself.

What is the driving distance from Ayia Napa to Nicosia?

The drive from Ayia Napa to Nicosia is 88 kilometers (55 miles), and the travel time by car is usually less than an hour. However, during the holidays, especially in August, it can take 90 minutes or more.

Public Transport: Ayia Napa to Nicosia InterCity Buses

The average InterCity Buses travel time between Ayia Napa and Nicosia is one hour and twenty minutes. Again, the journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays.

Taxi and bus station at the entrance to Nicosia old city, Cyprus
Taxi and bus station at the entrance to Nicosia Old City, Cyprus

The cheapest and quickest way to travel to Nicosia is by Cyprus’ public bus network. The Ayia Napa to Nicosi bus departs from Nisi Ave. – Giouri Gkagkarin and arrives at Dionysios Solomos Square.

The route includes Paralimni and passes through Famagusta Central Bus Station, Ayia Napa Monastery, the hotels, Marina, Carina, Nissi Beach, Sunwing Resort, Olympic, Nisi Ave., and the Water World Waterpark.

The last stop in Nicosia is Solomou Square.

Since Ayia Napa is a popular destination, there is a bus service every few hours from Ayia Napa to Nicosia. Tickets can be purchased through the Intercity Buses site.

InterCity Buses Electronic Ticket System

If you are going to be in Cyprus for a while, and even just going short distances within Ayia Napa or Nicosia, you might want to consider getting an InterCity Bus Motion e-Card, and then using the online Motion Card TopUp system to make sure you always have the right fare.

InterCity Buses bus to Nicosia, Cyprus
InterCity Buses bus to Nicosia, Cyprus

The new electronic tickets became available to use on InterCity buses in September 2023.

The maximum prices you can be charged using the InterCity Buses electronic ticket system are:

🎫 Daily – €20.00

🎫 7 Days – €100.00

🎫 30 Days – €300.00

The first two transfers between InterCity buses within the first 60 minutes of a journey are free.

Ayia Napa to Nicosia Bus Times

Buses run either hourly or every half hour from Ayia Napa to Nicosia. On weekdays the earliest departure is at 05:30 in the morning, and the last bus departs at 19:00.

On weekends and holidays, the first bus is at 06:00 and the last at 20:30. All services run directly with no transfers required and take approximately one hour and twenty minutes.

So, there is enough time for visitors to explore the city’s many tourist attractions, shopping streets, cafes, restaurants, and bars.

Ayia Napa to Nicosia By Car

As already mentioned, the drive between Ayia Napa and Nicosia is about 88 kilometers.

Although Cyprus’ network services are efficient, most locals travel by car simply because it is easier and quicker. So, you could travel to Nicosia by ordering a taxi or a rental car.

Generally, you will find plenty of car rentals around Cyprus. However, if you plan to explore Cyprus, it is recommended to arrange for a car before your arrival. In this way, you can immediately take it once you arrive at the airport.

A1 Highway to Nicosia, Cyprus
A1 Highway to Nicosia, Cyprus

But a taxi may be the easier option, if you need a car, only for a one-day trip to Nicosia. Again you could either arrange it on the spot once you notice a taxi or choose beforehand to avoid any extra charge.

Nevertheless, undeniably renting a car will make it much easier to explore Cyprus. Having a car means you can choose every aspect of your journey.

For example, you can decide whether you want to stop during the journey to Nicosia or just visit the capital. Also, it is quicker, you don’t need any transfers, and you can choose when to depart or arrive.

🚙 Best Car Rental for Cyprus: Discover Cars 🚙

Best Routes By Car

Using the Intercity Buses from Ayia Napa to Nicosia is undoubtedly an easy choice. After all, you can simply sit comfortably in the modern Intercity Bus and watch the beautiful scenery pass you.

However, if you travel by car, you can choose between various routes that showcase different aspects of the island.

For your convenience, here are two routes that help you marvel at extraordinary sea views and explore Cyprus’ religious sites.

Route 1 – Sea Views

Kamara tou Koraka (Koraka Bridge)

Found at Kavo Greco in Ayia Napa, Kamara tou Koraka, or Koraka Bridge, is Cyprus’ most well-known natural bridge.

Kamara tou Koraka, Cyprus
Kamara tou Koraka, Cyprus

It is truly a wonder of nature that took thousands of years to be created. You can reach the bridge by taking the road to Agioi Anargyroi.

It is part of the nature trail called the “Sea Caves.”

As the rocky bridge is in danger of falling, the Department of Forest has fenced the area for visitors to not approach it. Nonetheless, the view is still magical.

If you’re driving you’ll be able to make a stop here to take pictures and marvel at the scenery of the azure waters and rocky cliffs.

Sculpture Park

At a short distance from Koraka’s Bridge, you will find the Sculpture Park along Kavo Greco Road.

