Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Ayia Napa - The most popular resort in the Med


The lovely town of Ayia Napa is located just south of Famagusta along the southeastern coast of Cyprus. Ayia Napa is home to terrific beaches, museums, ruins, and festivals. Whether you're going to relax, party, or explore - you will find all that in Ayia Napa.


Beaches


Nissi Beach is popular both with partiers and beach-goers. It runs along a cove and has bright, clean waters. You can enjoy a number of water activities here, including windsurfing and water skiing. There are also beach volleyball areas designated for public use and two bungee jumping sites.


Limanaki Beach (also called Pantahou or Harbor Beach) is the longest beach in Ayia Napa and is more family friendly than the wilder Nissi Beach.


In truth, it's hard to go wrong with any of the local beaches. All of them have been commended for the cleanliness of their waters and facilities.


Attractions


Ayia Napa Monastery

This lovely refuge from the business of the town square was built by the Venetians in the sixteenth century. It has graceful arches and cloisters, along with a marble fountain in its courtyard. The tree just outside its gates is said be more than 600 years old. Still used as a place of worship, it's also a great place to explore that the whole family can enjoy.


WaterWorld Waterpark

This award winning water park is the largest themed water park in Europe. It draws on Ancient Greece for its inspiration, including such rides as The Fall of Icarus and Phaethon's Fume. There are almost 20 wild rides in all at this wild water park. There are also pools where you can relax and tube in the water. You have plenty of restaurant choices on the grounds, so plan to spend the entire day.


The Makronissos Tombs

This cemetery site dates back to ancient Rome. There are 19 rock cut tombs and little sanctuary beside them. The tombs are rectangular and are placed progressively down for the entrance. There is also an ancient quarry near to them. They're located just west of the city.


Thalassa (Municipal Museum of the Sea) and Tornaritis - Pierides Museum of Marine Life

With a maritime history going back for millenia, these two museums record that history and the varied natural life of the local seas. These include exhibits on both the political, historical, and natural histories of the area. The Thalassa museum also focuses on preservation of the local sea life and waters.


Other Places and Events of Note

As a well known party town, this little corner of Cyprus is also home to some of the world's best night clubs, including The Castle Club.


If local legends interest you, you might try to spot the Ayia Napa sea monster. It's been described as a serpent, crocodile, or dragon, or some mixture thereof. It is reportedly friendly, although there aren't any confirmed sightings.


There are two annual festivals, the Ayia Napa Festival and the Ayia Napa Youth Festival. The general festival focuses more on cultural events and folk traditions. The Youth festival caters to younger musical tastes and includes a message of social responsibility.