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Gold medal beaches

The south Famagusta region’s status as the gold medallist of Cyprus beaches is irrefutable. All that remains is to select which stretch of coast suits you best for summer 2017.

Crystal-clear waters and the softest of sands… islets, inlets, coves and caves. South Famagusta is a beachgoers paradise and attracts droves of visitors from all over the island – and the world.

From clubbing teens to families with young children, the coastline of south Famagusta appeals to all, and there is a beach to suit every need.

Top of the crop

It’s official! Fig Tree Bay in Protaras ranks as one of the best beaches on the island, as per visitor rankings on travel review website Trip Advisor.

The site issued a world map denoting the top tourist attraction for each country in January this year, with the beach taking the number one spot for Cyprus. It also placed the gorgeous beach at number four in its Top 10 beaches in Europe.

Taking its name from an ancient fig tree that grew there, the beach offers both beauty and comfort, thanks to the stunning views combined with the services and amenities available.

The long expanse of golden-white sand and sparkling sea can become very crowded in peak season, so getting there early to bag your patch of beach heaven is imperative.

Features of the beach include shallow, crystal-clear, turquoise waters; a small island that can be reached by swimming; a range of water sports; plenty of drinking and dining options; public conveniences; lifeguards and a breathtaking Mediterranean vista.

Most Blue Flags
Ayia Napa Municipality is once again in the lead as the municipality with the most number of Blue Flag beaches awarded to beaches in Cyprus this season, taking a whopping 14.

From east to west, the beaches holding the hallmark of quality, cleanliness and excellent facilities are: Konnos Bay, Kermia (Limnara), Ammos tou Kambouri, Glyki Nero, Pantachou, Loukkos tou Manti, Katsarka, Pernera, Vathia Gonia (Sandy Bay), Nissi, Nissi Bay, Landa, Makronissos and Ayia Thekla.

Underwater kingdoms

The region’s coastline is not just for sunbathing and swimming! South Famagusta’s crystal clear waters make snorkelling and diving an enhanced experience, with a wealth of underwater worlds to discover.

There are many wonderful sites, with three of the best including: Green Bay (Protaras); Caves (Cape Greco) and The Canyon (Cape Greco).

Green Bay: This is generally regarded as the best site for beginners thanks to its calm waters and abundance of interesting things to see. Both snorkelling and scuba diving are possible at the site, which is at a depth of 10 metres, and offers visibility of up to 25 metres.

The stunning experience includes close encounters with rainbow and brown wrasse; banded breams; Caretta Caretta turtles; and barracuda, as well as the chance to explore fragments of ancient amphorae on the seabed.

The Caves: This is considered to be one of the most interesting dive spots of the region thanks to a series of caverns, tunnels, overhangs, blowholes, caves and lava rock.

It is an easy enough site to dive (depth is 12 -14 metres and visibility is 20 metres), making it a favourite with both novices and seasoned divers. Friendly faces include grouper, octopus and cardinal fish.

The Canyon: With its difficult entry point under the cliffs, The Canyon is not for the beginner. The less-frequented wall dive (22 metres depth and 25 metres visibility) has a less disturbed marine life as a result.

If you are an experienced diver, your efforts to access the site will be rewarded by fascinating walls, canyons with corals and marine life that includes stingrays.

By Paula Manoli-Gray

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