Protaras is one of Ayia Napa’s main satellite resorts and a firm favourite with British families. Historically the resort was known as Fig Tree Bay, however anyone expecting the kind of tranquillity that this name suggests will leave disappointed. Today back-to-back hotels line the waterfront and there isn’t a single fig tree in sight. Fortunately the sea has retained its glassy clarity and Protoras’ beaches are among the best on the island. Travel north and you’ll discover isolated coves bitten form the coastline, while eight kilometres to the south there’s the 24-hour party Mecca that is Ayia Napa.
Sunbathing is usually at the top of most visitors’ agendas and hotels have come up with numerous ways of keeping the kids occupied while parents commune with Helios. If you’re beginning to get beach inertia you’ll find the entire spectrum of water sports to choose from, as well as a variety of white-knuckle pursuits such as paragliding and water-skiing.
Protaras is popular with Cypriots and the beaches can get busy (especially at weekends) and anyone wanting to ‘get away from it all’ should head south to Cape Greko. Besides ‘peace and quiet’ the rocky shoreline provides some great snorkelling and diving. If you want to stretch your legs there’s an attractive coastal path running all the way form Protaras to Ayia Napa which takes in some impressive cliffs, sea caves and a number of Roman ruins. The resort of Pernera lies to the north of Protaras and offers similar opportunities for sun-worshiping with a number of ‘all-singing, all-dancing’ resort complexes.
Although Protaras is billed as a predominantly ‘family-orientated’ destination, it is also a place that knows how to party. If you’re hoping for a sound night’s sleep it’s essential to check that your hotel isn’t next door to one of many bars and clubs, otherwise tempers can quickly get frayed.