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Ayia Napa off limits February 29, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Ayia Napa, Cyprus News.
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The Mayor of Ayia Napa, a popular tourist resort in southeastern Cyprus, has called for a year-round ban on British troops based on the island following a string of violent incidents in the area involving soldiers.

The move came after nine British soldiers were charged with smashing up a bar and attacking locals. “Under the circumstances we believe it would be better if we declare the whole of Ayia Napa off limits to British soldiers from the bases,” Mayor Nakis Tsokkos said.


Ayia Napa sets sights on new marina September 22, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Cyprus Ayia Napa, Cyprus News.
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Ayia Napa is aiming to build a recreational marina in a bid to promote tourism in the area and bring a different range of visitors to the village.

According to the consortium, which comprises of private companies as well as the Famagusta Chamber of Commerce, the marina is to be built in the Louma area close to the Ayia Thekla church. The marina is set to hold a capacity of 600 boats of which 360 will be on the water and 240 will be docked on the pier.

Despite the relatively small size of the marina, officials are planning to extend the area and also construct buildings for various administrations such as police, customs, fire services as well as a warehouse for boats and a large parking space for cars.

Apartments overlooking the marina are also planned, as well as a futsal pitch, tennis court, shops, restaurants, swimming pools, a cinema and other recreational facilities, said Famagusta Chamber of Commerce secretary Iacovos Hadjivarnavas.

Yesterday, the consortium, which is aiming to secure government approval by next year, held a meeting at the Ayia Napa Municipality. Ayia Napa Mayor Antonis Tsokkos said that the government is still in the process of sorting out similar plans for the marina in Limassol but that he was hopeful that the new Ayia Napa marina plans will be next on the table.

“At this moment in time, the consortium is in discussions with the government and nothing has been signed yet”, he said. “The government is currently looking at the Limassol marina and we hope that the work for the Ayia Napa marina will be signed by some time next summer.”

Speaking about the impact the new marina would have on tourism in the area, he added, “The consortium’s aim for the new marina is a vision that is shared by the Municipality and it is a great chance for us to bring different ranges of tourism to the area for all seasons.”

Ayia Napa hopes for Guinness record September 17, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Ayia Napa, Greek Culture Heritage.
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The Cyprus’ tourist resort of Ayia Napa is seeking to enter the Guinness Book of World Records, having organised a half-kilometre-long Greek ”syrtaki” folk dance on Sunday.

A total of 268 members of eight dancing groups danced in step to ”Zorbas” on the sandy beach near the Ayia Napa harbour, giving the village a chance to enter the book of records.

Ayia Napa Mayor Antonis Tsokkos said the aim of the event was to send the message that the village was interested in Greek culture and to promote the tourist resort abroad.
Head of the cultural services of the Municipality Maria Tofini said that, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the dancers had to perform in synchonised step for the attempt to qualify.

The event drew the attention of tourists and locals, many of which danced to ‘‘Zorbas” on the beach and in the sea.

Time to bring families back to Ayia Napa? August 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Ayia Napa.
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As the world’s clubbers have moved on, is it time for what was once Cyprus’ hottest resort to look to new markets to keep afloat?

A plan to change the face of Ayia Napa is causing widespread debate among business owners and employees in the area. Two camps seem to have been established, with business-owners and residents on one side and pub and club owners on the other. And while the two sides remain at loggerheads over which type of tourist is best for the area, it is painfully apparent that their sheer number is nowhere near what it used to be.

Ayia Napa earned a notorious reputation around five years ago as one of the best holiday destinations for clubbing youths. Millions of tourists poured into the once sleepy fishing village and boosted by their cash, the village, almost overnight, grew into one of the hottest holiday resorts in Europe.

That has all since changed. Some say this is for the best while others argue it spells the end for Ayia Napa. The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) is well aware of the falling arrivals and has started an advertising campaign on large television networks including Eurosport, Euronews and CNN to lure family tourists to the island.

Christopher Avgousti, who co-owns Spangles Boutique, is in favour of the changes that are currently taking place in Ayia Napa. “There appears to be a plan in process to upgrade the village and bring a better quality of tourist,” he said. “Work is already underway to build a marina and a golf course and it is my belief that this project will not happen overnight. It appears that the new Mayor is doing a good job.

