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FAMAGUSTA - Areas Of Interest


Paralimni - 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.

The 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 Protaras.

This 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.

The 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.


Ayia Napa
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.


Potamos Liopetriou
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.


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