Holidays to Ayia Napa offer a nightlife to rival Ibiza’s. But it’s the 14 Blue Flag beaches and a massive waterpark that are as big a draw as the parties.
On Cyprus’s south-east corner, Ayia Napa – or just plain Napa to its die-hard fans – is a non-stop party resort. The place is legendary for its full-on beach parties and mega-clubs, but it’s not all neon and late nights. The quiet, cobbled streets, yacht-lined harbour and pavement cafes show off its softer side – and a Greek-themed waterpark on the doorstep brings out the family fun.
Lots of beaches
Ayia Napa has 14 Blue Flag beaches spooling the 8-kilometre coastline. For a peaceful, family spot there’s Sandy Beach, where the sand shelves gently into the sea. If you like your watersports, Makronissos Beach will see you right for banana boats and jet-skiing. And if you want somewhere really quiet, head for the harbour – so long as you’re happy to dive off from rocks as there isn’t a beach here.
At night, Ayia Napa really shows its true colours. The main square is the hotspot for upscale café bars and blingy cocktail places where 2-for-1 drinks are the norm. Music here moves from traditional Cypriot to garage, dance and R ’n’ B. Then the clubs take over to keep the hardcore hedonists dancing ’til 4am.
Close to Nicosia
An hour by car gets you to the capital, Nicosia, a place you can easily get round in a day. Wander the narrow streets of the old town to find traditional jewellers cosied up alongside fabric shops, then relax over a Cypriot coffee at one of the pavement cafés. You might want to fit in a stop at a Turkish bath before you leave.