As soon as some says Ayia Napa I immediately imagine a hoard of drunken British lads cheering each other on as they throw up outside of a club. That ain't an image that this picturesque Mediterranean resort town deserves though - Ayia Napa is much more than clubs and bars and mistakes that will haunt you for the rest of your university years. It's in fact the perfect holiday destination for exploring ancient monasteries and heritage trails, brunching on freshly prepared seafood platters and sinking ankles deep in golden sands.
🇨🇾 5 PLACES TO SEE WHEN IN AYIA NAPA
⛱️ Ayia Napa Monastery
This stately Venetian monastery was built back in 1500s and has a rather beautiful eye-watering story tied to its very beginnings. According to the legend, a rich Venetian princess ran away from her home because her father wouldn't allow her to marry the man she loved. She sought refuge in Ayia Napa and built the monastery dedicated solely to women. The legend has it that she's been buried in the very heart of the monastery under a fountain as a symbol of her never-ending love. If that doesn't well your heart up a little then go and have a chat with the pastor and nuns in the Latin Chapel who will tell you stories about women who were forever struggling with becoming pregnant found fertility in their chapel which has been blessed by Virgin Mary herself who's portrait was found in a cave on the very same spot some 700AD.
⛱️ Cape Greco
So you thought that Loch Ness is just in Scotland? Oh silly you! Ayia Napa has its very own monster called the Ammochostos Monster - and the perfect place to spot it is Cape Greco! You can get chatting to local fishermen who will tell you stories about the Ayia Napa Sea Monster but don't fret - it's apparently a very friendly monster who has not caused any harm yet to anyone (touch wood!).
⛱️ The Port of Ayia Napa
When I visited Ayia Napa the Port was my absolute favourite place to see. There are plenty of little cafes and nice seafood restaurants dotted along the coast, one of them being the pirate cladden Black Pearl which is pretty neat replica of Jack Sparrow's ship. Not only that you can hop on to have a lunch but you can also take a trip around the cliffs of Ayia Napa which makes for a pretty wonderful day out!
⛱️ Diving experience
Ayia Napa is well known for the quality of its diving experiences. Many divers come here to get their certification and to learn because the sea is calm here and the underwater heritage makes for some pretty magical experiences! From shipwrecks to statues and sea turtles the Mediterranean sea has plenty to explore! Book the best diving experiences right here.
Famagusta is not far from Ayia Napa and you can hop on a quick bus tour to take you around. It's not a place where you'd like to stay for very long though. Once a thriving harbour - one of the most important ones on the island, Famagusta has turned into a real ghost town after Turkish invasion in 1970s. The city was fenced off by Turkish army and has not been recovered since. The houses, hotels and even beaches became frozen in time with toys, groceries, photographs, everything that your average Jack and Jill have in their home, still in the very same places were they were left at the time of the invasion.
You can always find damn good deals on holiday packages on Travelzoo here or look for cheap flights and accommodation on Lastminute.com here.
Have you been to Ayia Napa before?
Did you go for a cheeky drinking holiday or did you explore the heritage of the town too?