Protaras geared to the fun-loving

Protaras and its neighbour Pernara were once separate village but are now linked by a plethora of holiday hotels, karaoke bars and fast-food restaurants following an explosion of tourism along this once sleepy stretch of coastline. Protaras is a less frenzied version of Ayia Napa, more suited to couples and families. though that hasn't prevented the inevitable downmarket slide into tackiness that seems an inevitable partner of popularity.

Most of the all-in holiday hotels are packed along the shoreline strip and heavily geared to satisfying the needs of the package tour market.

The long, sandy beaches at Protaras are the main attraction and are as good as anywhere on Cyprus.

Sands are more spread out than at Ayia Napa so it doesn't feel quite as overcrowded and claustrophobic, but sleepy village resort this isn't.

Protaras  Ayiatrias

The facilities in Protaras are squarely aimed at the fun-loving and there are as many hotels as you can shake a stick at — around 200 at the last count.

Shops, restaurants and bars clutter the main street that runs right through Protaras centre and though adequate, restaurant menus are uniformly unimaginative and the service justifiably jaded given the huge numbers being served.

What is sadly missing from Protaras is any sort of natural shade. Blistering heat pours from the vast acreage of concrete with barely a tree in sight.

At night the resort is a cacophony of sound as pubs and clubs compete for attention in a contest that no one will ever win, but no one wants to lose.

On the outskirts of Protaras is the church of Ayios Ilias, a small attractive stone building on top of a rocky crag. It is well worth a climb to the top where there is a panoramic view of Protaras and the surrounding countryside.


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