Before you head out to Ayia Napa for the summer,
you might want to find out a bit more about your home for the next few months.
Where is Ayia Napa?
Ayia Napa is a busy holiday resort on the southeast coast of Cyprus.
Cyprus is a country, and an island, at the Eastern end of the Mediterranean sea with Egypt to the South, Isreal, Jordan and Syria to the East and Turkey to the North.
Some people think Cyprus is a Greek island, but although Greek is the official language, Cyprus is a separate country located several hundred miles from Greece.
Ayia Napa is pretty much the most Easterly point of the European Union with a 4-5 hour flying time from North and Western European Countries and 2-3 hours flying time from Central and Eastern Europe.
The closest towns to Ayia Napa are Protaras which is approximately 8km east along the coast and is another popular holiday resort, and Paralimni which is about 10km inland and is a modern Cypriot town with plenty of shops and businesses.
What is Ayia Napa like?
Ayia Napa is pretty laid back. It’s casual for both workers and tourists and you won’t see many people dressed up smartly.
It’s pretty hedonistic and crazy at peak season with most people just coming with the intentions of getting drunk, getting a tan and getting some action with the opposite sex.
There is a large workers community where everyone ends up knowing everyone else and lifelong friendships are often made.
Life as a worker can be lots of fun but employers in Ayia Napa are not particularly tolerant of laziness, people with bad attitudes or those who want to act like they are on holiday all the time.
It’s hot, it’s dirty, it’s loud, it’s full on and it’s non-stop.
What is there in Ayia Napa?
Ayia Napa has around 80 bars, 12 clubs and over 150 places to eat. It has 14 beaches, a waterpark, a fun fair and a harbour.
There are lots of shops with everything from souvenirs and beach wear to jewellery and designer label fashion.
You can bungee jump, ride the slingshot, ride a bucking bronco or scuba dive. You can go to a beach party, a pool party, a foam party, on a boat trip or a bar crawl.
There are hairdressers, tattooists’, beauticians and gyms, as well as dance classes and fitness instructors.
Ayia Napa has a police station, a radio station and a primary school. It has a 14th century monastery, a museum and several churches. There are sea caves, a national forest park area and bicycle paths.
As with any town you will also find florists, mechanics, bakeries, computer shops, camera shops, dentists, doctors, betting shops, estate agents, travel agents, insurance companies and many other businesses.
Who goes to Ayia Napa?
Ayia Napa is known as a clubbing resort but as it’s quite big there is plenty to do for families and older people as well.
June and July are the busiest time for British visitors, August you will see all ages and nationalities.
September and October are very busy with Russians. Scandinavians and tourists from the rest of Europe also often choose early summer or autumn to visit.
The winter time is most popular with older people.
How do I get to Ayia Napa?
The nearest airport to Ayia Napa is Larnaca which is around 40 kilometres away. Read about transport to Ayia Napa.
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When is Ayia Napa busiest?
Ayia Napa has a different personality for each month of the year.
In January most tourist venues are closed, it's often a little cloudy and pretty quiet. In February you start to see business owners bustling to make preparations for the summer season and in March a few places start to open up and it also starts to get warmer.
April is the start of the tourist season and also when the first of the workers usually arrive and this carries on through into May. From January to May, nationalities and age groups are very mixed, people from all over Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, and the Middle East and everyone from families to the very elderly all enjoy the warm weather and laid back atmosphere.
May and June are the most popular time for workers to arrive with jobs and accommodation being harder to find the further into peak season it gets.
Through June and July the average age of visitors drops dramatically and this is a very popular time for British visitors and hardcore clubbers. This is peak season and big events and celebrity appearances happen a lot during these months. August is still very busy but more families arrive and a wider range of nationalities come to Ayia Napa in this month. It is also when most Cypriots
have their holidays and head to the coastal resorts.
Ayia Napa is still very busy in August but many workers start to leave now. September is quite chilled out. The weather becomes much more tolerable as the heat drops a little and everyone is generally in a friendly, laid back mood.
A range of age groups and nationalities visit in September and October with venues starting to close from mid September until early November. Evenings become a little chilly but daytimes are usually still over 25 degrees.
