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Explore Famagusta

Famagusta, Cyprus

Explore Famagusta – Protaras – Agia Napa. Sparkling, crystal waters and powdery, golden sands are one of the defining features of the region of Famagusta, with its scenic landscape further dotted by quaint windmills, and its mineral-rich earth growing some of the island’s tastiest, fresh produce.

Comprised of the main holiday resorts of Agia Napa and Paralimni-Protaras, the once-tiny villages have seen their popularity and boundaries expand into bustling resorts that continue to attract visitors in their droves.

The stunning coasts of the region are further enhanced by its famous, vibrant nightlife, large variety of tourist accommodation, idyllic fishing harbors, medieval churches, and picturesque, traditional villages. Together, they offer the perfect recipe for a fantastic holiday.

One of the main attractions of the area is the Natural Forest Park of Cape Gkreko with its cliffs, caves and coves. Aside from its breathtaking views, the park is ideal for swimming, diving, boat trips, walking and cycling, all in beautiful natural surroundings.

And no doubt, you will taste the difference in the fresh produce that the ‘red soil villages’ (Kokkinochoria) of the region grow. Thanks to its unique richly-red earth, the area is famous for juicy watermelons and strawberries, and the delicious and versatile Cyprus potato, all bursting with flavor.

From sun-seeker to party-animal, foodie to explorer, everyone will fall in love with Famagusta and its charm.

Get around
Self-drive is the most common way of visiting Famagusta, whether in your own vehicle or a rental car. Bicycle rentals are not available. It’s possible to travel on foot, as the town is small. If on foot, be very careful not to accidentally cross into areas quarantined by the Turkish army and/or the UN, as doing so risks arrest (they are all clearly signed). Taxis are a better (and safer) option for the independent traveler without a car. These are widely available and generally inexpensive for either point-to-point trips or local tours.

What to See
The old city is surrounded by one of the best preserved Venetian fortifications in the Eastern Mediterranean. There are plenty of medieval/renaissance buildings that can be visited. Unfortunately most of them were severely damaged during the Turkish siege of the city in 1571. Many cannon balls can still be seen in the fortification walls as well as in the walls of these buildings. Specially noteworthy are the Cathedral of St. Nicholas (converted to a mosque after the Ottoman conquest and re-named Lala Mustafa Paşa Mosque) and St. George of the Greeks church with its frescoes. There is plenty more to see if you stroll around the old town, where there is something of interest in almost every corner. The southern part of the modern city (internationally known as Varosha, Tr. Maraş, Greek Varosia) has been closed to public and is controlled by the Turkish military. You can see the now ruined area from the beach at Palm Beach Hotel, but be careful not to take photographs or get too close to the fenced area. There are also classical remains at the site of Salamis, located to the north of Famagusta as you travel towards İskele (Gr. Trikomo). The Late Bronze Age city of Enkomi (Tr. Tuzla) is also worth seeing.

 
What to Buy
Clothing and Souvenir
Famagusta offers a variety of shops from clothing and gifts to home stores. Most of the shops can be found along Salamis Road. Alternatively, the Old Town (inside the walls) have a number of specialised souvenir shops for those looking for handcrafted items or Cypriot lacework namely Lefkara to give away as gifts.

Although bargaining is not common, shoppers can get away with trying their luck with counter offers at the smaller souvenir shops. Cypriot hospitality means that they might even give you freebies.

Food and Grocery
Similar to rest of Cyprus, there are supermarkets / grocery shops selling fresh produce vegetables and fruit. In the city centre there are two supermarket chains offering wider selection of products to shoppers.

What to Eat
There is a wide variety of restaurants both in the old city as well as in the modern city. Those in the old city are mostly located around the Namık Kemal Square. D&B Cafe offers decent pizzas as well as kebabs. If you are a kebab fan visit Aspava located across the street. Newly opened Ginko Restaurant (in the now restored Medrese, or Ottoman religious school), offers a more varied menu. Monk’s Inn Bistro & Bar is delightful and offer a limited but well-prepared menu including hot and cold sandwiches if you just want something lighter.You can eat real Cypriot traditional home made food at Minder Restaurant which is located outside the walls, next to the persembe bazar (Thursday open market).

In the modern town, most restaurants and bars are located on the “Salamis Road”, heading from the monument at the entrance to the city towards Salamis.

What to Drink
Many bars are also located on Salamis Road. These bars on the main road are busy on summer nights with local people. Students take over the main bars and pubs during university term times.

In the Old Town of Famagusta, many people prefer Monk’s Inn Bistro and Bar, which gets very busy especially on the weekends. On the other side of the Namık Kemal Square are Hamam Inn which has a good view of the medieval cathedral, Es Café where you can enjoy nice chat with friends over refreshing Cypriot lemonade.

Famagusta Quayside (locally known as Palm Beach) has become very popular over the years since the restoration of the area. There are a number of cafés and restaurants to choose from offering alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.


Get out
Salamis an ancient town.
St. Barnabas monastery. One of the holiest in the entire island. It exhibits a museum of icons.

MUSEUMS

Although Famagusta is the ultimate party district, it also has a number of museums worth visiting. The Aqueduct, the Thalassa Museum are some of the key Historical Monuments of the area.

 

Official tourism websites of Famagusta

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