Ayia Napa beaches can be found within a stone’s throw of its legendary square. And while we’re almost always up for lazing on a town beach, there’s always the nagging feeling that there might be a more idyllic spot a little further along the coast. Which is where you’ll find Nissi Beach. Ayia Napa’s famous coastal haunt for beach parties and foam fests that keep the party going 24/7. But don’t worry, if DJ sets and daytime shots aren’t your bag, we’ve got a selection of sandy bays and beaches with a few hidden secrets up their sleeves too…
For a quieter day on the sands
Looking for some real intel on Nissi Beach? What if we told you that Ayia Napa has a stretch of sand that’s just as gorgeous, but comes without the crowds and beach parties. Yes, Landa Beach delivers on everything Nissi can – but with the volume turned way down. For some Ayia Napa nightlife lovers, that’ll come as a disappointment. But for those looking for a little R&R in a gorgeous corner of Cyprus, Landa is the answer to their coastal prayers. What makes Landa a little bizarre, is this slice of Cypriot joy sits just a 15 minute walk west of Nissi Beach. When you get here, you’ll find sun beds, parasols and shallow waters – along with a handy beach bar – and a supermarket just a stroll away. Pop this one on your list for a lowkey day on the shore.
For coastal hikes that lead to sea caves
Swap your flip flops for a pair of hiking boots and trot along to Cape Greco. This gorgeous National Forest Park adds green hues to the Cyprus coastline with scented pine trees, rare shrubs and endemic flowers. But, we’re here to talk beaches and bays – so when you’re done with the botanical side of the park, ready your eyes – and your phone, for ocean views. Gaze wistfully out over romantic seascapes, cliff architecture and intriguing caves. Then, when the tide conditions are just right – descend down to the shoreline to explore the caves on foot – or swim in the impossibly clear waters.
For snorkelling, sea life and sea turtles
If you loved the chilled vibes of Cape Greco, you don’t have far to go to find an idyllic stretch of sand. Konnos Beach sits at the northern tip of the park and delivers on family friendly waters, stellar views and snorkelling opportunities. Before we delve into those, it pays to know these waters are popular for watersports – and boat trips, so a snorkel buoy should be high on your packing list. That said, the clear waters are ideal for catching glimpses of sea life. The sandy shore is kind to toes but try to swim over rocks for more marine life. The lifeguard station has some rocks just in front that often have small fish and crustaceans hidden in their nooks and crannies. Swim out further from shore and head east to give yourself the best chance of seeing the turtles that come to this bay.
Orbzii tip: This intel works for most Ayia Napa beaches: get here early. Sun beds tend to have been snapped up by 10:30am – or earlier.
To delve into shoreside tombs
There’s a very archaeological bonus waiting for anyone who chooses to roll out their beach towel on Makronissos Beach. Yes, the three bays are gorgeous, sand-strewn stretches of shoreline. But, if you explore south – just a little, you’ll also find the tombs of Makronissos. The necropolis, which dates back to Roman times, includes 19 tombs hewn from the coastal rocks. The occupants have long since been removed – as part of the excavations, making the tombs an interesting and shady nook to seek out. If dark tourism harshes your beach vibes, just stick to the sands of Makronissos.
A cracking beach, it comes with all the usual facilities you need for a day on the coast. Expect watersports, parasols and sun beds – along with a handy collection of kiosks and restaurants to keep you refreshed during the day.
To wakeboard across the waves
Follow the coast east to find an Ayia Napa beach that serves up some very different watersports. We’ve all straddled a banana boat in our time – but wakeskating? That’s one for the bucket list. Green Bay watersports motors up and down the wake, just off Green Bay beach, with wakeboarders, wakesurfers, wakeskaters – and more in tow. Waterski, jet ski, SUP, canoe or monoski your day away – or just flump down on their Crazy Sofa for an adrenaline rush that doesn’t require even a hint of core strength. Strictly speaking, you can’t add Green Bay to your top five Ayia Napa beaches – as it’s actually in Protaras. But at just a 15 minute drive away, it’s close enough.
Orbzii tip: Green Bay are the only company offering an Ayia Napa turtle safari. Let the team gently tow you behind their boat in the search for ‘Marianne’ – a gentle, elderly, turtle matriarch that summers off the Cyprus coast with a few close friends.
To dive to an underwater forest
A visit to MUSAN has to be at the top of your things to do in Ayia Napa list. Just off Pernera Beach, you can dive – or snorkel – your way to the sea bed to see underwater sculptures, trees, plants and marine life. As the project’s so new, right now, MUSAN’s only allowing entry if you’re on a scheduled dive or swim with a pre-approved dive team. But, Ayia Napa’s clear waters mean everyone – no matter your snorkel skills, can swim over the top of this bewitching underwater forest and get a clear view. And, best of all, the 93 sculptures that form the world’s first underwater forest are made from ocean-friendly materials. The hope is that, over time, the forest will develop its own eco-system to support Ayia Napa’s precious marine life.
For THE Ayia Napa beach experience
Nissi Beach is Ayia Napa’s Blue Flag waving stretch of white shoreline that wows. Stunning it might be, but the crowds that flock here tend to cover up Nissi’s best bits. Though, this half a km of party-centric sands can be (surprisingly) calm, depending on when you drop by. By day, Napa’s party scene come here to chill, swim, sunbathe and unpack the gossip from the night before. And then, the beach parties kick in. Music, foam, yachts, shots and watersports make the beach a daytime extension to the legendary strip. By sunset, crowds have thinned a little, with most headed out for prinks in the bars of Ayia Napa’s square. Out of season, the shallow, waist deep waters make this beach an ideal spot for families looking for a coastal stretch with plenty of facilities nearby.
Orbzii tip: Thanks to the shallow waters, you can walk and wade your way to Ayia Napa island. You just have to navigate your way past Nissi Watersports first.