SOUTHERN CYPRUS: AYIA NAPA AND LARNACA
‘IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR PEACE,
plan your holidays between the end of October and the beginning of June.’
I. AGRICULTURE LAND OF SOUTHERN CYPRUS
Ayia Napa and Larnaca are located in an agricultural area separated from the south by the sea, located between the Troodhos table mountains. On this hilly, mainly unpolluted terrain, one of the most delicious potatoes are grown, which are mostly exported to other parts of Europe. This is also where amazing olives, melons and lesser-known, but equally good Cypriot wine come from. Have you ever wondered where did the first baby veggies come from on the shelves in early March? Probably also from this region:) The main city of this part of the island is Larnaca, with which the smaller but very attractive tourist town Ayia Napa competes, where the most seaside resorts gather.
II. AYIA NAPA – THE MAIN HOLIDAY RESORT OF CYPRUS
Once a small settlement inhabited by 2.5 thousand residents, Ayia Napa changed in the 80s of the twentieth century into a popular seaside resort. Although many hotels were built here, it managed to preserve the town's low, primary buildings and avoid huge, multi-storey sky-scrapers. Nevertheless, the old spirit of the fishing village has disappeared, and tourists have conquered in every corner of this place.
Being in the center, it is worth paying attention to the medieval monastry (free admission) and the picturesque harbor, from which there is a view of the long, wide, sandy beach. During the summer months, many young tourists interested in intensive nightlife and water sports come to Ayia Napa, so if you are looking for peace, plan your holidays in this part of Cyprus between the end of October and the beginning of June.
III. LARNAKA - LIVELY SEASIDE CITY
You can get to Larnaca from Agia Napa by bus in less than an hour. The city is inhabited mainly by indigenous people, although from the ancient Kition, developing in the Bronze Age, not much has survived. A fascinating remnant is the church of Agios Lazaros, which has a stately iconostasis, ie a wall covered with magnificent decorations. In the church there is also a museum of icons and liturgical equipment (admission: 1 euro).
One of the most beautiful and photographed tourist attractions of Larnaca is Hala Sultan Tekkesi (free entry) - Islamic sanctuary rising above the salt lake. The Islamists believe that the mosque was built in the place where the aunt of the prophet Muhammad fell from the donkey and died. Please note that it is not allowed to enter the temple with your shoes on!
In Larnaca, you can eat well and inexpensively at the Vassilikis Inn, located 150 meters before the entrance to the Choirokoitia excavation - vegetarian main courses cost around 6 euros.
The multi-kilometer long sandy beaches start to the east of the oil transhipment port. However, you will not find a place here for yourself, because it is surrounded by a chain of hotels. Despite the large number of tourists, the beaches are well-maintained, and the water is warm and crystal clear.
IV. WHERE TO NEXT?
The historical division of the island, which continues to this day, makes visiting Cyprus a fascinating experience. If you are intrigued by the southern part of Cyprus, you probably will not be able to resist the contrasting but equally beautiful northern part!
Have you ever been to Cyprus? What did you like the most, and at least? I encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments below! :)
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