Recently we spent 10 days relaxing in Ayia Napa, Cyprus and it was heaven. It was exactly what we’d hoped for and we left sunkissed, happy and 100% relaxed. It’s amazing what 30 degree days, salt water and sunshine can do for your soul!
This said, we barely scratched the surface of everything Cyprus has to offer as there are so many areas to explore and towns to visit but for us, this trip was about taking some time out to relax, so we stuck mainly to the area of Ayia Napa and Protaras, aside from one long day trip.
Here’s our travel guide to Ayia Napa, Cyprus listing the top things to do, the best restaurants, how to get around and where to stay.
Ayia Napa Town
Ayia Napa is one of the most visited areas in Cyprus. It is located on the far eastern end of the southern coast and has one heck of a reputation for nightlife as well as an abundance of stunning beaches. If there were 2 cities it reminded us of, it would be a cross between Phuket, Thailand and Cancun, Mexico.
The main street of Ayia Napa is lined with restaurants and it won’t take long before you notice a reoccurring theme of elaborately decorated/themed restaurants with enough room to sit the entire population of Cyprus. Don’t worry, we recommend some more tasteful restaurants below.
On top of the restaurants, you have many bars, clubs, a marina with 2 adjoining beaches, shops, grocery stores, public transport and a luna park. There is something to keep everyone entertained in Ayia Napa. Even if you don’t want the nightlife, Ayia Napa is a great place to base yourself for a relaxed, beach holiday.
Nissi Beach is the most well-known beach in Ayia Napa and therefore is the most visited. With its white sand and turquoise shallow blue waters, you can understand why so many people love to spend a summer’s day here. Aside from one of the nicest places to swim, you also have a large resort, numerous restaurants and bars, water sports & plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas for rent (€2.50). During the summer (May – October), Nissi Bay Beach Bar holds many beach parties with famous DJ’s, guests artists and even the occasional foam party.
Troodos Mountain Range
Stepping away from the beach we decided to rent a car and venture out on a day trip to Troodos Mountain Range, the largest mountain range in Cyprus located in the centre of the island.It’s roughly a 2-hour drive from Ayia Napa, however, we took the opportunity to stop in a few places along the way such as Larnaca, Zygi (great fresh seafood on the water), Lissamol and the very traditional, 1000-year-old village of Lefkara which is known for its production of handmade linen embroidery and silverware.
Visit Water world
Ok, so if there’s one thing that being pregnant hasn’t allowed me to do it’s spending the day running around a water park like a kid before Christmas. We’re such suckers for water parks and it had been some time since our last fun at the Atlantis in Dubai, but to keep our little bub safe, we gave this one a miss. But if you’re anything like us and love a good water slide. Pay Water world a visit!
How to get around Ayia Napa
The public transport system in Cyprus is extremely efficient (& cheap). Tickets can be bought on the bus for €1.50 during the day and €2.50 in the evening after 9:00 pm. For routes inside of Ayia Napa, buses run every 20 minutes along the main road. Aside from the bus system, there are a plethora of options for getting around Ayia Napa such as a bicycle, motorbike, scooter, ATV, car or buggy.
Where to Stay in Ayia Napa
You’re spoilt for choice with accommodation in Ayia Napa. There are plenty of large resorts, hotels & villas, as well as smaller apartments both self-contained and serviced. As we planned to stay for over a week, we wanted something a little quieter than a large resort and with facilities that allowed us to cook.