Once sleepy fishing villages, Agia Napa on the south-east coast with its fabulous beaches of fine white sand, and Protaras, the coastal area of Paralimni, in the east with its hundreds of windmills, nowadays buzz with life.
Spend the day sunning yourself on the beach, swimming in the warm turquoise waters or taking a short cruise along the coast. Some of the best snorkelling and diving can be had off Cape Gkreko, the eastern peninsula national forest park, with its secluded coves and rocky outcrops, impressive cliff top views and sea caves. In the evening dine at one of the many restaurants, especially one of the local ones in Paralimni, or jive to the latest sounds at one of numerous nightclubs.
This area is known collectively as the “Kokkinochoria“, “red soil villages”, because of the rich red earth in which Cyprus’ famous potatoes are grown. Culture lovers can explore the medieval churches found in villages like Sotira or go round the folk art museums displaying rural artefacts in Deryneia and Avgorou. Children will love the Marine Life museum or the new Sea Museum, “Thalassa”, in Agia Napa, which has an amazing replica of a 4th century trading ship which sunk off the coast of Kyrenia. Or you could stop off at the tiny estuary known by the locals as “Potamos” and watch the fishing boats haul in their catch in their multicoloured baskets.
Agia Napa, a land where the world’s colours meet and harmonize. Discover golden sandy beaches beside crystal clear turquoise waters. Enjoy all the latest sea sports, challenge your strength and endurance and possibly discover now realms of potential within.
Lazily bask in the warmth of the sun. Take a cruise around Agia Napa’s coastline. Shop in trendy boutiques and talk with the locals. Wander picturesque streets, take in colourful seasonal festivals and treat your taste buds to delicious local and international favourites.
Day and night enjoy Agia Napa’s many restaurants, pubs, cafes, taverns and clubs. Live professional nightly entertainment is provided by many hotels throughout the summer. Look forward to fine casual atmosphere and service with a smile.
Visit the medieval monastery dedicated to Our Lady of the Forests, surrounded by a high stone wall. Its 16th century church is partially underground, cut into the rock. An ancient sycamore tree, believed to be over 600 years old grows in front of the south gate, its beauty praised by the Greek Nobel laureate, George Seferis, in his poetry.
At Agia Napa take in the island’s culture with a visit to the Thalassa museum, created around a sea theme and with its life size replica of an ancient sailing ship found sunk off the island’s north coast.
Protaras is the name of a picturesque bay with crystal bright waters and golden sand. In one of its bays, commonly known by the name Fig Tree, there is a small island in about 100 metres from the shore.
This area was and still is the most productive area of Paralimni. Hundreds of watermills situated in the area provide a special picturesque image and are at the same time a testimony about the way the land was used in the last fifty years.
Visit the centre of Paralimni with the largest ecclesiastical square in Cyprus which includes three churches. Two of the churches are dedicated to St. George. A few metres further down is an ancient Byzantine church dedicated to St Anna. Today, this church belongs to the Department of Antiquities and it is one of the historic sights visited by many foreigners.
At the location ‘Louma’, the visitor has the opportunity to visit the picturesque fishing preserve, with the chapel of Agios Nicolaos giving an island colour to the scenery. Over there you can enjoy your coffee and rest while looking the sea and observing the yawls and the boats which come and go.
Shortly before we reach the heart of the tourist area of Protaras, we come across the chapel of Prophet Elias. It is built on a granite hill with almost vertical sides. A Byzantine type church was built there in the past few years in order to replace the small room which was used as a church. In order to reach the chapel, one has to climb a set of 153 stone-built steep stairs, but once you get there, the view rewards the visitor.
Located near the Cape Gkreco, in a short distance from the sea, is a picturesque chapel dedicated to Agious Anargyrous (Kosmas and Damianos). At the homonymic area, you will find dug into the rocks the picturesque chapel of Agioi Saranta. The lovers of nature, apart from the pilgrimage, will also enjoy the wonderful scenery which surrounds the chapel.