From the crystal clear waters of the southeast coast of Cyprus to the verdant green forests of the mountainous heart of the island (Machairas Forest), the Blue Route has it all. The route starts in the Famagusta region and includesProtaras, Cape Greko and Ayia Napa, all found within a 15-minute drive radius.
Enjoy a swim in crystal waters or a sail on yachting destinations, relax on the sandy beaches, venture into sea caves and have fun with sea sports and Waterparks, or explore the Mediterranean ocean with diving experiences. Experience amazing sunsets, followed by a cosmopolitan nightlife.
Follow the route to Larnaca City, a walkable city, since you can explore this charming city on foot. Walk along the Finikoudes Beach, watch the ships sail on the Promanade or enjoy a coffee, delicious food and traditional cuisines in the cafes, restaurants and taverns that stretch along the seafront. Walk long Piale Pasha street to Mackenzie Beach, where nightlife thrives or continue to the Salt Lake for a unique experience. Alternatively, form Finikoudes walk to the city’s square and for a refreshing shopping experience.
Drive along the sea front, via the old Larnaca Limassol Road E321, and visit the fishing village of Zygi for a taste of the freshest and best seafood on the island at the local taverns by the Harbour. From there set out to the mountainous area of Larnaca.
Discover tradition, nature and charm in the quaint villages, decorated by narrow cobbled streets dotted along the mountains of the area. Discover the most famous tradition of the island, handmade lace embroidery practiced at the village of Lefkara, as well as the delicate filigree silver. Continue on to Kato Drys, Tochni and Skarinou and enjoy picturesque tranquil nature encased in history and traditions. Experience Agrotourism at the many accommodations found in the mountainous area of Larnaca. Witness the rural life of the island, taste traditional cuisine at the taverns, sample exquisite local wine at the wineries, venture on to Nature trails and Dams and discover the islands flora and fauna. For the sport lovers the route offers a unique cycling experience. Meet the locals and experience authentic hospitality. Learn about the island’s history at UNESCO Heritage sites. Along the route find activities such as the Camel Park and the Golden Donkey Farm for fun filled day.
End your adventure at the Machairas Monastery and Machairas Forest. See up close Ecclesiastical Treasures such as unique frescoes. At the Monastery experience the Greek Orthodox faith, housed in magnificent architecture ensuing tranquility and peace. Talk to monks and learn about the religion and the island’s history. All while being surrounded by a verdant forest. Explore the surrounding nature at Nature Trails and enjoy a picnic at the picnic sites.
The crown jewel of the area is Fig Tree Bay, where on the headland of the bay, the recently revealed glass-covered Hellenistic tombs are distinguished. Activities such as water sports include skiing, paragliding, snorkeling and scuba diving, or for a more relaxing experience hop on to one of the boats waiting along the piers for an unforgettable trip in the Mediterranean ocean. Enjoy sunset strolls or bicycle rides on the promenade, visit the picturesque harbors of Agia Triada and Agios Nicolaos. Venture on to nature trails for seamless views of the vast sea, discover rare species of flora and fauna and unearth some history at small chapels dotted along the coast. Visit the chapel of Agioi Saranta set in a mountain cave or the Agios Ioannis chapel hidden in a valley. For a breathtaking view of Protaras climb up the 153 step hill to the chapel of Profitis Elias.
Enjoy a wide range of restaurants, taverns and pubs fit for every taste bud. Have a relaxing coffee at the local cafes or dance away the night at the clubs. Take your pick from the many hotels and self-catering apartments available to cater all your needs and demands.
We recommend the Agioi Anrgyroi- Thlassines Spilies (Sea Caves) trail which takes an hour and a half to complete, which begins at the whitewashed quaint chapel of Agioi Anargyroi and takes you long the coast to the magical sea caves, passes by the ‘Kamara tou Koraka’ natural bridge. For a shorter circular trial, the Aphrodite trail, takes you on a 3km long walk along the coast. If you are looking for a challenge, trek along the circular sea cave route, past rugged, bumpy and steep peaks. Regardless which trail you choose, the spectacular views of the crystal blue waters, merging into tall rocks and wild nature are guaranteed to take your breath away. Alternatively, cycle through the designated paths and enjoy the coast on wheels!
Mirroring the surrounding nature, the unique building of the Cape Greko Environmental Center found in the area, houses information and exhibitions of the land and marine ecosystem of the Cape Greko peninsula. Visit it to discover the aquariums and exhibitions and learn more about the nature of the island.
