Protaras in the southeast coast of Cyprus, is one of the most popular tourist attractions. It is between Ayia Napa, also very popular with the tourists, and the Cape Greco National Park region at the tip of the island. The region stretches for 12 kilometers (7.45 miles) from the Konnos Bay to Kapparis.
There is a lot to do and see here. You can see beautiful villages, chapels, sea caves, and harbors. There is the ocean aquarium too. And of course, there are many beaches in Protaras, some of which rank among the best ones in Europe. Visit Sunrise beach, Vrissiana beach, and the Konnos at the extreme south. The most famous is, of course, the Fig Tree Bay, which is a Blue Flag beach.
The entire stretch of Protaras has a craggy shoreline, which means you will find many hidden caves and coves. You can spend a relaxing time in isolation here and enjoy complete privacy, or you can head to one of the more popular beaches. They are lined with sunbeds and umbrellas. Some beaches have wooden huts. Swimming and snorkeling is safe in almost all the areas. You will find many water sport activities.
The city’s main street comes to life after dark as there are many pubs, bars, discos, and clubs. There is karaoke and live entertainment too. There is a party almost every night, but Aiya Napa still remains the #1 nightlife destination in Cyprus.
Protaras is called “The Beach capital of Cyprus” because of the high number of beaches in this neighborhood. Some of them are even Blue Flag beaches.
Protaras – Quick Facts
- Popular resort town in southeast Cyprus with families and couples.
- Fig Tree Bay in Protaras is one of Europe’s most popular beaches.
- Very popular for diving. It has some of the best diving sites in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean region.
- There are many water sports activities, including water skiing, parasailing, speed boat rides, yachting trips, and snorkeling.
- Historical sites like the Hellenistic tombs near the Fig Tree Bay.
- Popular with many European retirees.
- Protaras is often called “Land of the Windmills” because of the high number of windmills here.
- According to legend, the Ayia Napa sea monster lives in Cape Greco.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Protaras is from May till June and September to October. You can find the best deals in these two seasons. July and August are the peak months. Locals holiday in Protaras around this time so expect high prices and a crowded beachside. There will be long queues at the restaurants and bars.
The summers are hot and arid. Winters are windy and clear. Over the course of the year, the temperature varies between 45-degree Fahrenheit to 88-degree Fahrenheit. The hot season lasts for 3.7 months and the cool season for 3.6 months. January and December are the wettest months.
|Weather in Protaras|
|Average high, °C||17||17||19||22||24||28||30||30||29||27||23||19||27|
|Average low, °C||7||7||9||11||14||18||21||21||19||16||13||10||20|
How to Reach Protaras, Cyprus?
- By Air – Most tourists visit Protaras from Larnaca airport. It takes 50 minutes from the airport if you take the A3 motorway. It is 41.76 kilometers or 25.9 miles away from the Larnaca airport. You can also arrive from the Paphos International Airport, which is 146.69 kilometers or 91.14 miles away. It will take you about 2 hours from there.
- By Road – There are two ways to reach Protaras – by bus or private car/taxi. Aiya Napa is very close – only about 10-15 minutes away by car. Cape Greco is 10 minutes from Protaras by car. You can take an intercity bus or the Red Bus Cyprus. There are some other private operators as well.
10 Top Things to Do at Protaras
- Visit the Ocean Aquarium – There are more than a 1000 species to see at the aquarium, including stingrays, crocodiles, turtles, piranhas, penguins, and more. It is a must-visit if you are at Protaras with kids. Special events are also held here.
- Sea Cave – Explore the hidden sea caves, small coves and islands, and delve into the geological past. Formed naturally, some of these sea caves even have tunnels where the pirates used to store their loot once. Many caves have sheer cliffs on top, which are popular with the cliff jumpers. You can visit these caves and explore the tunnels.
- Saint Elias Chapel – Travel 15 minutes from the center of Protaras and you will be at the Saint Elias Chapel. It is perched on a hilltop and offers breathtaking views of the entire city and further into the Mediterranean Sea. It’s not easy to climb the 150 plus steps for everyone, but the view makes it worth it. This is a working chapel where couples still get married.
