Holidays to Ayia Napa reel you in for nightlife, but it’s the 14 Blue Flag beaches that’ll keep you coming back.

On Cyprus’ south-east corner, Ayia Napa – or just Napa if you’re a regular – is THE spot for those seeking a lively beach holiday. With its bustling beaches, budget-friendly hotels and vibrant bar scene, the place has become a bit of a notorious party destination.

At night, Ayia Napa comes alive. The main square is the hotspot for café bars and cocktail places where 2-for-1 drinks deals are standard. Music here moves from traditional Cypriot to garage, dance and RnB and it doesn’t stop with dancing going on until at least 4am.

The resort also has 14 Blue Flag beaches dotted along its eight-kilometre coastline, so there’s definitely a chill side too. For a peaceful family spot there’s Sandy Beach or, if you like your watersports, Makronissos Beach will see you right for banana boats and jet-skis.

Why pick Ayia Napa

Stunning architecture

Ayia Napa means ‘Holy Forest’ because, according to the town’s origin myth, a hunter found an icon of the Virgin Mary in a cave in the woods. The Ayia Napa Monastery was built to commemorate this moment and so is a must-see historical site here. This architectural gem from the 16th century transports you back in time with its Venetian-style façade, so it’s the perfect place to soak up some culture and enjoy a bit of peace from the bustling town.

Water-filled fun

From Mediterranean beaches to sea caves and WaterWorld Themed Waterpark, it’s easy to stay cool in Ayia Napa. Lay out on the sand after a big night out, head out on a boat trip or slip and slide your way down a series of Greek-themed rides for a laugh. There are plenty of spots for all ages to soak up some rays and make a splash.

Natural scenes

The clear water at Cape Greco national park is full of marine life, so it’s made for snorkelling and diving experiences. You can climb down staircases to sea caves or onto rock platforms to launch yourself into the sea. And keep an eye out for the Ayia Napa sea monster, who’s rumoured to reside in the mysterious lagoon.

The park itself is full of hiking trails. A popular one is the circular Aphrodite Trail and the Agia Anargyroi Trail, which takes you past Kamara tou Koraka – a natural rock bridge and the park’s landmark – to finish at Konnos Beach.



Our pick

Take it from someone that's been there – here’s a top tip from our team:

“Make sure you head to nearby Cape Greco – you'll find a blissful Blue Lagoon for the most serene swim of your life, as well spectacular sea caves for exploring and a backdrop for some perfect holiday pics. Also, everyone raves about Ayia Napa's Nissi Beach, but nearby Makronissos Beach is the real hidden gem!”Corie Daniel

The non-touristy pick

Instead of laying out on the beach every day, visit the Bridge of Lovers. It’s just outside the town on your way to Cape Greco and is a really pretty part of the coastline, where the rock has formed a bridge over the turquoise water. If you go in the morning, you’re also likely to beat any others with the same idea and get the place to yourself.



Picks that don’t cost a penny

The Ayia Napa Sculpture Park is open all year round and is completely free. It’s an open-air museum with over 50 contemporary sculptures, tucked away on the outskirts of town to escape the buzz. With the rock sloping down to the sea, you also get great panoramic views of the Mediterranean here, so time your visit to catch sunset before the place closes.

Getting around

This town’s reputation is big, but size-wise, it’s actually fairly small, so you can stroll from bars to beaches easily. Or, have a bit of fun renting or using the local transport to travel a bit further…

Bike

With a bunch of rental shops around, you can pedal your way to all the beaches and sites. The area's also relatively flat, so you can take it chill.

Scooter

One-up a bike and rent a scooter or quad bike instead. Picture yourself exploring the stunning Cape Greco area with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. You’ll need the right licence to secure one of these but they’re definitely a speedier way to get about.

Bus

The local buses here link you up with all the must-see spots, like Protaras and Paralimni. They’re also super budget-friendly, so if you only plan on making a few trips out of town, they’re the answer. Osea buses 101 and 102 between Ayia Napa and Paralimni stop by the entrance to Cape Greco, too.

Taxi

Ready to hit the town in Ayia Napa? Taxis are your trusty way for zipping around quickly and conveniently, especially after the sun sets or when buses are taking a break. Just a heads up – agree on the fare upfront with your driver to avoid any likelihood of being over-charged when you arrive.

Car hire

If you plan to explore more of Cyprus, renting a car is your ticket to full freedom and adventure. You’ll be pleased to know that they drive on the left-hand side of the road here – just like back home in the UK. So, no need to stress about switching lanes.

Tours and experiences

There are loads of other ways to see this place, from boat trips to scuba dives and daytrip tours led by local guides. You get to travel around the resort and along its coastline while also trying a different activity or learning something new. Luckily, you can find lots of trips, tours and tickets on First Choice Experiences, which are super easy to add on to your holiday, either when you book or while you’re out there.

At a Glance

  • Party in the square
  • Get back to nature at Cape Greco
  • Lay out on Nissi Beach

TOP THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN AYIA NAPA

BEACHES

SHOPPING

NIGHTLIFE

FOOD & DRINK