It takes a lot to rise above the fierce competition in Cyprus. In fact, there are so many picture postcard perfect beaches, it’s difficult to single out any one as the best. But the golden sands, clear blue seas and Mediterranean charm of the popular resort of Protaras are regarded as among the top beaches to enjoy on the whole island. That says something! The beaches are the main feature that draws holidaymakers to Protaras, particularly families and couples.
Located just five miles from the vibrant nightlife hotspot of Ayia Napa, Protaras is a quieter, more relaxing destination, even though there are plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy after the sun goes down. Protaras is the perfect spot to banish all those worries and simply bask on one of six sun-kissed beaches along the coastline.
But have no fear, there is plenty to do in Protaras other than simply sunbathing. Active holidaymakers can try the wealth of watersports on offer at the beach of Fig Tree Bay. Parasailing and water-skiing are available, along with inflatable slides and flumes for the whole family. Just don’t show off too much to the kids. The rocky outcrop of Capo Greco is the place to head for scuba-diving and snorkelling.
After drying off, explore the hiking and walking trails along the coastline. Those looking for a glimpse into the local culture should definitely make a stop at the ghost town of Varosha. The town was abandoned in 1974 after the Turkish army invaded and it’s barely been touched since. It’s as if it was frozen in time. It’s a little spooky, but beautiful nonetheless.
Fig Tree Bay
Found in the popular holiday town of Paralimni, Fig Tree Bay is the main beach resort of Protaras. It’s idyllic sands and inviting waters have helped to form Protaras’ reputation as a beach-lovers’ paradise. The beach takes its name from a solitary fig tree that has been flowering since the 17th century. One or two tourists tend to get their picture taken next to it. Water-sports are one of Fig Tree Bay’s biggest draws, with water skiing, parasailing and plenty of inflatable fun for kids.
Many holidaymakers to Protaras are keen to dive beneath the waves and explore the underwater world beneath the sea. The craggy rocks of Cape Greco are home to so many tropical fish of all colours. it’s like an underwater kaleidoscope. Cape Greco is also great for exploring the flora and fauna of Protaras. Follow one of the nature trails, which wind around the coastline.
To really get away from civilisation, head to the secluded beach of Sirena Bay. This picturesque, authentic Cypriot spot is one of the most tranquil in Protaras. Lying on one of the small beach’s sunbeds is the perfect way to switch off. A single bar and restaurant cater to visitors during the summer months.
Varosha ghost town
There’s no need to dig out the flares or platform shoes to take a time machine back to the 1970s in Protaras. One of the most popular attractions is a trip to the ghost town of Varosha. Back in 1974, Varosha was left deserted after the Turkish army invaded. It has been virtually untouched ever since. It’s an eerie, spooky chance to explore a town frozen in time.
Hike to Profitis Illias church
After several hours sunbathing on the beach, you’re probably due a walk. Those with a head for heights can climb the 300 steps to the Profitis Illias Church overlooking Protaras. The view from the top is magnificent, particularly when the spring flowers are in bloom. Even if you’ve climbed up to the church during the day, it’s also worth a hike at night when it’s lit up.
Protaras is quieter than it’s nightclubbing neighbour Ayia Napa, yet there’s still plenty of bars and clubs to keep you going until the early hours. Karaoke, tribute acts, live bands and DJs will entertain you until dawn. Those looking to grab their glow sticks and enjoy a more raucous evening can make the five-mile taxi trip to Ayia Napa.
Beaches in Protaras
There are six beaches to pick from in Protaras. These range from the water sports hub of Fig Tree Bay to more tranquil options such as Green Bay and Sirena Bay. The latter pair offers perfect conditions for scuba diving beginners.
Fresh fish should be at the top of your list of ‘must try’ dishes on a holiday to Cyprus. You might even get invited into the restaurant kitchen to admire that day’s catch. Halloumi is a delicious local cheese to nibble on. It’s made from goat’s milk and gives a hearty, salty punch when fried or grilled. Another of the local delicacies is koupepia or stuffed vine leaves. They’re crammed full of a mouthwatering mixture of mince meat and rice.
Most of the favourites of Greek cuisine can be found in the restaurants of Protaras. Moussaka, stifado and tzatziki are regularly on the menu. One of the top tips for sampling traditional Greek food is to look out for a restaurant containing a large domed oven. These are usually found at the back of a restaurant and use white-hot charcoal to cook up the specialities of the house. We just think the old ways make things taste that little bit better.
With mild temperatures in the winter and 30-degree heat during the summer months, Protaras is a perfect year-round destination. The inviting beaches, the range of watersports, scuba diving hot-spots and night-time entertainment combine to create a relaxing environment for all ages.
Look no further than easyJet holidays to book your holiday to Protaras. Save your cash for spending money by booking your flight and hotel together with easyJet holidays. Not quite convinced by Protaras? Take a look at our other Cyprus destination guides.