Agia Napa – ProtarasCopyright: kirill_makarov / Shutterstock.com
Agia Napa – ProtarasOnce only a small fishing village, Agia Napa has become one of the world's best travel destinations, known as a cosmopolitan resort area. Located on the eastern coast of Cyprus, the town is full of history and culture, with friendly and hospitable people. Nearby, Protaras is a popular resort area with some of the world's best golden beaches, crystal clear waters and lively entertainment. Whether you are looking for fascinating history, vibrant culture and nightlife, astounding natural beauty or a relaxing beach vacation, together these areas make up one of the Mediterranean's most desirable destinations.
Agia NapaThe name Agia Napa is derived from a Venetian-era monastery of the same name, located in the centre of the town, next to the square that acts today as a nightlife hub. The word "Agia" (also transliterated as Ayia) means "holy" in Greek. "Napa" is an archaic word that means "wooded valley" or dell. Indeed, in ancient times the area surrounding the town was covered with thick forest. Geographically, Agia Napa lies near Cape Greco on the eastern part of Cyprus, just south of Famagusta, and forms part of a larger area known as Kokkinochoria ("Red Villages", a name derived from the red colour of the soil). Agia Napa is about 8 kilometres from Protaras, a town that has recently seen similar development, but still manages to remain low-key and remains more favourable for families and Cypriots.
Protaras-ParalimniProtaras-Paralimni is situated on the southeastern fringe of Cyprus and has the privilege of seeing the first sunrise in Europe. Paralimni, the main town, combines the advantages of a traditional village with the conveniences of a contemporary town, and there is an air of timelessness in the Town Center. Protaras, the tourist area, extends along the eastern coast of Paralimni and stretches for 10km from the district of ‘Kapparis’ to the location of ‘Konnos’. Hundreds of windmills grant its landscape a quaint, tranquil beauty. Fantastic beaches with crystal clear waters are found along this coast, most of them accredited with the prestigious Blue Flag status. The lengthy seaside promenade is perfect for a sunset stroll or a leisurely bicycle ride, offering visitors the opportunity to explore the area further. Visit the harbours of Agia Triada and the picturesque Agios Nicolaos. Follow a nature trail or one of the cycling paths and enjoy seamless views of the sea. Along them, you’ll discover rare species of flora and fauna and you'll be greeted by little chapels, such as Agioi Saranta, which is set in a mountain cave, or Agios Ioannis, a little chapel hidden in a valley. The ascent of the 153-steps leading to the chapel of Profitis Elias will definitely reward you with breathtaking views of Protaras. Hotels, self-catering apartments, a wide range of restaurants, taverns, pubs and clubs are here to cater to the needs of even the most demanding tourist. Therefore, whether you choose to simply soak up the sun, explore the underwater world, wander the quaint streets of Paralimni, visit the Byzantine churches or enjoy yourself in a club, once you are in Protaras-Paralimni a world of choices awaits you!
Beach LifeDiscover numerous golden beaches with crystal clear waters, each of them awarded a Blue Flag, and indulge in the warmth of the sun. Enjoy swimming, water sports and a cruise around the coast of Agia Napa. Explore the wild natural beauty of Cape Greco, and do some biking or hiking on nature trails with wildflowers and fauna.
Do & See
There is a wealth of attractions and places to visit, both beautiful and interesting. Be sure to visit the Monastery and the Old and New Church dedicated to Virgin Mary, the picturesque harbour, the Municipal Museum ‘’Thalassa’’, the Makronissos Ancient Tombs, the Venetian Aqueduct, and the rural churches and chapels all around town. Stop by the Sculpture Park, the Love Bridge, and the iconic ‘’I Love Ayia Napa’’ sculpture in the Central Square.
The delicious Cypriot cuisine lies at the heart of the island's culture. The Cypriot meze is a banquet fit for a king with about twenty different traditional dishes. Meze is often the dish of choice for local Cypriots, ordering them for feasts, celebrations, anniversaries and other joyous occasions. It starts light with salads, dips, olives and fresh bread. Then you start to work your way up with snails, octopus in red wine, pickled capers and greens, followed by grilled halloumi (Greek cheese made from sheep and goat’s milk), smoked pork, fish, keftedes (meatballs), sheftalia and traditional Greek sausages. Then come the kebabs, chicken and lamb chops.
Cyprus coffee is served literally everywhere on the island. It's the perfect accompaniment for playing games or just shooting the breeze. Cyprus coffee is very different from European coffee, in that it is brewed in small pots with long handles called ‘mbriki’. The coffee itself is made from fresh finely ground coffee beans and is poured into tinted porcelain cups. The amount of sugar added depends on your taste: ‘sketo’ (no sugar), ‘metrio’ (half a teaspoon of sugar), and ‘glykis’ (a full teaspoon of sugar).
Bars & Nightlife
Cyprus wines date back to the days of ancient Greece, as it was a major part of the island's wealth. In medieval times, the renowned Commandaria wines were drunk by those passing through to the Holy Land. New wineries have developed over the past decades, and you can now sample the local wines at various locations and sites throughout the island. For nighttime entertainment, a slew of bars, nightclubs and restaurants can be found in town, along the beaches and at major hotels.
Strolling down the winding streets and alleys of Agia Napa, visitors will marvel at the variety of markets, shops and products available, including local handicrafts and artwork, such as wood carvings, traditional dolls, embroidery and jewellery. Don't forget to try some local wines, and maybe take a bottle or two back home as gifts.