During our stay in Limassol Ayia Napa was recommended to us quite a few times. People raved about Nissi Beach, the sandy beach in the Ayia Napa resort and the sea caves that can be found along the National Forest Park Cape Greko.
So we all got into the car and onto the highway quiet early on a Saturday morning, after a quick stop at Sigma Bakeries. One and a half hours later we arrived at our destination. As it was still pretty early, around nine o’clock, the beach was deserted. The beach operators were still cleaning up the rubbish of the previous night.
Ayia Napa is a well-known party location and a lot of people come here to party hard all night long.
We enjoyed the morning sun, went for a swim and rented jet skis. Pairing up with a buddy on one jet ski was €50 for 15 minutes, a solo ride was €40 for the same time.
Around midday the beach became so crowded that we quickly escaped. After a lunch break at the city center we left Ayia Napa disappointed. If you are looking for a college spring break atmosphere, Ayia Napa is the right address. If you fancy a quad bike tour, you should also come here. Compared to other locations the rental prices are quite low. But the resort itself did not convince us.
This impression changed when we headed towards Cape Greko which is situated between Ayia Napa and Protaras. It spreads on an area of 385 hectares and has been proclaimed a national park since 1993. Once a dense juniper forest, but drastically cut down between 1910 and 1920, there is now a low-growth vegetation of junipers and pines. You have an amazing view out to the sea from the cliffs. There are several hiking trails waiting to be explored.
There are many sea caves along the coastline of the national park. On the south-eastern end of the park you pass the natural bridge “Kamara tou Koraka” also called “love bridge”. The first time we accidentally drove past, not noticing that it was there. It was only on our way back from the Agioi Anargyroi chapel that we saw people taking pictures of a bridal couple in front of the stone arch.
Just a few hundred meters from the natural bridge you will find one of the few buildings in the park – the small white Agioi Anargyroi chapel. Next to the chapel a staircase leads down to a sea cave which was occupied by hermits once. Again a nice place to overlook the sea and the afjacent vegetation. It is also a good spot for the brave ones to experience cliff jumping.
At the eastern end of the national park you find a very charming bay with crystal clear water and sheltered from the wind, Konnos Beach. The beach is accessible by car. Nearby on the cliffs you will get to another sea cave, Cyclops Cave. From this spot you haven a magnificent view of the entire bay.
At first, we had been a bit disappointed of Ayia Napa and could hardly understand why everybody had recommended this location. In fact, the beach is nice and the sea clean, but after a few hours it was terribly crowded there. We were packed like sardines. But our trip to Cape Greko saved the day. It is easy to reach from Ayia Napa either by car or by quad bike or buggy, if you prefer more action. Once arrived you will enjoy the beautiful scenery. Hiking, swimming and exploring the sea caves, you will definitely come up with a few activities to spend an amazing afternoon in this area. At the end of the day we drove back to Limassol, exhausted but happy.