Protaras (Cyprus)

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Protaras (Cyprus)

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Review of "Protaras (Cyprus)"

published 12/07/2001 | sexy2005
Member since : 16/06/2001
Reviews : 15
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"What make Cyprus a likely holiday destination"

I went to Cyprus last year, and had a time of my life.

The island is full of contrasts, from the sandy beaches on the east coast to rocky coves on the west. From dried up river valleys to glorious mountains where the air was SO fresh and clean. From green fields of various crops to barren landscape where goats roamed among the rocks looking for food. From superb motorways to dirt tracks.

We were based in Protaras 10km. from Ayia Napa. It reminded me of Las Americas without the time share touts. Purpose built it was lacking in character but had everything one needs for a seaside holiday.
Every water sport was available on the nearby beaches plus boat trips to various local places including one to see the ghost town of Famagusta. The beaches were ideal for children and it only cost £3 per day to hire 2 sunloungers and an umbrella, bargain.
We visited numerous restaurants all of good standard but these were the one’s we preferred –
1 Mandarin Chinese Restaurant – under £14.00 for a meal for two.
2.Erato – super value 3 course meals plus free coffee or cocktails. Cheap and tasty steaks.
3.Il Basilico – next door to Erato & owned by the same people. Specialise in Italian food – not that authentic but again good value for money.
4.Georgias – Some Greek food as well as English dishes.

Nearby Paralimni is worth a visit – an impressive square with an enormous modern church towering over the little original church . There is also possibly the smallest Marks and Spencer’s in the world!

The first weekend we were there we had arranged to have a car; this had been booked in the UK and our car duly arrived at our apartment on time but what a car!! It resembled a sardine can in size and, horror of horrors, had no air conditioning. Being used to hiring cars in America we never gave a thought to specifying air conditioning and, as my husband, bless him, always go for the cheapest alternative we were stuck with it.

Our first port of call was Cape Greco – stunning scenery and views over the crystal clear sea.

We also called in at Ayia Napa and were surprised to find that it was so large with loads of restaurants and shops in many different streets. Several of the hotels were a long way from the centre – they would be quieter but some climb up from the beach. We also looked around the Monastery and the Anglican Church in the centre of the town; very peaceful at lunch time but this it where it “all happens” at night we were told. Parking all over Cyprus is fairly easy and we did not come across any car parks that charged. That was a pleasant surprise.

Heading west we came to Larnaka – we were not there long but there is a large marina and several restaurants across the road from a rather small beach. There are also large stores and everything else you would expect to find in a city.
Sites of interest – Church and the tomb of St. Lazarus; Archaeological and Plerides museums and Larnaka Fort on the seafront.

Limassol was the next large town – the largest seaside resort on the island and the main port. Was not so keen on this town- very busy and lacking in character. However, it’s a good starting point to visit the nearby wine villages and there is a fairly straight forward ‘road’ up into the Troodos mountains.

The Troodos mountains are magnificent; over 1900 meters in height with a view down to the coast which takes your breath away. It was not very busy when we visited in early May but would be packed in the summer with people escaping from the intense heat in the towns. There is skiing in the winter and numerous walks through pine forests and wonderful wild flowers everywhere.
We visited several villages and stayed at the Pendelli hotel in Platres; we were on the fourth floor and our balcony looked south over the mountains to the sea. The air was SO clean and refreshing and we were treated to an evening chorus from a nightingale.

It is advisable to have a 4 X 4 if you wish to explore this area and you will soon note that all the locals seem to own one. It is very easy to get lost and off the ‘main road’ as we found to our cost. We were following the signs to the next village and were not too perturbed when the tarmac finished and we were on a dirt track. However, this single track wound back and forth around the mountain, very steep in places and a sheer drop of 100’s of feet. Not for the faint hearted. Eventually we saw a yellow digger in the distance and thought that was a good sign. Nope ! When we got there we were confronted by a landslip and had no alternative but to turn round and go back. Easier said than done. There was not enough room to turn round, I wanted to get out and hug the rock but having passed two black snakes on the road it really was not an option. I shut my eyes and trusted in my husband’s driving ability as never before. He came up trumps as always and we headed back to civilisation.

We then drove south to Pafos – a charming town with a picturesque harbour but no beach that we saw. There are beaches but they are small coves and hotels have been built to take full advantage of them. Loads of historical stuff if that’s your bag; Tombs of the kings ( 75p admittance ) and amazing mosaic floors at the House of Dionyssos. Numerous churches and monasteries and, at Kouklia village the ruins of the Temple of Aphrodite.

Coral Bay was our next stopover – 10 km. west of Pafos. Here there are a couple of very nice beaches and several large resort hotels which were very expensive from £120.00 per night ! We stayed at the Impala Hotel Apartments. A bit off the main road but very convenient if you have a car. £26 per night for a studio; well furnished with ample equipment and a large swimming pool in the grounds. We actually returned the following weekend as we thought it was such good value for money. A one bedroomed apartment was £30.00 – not bad eh?

A pretty and easy drive to the west coast we came to Polis a small town set on a hill with a typical market square surrounded with cottages and taverns and the inevitable touristy tacky shops. Nearby is the Akamus peninsula with beautiful scenery and majestic beaches but watch out if you take the wrong road. You never know what, if anything, is around the next bend!

There is obviously much more to see and do and we will return but, before I finish there are a couple of points worth making
1.The garages are closed all day on Sunday so fill up on Saturday. You can get petrol by feeding a machine with cash or credit cards but they are few and far between.Petrol is very cheap 40p a litre.
2.The Cypriot people are so very friendly; there is little crime and it is a very safe place to visit especially with children.
3.Taxis are an affordable alternative to hiring a car and you can share one with others if you wish to cut the cost down. Beats waiting for a bus although they did seem fairly frequent but crowded.
4.Food was good everywhere we went including the local Cypriot dishes. Don’t order coffee – ask for the bill and nine times out of ten they will offer you a free coffee or liqueur or a cocktail.
5.Order the house wine it’s very good but, if you like a really dry white you need to ask. We found one called Arsenos which was dry and was about £4.50 a bottle in the restaurants. The Cypriot Brandy is also delicious and very cheap.
6.You do not need an adapter – the electricity supply is the same as ours.
7.Probably the best time to visit is late September/ early October as the sea would be very warm. It was not too cold in May but I can imagine what six months of sunshine would do to the temperature.
8.April/May is the mosquito time – plug in repellents are very cheap and work but don’t forget to cover up in the evenings.

Finally, if you have never been – do give it a try; everyone without exception that we spoke to said they want to go back – it was just so nice to feel so welcome.

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Comments on this review

  • Barbarian published 14/01/2002
    Very good op. Comprehensive and well written with lots of good information. I wondered why you filed it under Proteras when you actually included information about various parts of Cyprus?
  • belinda9 published 07/08/2001
    great op, I wanna go right now.
  • Michael-S published 12/07/2001
    Sounds great. I have never been to Cyprus (not yet). Take care, Michael.
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Product Information : Protaras (Cyprus)

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Listed on Ciao since: 13/07/2000