Ayia Napa

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Ayia Napa
Αγία Νάπα (Greek)
Aya Napa
View of Agia Napa beach located in vicinity of Nelia Beach Hotel.jpg
Official seal of Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa is located in Cyprus
Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa
Location of Ayia Napa within Cyprus
Coordinates: 34°59′N 34°00′E / 34.98°N 34.00°E / 34.98; 34.00Coordinates: 34°59′N 34°00′E / 34.98°N 34.00°E / 34.98; 34.00
Country  Cyprus
District Famagusta District
 • Mayor Yiannis Karousos
Population (2001)[1]
 • Total 2,693
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Website http://www.ayianapa.org.cy/

Ayia Napa (officially romanised Agia Napa; Greek: Αγία Νάπα [locally [aˈʝanːapa]]; Turkish: Aya Napa) is a resort at the far eastern end of the southern coast of Cyprus.


The name Ayia Napa is derived from a Venetian-era monastery of the same name, located in the centre of the town, next to the square that today is the clubbing centre. The word "Ayia" (Agia) means "holy" in Greek. "Napa" is archaic and means "wooded valley" or dell. In ancient times the area surrounding the town was covered with thick forest.


According to local legend, the now renowned original icon was accidentally discovered by a hunter in pursuit of his prey. Upon discovery, the icon of the Virgin Mary was called Virgin Mary of Napa, eventually shortened and now known as Ayia Napa. The present monastery, built in 1100, was built around the cave, in honour of the Virgin Mary of Ayia Napa. According to local tradition, until 1790 no one lived within close vicinity of Ayia Napa. The first inhabitants were from Thessaloniki, Greece. The name of the first inhabitant of Ayia Napa was Nikolaos Kemitzis from Thesaloniki. He arrived from Greece around 1790 and got married to a village located on the northern east part of Ayia Napa and Paralimni, the name of the village was Panayia. Soon after the marriage Kemitzis had a fight with the Ottoman authorities which ruled Cyprus at the time, and decided to move near the monastery of Ayia Napa.

Today Ayia Napa is the largest tourist resort of Cyprus. With 27000 tourist bed capacity with more than 145 hotels and apartments of all sizes. The resort for 2017 is projected to welcome more than 700,000 tourist arrivals and approximately 5,000,000 night-stays[2]. Which represent approximately 30% of all Cyprus nightstays. [3] The city of Ayia Napa has the 7th largest budget of the 30 active municipalities of Cyprus and employs 230 persons. The government of Cyprus recognizing the importance of Ayia Napa to Cyprus economy has decided in 2014 to characterize Ayia Napa as urban area /center with decision number 76.990 on 15/May/2014 of the council of ministers[4][5] a huge political victory credited to the attempts and the strategy of the Mayor of Ayia Napa Yiannis Karousos[6]


Cavo Greco natural park.

Geographically, Ayia Napa lies near Cape Greco at the eastern part of Cyprus, just south of Famagusta and forms part of a larger area known as Kokkinochoria ("Red Villages", a name derived from the red colour of their soil). It is a town of Famagusta District, in the remaining southern part of the district occupied by Turkish forces in 1974.

Ayia Napa is about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Protaras, a town that has recently seen similar development, but still manages to remain low-key and remains more favourable for families and Cypriot locals.

Cultural sites and events[edit]

Front of Ayia Napa Monastery

Ayia Napa Medieval Monastery is "the main point of interest with significant historical interest" in the Ayia Napa area.[7] The Makronissos Tombs are an archaeological site consisting of set of ancient rock-cut tombs, an adjacent sanctuary and quarry, and evidence of funeral pyres.[8][9]

The replica Kyrenia II in the Thalassa Museum

The town contains two municipal marine museums: the Tornaritis - Pierides Museum of Marine Life, and the Thalassa Agia Napa Municipal Museum (also known as the Thalassa Museum of the Sea). The former, founded in 1992, displays marine fossils, specimens, and dioramas.[10] The latter, founded in 2005, displays the "marine heritage of Cyprus, from prehistoric times to the present", and features a full-scale replica of a c300BC merchant ship which was salvaged during the 1960s.[11][12] since the inauguration of the Thalassa Museum the Marine Life Museum moved under to the newly built Thalassa museum and consists one of the seven themes of the museum

