- Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa is located near the south east tip of Cyprus close to the scenic point of Cape Greco. Cyprus’ moderate climate and geography has throughout history made it a desireable location, demonstrated by the many occupations with each civilisation clearly leaving its mark on the character. From 7000 BC with the first settlements of the Neolithic age, to colonisation by societies such as the Greeks 1400 BC, the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, the Persians, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Ottomans, and finally the British who in 1878 assumed the administration of the island from the Ottoman Empire. Finally 1960 saw Cyprus declared an Independent State and declared a Republic.
Only a couple of decades ago, Napa was a tiny fishing village clustered around an ancient monastery and the harbour was the most important asset for the local population. Today its central square each evening hosts literally thousands of people who come to party and socialize.
Nearby and worth a visit is the 15th century Venetian monastery, a church built on a cave where an icon of Virgin Mary was found. Years later a stone aqueduct was built in order to bring water to the sacred place from a natural spring found 2km into the hills of Napa. This water still runs from a marble fountain shaped like the head of a wild bear and is offered as holy water. Within 15 minutes drive from the center of Napa you can also visit some of the local 'Red Soil Villages' such as Paralimni, Dherynia, Sotira, Liopetri and Xylophagou.
Approximately 10km outside of Ayia Napa on the route to Larnaca, Potamos is a popular spot for those looking for a local taste of Cyprus. Dine among the locals on regional fish specialties at very reasonable prices. To get there use the new coastal road and take time to explore the beautiful coastline, including the little church of Ayia Thekla.
As expected in Cyprus, there is no shortage of beautiful beaches in and around Ayia Napa. Water sports can be found at most of the larger beaches. Going east to west, try the best known beaches of Konnos Bay, Cape Greco, Grecian Bay, Sandy Bay, Nissi Beach, Makronissos and Ayia Theckla.
Konnos Bay is small but most beautiful and relatively quiet. About 7km out of town is Cape Greco with its lovely secluded rock formation on a Cape with lovely views of Napa. Grecian Bay, commonly known as harbour beach is right in front of the town square.
Sandy Bay is a picturesque horseshoe bay about 2 km from town which offers everything for couples and family. Nissi Beach is the best known spot for the rich and famous. It has everything you’d want for water sports, a diving center and plenty of bars and restaurants. Makronissos Beach is most popular with Cypriots on the weekend.
HOW TO GET THERE
Cyprus Airways and British Airways offer direct, regularly scheduled flights from London Heathrow to Larnaca International Airport.
Many other European carriers including Air France, KLM, Alitalia and Olympic Airways offer direct flights from their major capital hubs.
During the summer season, Excel Airways and other charter airlines offer flights from major city airports across the UK.
Transfer to Ayia Napa in 1 hour 15 minutes by coach and 50 minutes by taxi transfer from Larnaca’s Airport.