Ayia Napa is not only spacious and clean beaches. People come here to see the sunset from Cape Greco and make a wish on the Bridge of Love. Here you can take a walk in the Sculpture Park and travel back several centuries in the courtyard of the monastery or in the Ethnographic Museum. And fans of club pastime come here from all over Europe and even from the USA.
Who and why should come to Ayia Napa
Connoisseurs of historical monuments can plunge into the atmosphere of bygone centuries — Ayia Napa is known for its ancient monastery and two museums: Ethnographic and Maritime. The exposition of the Ethnographic Museum shows the rural life of the inhabitants of Cyprus, which is why it is also called the Farmhouse. And in the museum of the sea, copies of ancient ships, fossils, shells and corals are exhibited.
For romantics who are close to the beauty of the local nature and landscapes, Cape Greco with its sea caves and the Bridge of Love will be the best places to visit. This place is covered with romantic legends.
Art connoisseurs will find inspiration in the Sculpture Park, which contains works by artists from all over the world. It seems that the Park has included all eras and styles: from the times of Ancient Greece to the present day.
Fans of entertainment will enjoy visiting the aqua and amusement park, go-karting, Ferris wheel and roller coasters. You can experience the thrill in the quest room and the haunted house. An unusual local attraction Sling Shot will leave an indelible impression, and a sea excursion on the Black Pearl pirate ship will bring a lot of positive impressions to children and their parents.
Ayia Napa is hard to imagine without dozens of clubs concentrated in the city center on the «club» street. This is the youth capital of Cyprus, and it is here that the world’s best DJs delight guests with their music all season long. For lovers of fun and dancing until the morning, a great vacation is guaranteed!
Historical objects and museums of Ayia Napa
One of the main attractions of Ayia Napa is an ancient monastery located in the city center. According to legend, the image of the Mother of God, hidden from the iconoclasts, was found here in a forest cave. In the XV century, during the reign of the Venetians in Cyprus, a monastery was founded on this place. Funds for its construction were donated by the daughter of a wealthy Venetian nobleman.
She went to the monastery because of unhappy love and unwillingness to enter into an unequal marriage, which her father insisted on. Her tomb is located inside the monastery courtyard, in the Fountain House, built of marble. There is also a functioning chapel.
The visit to the monastery is free. Surprisingly, local festivals and small concerts sometimes take place here.
Opposite the monastery, across the square, is the Ethnographic Museum, or Farmhouse. It occupies two rooms displaying the traditional trappings of rural life in Cyprus: pottery, a working loom and fabric cuts, carved furniture, a fireplace, tools and kitchen utensils.
In one of the rooms there is a Cypriot stove — kleftiko. And in the courtyard of the museum you can see a real plow. Free admission.
One of the most unusual places in Ayia Napa is the open-air sculpture park, which is located on the road from the city to Cape Greco. It was created in 2014, and the compositions exhibited here were created by famous sculptors from different countries. New exhibits continue to appear to this day.
Here are copies of famous ancient sculptures and modern works, memos reminiscent of the history of Cyprus, and interactive facilities. One of them is an empty square frame that forms a “frame” with a sea view.
Taking photos against its background has already become a tradition for tourists who actively use social networks. Pictures taken at sunset are especially good, when the sun falls below the sea horizon into the frame.
Thalassa Sea Museum
A visit to the Thalassa Museum, dedicated to the theme of the sea, will be an interesting acquaintance with the secrets of the water depths. Its main part is stylized as a sunken ship. Here is an exact copy of the merchant ship «Kyrinia II», which sank near Cyprus several thousand years ago, and a copy of an ancient papyrus boat, which dates back to the Stone Age.
Other archaeological finds are also presented in Thalassa: fossilized skeletons of fish, sea urchins, pygmy hippos, shells and corals, as well as bones and skulls found at the bottom of the sea. In the departments of the museum you can see ceramics, figurines, stuffed animals and masks, one way or another connected with navigation.
Church of Ayia Anargyroi (Agioi Anargyroi)
This is a small functioning Orthodox church, which stands almost on the edge of a rocky cliff of Cape Greco. Its second name is the Church of the Holy Unmercenaries. The church is decorated in the traditional Greek style — in white and blue.
A staircase leads down to the sea from it, and this is the only place on the cape where you can go down to the shore without risk. Near the church there is a spring with clean drinking water.
Cape Greco is one of the must-see places in Ayia Napa. The legend says that a monster lives in the sea waters not far from this cape — the mythical Scylla, a half-woman, half-dog. But in fact, there are many cafes where you can relax and admire the sea views, rocky bay and quaint grottoes.
