Cyprus, which is embraced by the emerald waters of the Mediterranean Sea, is surrounded by coasts, making any area you visit only minutes away for the discovery of a beautiful beach. These beaches vary from shore to shore and each has its own unique, characteristics, including the colour of the sand and water. Cyprus has a total of 57 Blue Flag beaches.
Ayia Napa is located east of Akrotiri and Dhekelia. Its sandy beaches make the city a popular tourist destination. The name Ayia Napa derives from a Venetian-era monastery of the same name that is located in the centre of the city. The name ‘Ayia Napa’ means ‘Saint of the Forest.’ The area is named after an icon of Our Lady of Napa, meaning Our Lady of the Forest. The name has been shortened to Ayia Napa.
Aphrodite’s Rock – Paphos
Cyprus is known as the island of beauty. The Aphrodite Rock area is one of the most beautiful coastlines on the island where, according to mythology, the Goddess Aphrodite emerged from the foams of the sea. The name ‘Petra Tou Romiou’ (Rock of the Greek) is associated with the legendary Byzantine hero, Digenes Akritas who, according to legend, kept the Saracenes from looting the area with his strength (seventh to the tenth century). Legend has it that he held onto the Kyrenia mountain range with one hand, thus forming ‘Pentadaktilos,’ the five mountain peaks, while he hurled a huge rock into the sea with his other hand to stop the Saracenes. The area, therefore, takes its name from this rock, which is still there today.
In the Paphos district, there are 11 Blue Flag beaches, three of which can be found in the Polis Chrysohous area. Seven of these Blue Flag beaches are equipped with facilities for people with disabilities. There is a total of 27 beaches in the district, of which almost half have limited or no housing development.
A common factor connecting all coasts and beaches is their seal of quality. The island constantly receives awards and top rankings for the quality of its water and safety, as well as for its ecological initiatives and general cleanliness of its beaches. Cyprus is proud of its 57 Blue Flag beaches – an ecological charter awarded to beaches and marinas around the world that meet the standards set by the Foundation for Environmental Education. Cyprus has also been crowned for having the cleanest waters for swimming in Europe and receives a 100 per cent ranking every year.