Experience firsthand the marine life of the Mediterranean Sea by going for a dive or snorkeling in the deep blue underwater of the coast. Visit the historic 19 th century lighthouse of the area or visit the picturesque beach of Konnos. The Blue Flag awarded beach of Konnos, comprises steep pine covered slopes merge into the crystal clear waters. Enjoy the breathtaking view from the top, or walk along the pine filled pathways to the beach. From there access the National Forest Park, which belongs to the Natura 2000 network.
End your days in Kavos (Cavos) watching the sun go down taking in the breathtaking view of the region.
Take in the sun at one of the 14 golden beaches, swim in the turquoise crystal waters all awarded with a Blue Flag, and have some fun with all the waters sports offered at the beach. Alternatively, sail around the coast of Ayia Napa in one of the cruises available. For the more adventurous visitors, the wild nature can be explored at one of the hiking or biking nature trails, with copious of unique flora and fauna.
Discover the rich history of the island at Makronissos Archeological Tombs, learn more about the ecclesiastical background at the Monastery, the Old and New Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary or discover the small rural chapels and churches dotted around the area. Other activities include the Municipal Museum ‘ Thalassa’, the Venetian Aqueducts, the Love Bridge and the famous ‘I Love Ayia Napa’ sculpture located at the Central square. Take in the salty air at the picturesque Harbor and enjoy the vast blue ocean.
Apart from the nature and history the town has to offer, Ayia Napa offers a cosmopolitan life. Visit one of the many restaurants and taverns guaranteed to satisfy any taste bud with local and international cuisines available, or experience the famous Ayia Napa nightlife for some fun and pleasure at the pubs and nightclubs. Finally take a stroll around the trendy boutiques and souvenir shops for a special shopping experience.
Dive into a mythical journey with family and friends at the WaterWorld Waterpark. Create unforgettable memories filled with fun and adventure more than 30 waterslides inspired by Ancient Greece and attractions fit for all ages! The biggest themed waterpark in Europe, awaits for you for a fun filled day or to celebrate any occasion. Take a break at the restaurant, offering a wide selection of food, or refresh yourselves at the beverage outlets.
The heart of the city is the coastline of Finikoudes, with a promenade where ships sail in and away and a coast lined with tall palm trees, making it a reference point for the city. There you will find restaurants, cafes and pubs where you can enjoy a meal, a drink or your coffee with picturesque views. Take a stroll on the pier and feel the salty air as you watch the ships sail away. Walk along Piale Pasha, pass the ancient castle where you will stumble across quaint neighborhoods and fish taverns, which offer fresh fish by the sea. Continue on to Kastela Beach, a Blue flag awarded beach offering all amenities. Next to it is Mackenzie beach, a coast lined with clubs and restaurants which come to life at night and offer a chance to dance the night away by the sea. There you can encounter the unique experience of airplanes landing and taking off to all parts of the world!
Parallel to Finikoudes beach, is the shopping center. High street shops, boutiques and souvenir shops are bustling with life and offer goods suitable for all tastes. Just a few minutes walking distance away is the magical Salt Lake, where during winter and spring it’s colored in pink by the flocks of flamingos that visit each year. Walk along the nature trail by the lake and enjoy the wild nature and picturesque views of the lake. A notable site near the Lake is the Hala Sultan Mosque, an important place of pilgrimage for Moslems.
In the heart of the city is the Saint Lazaros Church, the city’s patron saint. Walk around the square and admire the rich history it has to offer. At the start of Finikoudes beach find the Europe square, decorated with a fountain and lined by neoclassical buildings which house municipal authorities. Often events and bazaars are held at the square. In the shopping center, you will find Ermou Square, surrounded by cafes and shops, offering the cosmopolitan air of a European city.
Surrounded by fishing taverns, many of which offer children’s facilities, Zygi’s fishing shelter is the ideal location to enjoy the freshest fish by the sea. Take a stroll after your meal or a traditional fishing trip and learn firsthand the tales the fishermen have to tell while demonstrating traditional fishing methods.
Just 20 minutes before you approach Zygi, visit the Mazotos Camel Park, for a memorable experience.
At the village visit the several churches, a notable one is the unique church on a bridge. Above the “Arkatzin” (river), which traverses the village, is the Saint Constantine and Helen church, said to have been founded by Saint Helen herself. Find the Ecclesiastical Museum next to the church and admire the exhibits which include religious relics, silver and bronze sacred vessels, a piece of the Holy Cross and a grand cross.
