Ayia Napa before the invasion of 1974 was a small fishing village but now is very well known as a cosmopolitan resort and as one of the best tourist destinations worldwide.
Ayia Napa is located on the eastern coast of Cyprus. It is a town of history and culture with natural beauty, golden sandy bays with crystal clear turquoise waters.
There are numerous attractions to visit such as the the14th century monastery in the heart of Ayia Napa, Municipal Museum ‘Thalassa’, rural churches and chapels all around the town, the sculpture on the seafront walkway with numerous pieces of art.
Protaras is one of the most popular summer tourist destinations in Cyprus, and it is situated on the east coast between the busy resort of Ayia Napa and the quieter laid-back area of Pernera.
Protaras borders the inland town of Paralimni and comes under the jurisdiction of the Paralimni municipality.
Because of its location on Cyprus’ south-eastern tip, Protaras is the first European city to watch the sunrise each day; a trip to the highest point at Cape Greco is well worth it for the spectacular views.
The headland that separates the towns of Ayia Napa and Protaras is known as Cape Greco.
In 1993, the region was classified as a national park, covering 385 hectares.
There are various nature trails to select from in addition to the popular beach of Konnos Bay for those who want to explore.
One such trail leads to the ‘Cyclops Cave,’ from where you may follow the coastal walk to Fig Tree Bay and Protaras’ center.
The award-winning Fig Tree Bay is one of the most popular beaches on the entire island of Cyprus and is without a doubt the jewel in Protaras’ crown.
It holds a blue flag and is listed on Trip Advisor as one of Europe’s greatest beaches.
The beach side promenade, a paved and decked wide pathway stretching into Pernera, begins at Fig Tree Bay.
There are various bars and restaurants along the path, and gets brightly lit in the evenings, making it ideal for a romantic or family stroll on warm summer nights.
There are numerous benches along the path, as well as platforms that extend out over the sea.
Nissiotis pier is located along the seaside path and offers a range of boat tours, all of which provide a lovely experience and a unique perspective of the area from the seaside.
The main street of Protaras, only meters from the beach, is lined with a plethora of bars, restaurants, cafes, and stores.
From Mediterranean cuisine to traditional English, Mexican, Italian, and other cuisines, Protaras has something for everyone.
The nightlife is less vibrant than at Ayia Napa’s ‘party town,’ but there is still plenty to keep you entertained; many bars offer live music, karaoke, and other forms of entertainment.
There are also several attractions for families.
The Byzantine chapel of Profit Elias – ‘the church on the hill’ – offers a spectacular perspective of the town and is well worth the 153-step trek to the peak for those who can do it – just remember to bring a bottle of water if you attempt it in the summer!