The 15 best sights of Ayia Napa – descriptions and photos

15 best sights of Ayia Napa, recommended to visit

Often tourists think about what must visit in Ayia Napa. To get an idea of the island, it is worth going on a boat trip. A yacht picks up travelers from the pier, the cruise is made along the coast. Travelers will enjoy the beautiful views, swimmers can take a dip in the azure waters of the sea.

During the tour, tourists will explore sea caves that are not visible from the land, visit the beaches.

Travelers can choose the duration of the tour by themselves. Most often, from Ayia Napa to the Blue Lagoon it takes 1-4 hours by boat. The journey from Ayia Napa to Famagusta will take 3-4 hours.

Pirate ship “Black Pearl”

The “Black Pearl” is anchored in the port of Ayia Napa. Every day at 12:00 she goes to the sea for 4 hours. Excursion will please not only children but also adults. Externally, the Pearl resembles the ship of Captain Barbossa, the leader of the pirates. They greet guests as they climb the gangway. “The Pearl is richly decorated with pirate symbols such as skulls and bones. A pirate flag flies on the mast.

During the tour, the ship passes along the shoreline and several sightseeing is planned. “The Pearl” skirts Cape Cavo Greco during the cruise, passing along the lighthouse. Visitors to the island will see the “Bridge of Lovers,” Protaras, and Famagusta. There are picturesque views from the ship, so you can take beautiful pictures.

Regular themed walks are held on the “Pearl”. Guests will be interested in participating in competitions and games, the program is in Russian and English. Feeling hungry, you can have a snack with pirate snacks. There’s a bar inside the ship, where guests can enjoy cold drinks.

Periodically the “Black Pearl” goes to sea, going on a night voyage. Then pirate parties are held on board for adults. Guests are received by Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa.

Excursions on a ship with a glass bottom

Visitors to Cyprus should set aside time to take a walk on the sea on a boat with a glass bottom. The excursion takes 2.5 hours. Among the sights to be seen are caves and coastal cliffs.

Often the program includes diving in the sea, tourists are offered masks and snorkels. People who do not know how to swim are given vests. During the tour, the boat passes in places where sea turtles live. Guests will be able to observe them up close.

The cost of the program includes refreshments and soft drinks.

Sculpture Park in Ayia Napa

Sculpture Park in Ayia Napa | Photo: wikimedia.

Sculpture Park, towering over the sea to the east of Ayia Napa, was opened quite recently and has already become an iconic cultural attraction in Cyprus. Twenty guest sculptors from all over the world have worked on the sculptures. Their work, set against a classic Mediterranean landscape, makes the park a pleasant place for a relaxing break.

The sculptures are carved from local white marble or limestone and vary from abstract forms to statues inspired by ancient civilizations that once inhabited the island. Admission to the park is free and the collection of its “exhibits” is constantly growing.

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Address: Sculpture Park, Kavo Gkreko, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

Where is Ayia Thekla beach and how to get there

GPS coordinates of the beach: 34.978762; 33.934844.

Ayia Thekla is located 6km and 15 minutes drive from the center of Ayia Napa towards Larnaca and is considered the outermost beach of Ayia Napa.

The beach is geographically part of Sotira village.

There are several ways to reach Ayia Thekla beach.

  • By bus line 102, one way travel costs 1,5 Euros. The bus stop is Ayia Thekla or Aquapark. Then you can walk a little further to the sea, following the signs.
  • Take a cab from Ayia Napa center or Nissi Beach, 10 Euros each way.
  • If you want to rent a car and drive it, it’s convenient if you’re going to drive along the coast. And see the most beautiful beaches in Cyprus.
  • rent a bike, there is bike parking on the beach
  • Walking, about 1 hour from Nissi Beach or 1,5 from Ayia Napa center (marina area). The way to walk is Nissi Avenue, which turns into Agia Thekla street. Follow the signs to the sea.

Ayia Thekla beach, Cyprus, Ayia Napa

How to get there

The monastic complex of Ayia Napa is located in the center of Ayia Napa, one kilometer from the coast, in front of Seferi square.

