Love Ayia Napa: 27 best sights
One falls in love with Ayia Napa at first sight! The lively Cypriot resort captivates with its excellent beaches and picturesque Cape Greco. Discover the most popular sights in Ayia Napa and the lesser-known places where not all tourists visit.
The resort in eastern Cyprus appeared relatively recently – in the 1980s, but its history goes back a long time. If you’re interested in antiquity, check out the beautifully preserved Orthodox monastery and small churches on the coast. Nature lovers will be interested in the rocky bays on the legendary Cavo Greco, and romantics will enjoy the Bridge of Love. Breathe in the fresh sea air, tie a ribbon on a 600 year old tree and you’ll definitely come back to Ayia Napa!
Sights of Ayia Napa on the map
Monastery of Virgin Mary
One of the main attractions of Ayia Napa is the old monastery for men. It appeared in the 16th century at the site where an ancient icon of the Virgin Mary was found. Now the doors of the monastery are open to tourists. The massive stone walls, cobblestone paths, knightly coats of arms and figures of soldiers in armor make the monastery look like a medieval castle. In the center there is a functioning Christian temple. It’s always quiet and peaceful here!
Monastery of the Virgin Mary (Photo: dimitrisvetsikas1969 / pixabay.com)
In the center of the resort, to the south of the entrance to the monastery stands a tree of the ficus family, the sycamore tree, which is over 600 years old. The tree is said to have been planted by one of the abbesses of the monastery. The massive trunk is so big that only 3-4 people can girdle it.
The heavy branches rest on props. The evergreen crown creates a pleasant shade during the day and in the evenings the tree is beautifully illuminated. According to legend, all the wishes that are made near the Cypriot giant, come true. Try it!
Popular tours in Ayia Napa:
Church of Elijah the Prophet.
There are many wish trees in Cyprus. One of the most popular is near the Temple of Elijah the Prophet, on the southern edge of Protaras. From Ayia Napa, you can easily get to Ayios Elias by bus or cab.
There are 170 steps leading up to the church. The sandstone building has no special architectural frills. Inside the church is decorated with frescoes and painted plates. The hill offers a picturesque view of the resort development and the coast. Admission is free, and wishing ribbons to be tied on the tree cost 0.50€ each. The doors of the temple are open at all hours of the day.
Church of Elijah the Prophet (Photo: pxfuel.com)
Ayia Thekla Chapel.
The original catacomb church is a landmark of Ayia Napa, which is interesting to see not only for pilgrims, but also for ordinary tourists. The small temple is located next to a 300-meter long sandy and rocky beach. Originally there was only a tiny cave chapel, but now there is a stone church.
Inside you can see a beautiful carved iconostasis. Candles and lamps are always lit in the tiny chapel below. Next to Chapel Ayia Thekla there is an observation deck. On a hot Cypriot day, stand under the fresh breeze and admire the smooth sea!
Ayia Thekla Chapel (Photo: dimitrisvetsikas1969 / pixabay.com)
Temple of St. Nicholas
It is advisable to see the church in honor of Nicholas the Wonderworker – the patron saint of Cypriot fishermen. He is sincerely worshipped and prayed to by the inhabitants of all the surrounding villages. The architecture of the church is typical of Greek temples: a small building is painted white and the domes and platbands are blue.
The temple stands next to the fishing harbor in Protaras and is perfectly visible from the sea. From Ayia Napa there is a bus number 101. Get off at the Vrisoudion 1 stop.
Temple of St. Nicholas (Photo: dimitrisvetsikas1969 / pixabay.com)
Not far from Thalassa Museum there is a stone aqueduct that supplied the settlement and monastery with water from the mountains for centuries. When archaeologists excavated it, they realized that there was an older Roman aqueduct. The view of the coast from here is wonderful!
Cavo Greco National Park
Those vacationing at the resort are in luck! Just next door to Ayia Napa is a natural landmark, which comes to see from all over Cyprus. A wonderful corner of the island almost untouched by civilization. To the east of the cape there is a British radar station and a lighthouse. No strangers are allowed here.
