Things to do in Ayia Napa
Is there anything you can’t do in Ayia Napa? Fun abounds for visitors of all ages, with a full spectrum of beachside water sports like banana boat rides, parasailing and jet skiing along with more youthful activities like go karting and amusement park fun. Spend a day at sea scuba diving, deep sea fishing or hanging out on a boat cruise. Ayia Napa also has its fair share of cultural activities in the cool Thalassa Museum and the wonderfully tranquil monastery.
Since it opened in 1996, more than three million people have enjoyed the water slides, swimming pools and exciting rides in this world-class water park. Themed around ancient Greek mythology, the park offers 21 exciting rides including the famous River Odyssey and Aeolos Whirlpool. There are special kids’ attractions as well as adrenalin-pumping rides, a huge wave pool and complete facilities for food, drinks and changing. Waterworld open each year in April.
Parko Paliatso Luna Park
Ayia Napa’s only amusement park is a great way to have fun off the beach for a day or night. There are 25 rides to choose from, from bumper boats and carousels for little ones to exciting rides for older folks. Traditional fair games are on hand to test your skills to win a prize. Its location right in the heart of town, off Nissa Avenue, makes it easy to visit from anywhere in Ayia Napa.
Ayia Napa Monastery
The town’s top historic attraction is this amazing 16th-century monastery built by the Venetians. Its location right off the town’s main square makes it easy to stop by at any time for a moment of quiet relaxation. There are several buildings within the walled compound as well as a lovely shaded garden with benches and a marble fountain. Come early in the morning when the town is still calm and the air is cool.
Cape Greco National Park
This oasis of nature and tranquillity is just a few minutes outside of Ayia Napa, yet worlds away from the beach party. With 16kms of hiking trails and four kilometres of biking paths, this is great place to get some exercise. Cape Greco is also home to a series of cool sea caves that can be explored at low tide. A popular activity here is to cliff dive from the sheer limestone cliffs that drop off the Cape into the sea. Cape Greco can be reached by boat or road.
This fantastic museum offers a comprehensive look into the maritime heritage of Ayia Napa and Cyprus. From a life-size replica of the ancient ship of Kyrenia to films showcasing all the historical periods of the island, there is a lot to learn in this modern facility. Its exhibits of marine life are particularly well-done, and special lectures and events are held here throughout the year.
Just off Nissa Avenue is one of Ayia Napa’s most exhilarating activities. An entire pool complex has been built around the bungee jumping platform, creating a fun social scene to go with the adventure. A pool, bar and lounge chairs make it just as much fun to watch the bungee jumps as to try one yourself.
Sling Shot Ayia Napa
Another way to get the blood flowing in Ayia Napa is by taking a sling shot ride. Guests are strapped into a steel ball cage then catapulted 90m in just two seconds. The views from the air are spectacular, especially at sunset and after dark. The sling shot is located right in Parko Paliatso, in the heart of town.
Quad bikes and buggies
There are some fabulous beaches and hideaways along the coast around Ayia Napa, and the best way to explore them is on a quad or buggy. These four-wheelers are easy to drive and a lot of fun on the dirt roads outside of town. Cruise to Cape Greco, the sublime beach at Konnos Bay or the trendy boutique village of Paralimni in minutes.
The only place in Ayia Napa to hunt your friends and be hunted is Spartans, a new paintball complex. This high-tech facility features tunnels, zip lines, watchtowers, artificial rain, land mines, paint grenades and more. A lot of fun for a group of friends looking for something different to the beach.
There are three go-kart tracks in Ayia Napa, each catering to different age groups. For younger kids, there are mini-karts that are designed for more passive driving. Parko Paliatso has a nice track and karts geared towards older kids and adults within its amusement park. For a more professional driving experience, EMW offers top-notch go-karts and a professional driving course.
A great way to spend a day out is on one of the boat trips from the harbour. There are several companies operating different kinds of tours, from day cruises that incorporate swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing along the coast to party cruises where drinking and partying are the goals. Some tours, such as the Black Pearl, add onboard entertainment to go with the coast cruise.
Scuba diving and snorkelling
The waters off southeast Cyprus are simply perfect for underwater exploration. Glassy, clear and warm water ensures ideal diving conditions for most of the year. There are a number of good dive sites near Ayia Napa, including Cape Greco and Famagusta. The shipwreck of Zenobia is also close by, and considered one of the world’s top wreck dives.
The deep sea fishing around Ayia Napa is superb. Several tour operators run regular fishing trips using modern equipment to help fishermen find the best pockets of fish around Cape Greco and Cape Kiti. Common catches include barracuda, white snapper, marlin and tuna, and it is not unusual to spot dolphins or whales.
Red bus tour
These bright red double-decker buses are a fun way to see the town of Ayia Napa and neighbouring Protaras. The tour stops by all of the area’s attractions and several small villages in the Troodos Mountains, and the open-topped bus ensures great views and a breezy sunny cruise.