When you book a beach holiday for yourself and a group of friends there are certain key ingredients which you will want guaranteed: glorious sunshine, warm inviting seas and, of course, beautiful beaches. Well, with a holiday to Cyprus’ popular resort of Protaras you can rest assured that you and your mates will get everything you want, and more.
Not known for its cultural heritage or the natural beauty of the countryside, Protaras was built for one reason, and one reason only: so that tourists could enjoy the stunning local coastline and excellent weather conditions that the east coast of Cyprus is famous for.
Boasting up to 340 days of sunshine a year, summer temperatures of around 27ºC and an average 0mm of rainfall from July through until September, Cyprus is an ideal summer holiday spot. But if you want to enjoy the very best of the Cypriot climate, with summer temperatures regularly peaking over 30º, and some of Europe’s most beautiful coastline, you’ll need to head over to the east of the island.
Built on scrub land, previously uninhabited and unused, Protaras is a sun worshipper and water sports enthusiast’s paradise. Hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs have all been built to offer visitors the very best holiday experience, but it is the golden sand and beautiful clear Mediterranean waters that bring tourists back year after year. From swimming and sunbathing to snorkelling and scuba diving, there is so much to see and do here, you won’t want to go anywhere else.
In fact, there are so many stunning beaches around Protaras it’s hard for a first-time visitor to know where to start. But don’t make the mistake of just visiting the stretch of sand outside your hotel during your holiday, or you’ll be missing out.
To get you started, here is a rundown of my favourite coastal areas around the resort.
Fig Tree Bay
This beautiful crescent-shaped stretch of sand is named after the fig trees which used to grow here. Today it has its own Blue Flag and is popular with tourists and locals alike. There is a little islet just out to sea here which is said to keep the waters in the bay calm and tranquil. Good swimmers can easily make it over to the islet to soak up the sun, but there are lifeguards on duty if you find it’s a little too far.
Fig Tree Bay does get crowded – thanks to the great swimming and the excellent range of water sports on offer – but the atmosphere is always friendly and inviting. The sand is lined by a number of bars, cafés and restaurants where you and your mates can hang out to keep out of the hottest of the midday sun or enjoy cocktails at sunset.
Protaras is part of Cape Greko National Park – but don’t worry, I’m not about to suggest you go hiking through the park in the summer heat. It’s just that the protected National Park includes some of Cyprus’ most impressive coastline.
Just along the shore from the resort are the Cyclops sea caves where swimmers and snorkelers can explore the clear waters as they merge with the rocky coastline. At high tide you can swim into these caves into an alternate world of rock and water.
Probably the most impressive beach along the Cape Greko National Park coastline, and indeed the whole of Cyprus, is Konnos, just outside Protaras. At just 200 metres long and 35 metres wide, the bay is protected from strong winds, ensuring tranquil waters perfect for swimming, snorkelling and a range of water sports.
There are a great number of restaurants set back from the sand, so come for the sunbathing and water sports and stay for the whole day. This is definitely a ‘must-see’ during your time in Cyprus.
Travel west from Protaras and you reach the famous Cypriot resort of Ayia Napa and its renowned Nissi Beach Resort. If you and your mates fancy a touch of luxury on the Med then this is definitely the place to head. Set on a beautiful, secluded bay, the resort has a range of restaurants, terraces, pools and bars from which to enjoy the stunning sea view.
Head down to the beach and you’ll have a selection of five elegant kiosks to choose from, serving everything from delectable cocktails to delicious snacks.
How to Get to Protaras
The closest Cyprus airport to Protaras is Larnaca International Airport (LCA). There are a good range of flights to Larnaca from the UK, with flight times taking around four and half hours.
The easiest (not to mention one of the most cost-effective) ways of getting from the airport to your accommodation in Protaras is to book a Shuttle Direct group airport transfer online before you leave home. A driver will meet you and your friends at the airport and drive you the 55-minute journey to the resort for a prearranged price, so you won’t need to get involved with haggling with local taxi drivers at the airport.
Where to Stay
Kapetanios Bay Hotel – Just six minutes’ walk from the beautiful Vrisi Beach, the three-star Kapetanios Bay Hotel has its own pool with a pool bar and sun terrace. The restaurant serves a buffet breakfast as well as lunch and dinner. All the rooms come with their own balconies, although WiFi is only available in the communal areas.
Jacaranda Hotel Apartments – For more of a Mediterranean resort feel, try the self-catering accommodation at Jacaranda Hotel Apartments. Just a short stroll from Pernera Beach with its water sports and scuba diving, the apartments also have a large swimming pool and sunbathing area in its pretty gardens. There is a bar and restaurant in the communal area, as well as many bars in the local area. There is also paid WiFi throughout the resort.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is Europe’s leading provider of group and private airport transfers across more than 50 countries. A Shuttle Direct group transfer provides an economical way of getting you and all your travel companions safely and swiftly to your chosen resort. Book online in advance and your driver will be waiting for you when your flight lands.