Dominating the south-eastern coastline of Cyprus, Paralimni and Protaras are two of the most popular resorts in the eastern Mediterranean, attracting mostly families with their sublime natural beauty and serene environment.
This article is a small guide to family fun spots and activities in the area. But first, a few words about Paralimni and Protaras.
Paralimni is mid-sized town (for Cyprus standards), that can easily be explored on foot. Teaming with impressive churches and imposing architecture of bygone ages, Paralimni is an emblem of the area’s legendary past, as well as the region’s main cultural centre. Still, you shouldn’t imagine it as a big old museum; quite the reverse. The town is full of lively locals and youngsters, cafés, taverns and restaurants, music joints and clubs.
Protaras, on the other hand, is more of a resort, spread around a small yet lively nucleus. Its array of picturesque windmills, golden beaches and emerald waters attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, longing to enjoy endless sunbathing, swimming and relaxation.
Activities by the Sea
The coastline connecting Paralimni and Protaras is spotted with consecutive beaches. The most famous of all is the Fig Tree Bay, considered by many as the most mesmerising shore across the island, with its powdery golden sand and shallow waters – ideal for grown-ups, toddlers and youngsters alike. Across the bay, a tiny island shields the beach from turbulent waters, keeping it always serene and welcoming to swimmers, the boldest of whom have no trouble to swim across.
Up north, the Flamingo beach catches the eye with its elongated coast, succeeded by several coves, the Louma beach and the quaint fishing harbour of Agios Nikolaos. Another eminent site is the Pernera beach – a “must” for romantic couples and families who love to ramble barefoot along the sandy shore. In contrast, the Agia Triada stands out for its rougher, pebbled sand, making it ideal for boat launching.
South of the Fig Tree Bay, the Green Bay and the Vizakia shore are much more secluded and tranquil, as well as renowned for their rich marine life and snorkelling.
Naturally, with such an array of diverse beaches and inviting waters, water sports take the lion’s share when it comes to fun. From sailing to scuba diving, from kitesurfing to SYP, there is plenty to do to have fun, no matter the age, physical condition and stamina of your family’s members. Another great activity for the most adventurous is exploring the coastal caves engulfing the Cape Greko coast.
The allure of the sea often shrouds the numerous fun-packed activities families can enjoy on land. Protaras, for instance, boasts a long, romantic coastal promenade, ideal for rambling, biking or jogging. Several nature trails snake through the Cape Greko National Forest Park, unveiling the beauties of the local flora and wildlife.
Several sites of historical interest are also scattered all around the area circling Paralimni and Protaras, like the famed Byzantine church of Prophitis Elias and its fantastic views over the sea, while other sports are just perfect for an educational and fun day out with the kids, including water parks, a mini zoo and the local aquarium.
Indeed, it comes as no surprise that Paralimni and Protaras are a year-round magnet for families from all around the world.
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