“The days of the eighties and nineties are gone. I have been in the village for quite a long time and have noticed that during those decades we got a lot of kids coming to the area. That caused problems because they weren’t bringing the right sort of business and let us not forget the serious issues of crime that was occurring because of them.”

But Avgousti believes government money is not being spent in the right way. “The CTO, in my opinion, have a lot to answer for because they are spending too much advertising Cyprus. How do they expect to pull tourists advertising on a network such as CNN? That money, which the CTO could also get from an EU grant, could be spent on upgrading the village.”

CTO Tourism Manager, Lefkos Fylaktidis claims that Ayia Napa has received a good amount of tourists, especially for the months of July and August, but that one of the aims is to make the seaside resort a year-round destination. He is also underlined the effort being made to change the image of Ayia Napa. “The municipality is slowly, slowly working towards bringing back families and older tourists not just for the summer period but for all the seasons,” he said. “The CTO is currently aiming to bring other types of tourists to the area such as locals from Nicosia and Limassol as well as people from Israel.”

Commenting on the youth scene in Ayia Napa, Fylaktides confirmed that the Municipality was in fact in league with the police to bring an end to the club and pub scene for youngsters. “For the last few years, there has been an effort underway to stamp out certain types of people visiting the area,” he said.

“During the years 2001 to 2003, Ayia Napa became notorious for its club scene and we had an influx of clubbing youths and people related to the garage scene. This, in turn, created problems because the families on holiday there were being driven out by the youths because they were rowdy, they would cause public affray and lots of noise. Pub crawling was also a massive problem because the youths would get very drunk and get into fights.”

But not everyone in Ayia Napa is in agreement with the new approach. Tony, one of the head entertainers at the popular Bedrock Pub close to the square, described the new facelift to Ayia Napa as a “disaster”, going as far to say that the Municipality in Ayia Napa is running amok with their new scheme.

“I have been here for around 15 years and I am still here to witness the destruction of Ayia Napa,” he said. “Everybody is scared to speak out against the Municipality and as a result they are doing what they want.”

Tony says the customers who he is paid to make sure have fun have been keeping Ayia Napa afloat all these years. “Napa is dying because they have got rid of the young people. Whether they like to know this or not, it is the drinkers that are the big money spenders. These are the people with the money.”

He also accused the Municipality of using connections with the police to lean down hard on the pubs as a way of ousting out their customers. “The police are now calling on all pubs to be shut by 1.30am,” he said. “Why? If I was on holiday with my wife and was having a laugh in a pub, I might not want to go to a club at 1.30am. I might wanna stay at the pub and drink. What the hell is the point of switching on the lights, turning off the music at 1.30am and telling the customers who are enjoying themselves ‘Get out, we’re closing!’”

He added, “The Ayia Napa board is trying to get what they want instead of what they can get. That is the biggest problem here.”

However, there is one issue that all business owners and employees agree on: their unhappiness with the recent influx of Israeli tourists to the area. Boutique shop owner Avgousti pinpointed the Israelis as being the worst tourists, along with the Swedes.

“They have never seem to spend any money. All the other nationalities, like the Finns, Danes, Norwegians and the British, are great. For example, I have seen Swedish women wandering the streets with football shorts or dresses. Where are there pockets? Where do they keep their money? They don’t even have money to buy a bottle of water. The same goes for the Israeli tourists. They have zero money!”

In rare agreement, Tony added, “All the good customers have now f****d off to Ibiza and we have been left with hardly anyone except Israelis! The place is swarming with Israelis and they don’t have any money. What are you gonna do with people like that?”

Cyprus > Famagusta July 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Ayia Napa.
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The golden sandy beaches of the tree, non-occupied, Ammochostos district gently embrace the eastern coiner of the island.

The popular holiday resorts of Agia Napa, Protaras 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 Agia 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 is the main potato producing area on the island, and 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.

PARALIMNI > Since the Turkish military occupation of Ammochostos in July 1974, this small town has become the temporary administrative centre of the district. The twin aisled vaulted church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Panagia, 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 are also to be found in the area.

AGIA NAPA > Originally a fishing village it 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 partly underground and 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 Marine Life Museum can be found within the premises of the Agia Napa Municipality.

DERYNEIA > The village has three interesting churches; the small domed 17th century church of Agios Georgios, the 15th century Agia Marina church, and a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary with excellent 1 7th century icons.