- Visit the Beautiful Villages – Derynia, Frenaros, Avgorou, Liopetri and Sotera are all close from the city. You can still see traditional Cypriot houses and the authentic lifestyle of the villagers and their customs. Many of them have
- ancient churches. Visit the farmer markets for fresh produce. Enjoy barbecues in the evening in the taverns there.
- The Harbors – There are quite a few beautiful harbors, some of them with promenades. Catch sunrise from here or sunset. The biggest harbor is at Green Bay, south of the Fig Tree beach. You can hire a boat for a sailing trip. Many group tour leaves from these harbors for sunset cruises, dinner cruises, cave tours, fishing tours, and diving expeditions.
- Cape Greco National Forest Park – It is a peninsula and headland that you can reach from both Proteras and Aiya Napa. Famous for its natural beauty, Cape Greco has some beautiful coves and cliffs that offer spectacular views. Visit the Bridge of Lovers. It is a national park with many nature trails. You can walk or bike. You can also stay overnight at one of the camping sites. There is chance to see 300 different species of flora and fauna.
- The Beaches – Fig Tree is the top beach in Protaras. It attracts a lot of tourists from all over Europe. But there are other good beaches as well like the Sunrise beach and Vrissiana. You can rent sunbed and umbrella in both these places. You will find many cafes, bars, pubs, restaurants, and villas for rent close to these beaches. There are some smaller beaches and coves too that attract fewer tourists like Kapparis, Agia Triada, and Golden Beach. Serena Bay, for example, remains secluded throughout the year. Glifades, Nisia, and the Pernera Beach are also very remote.
- Go Hiking – The best place for hiking is at the Cape Greco National Forest Park. It’s a huge area with many shrubs, trees, and orchids. Don’t miss the impressive visitor’s center.
- Agioi Saranta Chapel – This is the most unusual church you may ever see because it is located in a cave. It is hidden so well that even many locals don’t know about it. The church feels like a world away. There is raw appeal about this place as it has hills all around. See the 40 stalactites hanging from the ceiling inside.
- The Singing Fountains – Using 18,000 water jets and many LED lamps, the fountain synchronizes music, lighting effects, and provides the impression of water dancing. Multi-colored water jets soar high into the sky and change shape. It tells the story of the 7 wonders of the world, the legendary Greeks, and the story of mankind. It’s a must-see in Protaras.
The Fig Tree Bay
This is undoubtedly the top attraction at Protaras. It gets its name from a lone fig tree. There is a small islet just off the shore you can walk too during low tide. Swimming is absolutely safe here because the water is shallow. On the beach, there are many sunbeds, umbrellas, bars, and restaurants serving sandwiches, cocktails, drinks, and frappes. The beachfront promenade starts from Fig Tree and stretches till Pernera. There are many restaurants and bars along the way. On this very path, is the Nissiotis pier, from where you can set off on a boat trip.
Protaras is not the main party center in Cyprus. It is quieter than Ayia Napa. Tourists looking for a relaxed time visit Protaras. However, if you want to listen to some soulful and ethnic music, Protaras is a better choice than Aiya Napa. Smoke shisha and listen to pop bands perform at the cozy bars, famous for dance clubs and events. The bars along Protaras Avenue stay open till 2 AM. Rockafellas, Ghetto Cocktail Bar, Sfinx Bar and the Nava Beach Bar are the top draws.
There are many hotels including 5-star properties throughout Protaras. Bohemian Gardens, Plaza Hotel, Capo Bay Hotel, Evalena, and Sunrise Jade are among the better hotels you can stay at.
Villas for Rent at Protaras
You will also find many luxury villas for rent at Protaras. Choose from small 2-bedroom villas to large 5-bedroom estates. Many private villas in Protaras are very close to the sea, while the others have cliff side locations, or hidden in a posh residential community offering exclusivity and views of a serene landscape.
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