Ayia Napa (Cyprus)
The resort town of Ayia Napa (Agia Napa) is located on the southeast coast of the island of Cyprus, 40 km from Larnaca. The resort is popular among young people and is known as the center of the island’s nightlife.
The city got its name from the ancient monastery located in its center. The monastery was founded in the 14th century and is currently not active. A visit to the monastery complex is free, here you will see the remains of buildings of the 15th-16th centuries and a huge plane tree, which is hundreds of years old, and you can also visit a souvenir shop selling icons painted by Cypriot masters.
From the square near the monastery, a street begins, on which all the nightclubs and bars of the resort are located. It is thanks to its nightlife that Ayia Napa gained worldwide fame. At nightfall, at each club, promoters begin handing out free entry tickets (flyers), which also can get you some free drinks at the club bar. The music does not stop here throughout the night, young people dance both inside the clubs and on the streets.
Other sights of Ayia Napa include the Amusement Park with a variety of attractions; Maritime Museum, which is located in the building of the Municipality; and Waterworld aquapark, inspired by the myths of ancient Greece, where visitors are offered numerous pools with artificial waves, a variety of slides, as well as a cafe and a restaurant. Hotels scattered throughout the resortfor every taste and wealth, also along each street there are restaurants, bars, shops and souvenir shops. Ayia Napa travel agencies offer tourists a varied excursion program: boat trips, sea fishing, disco cruises, bus tours, donkey safaris, trips to the Troodos mountains and monasteries, excursions to the northern Turkish part of the island.
There are 14 beaches in the bay of Ayia Napa. All of them have been awarded the EU Blue Flag for their cleanliness, and each beach has showers, toilets and changing cabins. The beaches here are municipal, for the use of sunbeds and umbrellas a fee is charged. The most popular beaches of Ayia Napa are Limanaki and Nissi (Nissi). Nissi Beach is famous among young people because of its entertainment program. Popular club music sounds on the beach all day and competitions are organized. Limanaki beach is the longest beach in the resort. It is less noisy, however, during the season it is also crowded with vacationers. Other beaches of Ayia Napa are located on the shores of small bays and are more suitable for families with children. A wide variety of water activities are available on all beaches: water skiing, banana boating, boating, catamarans and jet skis, parasailing and windsurfing. The best conditions for windsurfing are observed in the second half of the day, when the wind speed reaches 5-7 m/s.
From the east, the bay of Ayia Napa is bounded by Cape Greco. The cape is the easternmost point of the Republic of Cyprus. The coast of the cape is rocky with many bays, lagoons, caves and grottoes. On the cape is the National Forest Park “Cavo Greco” (National forest park “Kavo Gkreko”) with an area of 385 hectares, where hundreds of plant species grow, including more than 30 species of orchids. Hiking trails are laid along the cape. In addition, the coastal waters of Cape Greco are famous among diving enthusiasts. Underwater visibility here reaches 30-40 m, and the diving depth on average does not exceed 10 m. These places are suitable for beginner divers, but experienced scuba divers will also find a lot of interesting things in coastal waters: underwater caves, walls and rock formations (diving depth reaches 30 m), reefs with soft corals and sponges, as well as ancient amphoras resting on the seabed. During the dives, you can see starfish, longfins, saury, colorful sea junkers, sea bass, igloo fish, parrot fish, red mullet, groupers, moray eels, crabs, as well as octopuses and bull rays.
Behind Cape Greco, 8 km east of Ayia Napa along the coast is the resort town of Protaras. It is more suitable for a relaxing family holiday. Protaras is home to one of the most beautiful beaches on the island – Fig Tree Bay Beach. Also in Protaras, it is worth visiting the Aquarium, where exotic fish, crocodiles and penguins are presented, and the famous water-laser “Dancing Fountain Show”, which is presented to tourists during a traditional Cypriot dinner.
According to beautyphoon, Larnaca was built in pre-Christian times on the site of the ancient city-state of Kition, founded according to legend by Kittim, the grandson of Noah. During the excavations, settlements of the 13th century BC were discovered. e. The city’s coastal position contributed to the prosperity of the city. Over time, it became a busy port used for the export of copper. Larnaca got its modern name in 1600 in connection with the many burials found in the area (the Greek word Larnakas means “ditch” or “sarcophagus”). Despite its small size, Larnaca is one of the most important cities on the island. Now more than 50 thousand inhabitants live in the city. The main sources of income are the international airport, harbor, oil refinery.
The most famous historical story associated with this city is the life and resurrection of its inhabitant Lazarus. In his memory, the church of St. Lazarus (IX century) was erected in the center of the city. Inside it is an iconostasis, which is an excellent example of baroque woodcarving.
Larnaca Castle was built during the Lusignan period, but was destroyed. In 1625, the Turks erected a fortress in its place, from where a cannon saluted all the ships entering the harbor. After the castle was struck by lightning, it was partially destroyed and used as a prison.
The Hala Sultan Mosque keeps the memory of a relative of the Prophet Muhammad, who died here during the Arab campaign against Kition.
The mosque is located in a picturesque place near the salt lake.
The most famous museum in Larnaca is the Pierides Museum. It is in the private home of the Pierides family, five generations of collectors. The museum presents one of the richest collections, including items from different eras.
One of the most favorite places for recreation and walks is the Finikoudes embankment lined with palm trees. Its cafes and restaurants offer a beautiful view of the harbor. On the embankment there is a bust of the Athenian commander Cimon, who died in 449 BC. e. in an attempt to liberate Cyprus from the Persians.