From this village one may gaze on the ‘ghost city’ of Ammochostos, now under occupation by the Turkish military forces. Once the most popular holiday resort in Cyprus, Ammochostos lies desolate since 1974 as all its inhabitants are now refugees.

SOTIRA > There are five Byzantine Churches of considerable importance as regards their architectural style and the beauty of the masonry. The church of Agios Mamas lies at the eastern entrance to the village. It dates back to the early 16th century, as do most of its surviving wall paintings. About one kilometre to the west is the cruciform church of Panagia Chordakiotissa, the church of Agios Georgios Chortakion and the church of Agios Theodoros, of which only the narthex survives. In the centre of the village lies the church of the Metamorphosis tou Sotiros (13th -16th centuries), which displays excellent examples of post-Komninian art (early 13th century). In the centre of the village is a small Ecclesiastical Museum.

LIOPETRI > Here is a 16th century church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the 15th century church of Agios Andronikos, with an octagonal dome and murals which can still be distinguished in the apse. Liopetri still carries on the traditional craft of basket-making.

FRENAROS > 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.

POTAMOS, or river, LIOPETRIOU > A picturesque fishing refuge. Nearby are the remains of a Venetian watch-tower. The French poet Arthur Rimbaud worked in this area in the 1880s.

Related Links > http://www.visitcyprus.com

The Castle Club, Ayia Napa, Cyprus June 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Ayia Napa.
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As the club scene in Ayia Napa develops, new clubs emerge and old ones transform. The Castle remains one of the biggest clubs on the island, with three arenas, one for house and garage, one for old skool, and one for drum ‘n’ bass. Resident DJs Brandon block and Alex P are often joined by big names such as Paul Oakenfold and Jeremy Healy.

The decor here is, suprisingly, in the style of a massive castle, with two floors of house, garage and drum and bass pumping through their brand new sound systems. Big names such as Paul Oakenfold, Brandon Block, Alex P and Jeremy Healy are frequent guests and top promoters are also well in on the act. The menu looks as impressive as always with nightly offerings in each of the three arenas and Radio 1 parties in June and July and Ministry of Sound visiting too.

At the moment however, and according to our information, the weekly line-up looks like: Mondays: Arena 1: House featuring Brandon block and Alex P, Arena 2: Sun City garage, Genius, and Blakey and Arena 3: Sun City R&B. Tuesdays: Arena 1: Gods Kitchen, John Kelly, Lisa Lashes, Lisa Loud, Arena 2: Garage EZ, Matt jam, Mike ruff cut, Norris and Creed and Arena 3: Gods club classics. Wednesdays Arena 1: Ministry of Sound, MJ Cole, Jason Kaye, Masterstepz, Arena 2: Ministry (R&B), Matt White, Sola Ama , Carl Brown, and Swing and Arena 3: Ministry (Alternative).

The week goes on…Thursdays: Arena 1: Sun City (garage) pay as u go, Pied Piper, and Viper, Arena 2: Slinky (house) and John Kelly and Arena 3: Sun & City (R&B), Scott Bond, Brandon & Alex, and Anne savage.Fridays:Arena 1: Carl Cox, Tall Paul, Danny Rampling , basement jaxx, Arena 2: (drum & bass) Goldie, Roni Size, BBC Radio live, Fabio & Groove and Arena 3: Club classics.

For those with any energy for the weekends…Saturdays means Arena 1: MTV (dancefloor /escape), Arena 2: MTV Trevor Nelson (Base) EZ and Arena 3: MTV (Base) and Sundays: Arena 1 :(house) rapture TV, Erick Morillo, Jim shaft Ryan, and Jeremy Healy. Arena 2 :(R&B) Dodge, Nick Smood, Dane bowers, Missteq and Arena 3: Club classics.

May to September 2007, The Castle Club, Gregori Afxentiou Street (in Ayia Napa’s main square), Ayia Napa, Cyprus. Tel 23 722286, e-mail castleclub@cytanet.com.cy

Wonderful Ayia Napa November 12, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Ayia Napa, Testimonials.
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An email received > (all real names changed for personal protection and privacy purposes)


Thank you Ayia Napa for yet another wonderful holiday.
Our apartment was situated on the seafront with magnificent views stretching from Cape Greco, across the bay all the way to the harbour. Your restaurants are first class, not only for the food but also for the service and the friendliness of the staff. 

Mr and Mrs Ayia Napa visitors
Paignton, Devon, UK