Earth and Geographic Science
Teacher George Sekkes
Global Gateways - Ayia Napa in Cyprus
Áyia Napa: is a resort at the far eastern end of the south coast of the island of Cyprus, famous for its sandy beaches. In recent years, apart from being a family holiday destination, it has become a 'party capital' similar to Ibiza, Rimini and Mykonos. As of late, it has become particularly popular with UK Grime, House & Garage artists/MCs for holidays and gigs in its clubs/venues. Geographically, Ayia Napa lies near Cape Greco at the eastern part of Cyprus, just south of Famagusta and forms part of a larger area known as Kokkinochoria (a name derived from the red colour of its soil). It is a town of Famagusta District, in the remaining southern part of the district not occupied by Turkish forces in 1974. Ayia Napa is about 8 kilometres (5 miles) away from Protaras, a town that has recently seen similar development, but still manages to remain low-key and remains more favorable for families and Cypriot locals.
According to local legend, the now renowned original icon was accidentally discovered by a hunter in hot pursuit of his prey. Upon discovery, the icon of Virgin Mary was called Virgin Mary of Napa, eventually shortened and now know as Ayia Napa. The present monastery, built in 1500, was built around the cave, in honor of the Virgin Mary of Ayia Napa. According to local tradition, until 1790 no-one lived within close vicinity of Ayia Napa. The first inhabitants who actually appeared and settled were twenty men from Salonica, Greece, and so began the village of Ayia Napa.Agia Napa attracts a large number of tourists and features a number of sandy beaches, on which watersports such as water-skiing, windsurfing, canoeing, scuba diving and speed boating are popular. The Cyprus Tourism Organization supervises the beaches and is responsible for protecting the interests of all tourists. All beaches in Agia Napa have been awarded with the EU blue flag for their level of cleanliness and facilities offered. The most popular of these beaches is Nissi beach, which is visited mainly by clubbers and young people at summer and gets very busy. Another of the beaches is the Harbour Beach (also known as Limanaki (CTID) or Pantahou beach), which is one of the longest beaches of Cyprus, and the longest beach in Ayia Napa. Harbour Beach caters more for families and is a more relaxing beach. The New Golden Bay, or Lanta / Landa beach as it is known to the locals, is a less busy beach with a number of activities available.