24 Hours in Famagusta
So you are in Ayia Napa or Protaras for a day, and you are looking for what to do to maximise your time in the area. The My Cyprus Travel team has gathered all the must-see places for a great 24 hours here, combining having fun at the beach, exploring the region’s culture, and enjoying a night out.
09:00 Morning Coffee by the Beach
The Protaras strip is the perfect place to spend your morning, offering a variety of places to stop and grab a coffee in front of the beach. UK visitors looking to enjoy the comforts of home will find that many of the restaurants offer a traditional English breakfast.
If you are looking for a more traditional Cypriot breakfast, stop by a café on the strip and pick up a frappe, freddo cappuccino or espresso, or a Cypriot coffee. Pick up a cheese pie or a pastry at the counter, and enjoy your breakfast.
10:00 Head to the Beach
Famagusta is the place to be if you are looking to spend a whole day at the beach, swimming, doing water sports, or dancing the day away at a beach bar. Protaras and Ayia Napa beaches are located to the right of the towns’ main strips.
After your breakfast you will want to head to one of these beaches, just off the main strip, and spend a few hours sunbathing and swimming.
If you are looking to get away from the crowds, hop on a local bus or rent a beach buggy or car and head to Paralimni, where beaches are generally quiet and located in smaller coves.
13:00 Explore the Natural Beauty of the Area
Grab your car or hop on a bus and head to the Ayia Napa Sculpture Park, where you can walk among beautiful art pieces and explore local plant life in their succulent gardens.
The 20,000-square-metre park offers a number of resting areas for visitors to enjoy the sculptures and take in sea views along the way. The growing collection is continually being added to. In 2015, a collection of artists from around the world created their sculptures on-site over a period of three weeks, turning the park into an open-air workshop.
The Park of Mediterranean Plants, Cacti and Succulents is an extension of the sculpture park. An ongoing project, this exhibit showcases the various cacti and xerophytes of Cyprus.
15:00 Grab a Bite to Eat
You will want to head to Ayia Napa for lunch. The town, due to the many visitors it attracts, has many restaurant options. There are a number of local joints where you can try Cypriot dishes and fresh fish, but there are also a number of great restaurants that serve international cuisine, including sushi, Chinese, Mexican, and other options.
17:00 Head Up to Prophitis Elias
Off Protaras’ centre is the Prophitis Elias Church, which sits atop a hill overlooking the town.
To reach it requires some stamina and endurance as you climb the 300 steps of the granite pathway, but it’s well worth the effort. The positioning of the church offers great views of Protaras and the coastline – especially at night-time while the town’s lights are on. The church is also illuminated in the evening and looks majestic from many points throughout Protaras as its high location makes it easy to spot.
Staying true to Greek Orthodox church style, its interior is decorated with icons and paintings from the Bible, and its exterior is of Byzantine style. Profitis Ilias was built in 1984, in the place of an older chapel, and honoured its region by using stones of the area, thus being in perfect harmony with its natural surroundings.
18:00 Explore Cape Greco and Enjoy the Sunset
Famagusta is also home to the Cape Greco National Park. If you are looking to escape to nature for a few hours, you can head to the park with a car (or by bus) and explore the sea cliffs and churches built along the coast.
There are a number of indigenous flora and fauna to be spotted along the paths, and the area is a great place to snap some pictures of the natural beauty in Cyprus, with the cape being characterised by the crystal-clear blue waters that surround it.
From the secluded location of the Ayoi Anargyroi church, with its open views, you can see Cyprus’ landscape with the area’s interesting mix of blue sea and rocky cliffs.
The chapel is built above a sea cave where it is said that the Saints Anargyroi lived an ascetic life. Dedicated to the twin brothers Cosmas and Damianos, the Saints Anargyroi were both doctors who miraculously healed the sick without receiving any kind of payment.
The park is very large and is a great place to go hiking along the sea cliffs, but there are also bike and vehicle paths.
Spend your afternoon exploring the park, but also head towards the most eastern cape of the park and catch the sunset. You will see it fading behind the rocks and sea as the colours change.
For dinner you will want to try some local cuisine, and for this perhaps it is best to head to the village of Liopetri. There along the banks of what is known as the Liopetri river, an inlet from the sea, you can enjoy local fish brought in during the day.
Visitors seeking to take their children out in Ayia Napa and Protaras will want to head to a number of amusement parks with games and rides where you are sure to have good time.
Heading there around 21:00 or a little bit later will give you ample time to go on rides and also escape the heat of the day.
22:00 Head Out
You’ll want to head to the Protaras strip or Ayia Napa for an evening drink – and to party. Both areas have a number of bars, pubs, and clubs that are open late, and the area is buzzing with life on summer nights.
There are a number of parties and events hosted in both locations.