While many of us may enjoy lazing on a blissfully quiet off the beaten track cove, parents will also be well aware that this isn’t always the most convenient place to spend the day when you’ve got young ones to entertain!
Although they will quite happily spend hours on end making sand castles and splashing about in the water, a beach suitable for all the family needs basic amenities, from umbrellas and toilets, to lifeguards keeping watch of the area, a café/restaurant close by, and the list goes on. That’s not to forget clean, calm and shallow waters. My Cyprus Insider has prepared list of some of favourite places to head to with the little ones for the perfect summer outing.
1. Makronissos Beach, Ayia Napa
If you dream of making a day of it with the whole family on the gorgeous East Coast – blessed with powdery white sands and translucent turquoise waters – then grab your cool boxes and head down to the main stretch of Makronissos Beach (Makronissos is actually comprised of three coves). Located just before the main Ayia Napa hub, the waters are clean and crystal clear – hardly surprising given that its a Blue Flag certified beach!
With sunbeds to laze on, there are plenty of water sports on offer to entertain the young and young at heart! Amenities include bathrooms, changing rooms, sun beds, umbrellas and water sports facilities. The area is also home to a variety of restaurants and kiosks for the little ones to grab an ice cream. Worried about safety? No need to fret- in the summer months, lifeguards keep watch of the area until 6pm.
If you fancy a little peace and quiet, then head round to the other side of the watersports where you’ll find a really small cove that’s perfect for the little ones to splash about in the shallow sheltered waters while you relax away from the hustle and bustle. Got budding historians with you? Visit the Makronissos Tombs archaeological site, just a stone’s throw away from the beach.
Where? 5km from the Ayia Napa hub.
2. CTO Dasoudi Beach, Limassol
A lovely Blue Flag beach with a gorgeous forest forming the perfect backdrop to the deep blue, this 1km strip is located in the heart of the Limassol tourist area. With golden sands, you can either choose to lay back on a sun bed under the umbrella as the kids play to their heart’s content, or pick a quieter spot under the eucalyptus, pine and acacia trees. When the hunger pangs kick in, just head to one of the nearby restaurants, fish taverns or cafes.
What’s really great is that there’s also a children’s playground in the vicinity for those moments when the young ones get a little restless, as well as beach volleyball court for the older kids to enjoy. Facilities on the beach include toilets, showers, changing rooms, sun beds, umbrellas, water sports and a diving centre. During the summer season, lifeguards keep watch of the area until 6pm.
Where? Germasoyia area, Limassol.
3. Coral Bay, Paphos
Hands down one of the best sandy beaches in the Paphos area, if you’re after a family day out, all the kids will love this one. Another gorgeous Blue Flag bay outside the main Paphos hub in the Peyia area, this boasts a great stretch of golden sand cocooned by stunning limestone cliffs. While the waters can be a little choppy on some days – ideal for older children who love a bit of seaside fun – most summer days are calm and tranquil. And families who love a good bit of water sport fun can spend hours out at sea, especially if you’re fond of pedalos!
Although this stretch does get very busy in June, July and August, luckily it’s wide enough to accommodate those looking for a little respite away from the crowded hustle and bustle in the spots directly below the beach bars. Amenities include sun beds and umbrellas, bathrooms, showers and restaurants, while lifeguards are on duty until 5.30pm in the summer season.
Where? Peyia, Paphos.
4. Finikoudes Beach, Larnaca
This one is an obvious choice, and for good reason! Backed by a pretty palm tree lined promenade and flanked by a marina and pier on one end and Medieval Castle on the other, the water here is shallow and calm, while the area is packed with things to do. First and foremost, the beach is very organised with toilets, showers, changing rooms, sun beds, umbrellas, dustbins, recycling bins and a beach bar. There’s also a lifeguard at the beach from June to October until 6pm.
But more than this, there are heaps of activities to keep the whole family entertained, whether you fancy a water sport adventure or are keen on heading out on a boat trip operating from the marina at the one end of the beach strip.
Kids love the short glass bottom rides, and there is no need to book in advance, just take a walk down the pier and choose the ride that most appeals to you. When you fancy a nibble, there are countless options to choose from with cafes and restaurants side by side ice cream shops and kiosks. And when the kids fancy a game on dry land, there’s a children’s play area in the vicinity too!
Where? Finikoudes Promenade, central Larnaca.
5. Fig Tree Bay, Protaras
Rated one of the prettiest beaches in Europe over and over again, this Blue Flag beach on the east coast is a real family favourite. Not only is it a picture-perfect spot – named after a solitary fig tree that has been here since the 17th century – but its shallow turquoise waters are perfect for family fun. And it makes a great place to spend the whole day as kids have a blast and adults can even kick back and browse the net with free Wi Fi. And if you do fancy a swim and perhaps a bit of a snorkel, adults and older children can venture out to the nearby islet.
Facilities include toilets, changing rooms, sun beds and umbrellas, water sports and plenty of restaurants and kiosks all-round the area to choose from, while lifeguards are on duty in April, May, September and October until 5pm, and in June, July and August until 6pm.
Where? Just off Protaras coastal promenade, Protaras.