- Ayia Napa
The golden sandy beaches of the Famagusta district, lying
in the government - controlled area, stretch out to the
eastern corner of the island. The popular holiday centres
of Ayia Napa and Paralimni have been called a veritable
paradise for anyone who loves the sea and water sports.
charming scenery includes the tiny fishing harbour of Ayia
Napa, the mediaeval monastery at the heart of the village,
and the windmills and small churches in the surrounding
villages, which spread out to the areas of Paralimni and
region, which is the main potato-producing area on the
island, is known as "Kokkinochoria" which means
"red-soil villages". The villages of this area
are equally known for their folk poets, who are regarded
as the best on the island.
Since the Turkish military occupation of Famagusta in
1974, this small town has become the main administrative
centre of the district.
twin aisled vaulted church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Panayia)
which also houses a small Byzantine museum, is decorated
with unusual 18th century porcelain plates. The church,
parts of which belong to the 13th century, houses a small
ecclesiastical museum. Other interesting churches can also
be found in the area.
Originally a fishing village, this is now a major tourist
resort. The charming mediaeval monastery, dedicated to Our
Lady of the Forests, stands in the middle of the village
surrounded by a high wall. Its 16th century church is
partially undergound, cut into the rock. The hostel, west
of the church, belongs to the World Council of Churches.
The ancient sycamore tree, in front of the south gate, is
believed to be over 600 years old.
The village has three interesting churches, the small
domed 17th century church of Ayios Georghios, the 15th
century Ayia Marina church, and a church dedicated to the
Virgin Mary with excellent 17th century icons. From this
village one may gaze on the "ghost city" of
Famugusta, once the most popular holiday resort in Cyprus,
but now totally deserted since the 1974 Turkish invasion
as all its inhabitants are now refugees.
The partly ruined church of Ayios Mamas, which was built
around the 12th century, has wall paintings dating to the
16th century. The church of Sotiros has 13th century wall
paintings. About 1—km to the west, is the 16th century
cruciform church of Panayia Chordakiotissa, whose dome has
been restored, and the church of Ayios Georghios, an Early
Christian basilica with three aisles.
There is a 16th century church dedicated to the Virgin
Mary and a 15th century church of Ayios Andronikos with an
octagonal dome and the remains of murals, which can still
be distinguished in the apse. The basket-making tradition
continues at Liopetri.
A picturesque fishing refuge. The remains of a Venetian
watch-tower are nearby. The French poet, Arthur Rimbaud,
worked in this area in the 1880s.
The village of Frenaros has its own small Byzantine
churches. Two of them, the Agios Andronikos and the
Archangelos Michail date back to the 12th century. The
church of Agia Marina has some interesting frescoes
painted by different artists.