Most of Cavo Greco is converted into a national park, open to all tourists. On the coast paved hiking and biking trails for 16 km. The most popular is the Aphrodite Trail, which goes past the ruins of the temple of the Greek goddess. We advise to see the tiny church of Aya Anargyri, the Bridge of Sinners, the Kavos Lookout and the sea caves. Beauty is plentiful, but don’t expect much in the way of infrastructure.
Admission to the national park is free. Rent a bike for 7€ and an ATV for 25€.
Cape Greco (Photo: dimitrisvetsikas1969 / pixabay.com)
Bridge of Love
The white 10-meter-high rock arch is the calling card of Ayia Napa. The picturesque landmark is located 400m from Pantahou Beach, at the beginning of Cape Greco. It’s forbidden to jump off the cliff into the water because the depth is shallow but it’s a real pleasure to swim in the shallow and clear sea.
Especially romantic atmosphere near Love Bridge is at sunset. According to the legend, if you kiss your soul mate near the bridge, then your love will be eternal.
Love Bridge (Photo: dimitrisvetsikas1969 / pixabay.com)
If you want man-made beauty, go to the Sculpture Park on the east side of the resort. There are more than 150 statues on display here, made by sculptors from around the world, including craftsmen from Russia. The creative process continues, so every year the collection is replenished with new masterpieces.
The original park occupies an area of 2 hectares. The terrain is open and rocky. Come to the park in comfortable shoes. We advise you to plan your visit after 17:00. It will still be light, but not as hot!
Sculpture Park in Ayia Napa (Photo: Kir.kst. / wikimedia.org)
The Maritime Museum, which tells the story of the impact of the sea on the life of Cyprus and Cypriots, is located in the heart of Ayia Napa. All the sights that can be seen in its halls are dedicated to the maritime theme. These are fossilized shells, stuffed fish, turtles, seabirds and mollusks, corals, paintings of Cypriot artists and ancient artifacts that have been raised from the bottom of the sea. See the skeleton of an extinct pygmy hippopotamus that lived in these parts 75,000 years ago.
The most amazing exhibit is considered an exact copy of the Cypriot ship Cyrenia Eleftheria, which sank near the northern shores of the Greek island in the IV century BC. The original ship is kept in Kyrenia, and its images can be seen on the national coins of Cyprus. Admission to the museum costs 4 €.
A replica of the ship in the Thalassa Museum (Photo: Claus Ableiter / wikimedia.org)
If you want to learn about the traditions of the Cypriot people, check out the Farm House Museum on Monastery Square. The building is built of clay bricks in the Cypriot style and is furnished with traditional furniture. You will see a loom, a lace bedspread, Cypriot pottery and a fireplace. There is a real farmer’s plow in the yard. A very cozy place!
CyHerbia Medicinal Herbs Park
An unusual collection of medicinal plants can be seen on the outskirts of the resort, near Avgorou settlement. No more boring signs with names in Latin! There is a path through the park in the shape of the island of Cyprus, and the walk through the plant garden is like a fascinating quest.
During the tour, you’ll learn how distillate and herb oil are made. The park pharmacy sells aromatic oils, teas and herbal cosmetics.
Admission is 5€ for adults and 3€ for children ages 5 to 12. The price includes a glass of herbal tea. Buy a separate ticket to the Lavender Maze for 3€ and you’ll get a pitcher of delicious lavender lemonade on ice!
CyHerbia Park (Photo: Claus Ableiter / wikimedia.org)
Near Ayia Napa is one of the most beautiful sights in Cyprus, the Blue Lagoon. It is the pearl of the island! Because of the large and sharp rocks the descent to the water from the shore is difficult and dangerous. There is a bench on the plateau for anyone who wants to admire the incredible panorama of the sea.
We advise to come to the bay by sea! For tourists to swim in the clear Blue Lagoon, they are brought here during sea excursions. The pirate ship “Black Pearl” regularly sails from the resort’s port to the lagoon. Feel like a real corsair!
Incredible sea view (Photo: dimitrisvetsikas1969 / pixabay.com)
Connos Beach Cove
The beautiful bay and luxurious sandy beach are part of the Kavo Greco protected park. There are excellent 4-5* hotels and walking paths. The bay is easily accessible by car. There are pine trees all around, so tourists can enjoy the smells of the sea and sun-warmed pine as they walk.