Reserve «Cavo Greco»
On the cape there is a large nature reserve «Cavo Greco» with rare plant species: orchids, crocuses, irises. Unique species of junipers and dwarf pines grow along the paths, and other inhabitants of the park hide among them — foxes, hares, protected species of lizards.
It is especially beautiful here in April and May — during the flowering season of plants. The park has viewing platforms and hiking trails, equipped picnic areas with gazebos and tables, as well as bike paths for lovers of outdoor activities.
Ruins of the Temple of Aphrodite
On the territory of the park are the ruins of the temple of Aphrodite Cyprida, to which one of the hiking trails leads. On the site of the sanctuary there is a pedestal with the image of the goddess. Alas, only the foundation remains of the original structure.
bridge of lovers
The Bridge of Love is another attraction worth visiting Cape Greco. It was not created by man — it is a natural arch of rocky rock, one end going into the sea. Newlyweds and lovers consider it their duty to visit this place: there is a sign that if a couple kisses at the top of the arch and makes a wish, then it will certainly come true.
From here you can go down the stone foundation of the bridge and swim in the sea. But diving here is dangerous — the depth is shallow, and there are sharp stones at the bottom.
Sea caves stretch along the entire coast from Ayia Napa to Cape Greco. The sheer walls are formed by light sandstone, in which the waves carved grottoes, vaults and columns of the most bizarre shapes. You can get to the caves on foot or take a special tour by bus or sea boat.
A rock with a through cave resembling the eye of a needle has gained particular popularity. According to rumors, pirates and smugglers once hid their loot in the grottoes.
Amusement parks and places of interest
The water park is decorated in the style of ancient Greek architecture, and the names of slides and attractions are taken from myths: Zeus’ hill, Poseidon’s pool, Odysseus river, etc. There are slides for solo and family skiing, jacuzzis, a slow river, swimming pools and a separate children’s area, as well as saunas and spas.
For hungry children and their parents, there is a pizzeria, a pancake shop, a restaurant and a snack bar with burgers, as well as an English-style cafe with national dishes.
Luna Park Paliatso
Another portion of unforgettable impressions is prepared for tourists in the Paliatso amusement park near the city center. Among the attractions are karting, various carousels, roller coasters and a Ferris wheel.
There is also a non-standard structure called Sling Shot for extreme flight. The cabin with visitors is “shot” from a huge slingshot to a great height, and then they swing it in different directions. A powerful emotional outburst is guaranteed.
Quests and Haunted House
You can tickle your nerves and give food to your mind in the Breakout quest. Participants can choose one of the scenarios — «Casino» or «Refuge». The goal of the task is to get out of the locked room within the allotted time.
An even stronger experience can be obtained in the Nightmare Haunted House. Courageous visitors go through the labyrinth in complete darkness, and on the way they periodically come across its inhabitants, the specific appearance of which makes even adults and restrained people scream in fear. The establishment is not recommended to visit with children.
Ayia Napa is a great place for nightlife lovers. The street in the center of this city, called «club», in the season is just seething. The best DJs in the world light up the dance floors with sets and mixes, dances from the crowded clubs spill out onto the night streets, turning them into an open-air disco.
Fantasies among the owners of establishments are more than enough — each club surprises with its special zest. The most popular were: Castle Club with three dance floors, Soho Club, Red Square Bar and Starskys Club.
Pirate ship «Black Pearl»
The stylized Black Pearl Pirate Ship departs from Ayia Napa Harbor, calling at the Blue Lagoon and making two stops along the way. On board the passengers are met by captains Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones with a theatrical show.
Tourists can take part in the competition to find a sea treasure, dive into the sea from the deck of a ship (masks and snorkels are provided), visit sea caves, try pirate food, see the ghost town of Famagusta and just sunbathe on the open deck.
Not far from Ayia Napa, in Nausicaa Bay, a flyboarding platform Flyboard Cyprus is equipped. Equipment and overalls are issued, and after a safety briefing, tourists are waiting for a 20-minute test flight over water. An hour-long lesson with an instructor is also available upon request.
Green Bay is located near Larnaca, 50 km from Ayia Napa. The main attraction here for tourists who are fond of diving has become the Swedish ferry Zenobia lying at the bottom. The press dubbed it the «Titanic of the Mediterranean» because of its gigantic size and partly because it sank on its very first voyage.
In clear weather, its dark contours appear through the water column and are visible even from the aircraft. Of particular interest are the internal compartments of the ship: radio room, engine room, captain’s bridge.
The supply of diving impressions is inexhaustible, because due to the huge size of the ferry and the large number of its compartments, each new diver visit brings something new.