Agia Napa, Cyprus

Agia Napa was described to me as the South Beach of Cyprus. Party central for Europeans, in other words. It was also described to me as home to some of the bluest, most beautiful water in the Med. The first claim is not true, the second very well might be.

We headed out from Nicosia on Friday evening, following a jazz concert at the Embassy. It takes about an hour by car. Nothing on the island takes more than a few hours by car.

Agia Napa is a series of gorgeous beaches, warm water, and plenty of tourist infrastructure hugging the shore.

50% of tourists to Cyprus are British; some 20% are Russian. Agia Napa must be where all the Russians go. We saw more Russians than Brits, and our hotel staff were Russian as well.

It wasn’t crazy party central. Maybe because high season ended 1.5 – 2 months ago. The whole town’s tourists, but most are older or families.

Saturday I spent all day in a lounge chair on the sand on the beach, 20 feet from the water. The weather, as it’s been the whole trip, was simply perfect. McCullough’s Truman biography made an outstanding companion.

Thinking about other international beach experiences, it was more crowded than Costa Rica by far, less crowded than Odessa, Ukraine, and as crowded as Barcelona. And crowding / privacy is one of the main considerations, I think, when beach-going.

It’s worth walking the “strip” in Agia Napa to see the clubs and cafes and endless karoke bars. But the real action — or non-action, as you see it — is the beach. And it’s lovely.

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