With stellar beaches, ancient ruins and party hotspot Ayia Napa on its shores, the east coast of Cyprus serves up holidays to suit everyone.
The east coast of Cyprus is best-known for its clubbing capital, Ayia Napa. But there’s plenty here for families and couples too, from beautiful beaches to archaeological sites and unspoiled countryside.
The beaches along this stretch of the coast are golden-sanded beauties, many of them boasting Blue Flag status. The seas are warm, clear and calm, making them super safe for swimming.
If you’re looking for a party, you’ll find it in Ayia Napa’s buzzing main square. There are hundreds of bars and clubs laying on everything from karaoke nights to world-famous DJs.
Protaras Beach is a popular spot with families and watersports fans, and Nissi Beach is a picture-perfect curve of sand with plenty of peace and quiet. If you’re looking for the biggest beach parties in Europe, though, head to Ayia Napa’s Makronissos Beach.
The modern-day city of Larnaca is built on top of the ancient city of Kition. You can see what remains of its temples and shrines at the archaeological site a block or so back from the main harbour. The capital, Nicosia, is within easy daytripping distance, and has a beautiful old town bound by sandstone walls.
The local seas are perfect for scuba diving, with many reefs, caves and shipwrecks to explore. A dive down to the Zenobia is a must – this Swedish ferry sunk in 1980 and still has lorries chained to its rusting deck.
For a true taste of Cyprus, order a meze. It’s a selection of light bites that can include houmous, stuffed vine leaves, meatballs, grilled halloumi cheese and lots more. Make sure you tuck into a kebab while you’re here, too – it’ll be one of the most succulent you’ve ever tasted.
There’s no shortage of souvenir shops in the coastal resorts, selling everything from postcards to handmade tablecloths and leather goods. The hillside village of Lefkara is the best place to buy locally crafted silver jewellery and lace. Ayia Napa does a strong line in designer brands.
Ayia Napa is the undisputed centre of clubbing on the island. The 24-hour party crew will not be disappointed by its pumping nightlife, complete with laser shows, foam parties and big-name DJs. But families won’t go bored either – the live shows along the main strip cater for audiences of all ages.
The east coast of Greek Cyprus is known as the Larnaca region. It runs from the city of Limassol in the south-west to the border with Turkish Cyprus in the south-east. Cyprus itself is in the Mediterranean Sea, 75km off the south coast of Turkey.
Time differenceGMT +2 hours
Beerfrom €2.50 a bottle
3 course mealfrom around €20