By November most tourist venues are shut with a few bars and clubs holding on as late in the year as they can before closing. We usually see some storms and flash rains though October to December although temperatures can still be in the mid to high 20's most days. From October onwards the age of visitors goes up again to mostly older people looking for some winter sunshine and with most visitors being from Northern European and Russia.
A Brief History Lesson
Before 1800 the only building in Ayia Napa was the 14th century Venetian monastery which still stands next to the bars and clubs of the central square. From 1800 until 1974 the small village was home to few people, mostly fishermen and farmers.
Following the Turkish invasion of 1974 refugees from the Famagusta area arrived and began to develop the town so that by the mid 1980's Ayia Napa had earned itself a name as a hotspot for the younger crowd with more than 10 nightclubs and over 50 bars.
During the 1990's more bars and clubs opened all over the town which rapidly spread from the village centre for several kilometres in either direction alongside the stunning unspoilt beaches.
The boom years for Ayia Napa were 2000-2001 when more than 20 nightclubs could be found within 1 square kilometre. During this time UK garage was the main sound of the town and it rivaled Ibiza as the most popular clubbing resort in the Mediterranean.
Today Ayia Napa has mellowed a little and whilst still very popular with urban music lovers, especially during June, July and August, it now offers something for pretty much every taste in music, from house, dubstep, RnB and cheesy tunes right through to rock and live music.
Families are now also catered for with numerous bars offering child friendly entertainment. Whilst the loud themed tourist bars around the central square are still present and busy as ever, a new crop of trendy cafébars have also sprung up for the more sophisticated and grown up night out. Many of these café-bars are open all year round and are as popular with locals as tourists.
About Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa is quite large compared with many holiday resorts and is quite spread out.
As you enter it from the airport the first area you come to is Ayia Thekla, which is a huge development of villas, a mix of residential and holiday lettings, around 8km from the centre of town. There are no hotels in this area but it has a church and a small weekly market.
Next is Macronissos which is around 6 km from the centre of Ayia Napa. Here you will find Macronissos beach club where beach parties and big events are held, and also Waterworld Waterpark which does take on a few staff such as lifeguards each year. There are a handful of bars and restaurants in this area which are mostly family run and so rarely need summer staff, and also some good standard resort hotels and small self catering complexes. There are several good sandy beaches here. Macronissos has 3 small beaches and Landa or Golden beach is right next door. This area is becoming more upmarket and will be the home of the Ayia Napa marina which may be started sometime in the next 10 years.
Nissi Beach with its two bays is the most popular beach in Ayia Napa and one of the most famous beaches on the island. This is where most people head to during the daytime for foam parties and pre-club events. Nissi Bay area takes in the beaches and areas of Macronnisos, Landa, Nissi and Sandy Bay. It is almost a mini resort in itself with a selection of family friendly bars and restaurants away from the bustle of the town so families often choose Nissi bay for holidays. This area has mainly higher standard hotels and it is also a top destination for couples getting married abroad. The businesses in this area don’t often need a lot of staff as many are family run, but occasionally jobs such as waiter/waitress and shop staff do become available.
A couple of kilometres east along Nissi Avenue, past lots of shops and restaurants, you reach the town centre. This is where the majority of the bars and all the clubs are located. It's also where you'll find most of the shops, the harbour and lots of things to do. Most of the accommodation right in the town centre is self catering complexes and a lot of it is fairly basic.
From the traffic lights in the centre of town, Ayia Napa harbour is just a few minutes walk away. At the harbour there are boat trips, watersports from the beach and several restaurants and bars. Most of the boats will take on a couple of summer staff to sell tickets or work on board. The restaurants and bars will often also require staff for the bar, waiting tables or as PR’s. A lot of the work in this area will be daytime or early evening hours rather than late nights.
In the opposite direction from the harbour is the monastery, the church and the main square. The roads leading off the square are where most of the bars and clubs are located. This is really a night time area, although some bars do open in the daytime and serve food and so will need both daytime and night time staff such as PR’s, bar staff, waiting staff etc.
From the town centre eastwards is another long sandy beach which is known by several names, Glyki Nerou (sweet water) Pantachou, Grecian Bay or the harbour beach. The beach is lined with more large hotels, a few bars, restaurants and shops. This area is very popular with Russian holidaymakers so any businesses in this area taking staff often require that you be able to speak Russian.
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