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Pocket Guide: Protaras

Visiting Protaras

With its ivory sands, traditional white houses and searing blue waters, Protaras is a stunning eastern Cyprus destination. Known as the “land of the windmills”, this Mediterranean resort town has a history stretching back to ancient times, when the port city of Eukolla stood in its place. Less of a party town than nearby Ayia Napa, Protaras is a family-friendly resort with a variety of hotels, restaurants and pubs to choose from. The excavated tombs on its coastline make it a site of historical interest and it’s also one of Cyprus’s the most popular sites for diving. Cape Greco National Forest Park, with its protected pine forest trails, is within easy reach.

Where to stay in Protaras

There are a number of attractive places to stay in the Protaras area. Anywhere overlooking the famous Fig Tree Bay would be recommended, as would beautiful Cape Greco, plus the diving spots of Green Bay and Cyclops Cave. Pernera bay is also a popular resort area. Whatever your preference, you’ll find a Protaras hotel to suit you.

Accommodation choices in Protaras

There are a wide variety of hotels in Protaras to suit a range of budgets and preferences. For a high-end choice, consider the 5 star Capo Bay Hotel, which has indoor and outdoor pools, spa treatments and tennis courts. The 4 star Golden Coast Beach Hotel offers mid-price, family-friendly accommodation that includes two restaurants, an indoor and outdoor pool and a free buffet breakfast. The 2 star Flokkas Hotel Apartments are a budget option with a lounge bar, restaurant and free Wi-Fi. There is a Protaras hotel to suit every budget.

What to do during your stay in Protaras

Protaras and its surrounding areas have a wide variety of attractions to enjoy. Fig Tree Bay, with its golden sands, crystal-clear waters and single solitary fig tree, is widely considered to be the best beach in Cyprus and one of the best in Europe. Cape Greco is a great spot for diving due to its underwater caverns, as is Cyclop’s Cave. Other attractive beaches include Pernera Bay, Konnos beach, Limnara beach, Nissi beach and Sirens beach. Also on the coastline is Choirokoitia, a well-preserved Neolithic settlement that is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Beach activities include paragliding, waterskiing, surfing, jet-skiing and banana boats. Or you could go on a catamaran cruise, attend a Magic Water Dancing Show or try your hand at mini golf. Every June the town holds the colourful water Festival of Kataklysmos, which features folk singing and boat racing. Protaras nightlife includes various bars, karaoke and live bands.

The nearby resort town of Ayia Napa is party central and thronging with clubs that attract top international DJs. It’s also the home of the award-winning WaterWorld theme park, which is the biggest in Europe and includes Greek mythology-themed water rides such as Drop to Atlantis, the Minotaur’s Labyrinth and Pegasus Pool. Ayia Napa is also home to the excellent 500-metre long Nissi beach, which is known for its cleanliness. In the town’s central square of Plateia Seferi stands the Venetian-era Ayia Napa Monastery, a serene space that stands in contrast to the lively town. Other attractions include the town harbour, the Ayia Napa Sculpture Park and the mermaid of Ayia Napa statue.

Nearby Cape Greco National Forest Park is a stunning area of natural beauty with a photogenic juniper tree that newly wedded couples often pose beneath. The park is also a game preserve and you can spot hares, hedgehogs, foxes, lizards, butterflies and over 80 species of bird. It’s also rich in other notable sites, including a picturesque white wedding chapel, an old hermit’s sea cave, the tiny cave church of Agia Saranta, the lighthouse at the headland, and the ruins of a temple to Aphrodite.

A more eccentric visitor attraction is the Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats, a 90-mile journey from Protaras. This monastery stretches back to 370 AD and is notable for being a haven for cats who are looked after by the monks in return to keeping snakes away.

Other top attractions in Cyprus include the Troodos mountains, which are a popular hiking destination in summer and skiing destination in winter, the Kykkos Monastery, the Kato Pafos Archaeological Park, the 9th century church of St Lazarus, the Tomb of the Kings Necropolis in Paphos, and the 15th century Kolossi Castle. Protaras and its surrounding areas have much to offer beach lovers, nature enthusiasts and history buffs. And if it’s nightlife you’re after, Ayia Napa is an easy distance away. In short, you’ll always find something to occupy you in this dazzling part of Cyprus.

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