It’s set to be a really sizzling summer ahead, but with the glistening blue of the Med on our doorstep, we really can’t complain! And here at My Cyprus Insider, we decided it was high time to fill you in on some of our absolutely favourite powdery white sand stretches on the blissful east coast, home to some of the very best beaches on the island. From dreamy coves to popular hip and happening strips, there’s something for everyone! Go on, make a mighty splash!
1. Konnos Bay, Ayia Napa
For us, this is the undisputed King of the east coast beaches. And for those who love nothing more than a picture perfect setting where sandy shores are cocooned by inland greenery and wild rocky peaks, this place really is a slice of heaven! Off the road between Cape Greco and Protaras, the surrounding hills shelter this bay from winds and the waters are usually as calm as can be. But before you get down to the beach, be sure to look out at the magnificent views, as aquamarine waters lap up against the crescent shaped shoreline accentuated by powdery sands, speckled with colourful umbrellas.
Our advice? Don’t head here on a Saturday or Sunday during July and August as the bay becomes rather overcrowded. Instead, pick a weekday and enjoy! Oh, do be sure to head up to the café for a cool drink in the shade, with views out to sea that dreams are made of.
2. Fig Tree Bay, Protaras
Having made it onto Trip Advisor’s ‘Top 10 Beaches in Europe’ list for 2016, and often hailed one of Europe’s best beaches year in and year out by a variety of sources, there is indeed something rather special about this idyllic stretch named after a lonesome fig tree that had stood proud in the area since the 17th century! Popular for good reason, its pristine waters caress golden sands, while heaps of facilities and amenities make it very family friendly choice. And do have your cameras at the ready; the small craggy island out at sea really does make the setting rather idyllic.
Fancy a walk? Then slip on your flip flops, get your hat on, and walk down the Protaras coastal promenade. Do so when the sun begins to set as colourful hues light up the horizon and enjoy a sun-downer at one of the nearby beach bars. Absolute heaven!
3. Ayia Thekla, Ayia Napa
Oh so picture perfect, this stretch of beach, just before you reach Ayia Napa proper, used to be practically empty. But it didn’t take long for people to discover just how pretty it is, with some people now gravitating away from the Ayia Napa and Protaras hub to this lovely spot. Now boasting sunbeds across the entire stretch (except for the area that leads up to the church) it does get busy – especially at the weekend – but it’s never unbearably packed.
Do keep in mind that the waters here are shallow and rocky, so it’s not the place to go for a long swim but it is ideal for kicking back, sunbathing and enjoying a good book. And if you fancy lazing on a beanbag on a grassy patch, then head down to Ayia Thekla’s beach bar and restaurant, Nissaki by the Sea, order your favourite drink and enjoy. And when you’re ready for a stroll, the lovely blue and white Ayia Thekla Chapel beckons, perched on a nearby cliff.
4. Vyzakia, Protaras
Some of you have already told us that you absolutely love this beach, while others aren’t even quite sure where it is. Well, we’re here to declare that if you haven’t ever put your beach towel down on this sandy bay, this summer may well be the perfect time to do so. Picturesque, small and set apart from the Protaras madness, this one is not far from Green Bay, off the main road from Ayia Napa to Protaras.
The spot is made up of two bays; one with municipal sunbeds that attracts the crowds, and another smaller bay with no beds, giving you the chance to set up your own slice of paradise as you sit back and enjoy the beachy bliss on your own towel or chair.
5. Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa
Yes, it can get overly crowded. Yes, it’s not ideal for people who are searching for peace and quiet. But it doesn’t stop Nissi Beach from claiming pride of place as one of the most beautiful stretches on the island, often hailed one of the most gorgeous beaches in the entire Mediterranean region by international media.
If you don’t like the sound of music and the chatter of people when you’re at the beach, then this isn’t the place for you. But if you love to work on your tan with a hub of activity around you as well-oiled bodies parade near the water’s edge while downing their favourite cool drink to the beats of the summer’s hottest tunes, then voila: this will be your idea beachside paradise. That’s not to forget thrilling water sports rides and bustling beach bars where tourists and locals mix and mingle.
Photo credit: Palis-Michalis
6. Kalamies, Protaras
In a slightly similar fashion to Ayia Thekla beach, Kalamies is another spot characterised by its rather idyllic whitewashed Ayios Nikolaos chapel, with splashes of vibrant blue giving the whole area a Greek island feel. July and August get pretty busy here at the weekend, but weekdays are never packed (except for peak August holiday time.) And even if it gets a little busy, it is always less packed than the likes of Fig Tree, Sunrise and other Protaras hot spots.
Backed by the palm tree lined garden of the Golden Coast Hotel, many people also head here to enjoy a fishy treat at the popular Kalamies Beach Restaurant which is just a stone’s throw away on the adjacent and equally beautiful cove which many just call Pernera (a name which is in fact given to this whole area.)
7. Makronissos, Ayia Napa
Age old tombs, check. Countless sunbeds to laze on? Check. Watersports? Check. Beach bar? Check. A smaller cove for moments of quiet bliss? Check. Yes, Makronissos pretty much has it all! The main long Makronissos stretch is where most people congregate, with the Levels Beach Bar really popular of late, but if you’re looking for peace and quiet, then all you have to do is walk past the watersports and onto another tiny rather heavenly cove. A word of warning, once you get there, you may never want to leave.
And there are countless tales from years ago coming to life behind this pretty cove, with the Makronissos tombs begging to be discovered. Used during the Hellenistic and Roman period, nineteen of them have been excavated to date alongside a small sanctuary to the east of the burial grounds and part of an ancient quarry adjacent to the cemetery. Aside from a taste of history, the cove adjacent to this (still part of the Makronissos stretch) is yet another relatively quiet spot, home to the Dome Beach Hotel and the increasingly popular Beachouse Dome; a lovely beach-bar where you can grab a cocktail and unwind to chilled out tunes.
Photo credit: Feelfamous.com.cy
8. Glyki Nero Beach
Translated as the ‘Sweet Water’ beach, this place is just a stone’s throw away from the so called ‘Lovers Bridge’ and the magnificent Ayia Napa Sea Caves. A wide stretch of fine golden sands, there’s always space at this beach, no matter how busy it gets.
The perfect spot for you if you love a game of beach rackets and don’t want to be squeezed into a confined bay, there are also heaps of amenities at hand: beach bars, restaurants, countless hotels, showers, toilets and more. And there are plenty of watersports to keep you busy here too! The sea can get rather choppy on a windy day so stay away if calm waters are what you’re after, but if you love splashing about in the waves, you’ll have a whale of a time.
9. Green Bay, Protaras
If you want to bypass the more touristy beaches, this one is a welcome escape from the buzz of the main stretches in Ayia Napa and Protaras; a small bay backed by a density of trees that makes for a rather idyllic setting.
The sea is crystal clear, and there are only about a dozen municipal sunbeds on this strip so do be sure to go early if you’re after a bed and umbrella! If you don’t care much for amenities, then this beach is the perfect spot for you. Grab some snorkelling gear, dip into the clear seas and…enjoy!