Cyprus Beaches and the Ghost Village - Dherynea and Protaras
Duration: Half Day
If you are staying in the popular beach resort of Ayia Napa during your holiday in Cyprus, there are many scenic villages worth exploring nearby. Dherynia and Protaras are two of the most popular, boasting historic churches and golden beaches. This tour will give you the chance to immerse yourself in the relaxed Cypriot way of life whilst learning about the island culture.
Bordering the Turkish occupied Northern Cyprus, Dherynia is located only 5km from the ancient city of Famagusta. Several places in the village offer views of this famous city, which was been split into two after Varosha (the modern town) was seized by Turkish troupes in the 1970s. Local residents were forced to leave their homes in what was once the most popular tourist resort Cyprus, if not the Mediterranean. Entry to this abandoned town is still forbidden today, hence the reason why it is known as the ‘ghost town’ of Famagusta.
Dheryniais village has a thriving local community and offers many interesting places for visitors to explore. As in so many villages in Cyprus, there are a number of historic churches in Dherynia, including the 15th century Ayia Marina church, the small, domed 17th century church of Ayios Georgios and the 17th century church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. To gain an insight into Dheryniais history and culture, the Folkloric Museum is also worth seeing.
If you visit the village in the summer, you may be lucky enough to see music and dance performances on stage in the traditional amphitheatre. You may also get the chance to experience the bi-annual strawberry festival, which is held here in celebration of the fact that Dherynia yields approximately 60% of Cyprus’ strawberry crops. Hosting clothing boutiques to rustic pine furniture shops, Dherynia is a fast growing village which seems to become more modern each year. Fortunately, it is still intent on holding onto its ancient history and local traditions.
We move on to the more developed tourist beach resort of Protaras, which is quieter than Ayia Napa and more popular with families and those looking for good quality restaurants and a variety of nightlife. Extending along the glorious eastern coast of Paralimni, Protaras is situated between Cape Greco and the village of Paralimni and is one of the most beautiful areas in Cyprus.
The coastline is blessed with miles of golden sandy beaches, tranquil coves and a stunning bay (known as Fig Tree Bay) with crystal-clear waters. A small island is also located about 100 metres from the beach. Spend time swimming or soaking up the sun on the beach, shopping for gifts and souvenirs or sampling freshly-grilled fish in one of the many open-air seafood restaurants. Protaras offers fun and relaxation amidst some of the most beautiful scenery on the island.
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