Sculpture Park, Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Sculpture Park, Ayia Napa, Cyprus

It is a park that combines history, art, and mythology through sculptures, topography, flora, fauna, and, of course, the sea.

Initially, the cleaning and planting of about 1,500 Cypriot trees and plants in the area was carried out to further enrich the natural wealth.

However, wanting to promote Art and Culture, the Municipality of Ayia Napa initiated this creative project. Today, here, you will find various works by local and international artists.

Makronissos Beach

The next stop is the beach resort Makronissos, which lies about 10 minutes away by car from Sculpture Park. The Beach is a popular beach both among locals and travelers.

Makronissos Beach, Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Beautiful Makronissos Beach, Ayia Napa, Cyprus

It is a long strip of glittering white sand with beautiful azure waters. The area was formerly a reef making it perfect for the curious and adventurous people who love exploring sea life.

Also, here at Makronissos, the natural world blends with history. At the edge of the beach, you will find ancient tombs of Makronissos from the Hellenistic and Roman eras.

In total, there are 19 rock-cut tombs, a sanctuary, and a quarry. So, here visitors can experience both outstanding seascapes and Cyprus’ history.


Located in the south of Liopetri (Potomos Liopetriou) village in Famagusta District. Liopetri River is a beautiful fishing spot. Liopetri is a fishing harbor, a small natural fjord, and a narrow inlet from the sea.

Seaside restaurant in Liopetri fishing village, Cyprus
Seaside restaurant in Liopetri fishing village, Cyprus

It has been operating as an anchorage since medieval times, while the surrounding area was also a quarry.

Hundreds of fishermen and visitors are both on the river and beside its banks, fishing, camping, or enjoying a meal of fresh fish at the local taverns.

Also, a few meters from the entrance, you will find the chapel of St. George the Trophy, which many people visit and light a candle.

Larnaca Salt Lake Complex

This is the last stop before arriving in Nicosia. It is in Larnaca and is about 40 minutes away from Liopetri and can be reached from the A3 highway.

Larnaca Salt Lake with Larnaca City in the background, Larnaca, Cyprus
Larnaca Salt Lake with Larnaca City in the background, Larnaca, Cyprus

Larnaca Salt Lake is one of Europe’s most essential habitats for waterfowl. The lake is actually one of four lakes in Larnaca, covering a total area of 1.761 hectares. It is on the Tentative List of the UNESCO World Heritage

During winter, when the lake is at its fullest, thousands of migrating birds, including the Greater Flamingo, make Larnaca Salt Lake their home.

Here, visitors can explore a four-kilometer linear nature trail that leads up to the old aqueduct of Kamares. Important trees, shrubs, and flowers are signposted with information along the way.

Several archaeological sites here indicate the presence of an ancient civilization that once inhabited the area.

One of these sites is a Bronze Age Cemetery.

Route 2 – Religious Sites

Agioi Anargyroi

In Kavo Greco’s area and the eastern part of Ayia Napa, you will find the small chapel of Agioi Anargyroi. It is perched on the edge of a vertical rock above the sea.

Agioi Anargyroi, on the journey from Ayia Napa to Nicosia, Cyprus
Agioi Anargyroi, on the journey from Ayia Napa to Nicosia, Cyprus

It is dedicated to Saints Kosmas and Damianos. Below the chapel, there is a cave believed to contain the holy water of the Saints.

Getting to the chapel is straightforward. You need to follow the road towards Agioi Anargyroi via Kavo Greco Avenue, which leads you almost to the point of entry into the sea.

The depth close to the shore is about 9 meters, so many people use this point for diving.

Also, it is a good spot for snorkeling since you can see lush vegetation from various species of seaweed, huge rocks that rise, as well as several species of fish.

Ayia Thekla Chapel

Ayia Thekla (Saint Thecla) is another small chapel situated between Ayia Napa and Sotira.

Ayia Thekla Chapel, on the journey from Ayia Napa to Nicosia, Cyprus
Ayia Thekla Chapel, on the journey from Ayia Napa to Nicosia, Cyprus

It is a beautiful chapel with the traditional Mediterranean colors of blue and white overlooking the pristine azure waters of the sea.

The chapel is built next to the ruins of the old original church dating back to the 4th century. You’ll also find here the catacomb of Agia Theklis, a cave with her tomb carved in stone.

Also, at this spot, it is believed that in 1571 the Turkish general Peleas Pasas landed with the intention of laying siege to the city.

As you can see, there’s a lot going on here and it’s worth a short stop. It’s also just a fantastic view of the sea through the arches of the chapel.

Church of St. Lazarus

To those familiar with Christianity, you may know of St. Lazarus, Jesus’ friend who was resurrected. After his resurrection, he moved to Cyprus and was appointed the Bishop of Kition.

