Once sleepy fishing villages, Agia Napa on the south-east coast with its fabulous beaches of fine white sand, and Protaras, the coastal area of Paralimni, in the east with its hundreds of windmills, nowadays buzz with life.
Spend the day sunning yourself on the beach, swimming in the warm turquoise waters or taking a short cruise along the coast. Some of the best snorkelling and diving can be had off Cape Gkreko, the eastern peninsula national forest park, with its secluded coves and rocky outcrops, impressive cliff top views and sea caves. In the evening dine at one of the many restaurants, especially one of the local ones in Paralimni, or jive to the latest sounds at one of numerous nightclubs.
This area is known collectively as the “Kokkinochoria“, “red soil villages”, because of the rich red earth in which Cyprus’ famous potatoes are grown. Culture lovers can explore the medieval churches found in villages like Sotira or go round the folk art museums displaying rural artefacts in Deryneia and Avgorou. Children will love the Marine Life museum or the new Sea Museum, “Thalassa”, in Agia Napa, which has an amazing replica of a 4th century trading ship which sunk off the coast of Kyrenia. Or you could stop off at the tiny estuary known by the locals as “Potamos” and watch the fishing boats haul in their catch in their multicoloured baskets.