Paralimni is a small town situated in the South East of Cyprus a little way inland, within the Famagusta District. Famagusta was the largest city on the east coast of Cyprus and was capital of the district. It was famous for having the deepest harbor of the island.
Since the Turkish invasion and occupation of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974, The Paralimni Township has increased in size and status, due to the migration of many refugees fleeing from the North. Many of the people who work in the tourist industry of Protaras and Agia Napa live in Paralimni, which is the now the temporary administrative centre of the Famagusta District and the biggest municipality of the Greek Cypriot controlled area of the district. It has become what it seems a small capital city of the non-occupied Famagusta area.
In ancient times the world’s wealthiest city, modern day Famagusta gives one a slightly different sense of worth nowadays. The mighty Venetian fortifications that withstood the powerful Turkish army for nearly a year now sit amid many derelict buildings.
Formerly magnificent churches have been destroyed or turned into mosques. It was Famagusta – “a seaport in Cyprus” – that Shakespeare chose as the setting for Othello. To the south lies the deserted district of Varosha, formerly the biggest resort in Cyprus.
Nearly all of the major historic sites in Famagusta lie within the Old Town, surrounded by the Venetian fortifications.
The town square has three churches and an open air theatre. The three churches rise above the village, the Panagia dates to the 18th century and feature the typical porcelain tiles of that period and include a small Byzantine museum. The most interesting church is the oldest. It is open to the public and now serves as a museum. Inside there is a collection of icons, religious robes and a few interesting old photos and portraits.
Before the rise of tourism, the rich agricultural land surrounding Paralimni was the source of Paralimni’s wealth, and is still of great importance. The famous Cyprus potato is widely grown in this part of the country and is perhaps one of Cyprus best exports. This area which includes Paralimni and Protaras is known to locals as Kokkinohoria, which translates as ‘red villages’ and refers to the high iron content in the local soil, which lends a reddish hue to the surroundings and the pottery.
In recognition of its acquired status Paralimni has a relatively good shopping center, though not to be compared to the larger cities on the island. A number of quiet bars and cafes can be found in and around the square. It maintains a relaxed village atmosphere with plenty of scope to visit the nearby settlements along the beach Ayia Napa and the Cape Greco and inland to places like Liopetri, Frenaros and Avgorou and a good and regular bus service runs along the coastal strip from Paralimni, through Protaras to Ayia Napa
Liopetri is a small traditional village 4 km north of the main A3 between Larnaca and Agia Napa. The nearest sea is at cape Pyla .
Liopetri is famous for its woven baskets, and also for its potatoes. Local basket weavers can be seen working as one walks through the village. Nearby there are beautiful icons and paintings in the village church of Agios Andronikos.
Potamos Liopetriou sits on the shores of long bay, next to Agios Georgios and an ancient watchtower dating back to Venetian times. This is undoubtedly the most picturesque fishing village on the island, and provides an idyllic retreat. Local fish taverns highlight the diverse nature of local sea life and provide an excellent dining experience.
Kapparis is also an up-and-coming area, peaceful and picturesque locality with easy access to the towns of Paralimni and Dherynia, and the resorts of Protaras, Pernera and Ayia Napa. Although Kapparis has supermarkets, restaurants and bars, a car is really essential for maximum pleasure, as in the UK. Kapparis has grown quickly over the last few years from a small village into a thriving community. Kapparis has become one of the best holiday resorts on the East coast of Cyprus. In fact it is about the only places on that side of the Island which remains open for business all year round.
Cyprus property development has played a big part in the revitalization of Kapparis and people have flocked there to buy luxury apartments or villas. In fact it is likely that this influx of buyers has been the main influence behind Kapparis becoming one of the few all year resorts . Many of the flourishing businesses on the resort are owned by ex patriots who have settled in the area which makes Kapparis ideal for those seeking a home from home style holiday.
The resort is ideally placed for access to the main town of Paralimni and is only about 6 kilometers from the bustling resort of Protaras. But most people seem really happy to stay in Kapparis itself making use of the beautiful sandy coves like fireman’s beach which looks out towards the ghost town of Famagusta. With nightlife there is plenty to keep all members of the family entertained. Then again if you want to party until dawn the famous party resort of Agia Napa is only about a twenty minute bus ride away.
Whatever happens in the future between North and South Cyprus it is likely that Kapparis will continue to grow as a family holiday resort. Many people have invested heavily in the area and that investment looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. Many of the former hotel apartment complexes in Kapparis have been totally renovated and are being sold as luxury apartments. With the benefit of pools and reception areas these serviced properties make excellent rental investments or private holiday homes.
Ayia Napa is a resort at the far eastern end of the southern coast of Cyprus, famous for its sandy beaches. In recent years, apart from being a family holiday destination, it has become a ‘party capital’ similar to Ibiza, Rimini and Mykonos. Ayia Napa attracts a large number of tourists therefore Ayia Napa has changed its image somewhat over the years, from a fishing village to a Mediterranean paradise and now has found its place as a multicultural town, catering to all tastes. The Square, central to the town, is filled with high end restaurants, night clubs, and shops, such as Abyss Club and Resterante De Grullié.
Ayia Napa features a number of bathing beaches on which water sports such as water-skiing, windsurfing, canoeing, scuba diving, and speed boating are popular. The Cyprus Tourism Organization supervises the beaches and is responsible for protecting the interests of all tourists. All beaches in Ayia Napa have been awarded the EU blue flag for their level of cleanliness and facilities. The most popular of these beaches is Nissi beach, which is visited mainly by younger people in the summer and gets quite crowded, however offers great water sports facilities. Another is the Harbor Beach (also known as Limanaki (CTID) or Pantahou beach), which is one of Cyprus’ longest, and the longest in Ayia Napa. Harbour Beach caters more for families, and is more relaxing.
The Ayia Napa Festival was first held in September 1985 and has been established as an annual event since. It takes place in Sepheris Square in Ayia Napa Monastery. The festivities reflect the historic, cultural, and agricultural traditions of Ayia Napa and Cyprus as a whole. The program includes theatrical performances, operas, concerts and Cypriot and foreign folk dancing.Like all tourist locations, Ayia Napa is a great place to hit up the shops. There are a number of outdoor markets and shops selling local, handmade arts and crafts which make for perfect souvenirs and gifts.
The town contains a number of museums. The Tornaritis – Pierides Museum of Marine Life was founded in June 1992 in Ayia Napa and is located at the lower level of the Town hall. It exhibits past and present marine life, scientifically classified. Its main purpose is to show to the Cypriot and foreign visitor the marine fauna of Cyprus and the Mediterranean, helping the study and research of this part of Natural History, but also to stress the importance and necessity of preserving the marine environment.
Cape Greco is a 10-minute drive from the center of Ayia Napa, and is considered one of the most beautiful places on the island offering sightseeing, cliff jumping and a variety of other activities.