AYIA NAPA

Not too long ago Ayia Napa was a small sleepy fishing village with a small harbour, a couple of tavernas and quiet long sandy beaches. Nearby Famagusta was the hotspot of the coastal region with its big hotels and resort mentality. Ayia Napa was fishermen and farmers, the famous Cyprus potato comes from this region, but soon after the invasion and subsequent pumping in of aid the farmers discovered that their coastal land was far more valuable to develop than to farm and so not so slowly hotels and tourist villages began to spring up in the area until Ayia Napa started to get an international reputation for being a clubbing paradise. The boom of tourism has transfigured it in a relatively short space of time into a throbbing night-spot and fashionable beach playground. The waters on this side of Cyprus are superior in colour, which is that lovely turquoise blue and the sand especially on Nissi beach is golden and clean. The fast food outlets and tourist shops invested in Ayia Napa, more clubbing happened, spawning more clubs which sprang up like the local potatoes, DJ's started to visit the resort and soon it was heaving. This of course made more and more farmers give up their land to the developers in exchange for a piece of the action and now only twenty years later Ayia Napa has almost met up with the neighbouring villages on both sides. Protaras to the north and Ayia Thekla/ Potamos to the south. The attractions, villas, restaurants and hotel complexes sprawl along the coast and a new highway has been built to connect to the airport in Larnaca with easy access to the capital Nicosia. Nearby at Dherinia there is a lookout point where you can see the still deserted part of Famagusta, behind the united nations lines, clearly marked by the cessation of residential areas where the fields get to grow their traditional crops in peace. It seems to be particularly appealing to young people, who are catered for quite handsomely, from lunar parks and water parks for the very young to go carts, bowls and driving ranges for the more mature.