10 top attractions in Protaras
The city of Protaras is a quieter neighbor of the resort of Ayia Napa, known for its boisterous nightlife. Here, on the southeastern coast of Cyprus, you’ll find quite a few beautiful, quiet beaches, perfect for a vacation with kids. The coastline around Protaras and its surroundings are white sandy coves with hidden caves, occasionally interspersed with rocky promontories.
There is much to see and do on land – you can explore Protaras’ many attractions on foot and by car, you can drive through the famous historical places around the city. Here is just a short list of the things you can see in Protaras for tourists or those who are planning to visit the island of Crete.
Church of Elijah the Prophet
Church of Elijah the Prophet.
This ancient orthodox temple can be seen from afar. It is located just a short walk from the center of Protaras. The church was built on top of a 100m high hill in the 14th century in honour of St. Elias the Prophet. To get here is not an easy task, especially in hot summer, as you have to climb a steep staircase with 150 stone steps.
But when you get to the top, you’ll understand why it was worth the climb. A fabulous panorama of the city, picturesque scenery and azure sea opens from the hill. Here you can sit in a quiet garden, resting in the shade of trees. Next to the church, there is a “wishing tree” on which locals and tourists tie ribbons in memory of their loved ones and for the fulfillment of the most cherished wishes.
Address: Protaras Church of Elijah the Prophet, Προφήτη Ηλία, Protaras, Cyprus.
Fig Tree Cove
Fig Tree Cove.
The cove has one of the best and most popular beaches not only of Protaras, but of the whole of Cyprus. The coastline of the bay is typical for the eastern part of the peninsula – it is an amazing coastal strip of fine light sand with rows of sun loungers.
Clean water and sand, smooth entry into the sea, no waves, the maximum available services and entertainment makes this well-kept, well-equipped beach an ideal place for recreation with children. Since Fig Tree Bay is close to the city, it can be crowded in high season.
The water is amazingly crystal clear – near the shore it is so transparent that you can see every grain of sand on the seabed! This is explained by the fact that about 50 meters from the coast there is a small island which separates the beach from the open sea, creating a wide and long basin with clear water up to waist height.
Address: Peepal Bay Beach, Protaras, Cyprus
Cape Cavo Greco
Cape Kavo Greco | Photo: Lefteris Katsouromallis / Flickr.
The whole southeastern tip of Cyprus is a nature reserve and is considered one of the most beautiful places on the island. Here, amidst nature reminiscent of cinematic landscapes, it’s a great place to relax for hikers and water sports enthusiasts alike.
Following the trail on foot, you can reach the observation deck where you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the rest of the promontory and the blue Mediterranean Sea. At the edge of the shoreline there are a number of unusual caves carved into the rocks by the surf.
Nearby, you can see an unusual rock that hangs over the water like a bridge created by nature itself. When the sea is calm, you can swim under this arch.
Address: Cape Kavo Greco, Protaras, Cyprus.
City beach on the coast of Vrysi
View of the City Beach on the coast of Vrisi.
The beaches of Vrisi are long stretches of golden sand that stretch north from Fig Tree Bay to the pier. Water sports equipment rentals are scattered along the waterfront, between the green lawns of the resort hotels, as well as numerous cafes.
At the height of the summer season, when Fig Tree Bay is crowded with holidaymakers, it’s worth looking for a less crowded beach by heading north along the coast.
Address: Vrissiana Beach, Protara, Protaras, Cyprus
Many tourists only accidentally discover this secluded, hidden beach while walking along the coastal paths – it’s hard to spot when moving along the road. The beach at Sirena Bay is a short, arching strip of sand and pebbles surrounded by lush vegetation, overlooking a welcoming coastal tavern.
The dense thickets surrounding the beach eliminate the need for sun umbrellas, and the calm sea and shallow waters will be appreciated by those who don’t consider themselves first-rate swimmers.
Address: Sirena Bay Beach, Cyprus.
Dancing Fountains Show
A show of dancing fountains.
After this one hour show your tired children will fall asleep much quicker than usual. The show is much different from traditional musical fountains. The magic of moving streams of water is simply mesmerizing – they rise and fall, rotate and erupt like a volcano! In addition, all this is accompanied by music, holograms, laser beams and other special effects.
Address: Magic Dancing Waters, Protara Avenue 7 Behind McDonalds, Protaras, Cyprus.
Ayia Napa Monastery
Ayia Napa Monastery.
The resort town of Ayia Napa is known not only for its fun nightlife but also for its rich history. For example, in the heart of the city stands a perfectly preserved Venetian monastery – it looks almost as it did 500 years ago. The walls of the monastery church, the covered galleries and the mill, built of limestone, are still standing strong.
In 1990 an additional large church was erected in the monastery as the number of Ayia Napa’s parishioners increased significantly. Couples who have problems conceiving often come here – they bow before the face of the Mother of God (it is said that this has helped several local couples to have miraculous children!).
