Ayia Napa & Protaras
The South-East Coast
Golden days, silvery nights
Once sleepy fishing villages, Ayia Napa on the south-east coast with its fabulous sandy beaches, and Protaras, the costal area of Paralimni, in the east with its hundreds of windmills, nowdays buzz with life.
Spend the day sunning youself on the beach, swimming in the warm turquoise waters or taking a short cruise along the coast. Some of the best snorkeling and diving can be had off Cape Greko, the eastern peninsula national forest park, with its rocky platforms, impressive cliff top views and sea caves. In the evening dine at one of the many restaurants, especially one of the local ones in Paralimni, or jive to the latest sounds at one of the numerous nightclubs.
Drive through the main potato-growing area of the island, known collectively as the Kokkinochoria (red soil villages) because of the rich red earth in which the crops are grown. Stop off at the tiny estuary known by the locals as Potamos and watch the fishing boats haul in their catch in their multicoloured baskets.
Culture lovers can explore the medieval churches found in villages like Sotira or go around the folk art museums displaying rural artefacts in Deryneia and Avgorou. The children will love the new Sea Museum, "Thalassa", in Ayia Napa, wich has an amazing replica of a 4th century trading ship wich sunk off the coast of Kerynia.