Church of St Lazarus, Larnaca, Cyprus
Saint Lazarus Church in Larnaca, Cyprus

Later, the people of Kition built a church in his honor above his tomb.

The foundation of the church dates back to the 9th century. However, it has been significantly altered over the years.

During Ottoman rule, the original bell tower and the three domes were destroyed in order to convert it into a mosque.

The church’s current structure is from the 19th century, and visitors can still visit St. Lazarus’s ancient tomb.

St. Lazarus church is in Larnaca city and is about a 40-minute drive away.

Hala Sultan Tekke

Cyprus may be a dominantly orthodox Christian country, but with the numerous Arabic expeditions on the island and the Ottoman rule for hundreds of years, there is a sizeable Muslim population.

Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque, Larnaca, Cyprus
Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque, on the journey from Ayia Napa to Nicosia, Cyprus

Although there are many mosques around Cyprus, the mosque of Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca is the most famous and sacred place for Cyprus’s Muslim community.

The mosque honors Umm Haram, the wife of Ubada Bin Al-Samit, a companion of Muhammed.

During the Arab raids on Cyprus in the 5th century, Umm Haram fell from her mule, and due to her old age, she succumbed to her injuries and passed away.

Her tomb is at the current location of the mosque. However, her grave was moved from Larnaca to Saudi Arabia on a later day.

The mosque is by Larnaca Salt Lake and is only 10 minutes away from St Lazarus Church, as well as 5o minutes away from Nicosia.

Best Places to Visit in Nicosia

As soon as you arrive in Nicosia, whether that is by car or bus, it is recommended to stay within the old town. That is where all the tourist attractions are.

Naturally, since Nicosia is the island’s capital, there are plenty of things to do and see. However, here is a list of the must-visit places around Nicosia.

Cyprus Museum

For those interested in ancient history, the Cyprus Museum should be at the top of your list. It has an extensive collection of artifacts from the Neolithic period right up to the Byzantine era.

Ancient Salamis cauldron, Cyprus Museum, Nicosia
Ancient Salamis cauldron, Cyprus Museum, Nicosia

Nicosia’s Old Town Neighborhood

Explore Nicosia’s culture and traditions by wandering through the city’s old narrow streets with folk Cypriot architecture in the old town’s neighborhood, as well as little souvenir shops selling traditional art and crafts.

Green Line

After an invasion by the Turkish army in 1974, Nicosia became the only capital in the world divided into two parts.

Green Line, North Nicosia, Cyprus
Green Line, North Nicosia, Cyprus

For decades the borders were closed even for locals, however, today, you can cross over to from the Ledra Palace Crossing Point in the city’s center.

Nicosia’s Venetian Walls

The first thing you’ll notice in Nicosia is the impressive Venetian walls surrounding the old city. The walls were designed to form a massive star.

If you're heading from Ayia Napa to Nicosia, don't miss seeing the city's old Venetian walls and gates
If you’re heading from Ayia Napa to Nicosia, don’t miss seeing the city’s old Venetian walls and gates

Makarios Avenue

Makariou Avenue is an avenue in the center of Nicosia, covering a distance of 2 kilometers.

Makarios Avenue, Nicosia, Cyprus. Credit: Dan, Flickr
Makarios Avenue, Nicosia, Cyprus. Credit: Dan, Flickr

It was recently reformed to accommodate only pedestrians and is filled with shops, cafes, restaurants, and other entertainment establishments.

If you haven’t seen this rejuvenated street since its new look was unveiled in 2021, it’s worth making a stop to check it out.

North Nicosia and Turkish Cyprus

The invasion by Turkey in 1974 led to the partitioning of the country with the border running through Nicosia (the Green Line).

You can’t take IntercityBuses (or any public transport) across the border and no airlines fly in either direction between the two parts of this divided island.

Ancient Salamis Archaeological Site, North Cyprus
Ancient Salamis Archaeological Site, North Cyprus

Similarly, you can’t drive a rental car between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkish-held northern Cyprus.

So, what can you do?

You can rent a car in North Nicosia or take a taxi or public transport to spend the day visiting some of the incredible archaeological and historical sites there before crossing to the opposite side again and taking the regular Greek InterCity bus back to Ayia Napa.

In the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus, sights not to be missed are:

📸 Kyrenia Castle

📸 Famagusta, and

📸 Salamis

Final Thoughts

Cyprus is a beautiful country offering everything your dream island holiday might be.

Ayia Napa is the perfect destination to experience Cyprus’ majestic beaches and Nicosia is a fantastic destination to see the island’s culture, history, and cosmopolitan lifestyle.

And better still, the road trip from Ayia Napa to Nicosia is complete with sea views and incredible landmarks.

Keep Planning Your Trip to Cyprus