The small village of Skarinou merges this traditional architecture with modernization, all adorned with lush natural beauty. Walk along the streets of the village and admire the women embroidering or knitting in their courtyards, making the local cheese of halloumi and learn bout the traditions, culture and customs of the island. Visit the church of Guiding Virgin Mary standing proud at the village entrance, the chapels of Saint George and Apostole Loucas. Find the ‘Environmental Information Centre of Larnaca Mountainous Area’ and learn more about the 18 rural areas of the Larnaca region. Discover the symbolic animal for the island, at the Golden Donkey Farm and the Dipotamos Donkey Farm, enjoy a ride with the donkeys and sample donkey milk. Discover also the Donkey milk beauty products and learn about its unique properties.
Visit the Rural Museum and the Bee and Embroidery Museum, as well as the churches of Panagia Eleouesa, dating back to the 15 th century, and Agios Charalambos , dating back to the early 19 th century. During the summer months the village hosts the biggest summer music festival, ‘Feggaros’, taking place annually during July.
Trail along the winding quaint narrow streets, framed by traditional, terracotta roofed old houses. Meet the local women who often sit outside their homes creating the renowned ‘Lefkaritiko’ lace, a tradition dating back to Venetian times and part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Learn more about this historic tradition and the craft of filigree silver pieces at the Lefkara Handicraft Centre, the Museum of Traditional Embroidery and Silversmithing, watch the craftsmen t work or have a go at creating one at the various workshops. Unearth historic sites such as the old fountain, the old aquaduct, the old olive mill or take a stroll amongst olive tree orchards at Oliva Terra –Ktima Sofokleous, and learn about the island’s ‘liquid gold’. For a sample of the religious roots of the island, visit the Timios Stvros church and the chapel of Archangel Michael in Kato Lefkara, where you can admire frescoes dating back to the 12 th and 15 th century. For the sport lovers follow the linear nature trail or the designated cycling routes, immersing yourselves in the verdant nature surrounding the village.
If you find yourselves in the village during the month of August, be sure to visit the annual Lefkara Festival, enjoy handicraft exhibitions, dance shows and theatre to the tunes of music programs.
Travel just 4km north of the village to find the Lefkara Dam. Holding the title as one of the biggest dams in Cyprus, with a capacity of 14 million cubic meters of water, it is a picturesque location. The landscape is reminiscent of a Swiss lake of Norwegian fiord, as it offers visitors the chance to admire trouts and cyprines or look out for ‘mirofores’ and narcicuss on the surrounding hills. Grab the opportunity to enjoy a picnic by the lake, hike or cycle and enjoy the untouched nature.
Discover the churches and chapels dotted around the village, such as Holy Church of Saint George, built in 1912, and the first church built in the village in 1850, the church of the All Holy Mother of God, which is under the protection of the Antiques Department.
Venture on to the two nature trails offered at the village, The Athasia nature trail or the Karbounarka Nature trail, and enjoy the wild nature, discover endemic flora and fauna and fill your lungs with fresh air. Take in panoramic views of the horizon and the Larnaca mountainous area. If you are up to the challenge take your mountain bike and follow the cycling route to Machairas.
Having survived many fires, the present church found in the centre of the courtyard, dedicated to the Virgin Mary if Machera, was rebuilt in 1892. Housed inside is the miraculous icon, attributed to Apostle Luke. Admire the 19-meter-high bell tower built in 1900, as well as the wood carved iconostasi crafted on 1919-1921 by Georgios Kyriakou. Below the monastery are the original monk’s cells, stable and storage area. Unearth the collection of old books, manuscripts, icons and religious artefacts. The historic monastery ensues tranquillity and peace, where visitors must enter in silence, properly attired and follow the monks’ instructions.
Immerse yourselves in one of the largest forests of the island the Machairas forest. Part of the forest has been declared as a Special Protection Are and an Important Bird Area (IBA), as it houses many unique species of flora and fauna. It is traversed by the rivers Pediaiod and Gialia, which enhance the natural beauty of the forest.
Discover the ophiolitic igneous rocks, dating 90 million years old and the Mediterranean flora, including the golden oak, pine, endemic yolk, mushrooms, anemones and other plants. With 3 picnic sites available, take the chance to enjoy a snack or meal surrounded by verdant natural surroundings. Venture on the five available nature trail and soak up panoramic views of the region. For cyclists grasp the opportunity to travel along the bicycle routes.
Near the forest discover the historic ‘Stavraetou Machaira’ hideout of the EOKA fighter Grigoris Afxentiou, who was burned alive inside during the liberation fight 1955-59.
An attraction point for both locals and visitors, Machairas offers immense natural beauty, lush natural surrounding and rich religious and historic artefacts.