You can walk from some hotels in Ayia Napa. From other hotels in Ayia Napa and Protaras it is easier to get there by buses 101 and 102 which go along the lanes of Protaras and Ayia Napa hotels. The fare is 1.5 euros. The stop is “Ayia Napa Square”. Read our article “Buses in Cyprus”.

Right in front of you will be the sculpture “I love Ayia Napa”, follow it and you will get to the monastery.

A more convenient, but also expensive option to get there is a cab. A taxi ride to the monastery from Ayia Napa hotels will cost you 4-8 Euros (it depends on the distance from the monastery), from Protaras hotels – 11-18 Euros. You can read more in our article “Taxis in Cyprus”.

From hotels in other resorts we don’t see much sense to go here. The attraction is clearly not from the “top”, and it is long and tedious to get here.

Where did the Virgin Mary rest?

Let’s start with a small lyrical digression. After visiting the monastery we left its territory from the north side and decided to wander a bit in the neighborhood. After walking up the road to the left and a little uphill from the exit, we decided to sit down on one of the benches that stood near the fence that separates the street from the small white building. At that moment, an old woman dressed as a nun walked past us, opened the gate, then the door to the building and went inside. We wondered, where did she go? We decided to wait and not leave. After some time, the old lady came out of the building, closed the door behind her, went out the gate and left.

We think you won’t need thirty seconds to think about what we did next. That’s right! We opened the gate… walked up to the building… (looking around) opened the door… and…

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We brought some people we knew here once, but we didn’t realize they were bigger than we were. Not everyone would be able to get in.

The port of Ayia Napa

The harbor can be rightly considered the heart of the resort Ayia Napa. There is a special atmosphere, which attracts tourists no less than the beautiful beaches. Of course there are no cruise ships at the harbor but there are authentic fishing boats, small boats and romantic yachts. The first thing you can do in the port is to book a boat trip. There are a huge number of them – on different routes and different durations. In any case, beautiful scenery and swimming in the open sea await those who dare to take part in such an adventure.

Fans of fishing will also find something to their liking in the port. Local fishermen gladly take their guests to the sea and share their fishing secrets with them. But even if you can’t catch anything yourself, there is an impromptu market here in the port every morning, where you can buy fresh seafood delicacies. At the request of the customer they can prepare them. True, you will have to wait – because they will most likely do it at home.

The streets adjacent to the port also attract tourists. Interesting architecture, colorful cafes and, of course, the opportunity to try the very real fish meze, made exclusively from fresh seafood. Finish the port walk by watching the evening sunset. The port is located in the central part of Ayia Napa, so you can walk to it from almost anywhere in the resort. For those who are not attracted to walking, there are buses. Before boarding one of them, find out if it goes to the port.

The legend of the discovery of the icon of the Virgin Mary

In those days, the area was covered with forest, in which you could even do hunting. One day a hunting dog noticed an unusual light emanating from the cave and began to persistently attract his master by barking. The hunter looked into the cave and discovered an icon of the Virgin Mary. Apparently, the icon had been hidden there during the period of iconoclasm in the seventh or eighth century. In Old Greek, the word Napa means forest. Since the icon was found in the forest, it was given the name Our Lady of Napa (Blessed Forest). The word Aya (Αγία) is translated from the Greek as holy. Over time, the name of the icon was shortened and began to be called Aya Napa.

On the site of the cave in the XIV century was first erected a small church, and somewhat later was founded a monastery.

It is time for the second legend.

What is rich in Ayia Napa?

The monastic complex includes 9 churches and chapels worthy of tourists’ attention. Also the walls of the monastery shelter the center of St. Epiphanius Cultural Academy.

Representatives of the center organize meetings, conferences, meetings, and other events aimed at the development and cultivation of theological, historical studies. In early September, the monastery hosts a cultural and religious festival celebrating the Day of Our Lady, one of the most important holidays of Ayia Napa, on September 8.

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On the hill to the west of the monastery is a small chapel built on the spot where Our Lady laid down to rest. In the chapel you can seclude yourself for personal prayer, it is furnished with the most ancient icons.

The 15 best sights of Ayia Napa, recommended to visit

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Today our way is to the city of Ayia Napa, Cyprus. The sights of this place are known to many travelers because it is probably the most famous city in all of Cyprus, famous for its sandy beaches and bustling nightlife.