Address: Agia Napa Monastery, Agia Napa, Cyprus.
View of Nissi Beach | Photo: dronepicr / Flickr.
South of Protaras is one of the most popular beaches in Ayia Napa, Nissi Beach. The afternoons here are especially fun, and at the height of the summer season there are always rousing beach parties. Particularly desperate tourists can make their way to the promontory on the west side of the bay to dive off the high cliff.
For all other vacationers a large beach in a picturesque bay is provided. Fine white sand, clear water, shallow water, developed infrastructure, high quality service and safety – just an ideal place, where you can spend whole days carefree by the sea.
Address: Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Konnos Bay | Photo: CTO Zurich / Flickr.
On your way to Cape Greco, you are sure to stumble upon a wonderful natural beach. Konnos Bay is protected by headlands that act as a barrier against wind and sea currents – this explains the popularity of the beach with vacationers.
If you are vacationing with children and are looking for a beach with fine sand and calm seas, then Konnos Bay is ideal for you. More experienced swimmers can go snorkeling in the bay to explore the sea under the rippling waves.
Address: Konnos Beach, Protaras, Cyprus.
Luna Park Paliatso
Luna Park Paliatso.
In this large theme park everyone can find something to do regardless of age. One look at the attraction “Slingshot” already makes the heart beat faster. The structure resembles a giant slingshot with a cabin on elastic ropes. Daredevils sit in the seats and then the cabin is thrown into the air at high speed with the help of a catapult.
Undoubtedly, this is the ride with the highest catapulted cabin flight in Europe. A slightly smaller portion of adrenaline you get on the largest ride in the park – the Ferris wheel, which takes you to a height of 45 m. From the highest point a stunning panorama of the park, city and sea opens. It is especially spectacular in the evening when colored lights are lit everywhere.
Address: Parko Paliatso Luna Park, Nissi Ave 5340, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.
The 14 most visited tourist attractions in Protaras, Cyprus
The town in the southeast of Cyprus is famous for its sandy beaches and tranquil holiday resort. Protaras is in the stage of development of tourist infrastructure, so it is less popular and not crowded like the neighboring resorts of Cyprus. Also, tourists can observe the amazing natural attractions, architectural and historical sites.
What to visit in and around Protaras in Cyprus in a few days?
The main interesting sights of the city can be explored in one or a couple of days. Some wish to spend this day on the beach at Fig Tree Bay or on any other coast in the vicinity, but some decide to go on an informative walk around the city with a map in hand.
You can spend the whole day relaxing on the beach
Choosing the latter option, it is recommended to use the following route: Church of St. Nicholas – Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Historical Museum – Aquarium – Singing Fountains. Some of these sites are fascinating but lengthy tours, so it is important to allocate your time properly so that you have time to visit and see what you have planned.
Deciding to spend a few days in Protaras, the traveler should make the following out-of-town trip: Protaras – Valley of Windmills – Cape Greco (National Natural Park; Bridge of Sinners). Overnight stays are available in resort hotels of any level and cost within the settlement.
Interesting places to go with children
Protaras is a quiet and peaceful resort, an ideal place for a holiday with children of all ages. In addition to comfortable clean beaches on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, there are many places for children’s entertainment:
- Historical Museum of the city;
- Magic Dancing Waters show;
- Moonshine Ranch.
Thanks to the entertainment programs, children will not be bored.
You can also take your little ones fishing in Liopetri or hiking in the Kavo Greco National Forest Park. There are many cafes with children’s menus in the resort, and the beaches have special areas for toddlers.
Guide or self-guided exploration of Protaras attractions?
In all places of interest, you can use the services of a guide or choose to explore the site yourself. For those who like a leisurely stroll, it is better to forego this service and go for a “free swim” in the Kavo Greco Park or the Oceanarium.
This way, you can spend more time on the places you like and not be afraid of falling behind the group.
This natural landmark can be observed in the Caveo Greco National Park. The cave is mentioned in Homer’s poem about Odysseus, the Cyclops and other antique foul creatures. The walls of the cave have orange and green hues. To visit the Cyclops Cave you need to take a short hike through the park without any steep climbs. With resting places along the way and wonderful scenery, the hike is easy and interesting.
A favorite destination of many people in Protaras is the Moonshine Ranch. For over 30 years visitors have been coming here to go horseback riding, enjoy the company of the horses, improve their skills or learn how to ride. The chief instructor has 47 years of experience in the field, so he is trusted even children. A horseback ride through the local natural beauty includes an oceanfront picnic and free pictures to remember.
Valley of the Windmills
On the way to Cape Greco is the amazing Valley of Windmills. The site is several decades old. Many of the windmills-pumps are installed in areas where vegetable crops are grown to irrigate the soil. On a tour of the valley tourist learns the principle of the mills, their purpose and the result of the work done. Also, the opportunity to taste the local fruits and a self-guided walk through the local beauties is provided.