Ayia Napa Sculpture Park

Ayia Napa Sculpture Park, which is located in the east side of Ayia Napa, was inaugurated in May 2014, with 17 sculptures. By 2017 the sculpture park contained 144 sculptures through the participation of 104 sculptors. The sculpture park has gained worldwide recognition[citation needed] and has been turned into an international sculpture park with participations from countries from all over the world from countries such as Argentina and Uruguay, New Zealand, Cuba, Canada, Russia, Egypt, Austria, Italy, Israel, etc.[citation needed]


The Ayia Napa Festival was first held in September 1985 and has been established as an annual event since, usually over the last weekend of September. It takes place in Sepheris Square in Ayia Napa Monastery. The festivities reflect the historic, cultural and agricultural traditions of Ayia Napa and Cyprus as a whole. The programme includes theatrical performances, operas, concerts and Cypriot and foreign folk dancing. Famous artists visited the festival such as Nana mousxouri, Marios frangoullis, Viki Leandros, George Dalaras, the Tenors of the 21st Century of Moscow

The Ayia Napa Youth Festival was established in 2010[13] when the Ayia Napa youth council, accepted the proposal of its president Yiannis Karousos and decided to organise a festival similar to the large music festivals of Europe, combining activities and music. The festival is based on several principles such as free entrance, the headliners to be chosen by the public, a charity goal, a social responsibility message attached to it; all styles of music are welcome. At the first festival which took place at the harbour square of Ayia Napa more than 10,000 people visited the festival during the three-day period with bands such as the Greek reggae act Locomondo, the pop-rock band MPLE and the hip hop band Stavento featuring Ivi Adamou. Also 25 bands performed, most of them in the music styles of rock and metal. In 2011 the Ayia Napa Youth Festival became international and included the band Stratovarius, Sabaton, Rotting Christ, Nightstalker, and 20 bands from all over Europe and Cyprus. The 3rd Ayia Napa Youth Festival took place on 24 and 25/9 2012 with popular rock artists on its roster such as Vasilis Papakonstantinou, Katsimixa brothers, Nighstalker and many other bands from Malta, Greece and Cyprus.

World record[edit]

Following the proposal of Mayor Yiannis Karousos,[14] then President of the Ayia Napa Tourism Committee, on September 16, 2007, the world's longest chain of syrtaki dancers (a famous Greek dance) danced to Zorba the Greek in a successful attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. The chain had a total of 268 members of eight groups dancing in step to Zorbas. Then Ayia Napa Mayor Antonis Tsokkos said the aim of the event was to send the message that the village was interested in Greek culture and to promote the tourist resort abroad. Head of the cultural services of the Municipality Maria Tofini said that according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the dancers had to perform in synchronised step for the attempt to qualify. The event drew the attention of tourists and locals, many of whom danced to Zorbas on the beach and in the sea.[15]

The city of monuments parks and points of interest[edit]

Following his election as head of the city in March 2013 Yiannis Karousos decided to implement a strategy in which visitors will enjoy and be able to visit points of interest other than the beaches and the sea. That is why the Mayor and the city started creating points of interest all around the city and created parks, Monuments and Points of interest

Through different Monuments and Points of interest created the cultural value of the city has increased considerably. Some of the points of interest are the following:

