The tranquil little town of Paralimni is tucked away in the southeastern corner of Cyprus, in an area known for its spectacular beaches. The town’s own main beach is Trinity Beach, but you’ll find well known beauty spots like Fig Tree Beach nearby. The heart of the town is set back from the coast, and boasts a string of pretty churches, plenty of shops and taverns, and a handsome main square. Paralimni is just 5 miles from the lively resort of Ayia Napa, but feels a world away. You can potter down to one of the lovely beaches, take some gentle strolls through the surrounding fruit orchards, or, if you’re in the mood, head into Ayia Napa for some shopping, sightseeing and nightlife.
Paralimni is the perfect holiday destination, offering all the laid-back tranquility of a small town, plus beautiful beaches and the convenience of a major resort (Ayia Napa) nearby if you want to do some shopping and sightseeing or hit some bigger, well-equipped beaches. There are some great walks in the area, including some beautiful cliff-top hikes around the Cape Greco National Park at the tip of the headland. Nearby Ayia Napa, which is the biggest resort on the island, has a host of attractions, from a 15th-century monastery to a popular water park – as well, of course, as its stunning beaches, which offer all kinds of water sports as well as fantastic nightlife.
Local tavernas and harbourfront restaurants are ideal places to try some of the delicious Cypriot cuisine. Start with some meze – a selection of small dishes that might include anything from a refreshing salad topped with feta cheese to grilled octopus, halloumi, plump olives and a range of dips. Main courses might include some wonderfully fresh seafood, brought in by the local fishing boats, or a succulent stew such as stifado (beef cooked slowly with wine and herbs) or the well-known moussaka (layers of aubergine with meat and béchamel sauce). For dessert, tuck into some baklava, a pastry with nuts and honey, or loukamades, tiny fried dough balls dusted with sugar. The ideal accompaniment for your sweet treats is Commandaria, the famous Cypriot dessert wine.
Paralimni is a fantastic place for a relaxed holiday with the family. The little town has everything you need in terms of shops and family-friendly restaurants, and has its own blissful beach, which is shallow enough for even the smallest kids. It also offers sunbeds and parasols, as well as a swimming area marked out by buoys. If you want to do some walking, there are plenty of fantastic hikes and picnic spots in the Cape Greco National Park. There’s a small aquarium in Protaras, the adjoining village, which also has a collection of exotic birds. Children will enjoy the fantastic water park, the biggest in Cyprus, in nearby Ayia Napa, which offers plenty of slides and attractions.
Action & Adventure
While you won’t find a lot of action in Paralimni itself, neighbouring Ayia Napa offers a massive range of water sports that will get the adrenaline pumping. Water-skiing, parasailing and wind-surfing are just some of the options on offer in the biggest resort on Cyprus. If you want to do some climbing or hiking, head to the Cape Greco National Park, which has a host of fantastic routes to suit people of all fitness levels and abilities. It’s also a great spot for mountain-biking, with several well-marked trails. This is also a fabulous place for snorkelling and diving, and you’ll find plenty of outlets that rent out diving equipment and organise tours in the area.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches in Paralimni. The main beach is Trinity Beach, a quiet and appealing spot that is very popular with locals. It has sunbeds and parasols to rent as well as a smattering of places to eat and drink. Other beaches in the area include famous beauty spots like Fig Tree Beach (in neighbouring Protaras), which is a glorious crescent of golden sand lapped by turquoise waters. It offers lots of amenities but can get very busy. Other wonderful beaches further along the coast include Konnos Beach, tucked into a breathtaking bay, and tiny and secluded Serena Bay. And in Ayia Napa you’ll find Nissi Beach, which has a huge range of watersports plus a dazzling choice of bars and clubs.
There are a few bars and tavernas in Paralimni, both in the centre of the town and down on the seafront, where you can enjoy a lively night out. In general, though, the nightlife reflects the pace of life – quiet and easygoing. The town has its own outdoor theatre, which is often used for concerts and other events during the summer. In July and August, most of the beaches in the area have bars where you can enjoy a drink or two as the sun goes down, and, if you’re in the mood to party till dawn, the Mediterranean clubbing capital of Ayia Napa is right on the doorstep.
If you’re looking to relax in the sunshine, with plenty of places to eat and drink and a host of cultural attractions on the doorstep, then Paralimni is for you. Peaceful enough to be able to soak up the tranquillity with your partner, it’s located in one of the most beautiful and scenic regions of Cyprus. The area’s beaches are some of the best on the island, and include everything from the nightlife mecca of Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa, to the blissful little cove of Serena Bay. You can linger over a romantic dinner in one of the local taverns, before enjoying a cocktail on the beach as the sun goes down.
Paralimni has a clutch of beautiful churches, including some with picturesque settings overlooking the beach. The town’s main square is home to a trio of churches, one of which now contains the interesting municipal museum. In Ayia Napa, you can visit a beautiful monastery erected around 1500 AD, which is partially built into the rock. The Makronissos Tombs, located just west of the resort, are an ancient burial site, with 19 tombs that were hewn out of the rock during the Hellenistic Period. Also worth a look is the Ayia Napa sculpture park, which contains several artworks by internationally renowned artists and is located to the east of the city.