The island of Cyprus, with its subtropical climate and mild winters, is the third largest in the Mediterranean. Holidaymakers flock here to take advantage of the many activities available. With influences from Europe and the East, it has its own unique character that brings tourists back again and again.
Cyprus has forty-eight Blue Flag beaches, fourteen of which are situated around Ayia Napa in the eastern part. Ayia Napa Holidays are attractive options for travellers who want to enjoy a fantastic beach destination that is reasonably priced. This former fishing village has transformed itself into an lively resort that has something for everyone.
Hop aboard a speed boat for an exhilarating trip, or lower yourself into a canoe for something slower. Go scuba diving to discover a fascinating underwater world. Skim across the water as you learn to water ski, or combine sailing and surfing in the sport of windsurfing. Lifeguards and warning notices are there to reassure you, and all the extras are on hand.
Nissi beach is the most popular area. With its extensive water sports facilities, including peddles, inflatables and parasailing, it can get crowded in high season, attracting many young visitors. Luckily, it's actually composed of two connecting stretches, with the smaller one being quieter. Nissi is the Greek word for island, and you can walk through shallow water out to an islet off the coast.
Head for a sheltered spot in Sandy Bay, snuggling between two headlands, from where you can marvel at vistas of the resort and its coastline. With white sand that slopes gently into the sea, it's just right for families. The rocks are the place for snorkelling and diving, with a good range of other water sports here, too.
Grecian Bay is well named as Glyki Nero, meaning sweet water. Closest to the town, it spreads out to the Ayia Napa sea caves, and includes two other beaches. Safe for children, it's lined by hotels, and has good amenities and activities, including a water slide. Also called the Harbour beach, it's the longest in Ayia Napa, and one of the longest in Cyprus. Pernera and Katsarka are close by, with Katsarka one of the few offering deep-water swimming.
Capo Greco, a ten-minute drive from the centre of town, is one of the most beautiful spots on the island. Sightseeing and admiring the views is the easy option here - other activities include cliff jumping, cycling, swimming and riding.
Konnos Bay, at the eastern edge of the resort, is part of the Cape Greco National Park, and is much loved by local people, with yachts and motorboats moored in the clear water. Enclosed by rocky headlands, the winding downward path through the pine trees treats walkers to stunning views. Once down, inflatables and water sports are easy to find.
Macronissos and beyond
The more laid-back Macronissos beach is one long stretch with two smaller bays. Kermia or Limnara beach has limited facilities, and a more peaceful feel. Continue to Ammos Tou Kambouri, along an unsurfaced path past the sea caves, to mess around in the many rock pools.
Landa or Golden Beach may be quieter, but it still boasts a selection of activities and water sports. An adjacent picnic area and children's playground is often used for barbeques. Finally, don't miss the most westerly location, Ayia Thekla, which can be a welcome change from the more developed complexes.
More To Do
The Ayia Napa Waterworld Themed Waterpark is the largest in Europe. Parents can end their day in the relaxation area! Kids with energy left will prefer the playgrounds, before the whole family samples one of the eateries, or stocks up in the gift shop.
For a change of scene, visit the monastery and the town's museums, or head for the Makronissos Tombs, an ancient burial site west of the old village. A festival takes place every September in the monastery, celebrating culture, history and agricultural traditions, with music, theatre and folk dancing.
Water sports enthusiasts will love their time in Ayia Napa. Less active types will find plenty to interest them, too. Before you know it, Cyprus will have captured your heart.