Ayia Napa, it must be said, comes with a fair degree of notoriety. Formerly a peaceful fishing village with an attractive little harbour facing a gorgeous stretch of beach, it has grown quickly to become one of the premier party destinations of the Mediterranean and a favourite destination with groups of young travellers in search of a decadent beach holiday. Very popular with Brits, Russians and East Europeans, it offers a huge selection of cheap and cheerful bars clustered in a relatively small area in the centre of town. The parties don't really get going before 11 o'clock and can go on all night!
Nissi Beach is amongst the most famous of Ayia Napa's beaches. It holds regular beach parties and is a favourite holiday destination for the UK garage scene! There are however, some pleasant and peaceful family-friendly beaches nearby. Makronisos Beach and Sandy Bay are both pleasant spots for kids to play and there are also a number of facilities geared towards the younger visitor such as the Water World theme park. Whilst there are few cultural sights to see here, the Venetian Monastery in the centre of town is well worth checking out and the historic town of Nicosia is only an hour's drive away.
When: The peak tourist season in Ayia Napa is between July and August. If you're a solo traveller looking to meet other like minded visitors, why not try visiting then? You'll have to book ahead to get a room but once you get there, you're guaranteed a good time!
Where: The majority of the bars and clubs of Ayia Napa are located in a surprisingly small area in the centre of town. You won't need to find them though, they'll find you! hundreds of promoters wander the streets trying to tempt passers by in to their bars with drinks offers.
Why: Because you're only young once! Ayia Napa boasts some of the best weather and most outrageous partying anywhere in the Mediterranean. You'll find no shortage of other travellers looking for a good time.
When: Head to Ayia Napa anytime during the summer months. Temperatures stay well over thirty degrees between July and August and there are glorious tanning conditions. Above all, this is when the beach parties are at their most boisterous!
Where: Central Ayia Napa is where the action happens with dozens of bars and clubs competing for your attention. A short distance out of town is the glorious Nissi Beach, a great spot for a night of revelry at one of its famous beach parties.
Why: Because Ayia Napa's reputation precedes it! It has been a firm favourite destination among twenty somethings for a number of years now and offers glorious beaches and an unbeatable nightlife. There are beach parties and boat parties and clubs pumping out the hits til after sunrise.
When: Couples might prefer to visit Ayia Napa on either side of the peak season. It's warm enough to swim in the sea by the start of April and stays pleasant well into October. If you're after a good party, though, head out in the middle of summer when it all kicks off!
Where: As well as the beautiful beaches of Makronisos, Sandy Bay and the Grecian Bay, it's well worth going for a hike in the Troodos mountains or venturing to historic Nicosia. In addition to the rowdy clubs and pubs, there are plenty of peaceful and stylish seaside cocktail bars.
Why: Because the serene beauty of the Mediterranean and the gorgeous landscapes of Cyprus's interior mean that Ayia Napa has much to offer besides wet tee shirt competitions and hangovers! Pick your timing right and it could be a great romantic destination.
When: Families might want to avoid the midsummer months when the temperatures can be overwhelming for the younger visitors and there can be little chance of a good night's sleep. Try visiting in the spring or early autumn when the whole place is much cooler and more laid back.
Where: Before the explosion in Ayia Napa's clubbing scene, it was a popular family holiday destination. There are still great facilities for the younger visitors with the excellent Water World theme park and lots of good kids' entertainment venues.
Why: Because despite Ayia Napa's reputation, it still offers plenty of gorgeous and relatively peaceful beaches, theme parks and entertainment venues. In the off peak months of the year this is a great destination for family holidays.
Ayia Napa enjoys one of the best climates anywhere in Europe. It has blue skies all year round and an unbelievable 340 days of sunshine annually! Despite being slightly cooler and wetter in the winter, there is remarkably little rain at any point in the year meaning that Cyprus is a great destination for some winter sunshine. If you're looking to do some hiking in the landscapes surrounding Ayia Napa, you should definitely go in the late autumn or winter. Certainly the midsummer temperatures - which are consistently north of 30 degrees and can hover around the 40 degree mark for days on end - are not conducive to energetic outdoor pursuits! With the climate warm enough for beach days from the start of April, this is a good destination for the Easter holidays.
Average monthly Temperature C
What to expect
Most visitors know exactly what to expect. There are rowdy nightclubs, pumping out the music at top volume into the small hours of the morning. There are groups of young friends tentatively trying to swim off their hangovers in the Mediterranean and there are viciously competitive determined club promoters trying to lure every passer by into their venue. That said, there are also other reasons to visit Ayia Napa. There is the stunning scenery of East Cyprus. There is the chance of watching the gorgeous sunsets from a stretch of sandy beach and there is the grand Venetian history of this part of the island which has left its fair share of beautiful monuments.
Flight InformationFlights available from:
Belfast City, Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, London Stansted, ManchesterAirlines:
Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, Air Canada, Air France, Air Malta, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Cyprus Airways, EasyJet, Egyptair, Emirates Airline, Germania, Gulf Air, Jet2.com, KLM, LOT, Lufthansa, Monarch, Norwegian, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordani