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Paralimni, or where the number 101 bus goes

Protaras – Аyia-Napa – Paralimn by bus!

Protaras

It’s only natural that a person visiting an unknown place may feel a bit wary of venturing too far from their hotel and be unsure of how to get around.

For many tourists coming to Prataras, a trip to Ayia Napa can be a real problem, even though they are quite close to each other.

But if you spend a little time getting acquainted with the place beforehand, at least virtually, you will feel more confident and be more inclined to explore.

This is for those who have chosen to holiday in Protaras, but plan to spend some time inspecting their surroundings.

If you look on the map you will see that 8km to the west of Protaras is the famous resort of Ayia Napa, popular with the young.

You can easily get there by the number 102 bus which shuttles every 20 minutes, both during the day and the evening (the evening fare is more expensive).  You can return by the number 101 bus.  The number 102 will also take you to the Oceanarium and Paralimni, which gave its name to the whole eastern region.

The great history of Paralimni

Area in Paralimni

Unlike Аyia-Napa and Protaras, Paralimni is not a touristic centre, and life there is steady regardless of the tourist season.

The settlement received its name from a nearby lake (limni in Greek means ‘lake’), which fills with water in winter. This seasonal lake is the lowest area on the eastern part of the island.

After the events of 1974 Paralimni became the economic and administrative centre of the whole of the eastern region of the Independent Republic of Cyprus, instead of the occupied Fаmagusta.

In the Hellenistic period there used to be a town called Levkolla on the place of the modern settlement.  For whatever reason it was completely destroyed, and in the Byzantium period there were numerous settlements there, whose main occupation was agriculture. It should be noted that the soil is still fertile in this region and has a red tint because of the large iron content.

It’s no secret that the coastal towns of Cyprus were raided repeatedly by pirates. This, however, was not the fate of some settlements on what is now Paralimni, as they were located far from the sea.

Architectural and church sights

At present the centre of the settlement is a so called church square. It is considered to be the largest square in Cyprus, where as many as 3 churches are located. Two of them were consecrated in honour of Saint George. Оne of them was built in the 19th cеntury, whilst the other, more modern one, was built in 1965.

An ancient Byzantium church of the Most Holy Mother of God is located a bit further on. The walls of the church are made of local stone and date back to the 13th cеntury. Initially there was a small church on this site, which was later extended and overbuilt. The name of the church changed along with its size.

Мany local inhabitants call this church Saint Ann. Once all its walls were decorated with murals but unfortunately only small fragments have been preserved. The full interior design of the church was decorated with coloured ceramic plates, which is not typical at all of local churches.

The iconostasis of the church date back to the 17th century. Several icons are of  special value.

The church is an architectural monument and attracts a lot of tourist attention.

 

Saint George’s churchMost Holy Mother of God Saint George’s church

If you leave for Paralimni in the evening, you can take a leisurely walk around the centre, pop into the small shops which will surprise you with the variety of goods on sale and, have lunch in a local restaurant most of which cater to the locals, and so serve a number of dishes at moderate prices.

Also in Paralimni you will find Stefanis’ electrical shop, which has everything for your photographic and mechanical needs. Those wishing to save money should visit Carrefours supermarket or Lidls, located in the centre of Protaras, you can’t miss it.

Festivals and museums

Folklore museumThe village of Deryneia, which is famous for its strawberry festival, is located very close to Paralimni.

Although Deryneia is quite small, it boasts several historical and church sights – Saint George’s church, built in the 17th cеntury, the church of Saint Marina built in the 15th cеntury and the church of the Most Holy Mother of God of the 17th cеntury.

A folklore museum is also of interest to tourists. It is located in an old house and is an example of a Cypriot home and everyday life.

Тhose who are interested in modern history and the politiсal life of the island should drop in to the cultural centre of the occupied territory of Ammokhostos (Famagusta). From the top of a viewing platform and with binoculars you can see the whole occupied territory and the deserted region of Varosha.

Affordable journey

A trip to Paralimni and Deryneia will cost you a mere 2-3 Euros in bus fare, and will allow you to dive into the unhurried life of the local inhabitants and to get acquainted with their everyday life and culture. Try to plan your holiday beforehand and discover new places.

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