A natural landmark across Cape Greco is a bridge over a precipice of solid stone. This phenomenon is considered by many to be the wonder of the world. Legend has it that it will collapse when the world’s most sinful man steps over it. After the cracks in the natural structure of the bridge visiting by tourists was limited, and in 2012 closed completely. Stepping over the railings in front of the Bridge of Sinners is prohibited. Such actions are considered unsafe.
Church of St. Nicholas
The Orthodox church was erected relatively recently, in 2007. The temple, built by sailors and local fishermen, is consecrated in honor of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and is located on a mountain near the fishing bay. The holy place is known for its compactness and coziness at the same time. The white walls of the building are decorated with bright blue domes. Inside you can observe Byzantine paintings and frescoes in the same style. Locals and tourists choose St. Nicholas Church for weddings, and long-distance sailors are sure to stop by for a blessing before the trip.
Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary
People from different parts of the world come to the chapel of the same name in Protaras to ask for help from the miraculous icon of the Theotokos. The icon was found in the 4th century, and in the 13th century a church was built on this site in honor of the shrine. In addition to the chapel there is a museum with ancient Byzantine collections and a monastery, in the courtyard of which a 600-year-old sycamore grows. Outwardly, the stone chapel looks very modest. Part of the structure is in the rock, so its location is considered below sea level.
Church of Ayios Elias (St. Elias)
The ancient church in honor of the prophet Elijah is set on an elevation of 115 meters. The sandstone structure is decorated with arches, carved battlements on the towers and a domed roof. There is an amazing bell tower. The temple is decorated in the Byzantine style. The hill of the church offers an incredible view of the surrounding area. Because of this, the area next to the temple is considered an observation deck. To get to the Church of Ayios Elias you have to overcome a short climb up the mountain, so it is not recommended to plan your visit for a hot period of the day.
Magic Dancing Waters Fountain
Protaras hosts a musical fountain show that can be compared to the “singing” fountain in Dubai. A huge number of powerful jets of water in the color of footlights rush up to the sounds of classical and contemporary music. Choose a seat at a table and enjoy delicious national food and drinks. Bright show starts at 21:00 and lasts for an hour. It is better to reserve or buy a more comfortable seat in advance. Magic Dancing Water runs from April to November.
The largest oceanarium and aquarium in Cyprus is located in Protaras. A huge area is filled with sea inhabitants of the Mediterranean Sea and the oceans – the Pacific and Atlantic. There are more than 1000 species of inhabitants of land, water and air. All the animals are housed in spacious aviaries and aquariums, and the living conditions resemble the natural environment as much as possible. There is a café and a special pavilion where you can buy souvenirs. Parking is free for visitors.
A small fishing village located near Protaras. Only 20 km away from the town you can fish in an unusual bay and eat your own catch prepared in a nearby restaurant. Walks and excursions by boat are also available. In the beginning Liopetri was famous for a large number of ancient churches, but so far only two churches built in the XV-XVI centuries have remained intact. Back in the nineteenth century, the famous poet Arthur Rimbaud lived in this area.
Cavo Greco National Forest Park
The Cavo Greco Park is open to the public on the east of Cape Greco. Its 380 hectares contain amazing and rare collections of plants, flowers and trees. Tourists can also visit the church of Anargyri, the sea caves, the ruins of the temple of Aphrodite and the holy spring. Apart from the hiking route, visitors can also cycle through the national park, swim in the Mediterranean or have a picnic in the specially designated areas.
The Protaras History Museum
In the central part of the city tourists can visit the most famous museum in Protaras. Here you can learn about the traditions and life of the Cypriots. The museum exposition is divided into several themes: the development of Cyprus since ancient times and modern history. Here are exhibits of archaeological excavations in the region of Protaras and the island of Cyprus, and art objects of the XIX century. You can also see locals’ arts and crafts and a collection of ancient vehicles.
The amazing scenery of the eastern point of Cyprus attracts tourists for photo sessions, scuba diving or walks on the coast. There are benches and places for tourists to relax. The areas of Cape Greco are characterized by a large number of grottos, cliffs and interesting caves. Because of these natural features, the area is loved by fans of extreme sports. Nearby are the Cavo Greco National Park and the Bridge of Sinners, which are also considered attractions of Protaras.
Fig Tree Cove or Fig Tree Bay
The place is considered the most popular for beach holidays in Protaras. The sandy shore, developed infrastructure, environmentally friendly area and the absence of large waves are ideal for a safe pastime with children. After the reconstruction, the beach has additional lanes, sun loungers and showers. Fig Tree Bay has a huge number of fig trees and is home to many pelicans. Also, the picturesque areas of the bay are often depicted on postcards and souvenir products.