If you get hungry, grab a bite to eat at Konnos Bay Kiosk and admire the turquoise waters of the bay from the outdoor terrace, which looms directly over the sea. Boats and motorboats launch from the deck by the water and take tourists on boat rides.
Konnos Bay in Ayia Napa (Photo: wikimedia.ru / Motorsporteditor)
Fig Tree Bay
Fig Tree Bay is a picturesque landmark in the neighboring village of Ayia Napa, Protaras. Once upon a time a large fig tree grew on the shore, hence the name of the bay.
The time has passed. The tree is no longer there, but tourists are welcomed by a lively promenade, which is full of hotels and restaurants. The local beach with golden sand is considered one of the best in Europe.
View of Fig Tree Bay in Protaras (Photo: dronepicr / flickr.com)
Rock Tombs of Makronisos
The tombs of Ayia Napa, carved out in the rocks, are sought by all tourists. It is easy to visit them on your own – they are very close to the popular beach Makronisos. The cave complex of 19 tombs and sanctuaries was created in ancient times. In the middle of the 19th century they were plundered by black diggers. Although archaeologists still work here, the tombs can be freely accessed by tourists.
The Makronisos tombs (Photo: Claus Ableiter / wikimedia.org)
The Valley of the Windmills of Famagusta
Not far from the resort, in Paralimni, there is an interesting place for amateur photographers. There are many windmills in the valley. They work all the time and supply the island with free electricity. The most spectacular pictures of the spinning windmills are taken at sunset.
Windmills of Famagusta (Photo: dimitrisvetsikas1969 / pixabay.com)
If you like water parks, go with your kids to WaterWorld, which is located on the western edge of Ayia Napa. The theme park is dedicated to the heroes of Greek myths. In a small green area there are rides, 18 slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, a play area for children and sun beds. A ticket for visitors over 13 years old costs 38 € and for children from 3 to 12 years old 24 €.
WaterWorld Water Park (Photo: Maxim Ulitin / wikimedia.org)
Lunapark Parko Paliatso
The amusement park is located to the south of the monastery, in the center of the spa town. On 3 hectares there are more than 50 attractions for children and adults, a go-kart, restaurants, snack bars and a swimming pool.
The Giant Wheel is 45 meters high and offers a perfect view of the main sights of Ayia Napa and the beautiful beaches of the resort. You can pay for each ride separately or buy a season ticket for 25€ or 38€.
The Nightmare Horror Maze at 9 Aleferia Street is a place for thrill-seekers. Wander through the dark maze and meet the terrifying inhabitants! You can escape through the emergency exit if you get scared.
Unusual attractions in Ayia Napa
Cactus Park . To the east of the Sculpture Park there is a garden with about 10 thousand cacti. A real paradise for succulent lovers!
Kokkinohoria . Several villages between Ayia Napa and Protaras lie on “Red Land”. This is a non-tourist Cyprus. It is interesting to see the houses and to observe the work of ordinary people who grow red potatoes.
The pillar of Agia Mavri . The monolith with a hole is located in the eastern part of the resort. It is believed that whoever passes through it, gets rid of all diseases. Recently a small temple was built next to the pillar in honor of St. Mavri.
Agia Barbara . The chapel of St. Barbara has stood in the west of Ayia Napa since Byzantine times. It was destroyed in an earthquake but was rebuilt.
Church of St. Epiphanius . The picturesque Orthodox landmark of Ayia Napa is situated 1.2 km from the center of the resort. The ornate church was built in 2006 in honor of the Bishop of Cyprus. Nearby there is a small old church with a glass floor and the hermitage of St. Epiphanius.
Chapel of St. Anthony . The place, which served as a refuge for shepherds, is located between the Cypriot settlements of Sotira and Paralimni.
St. George the Victorious Cathedral . Not far from Ayia Napa, in Paralimni you can see the church in honor of the patron saint of this city. The Cathedral was built in 1966 and has a capacity for 2000 worshippers. See the mural paintings inside the basilica!
The ancient city of Salamin, Famagusta (Photo: unsplash.com / @hulkiokantabak)
What to see in Ayia Napa in 1 day
- Monastery of Virgin Mary
- Old Tree
- Cape Greco
- Bridge of Love
- Rock Tombs of Makronisos
- Maritime Museum
- Ancient Aqueduct.
