The resort of Protaras, famous for its large sandy beaches, can be found on the east side of Cyprus. Ideal for a short break in the sun, it’s relaxed atmosphere is a favourite with those looking for something less mainstream than nearby Ayia Napa. If quiet beaches, hiking and peaceful swims in idyllic waters are your cup of tea, Protaras might just be the ideal destination for your next holiday.
The modern resort actually has an ancient history, dating back to the Romans. Little of this is evident today, but you can still spot a few traditional windmills dotting the landscape, a more recent sign of the area’s rural past.
This article will fill you in on the out-of-the-way spots you should be heading to during a holiday on the eastern coast of sunny Cyprus.
Varosha is a famous ghost town located in Famagusta. It was a popular tourist destination in the sixties and seventies but was abandoned during the Turkish invasion of the island and lies empty still. Residents fled the soldiers, intending to return when peace returned but the resort was fenced off by the military and its inhabitants have never come back. The town remains stuck at that moment in time with fully stocked shops and bars lying abandoned. Photographs show overgrown flowerboxes and curtains flapping at windowsrevealing empty rooms.Varosha is still strictly off-limits to tourists and locals, though its eerie aspect leads many to try and get a glimpse of its vacant facades.
Where to See Varosha
A little off the beaten track, Kapparis offers visitors the chance to catch a glimpse of the famousghost town. Kapparis itself is on the border of Turkish controlled Cyrus and is a relatively unspoilt village with a relaxed atmosphere. Spend a day at Fireman’s Beach and take a walk along the bay where, on a clear day, you can see Varosha. Return to the land of the living, read a book in the sun and enjoy a simple meal before watching the firemen train in the late afternoon.
To Do in Kapparis
- Watersports at Malama Beach
- Visit the charming chapel at AyiaTriada
- Meet locals in small bars and restaurants
Top Tip: Varosha can also be viewed from popular boat trips along the coastline.
Cape Greco is the name for the stunning southeast tip of Cyprus. The very edge of the island is under military command.However, the warm waters nearby are a snorkeller’s paradise. The beaches here tend to be quieter than those near to Protaras, providing a peaceful spot to swim. Explorers can follow dusty paths on land to discover hidden treasures.
Lace up a pair of boots and head out to discover the protected nature park, Cape Greco. The Palaces, sea caves of naturally formed arches along the seafront, once hid Jewish refugees from the Romans and now provide a stunning backdrop to coastal exploration.Don’t miss the famous Kamara touKoraka bridge, great for an impressive photograph. The area is also perfect for nature lovers with fauna and flora to delight.
A trustworthy local guide will help you discover astonishing sights such as a Neolithic settlement thousands of years old cut into the limestone. However, there are lots of nature trails with set circuits taking you around the national park. If you fancy a longer walk, start from Protaras and head toward Cape Greco, taking in beautiful sea views as well as discovering small, serene chapels.
In The Waves
Keen-eyed snorkellers can spot turtles and flickering fish in the hypnotizingly blue waters around Cape Greco. Divers can explore the caves and tunnels and see Moray Eels and octopus. Energetic visitors will want to go kayaking, weaving underneath rock formations along the stunning coastline. You also get a great view of the sea caves from the water, either in a kayak in on a cruise.
Top Tip: Watch the sun set from the View Point at Cape Greco.
Where to Stay
Villa Tessa – A couple of minutes away from the beach this villa in the Cape Greco area has its own pool and a lovely interior. It is in a peaceful spot and offers good access to coastal paths.
Armonia Heights –These apartments near Varosha are spacious and clean located in a quiet spot only a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the beaches. This is a great location for exploring local eateries.
How to Get There
London to Larnaca Airport (LCA) takes just under four and a half hours, perfect for a short break. There are plenty of times to choose from and returns can come in at under £100.
To get to the resort I would recommend taking a Shuttle Direct transfer. The journey from the airport to the resorttakes around one hour. Keep it cheap with a shared shuttle or book a private taxi for a quick, stress-free transfer. I’d go for the latter as it gives you the freedom to leave when you are ready. You might even pick up some insider sightseeing tips from your local driver.
About Shuttle Direct
With years of experience providing reliable transport to travellers, Shuttle Direct can be trusted to deliver you to your final destination with a smile. Our friendly drivers will meet you at the airport and ensure a smooth transfer to begin your holiday.