Crystal clear blue waters, delicious fresh fish and a rich cultural history await you in this popular coastal town. Here’s our guide to the best attractions in Ayia Napa.

Nissi Beach

Nissi Beach

Nissi Beach.| Photo: dronepicr / Flickr.

So, you have decided to visit Cyprus and Ayia Napa. What to see and where to go you will decide later, but for now – run to Nissi Beach. The main attraction of Ayia Napa boasts crystal clear waters, soft white sand and a picturesque rocky island located 60 meters from the shore.

Nissi Beach is considered one of the most beautiful sandy beaches on the island, but keep in mind that in summer it is always very crowded. Everything you need for a comfortable day on the sand by the sea (including bars, entertainment and showers) is there.

Address: Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

Kermia Beach

Kermia Beach

Kermia Beach.

Kermia beach is a nice quiet place with lots of sunbeds, located around 2km east of Ayia Napa in the direction of Cape Greco. It is a nice secluded beach with golden sand and rocky relief, ideal for families.

Address: Limnara Beach, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

Thalassa Municipal Sea Museum

Thalassa Municipal Museum of the Sea

Thalassa Municipal Sea Museum.

This modern museum dedicated to everything connected with the sea shows the enormous influence of the ocean on the life and culture of the Cypriots. Here you can see an exact replica of an ancient Greek ship that sank off the coast of Kyrenia at the end of the 4th century B.C. (You can see the remains of the ship in Kyrenia Castle).

The replica of the ancient Greek merchant ship, called Kyrenia II, was reconstructed using traditional methods and materials.

Address: Thalassa Municipal Museum of the Sea, Kryou Nerou, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

Ayia Napa Monastery

Ayia Napa Monastery

Ayia Napa Monastery.

This beautiful monastery, surrounded by modern “temples” of nightlife, is a serene reminder of the great history of Ayia Napa. It was built by the Venetians in 1500 on the site of a cave in which an icon of the Virgin Mary was hidden during the Iconoclastic period (7th and 8th centuries).

At least that is what the legend says. Miraculously not having suffered under the Ottomans, the monastery functioned until 1758 when it was abandoned.

Address: Agia Napa Monastery, Agia Napa, Cyprus.

The Makronisos Tombs

Tombs of Makronissos

The tombs of Makronisos.

This ancient necropolis of 19 tombs carved into the rock face of the sea dates from the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The tombs all resemble each other and are small rooms with benches. Steps descend down to each tomb and their entrance is covered by a limestone slab. In the 1870s the site was badly looted.

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Further excavation uncovered the remains of a quarry and evidence of ancient Greek burials. The site is clearly marked by a plaque by the main road west of Ayia Napa.

Address: Makronissos Archaeological Site, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

Pantahou Beach

View of Pantahou Beach

View of Pantahou beach.

This strip of sand starts from the fishing harbor and runs for 1 km to the east. There are many cafes and snack bars, as well as all kinds of entertainment. Keep in mind that during July and August Pantachou can be very crowded.

Address: Pantachou Beach, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

WaterWorld

WaterWorld Waterpark

WaterWorld water park.

This amazing themed water park is a short drive from the coast and has 18 water slides, pools, and other fun stuff. Like most of Ayia Napa, WaterWorld is great for families with young children and teenagers.

For younger kids, there’s the Trojan Adventure attraction, a kind of playground with slides that lead to a shallow pool. For thrill-seekers, there’s the high-speed Drop to Atlantis with extra effects.

Address: WaterWorld Water Park, 18, Ayia Thekla Road, Agia Napa (Ayia Napa) 5345, Cyprus.

Beach Connos Bay

Konnos Bay Beach

Beach Connos Bay.

If you want to take a break from the resort and enjoy nature, the narrow spit of white sand on Connos Bay is just what you need. This bay is adorned with long rocky spurs that help protect the beach from currents and strong winds.

Yachts often moor in the bay and its shoals are ideal for snorkeling and diving. There are far fewer cafes and activities than the well-known beaches of Ayia Napa, but you can still rent jet skis or eat in the cosy eateries.

