Paralimni, Ayia Napa, and Protaras… Three villages in the south-east of Cyprus popular among tourists. It’s a real paradise of the wonderful island, where there are magnificent beaches with soft golden sand, a lot of places for walks, and great restaurants with decent cuisine everywhere. We used to visit the area quite often, so we managed to explore it well.

Ayia Napa and its surroundings is a region where tourism is the main industry. You distinctly feel the seasonality of life here. In summer, the streets of the settlements are literally flooded with people from all over the world. There’s hustle and bustle from morning till night. All possible languages can be heard here. The restaurants are overcrowded, and there are a great number of tourists relaxing on the beaches from morning till late evening.

In October, life starts to die down here. The arrival of winter immerses the region in the peaceful quiet and tranquillity. Hundreds of restaurants close down for winter holidays. Only a couple of them remain open. The area is deserted, and there’s hardly anyone out on the streets. It’s very convenient to walk with kids around Ayia Napa in winter, as babies sleep calmly in the pram breathing in the fresh sea air, while no loud noises disturb their peaceful sleep.

In winter, this region is deserted and very beautiful.

Transportation

Ayia Napa, Protaras, and Paralimni are connected through busy road traffic. It’s easy to move from one village to another by bus. The buses have a convenient schedule and constantly circle through these regions. However, many people don’t want to depend on bus schedules, so, when they come here, they rent cars, buggies, or quadracycles to plan their trips around the area by themselves. As for scooters, they are not popular here and considered very dangerous in Cyprus.

The Church with a Beach

The first remarkable landmark that you come across on the way from Larnaca to Ayia Napa is a small picturesque Ayia Thekla Chapel. The snow-white church with an azure roof and doors of the same colour look incredibly beautiful on the background of the marine blue.

The church is named after Saint Thekla the Protomartyr, a beautiful girl that lived at the beginning of the common era who abandoned all secular matters and dedicated her life to the teachings of God. She was persecuted. People tried to exterminate and execute her, however, when they attempted to burn here, the flames didn’t touch her, and the heavy rain that suddenly broke out extinguished the fire completely. She was once thrown to wild animals that were supposed to eat her, but instead, they lay beside her feet and nuzzled at her like kittens.

The saint’s relics are kept in the namesake monastery situated in Cyprus, not far from Larnaca. And here, in Ayia Napa, a chapel was built to commemorate her. Both locals and tourists came to the chapel to pray to St Thekla, ask her for mercy and help. In the middle of the 20th century, St Thekla Church was erected near the small chapel.

The beach beside the church – that is, by the way, called St Thekla Beach – is located in a small bay. Everything is well arranged here. You can find all necessary facilities for comfortable rest with your friends and family, including little kids.

The shore is sandy, while the sea bed has pebbly areas, which, however, doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable. There’s also a small island in the sea close to the shore, which you can reach by wading. Children just love the place! It’s a real island that you can easily walk or swim to, while splashing and splattering water at one another cheerfully.

Beaches and Walks

The south coast of Cyprus, especially the Ayia Napa area, seems to be created for enjoying the sea. As well as sunbathing, swimming, relishing stunningly b