What to see in Ayia Napa in 2 days
The sights we wrote about above, plus
- Sculpture Park
- Cactus park
- Ayia Thekla Chapel.
- Church of Elijah the Prophet.
- Blue Lagoon
- Connos Beach Cove
- The Valley of Windmills in Famagusta.
Troodos – the main mountain system in Cyprus (Photo: unsplash.com / @mvzero)
The 15 best sights of Ayia Napa, recommended to visit
Today our way is to the city of Ayia Napa, Cyprus. The sights of this place are known to many travel lovers, as it is probably the most famous city in all of Cyprus, famous for its sandy beaches and bustling nightlife.
Crystal clear blue waters, delicious fresh fish and a rich cultural history await you in this popular coastal town. Here’s our guide to the best attractions in Ayia Napa.
Nissi Beach.| Photo: dronepicr / Flickr.
So, you have decided to visit Cyprus and Ayia Napa. What to see and where to go you will decide later, but for now – run to Nissi Beach. The main attraction of Ayia Napa boasts crystal clear waters, soft white sand and a picturesque rocky island, located 60 meters from the shore.
Nissi Beach is considered one of the most beautiful sandy beaches on the island, but keep in mind that in summer it is always very crowded. Everything you need for a comfortable day on the sand by the sea (including bars, entertainment and showers) is here.
Address: Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.
Kermia beach is a nice quiet place with lots of sunbeds, located around 2km east of Ayia Napa in the direction of Cape Greco. It is a nice secluded beach with golden sand and rocky relief, ideal for families.
Address: Limnara Beach, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.
Thalassa Municipal Sea Museum
Thalassa Municipal Sea Museum.
This modern museum dedicated to everything connected with the sea shows the enormous influence of the ocean on the life and culture of the Cypriots. Here you can see an exact replica of an ancient Greek ship that sank off the coast of Kyrenia at the end of the 4th century B.C. (You can see the remains of the ship in Kyrenia Castle).
The replica of the ancient Greek merchant ship, called Kyrenia II, was reconstructed using traditional methods and materials.
Address: Thalassa Municipal Museum of the Sea, Kryou Nerou, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.
Ayia Napa Monastery
Ayia Napa Monastery.
This beautiful monastery, surrounded by modern “temples” of nightlife, is a serene reminder of the great history of Ayia Napa. It was built by the Venetians in 1500 on the site of a cave in which an icon of the Virgin Mary was hidden during the Iconoclastic period (7th and 8th centuries).
At least that is what the legend says. Miraculously not having suffered under the Ottomans, the monastery functioned until 1758 when it was abandoned.
Address: Agia Napa Monastery, Agia Napa, Cyprus.
The Makronisos Tombs
The tombs of Makronisos.
This ancient necropolis of 19 tombs carved into the rock face of the sea dates from the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The tombs all resemble each other and are small rooms with benches. Steps descend down to each tomb and their entrance is covered by a limestone slab. In the 1870s the site was heavily looted.
Further excavations uncovered the remains of a quarry and evidence of ancient Greek burials. The site is clearly marked by a plaque by the main road west of Ayia Napa.
Address: Makronissos Archaeological Site, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.
View of Pantahou beach.
This strip of sand starts from the fishing harbor and runs for 1 km to the east. There are many cafes and snack bars, as well as all kinds of entertainment. Keep in mind that in July and August Pantachou can be very crowded.
Address: Pantachou Beach, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.
WaterWorld water park.
This amazing themed water park is a short drive from the coast and has 18 water slides, pools, and other fun stuff. Like most of Ayia Napa, WaterWorld is great for families with young children and teens.
For younger kids, there’s the Trojan Adventure attraction, a kind of playground with slides that lead to a shallow pool. For thrill-seekers, there’s the high-speed Drop to Atlantis with extra effects.
Address: WaterWorld Water Park, 18, Ayia Thekla Road, Agia Napa (Ayia Napa) 5345, Cyprus.
Beach Connos Bay
Connos Bay Beach.