Address: Konnos Beach, Protaras, Cyprus.

Cape Cavo Greco

Cape Kavo Greco

Cape Kavo Greco | Photo: Lefteris Katsouromallis / Flickr.

To the east of Ayia Napa lies Cape Greco, which is part of a nature park. Approaching Cape Greco from land, you can walk along paths surrounded by wild plants, poppies and tall grass. There are benches at the top of the cliff from which you can admire the magical waters of the Mediterranean with its rugged, rocky landscape.

A little to the west, you can see the four tall radio masts of Cypriot radio stations broadcasting on the medium waves. You can go down to the water and visit the system of sea caves under the cape, which we will tell you about a bit later.

Address: Cape Kavo Greco, Protaras, Cyprus.

Sculpture Park in Ayia Napa

The Sculpture Park in Ayia Napa

Sculpture Park in Ayia Napa.

Sculpture Park, towering over the sea to the east of Ayia Napa, was opened quite recently and has already become an iconic cultural attraction in Cyprus. Twenty guest sculptors from all over the world have worked on the sculptures. Their work, set against a classic Mediterranean landscape, makes the park a pleasant place for a relaxing break.

The sculptures are carved from local white marble or limestone and vary from abstract forms to statues inspired by ancient civilizations that once inhabited the island. Admission to the park is free and the collection of its “exhibits” is constantly growing.

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Address: Sculpture Park, Kavo Gkreko, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

Sea Caves

Sea Caves

Sea Caves.

The caves, located at Cape Greco, have been “carved” by water for thousands of years. Today you can reach them by water or by a walkway, specially laid under the cape. It’s a great place for photos, as you won’t find such natural landforms anywhere else.

There is an arch and depressions that go deep into the rock, so you can spend hours exploring this strange but beautiful place. For most of the year, the local waters are calm enough, so you can dive in the completely clear waters without any problems.

Address: Sea Caves, Agia Napa, E307, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

Central Square

Central Square

Central Square.

Ayia Napa’s modest square is where all the resort’s best bars and nightclubs are concentrated. If you do not like to waste time on the road, then this place is just for you, as you will never have problems with transportation from one nightclub to another.

What is particularly pleasing is that you will not encounter anti-social behavior here, and the atmosphere is mostly extremely cheerful and friendly. Like in most Mediterranean towns, the clubs are open until sunrise and the fun doesn’t start until midnight.

Address: Ayia Napa Square, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

Lunapark Parko Paliatso

Lunapark Parko Paliatso

Lunapark Parko Paliatso.

What better place to visit in Ayia Napa than Park Paliatso, the largest amusement park in the whole of Cyprus. There are 25 attractions for all tastes and colors. During the day you can indulge the little ones, but the biggest influx of guests is observed closer to night, when fans of club life come here.

If you’ve read about this place on the Internet, you’ve probably already noticed the Sling Shot attraction. It was installed in 2010 and today it’s the tallest catapult ride in Europe that throws people into the sky at high speed.

The excitement is so intense that some of the brave ones constantly faint at the most responsible moment!

Address: Parko Paliatso Luna Park, Nissi Ave 5340, Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Protaras Resort

Protaras Resort

Protaras Resort.| Photo: Lefteris Katsouromallis / Flickr.

North of Ayia Napa, in an area of small villages with whitewashed houses, is another resort with interesting attractions for families to visit, including a water park, an aquarium, horseback riding stables and, of course, many chic beaches.

St. Elias Church was only recently built in the 1980s, but it’s worth your visit because of its hilltop location, which offers fantastic views of the surrounding area. If you want to see the best sunrise of your life, you should definitely head here early in the morning.

Address: Protaras, Cyprus.

I Love Ayia Napa Art Project

The “I Love Ayia Napa” art object.

A new trendy location for Facebook or Instagram was installed a few steps away from the central bus station in the tourist center of the city. Day and night, people line up to take pictures next to the marble sculpture, which outshines almost anyone standing in front of it.

The monument was clearly inspired by the famous “I Love Amsterdam” art piece, and if it worked so well in Amsterdam, why not do the same in Ayia Napa?

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