  1. The Fisherman of Ayia Napa. Fishing is part of the history of Ayia Napa. The population consisted of mainly fishermen and farmers. The monument was created and was dedicated to all the fishermen of the world and was Inaugurated in June 2015
    Ayia napa fisherman at the harbour of Ayia Napa
  2. The Mermaid of Ayia Napa inaugurated in 2015. An impressive sculpture on the harbour. The mermaid was inspired through the poems of the Nobel award winner poet George Seferis and through Alexander the Great as according to the legend the mermaid was the sister of Alexander the Great. She has a unique feature, she has two tails.
    The mermaid of Ayia Napa located the harbour of Ayia Napa
  3. The Lady Farmer. located in the heart of the city the statue is a modern version of the lady farmer
    The modern version of Lady farmer
  4. The Farmer of Ayia Napa. A square was created on Yiannaki Pappoulis Street where the sculpture of the farmer of Ayia Napa was placed. This initiative was under the measures taken for improvements and changes in the city center. The monument was inaugurated in 29/07/2016 by the minister of environment and agriculture
The sculpture of Ayia Napa at the farmer square at the city center
  1. Kemitzides the Family Tree of Ayia Napa. Impressive collection of three sculptures representing the Kemitzis family who created Ayia Napa in 1790. The man has Greek characteristics on his clothes this is because Nikolaos Kemitzis was from thesalloniki Greece. The lady she is a classic Cypriot woman and the kid symbolizes the continuation of the family. The project was inaugurated in Sept 2016. It was donated to the city by 5 families of Ayia Napa (Stavros and kornilia tsokkou, Petros and Anastasia Kallenou, George and Eleni Karousou, Giorgos and Konstantina Takka, And Nikolaos and Stamatia kemitzi)
The monument of the family tree of Ayia Napa showing the first family who arrived in Ayia Napa in 1790 the Kemitzis family
  1. The Cactus park. A park was created which includes over 10,000 Cactus and dessert plants. Located next to the sculpture park. The park was created with the guidance of Mr Kikis constantinou a well known personality of Cyprus. All the work was on voluntarily basis. The park was inaugurated on 8th of June 2015.
  2. Artificial Reef . An artificial reef was created in Ayia Napa. The main interest point inside the reef was the navy boat Kyrenia which was donated by the ministry of defence to the city of Ayia Napa. Other underwater sculptures are also located in the reef . It was inaugurated on 2nd March 2017
  3. The Fishing Boats Roundabout. A touch of the history of Ayia Napa can be seen on the first main round about of Ayia Napa. The city was looking for ways to create positive feeling and memories when entering the city. An abandoned fishing boat was transferred there together with some other fishing boats, with some impressive results. Everyone now calls this the round about of boats.
  4. Cape Greco Environmental and Educational center which provides information and education with regards to the national park of Cape Greco, a nature 2000 protected area. The center was inaugurated in May 2017


WaterWorld Themed Waterpark is an Ancient Greek-themed waterpark[16] that is one of the biggest themed water parks in Europe, with more than 25 rides and attractions.[17]

It opened in 10 April 1996.[18][19] Since then it has become one of the most visited places in Cyprus with over four million visitors to date. The park is a member of the World Waterpark Association and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.[18]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Ayia Napa is twinned with:



  1. ^ Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus (MS Excel), 2001 Population Census
  2. ^ karousos, yiannis (26 July 2017). "Οταν δεν μπορείς να κοιμηθείς - when you cant sleep". politis newspaper. p. 11. 
  3. ^ karousos, yiannis (2015-06-20), Ayia Napa in 1974 and in 2015, simerini newspaper 
  4. ^ Government, Secretary of council of ministers (2014-05-25), Προσωρινός Χαρακτηρισμός των Δήμων Παραλιμνίου και Αγίας Νάπας ως αστικό κέντρο της Επαρχίας Αμμοχώστου, Cyprus Government 
  5. ^ phileleftheros, phileleftheros (2015-12-02), City center infrastructure projects due to urban center characterization, phileleftheros 
  6. ^ phileleftheros, phileleftheros (2017-06-05), Ayia Napa and Paralimni characterised as main cities, phileleftheros 
  7. ^ Stenzel, Samantha (1999), Cyprus, Nelles Guides, Hunter Publishing, ISBN 3886181561 
  8. ^ "The Makronisos Tombs". Retrieved 2016-08-27. 
  9. ^ Gorringe, Anne (2014-01-08). Roman ruins, ancient art and mouth-watering moussaka: 10 things to do in Cyprus. Retrieved 2016-08-27. 
  10. ^ Dublin, Marc; Morris, Damien (2002). The Rough Guide to Cyprus. Rough Guides. Retrieved 2016-08-27. .
  11. ^ Davies, Tracey (2013-05-14). "The quiet side of Ayia Napa". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-08-27. 
  12. ^ "Thalassa Agia Napa Municipal Museum", Visit Cyprus, retrieved 2016-08-27 
  13. ^ "Security Check Required". 
  14. ^ yiannis karousos. "Αγία Νάπα Τελική ομιλία - Ομιλίες- Γιαννης Καρουσος Δημοτικός Σύμβουλος - Ayia Napa". 
  15. ^ "Ayia Napa hopes for Guinness record". HomeboyMediaNews. 
  16. ^ .WaterWorld on TripAdvisor TripAdvisor.com
  17. ^ WaterWorld Water Park wow247.co.uk.
  18. ^ a b .Ayia Napa Water Park All-Waterparks.com
  19. ^ .A place travelers can visit HolidayCheck

Proposals of Yiannis Karousos - Guinness Records for Ayia Napa

External links[edit]