If you want to take a break from the resort and enjoy nature, then the narrow spit of white sand on Connos Bay is just what you need. This bay is adorned with long rocky spurs that help protect the beach from currents and strong winds.
Yachts often moor in the bay and its shoals are ideal for snorkeling and diving. There are far fewer cafes and activities than the well-known beaches of Ayia Napa, but you can still rent jet skis or eat in the cosy eateries.
Address: Konnos Beach, Protaras, Cyprus.
Cape Cavo Greco
Cape Kavo Greco | Photo: Lefteris Katsouromallis / Flickr.
To the east of Ayia Napa lies Cape Greco, which is part of a nature park. Approaching Cape Greco from land, you can walk along paths surrounded by wild plants, poppies and tall grass. There are benches at the top of the cliff from which you can admire the magical waters of the Mediterranean with its rugged, rocky landscape.
A little to the west, you can see the four tall radio masts of Cypriot radio stations broadcasting on the medium waves. You can go down to the water and visit the system of sea caves under the cape, which we will tell you about a bit later.
Address: Cape Kavo Greco, Protaras, Cyprus.
The Sculpture Park in Ayia Napa
Sculpture Park in Ayia Napa.
Sculpture Park, towering over the sea to the east of Ayia Napa, was opened just recently and has already become an iconic cultural landmark in Cyprus. Twenty guest sculptors from all over the world have worked on the sculptures. Their work, set against a classic Mediterranean landscape, makes the park a pleasant place for a relaxing break.
The sculptures are carved from local white marble or limestone and vary from abstract forms to statues inspired by ancient civilizations that once inhabited the island. Admission to the park is free and the collection of its “exhibits” is constantly growing.
Address: Sculpture Park, Kavo Gkreko, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.
The caves, located at Cape Greco, have been “carved” by water for thousands of years. Today you can reach them by water or by a walkway, specially laid under the cape. It’s a great place for photos, as you won’t find such natural reliefs anywhere else.
There’s an arch and troughs that go deep into the rock, so you can spend hours exploring this strange but beautiful place. The local waters are calm enough for most of the year, so you can easily go scuba diving in the completely clear waters.
Address: Sea Caves, Agia Napa, E307, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.
Ayia Napa’s modest square is where all the resort’s best bars and nightclubs are concentrated. If you do not like to waste time on the road, then this place is just for you, as you will never have problems with transportation from one nightclub to another.
What is particularly pleasing is that you will not encounter anti-social behavior here, and the atmosphere is mostly extremely cheerful and friendly. Like in most Mediterranean towns, the clubs are open until sunrise and the fun doesn’t start until midnight.
Address: Ayia Napa Square, Ayia Napa, Cyprus.
Lunapark Parko Paliatso
Lunapark Parko Paliatso.
What better place to visit in Ayia Napa than Park Paliatso, the largest amusement park in all of Cyprus. Here there are 25 attractions for all tastes and colors. During the day you can indulge the little ones, but the biggest influx of guests is observed closer to night, when fans of club life come here.
If you’ve read about this place on the Internet, you’ve probably already noticed the Sling Shot attraction. It was installed in 2010 and today it’s the tallest catapult ride in Europe that throws people into the sky at high speed.
The excitement is so intense that some of the brave ones constantly faint at the most responsible moment!
Address: Parko Paliatso Luna Park, Nissi Ave 5340, Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Protaras Resort.| Photo: Lefteris Katsouromallis / Flickr.
North of Ayia Napa, in an area of small villages with whitewashed houses, is another resort with interesting attractions for families to visit, including a water park, an aquarium, horseback riding stables and, of course, many chic beaches.
St. Elias Church was only recently built in the 1980s, but it’s worth your visit because of its hilltop location, which offers fantastic views of the surrounding area. If you want to see the best sunrise of your life, you should definitely head here early in the morning.
Address: Protaras, Cyprus.
I Love Ayia Napa Art Project
Art object “I love Ayia Napa”.
A new trendy location for Facebook or Instagram was installed a few steps away from the central bus station in the tourist center of the city. Day and night, people line up to take pictures next to the marble sculpture, which outshines almost anyone standing in front of it.
The monument was clearly inspired by the famous “I Love Amsterdam” art piece, and if it worked so well in Amsterdam, why not do the same in Ayia Napa?