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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

Cyprus: Agia Napa

Agia Napa beach
Agia Napa beach might be smothered in seaweed in the off-season, but you can still see its potential

It didn't matter to us that Agia Napa1 is stuck right out on the remote southeast coast of Cyprus, a long way from anywhere else, and neither did it bother us that we'd chosen the coldest and wettest February on record to visit it. We didn't care because we weren't coming to Agia Napa to lie on the beach, get bombed and embarrass ourselves in a pool of vomit; instead, we were going there to see others do it. If there's one thing Agia Napa has, it's a reputation for utter hedonism, and where hedonism thrives, hilarity is sure to follow.

The Dèus Bar, Agia Napa
The Dèus Bar, which proudly boasts 'EastEnders' as one of its attraction

Chill-out Zone

Peta on Agia Napa beach under an umbrella
Relaxing on the beach at Agia Napa

If the summer is Agia Napa's Saturday night, then the winter is most definitely its Sunday morning. The whole place is asleep, and although there are signs of life, they're hard to spot, and they're a mile away from the foreign tourist trade. Agia Napa in the off-season is definitely a chill-out zone, sometimes literally.

A restaurant menu
A typical Agia Napa menu, packed to the gills with junk food and lard

Come Down

The harbour at Agia Napa
The harbour at Agia Napa, where the party boats sit out the winter rain

I presume that driving north out of Agia Napa is something that few visitors bother to do; if they do, then they probably get as hopelessly lost as we did, and although I like a nice drive along the beach, it can get a little boring if you can't actually see the coast for hotels, fast food joints, and some stunning examples of why the architects who designed Cyprus's premier resort should be forced to explain themselves. Luckily we did end up eventually reaching the little town of Deryneia, some 10km north of Agia Napa, and I'm very glad we did.

Agia Napa's Queen Vic Inn
Agia Napa's Queen Vic Inn sums up the soap opera of Cyprus's hedonistic capital

1 Before the government changed the names of places in Cyprus, Agia Napa was written Ayia Napa, which is the way most tour operators write it, the way most dance compilations write it, and the way you say it. Agia is pronounced 'Aye-ee-ah' and is Greek for saint, ironically enough given Agia Napa's image.