Cyprus; whitewashed chapels perching out over azure shores, narrows streets with blue shutters open wide and weathered gentlemen in village tavernas putting the world to rights over a zivania or two. A welcoming Mediterranean island just 5 hours flying time from the UK, Cyprus has a unique charm with a blend of Cypriot and Turkish influence. But Cyprus can do modern luxury rather well too.
The first thing that strikes you about Protaras Bay View Villa, a contemporary 6 bedroomed space on the east coast of the island is that it’s hard to tell where the ocean ends and the villa begins, and that’s exactly how they want it! With the doors to the living area slid right back presenting a tantalising composition of a long infinity pool that seems to stretch out into the turquoise waters beyond, bright blue skies above, this is a view that would take some tiring of.
The villa has been cleverly designed with lots of social areas plus spaces for a moment’s quiet reflection too; daybeds perfectly positioned for a morning coffee with a side order of ocean breeze, sun-loungers artfully arranged around the massive pool area, an al-fresco dining area with seating for fourteen and outdoor kitchen, plus comfy shaded areas to retreat to for an afternoon snooze.
A few minutes stroll from the villa and you’ll find a plethora of cosy tavernas mingling with fish restaurants set on the beach. Protaras Beach, known as Fig Tree Bay and said to be one of the best beaches in Europe (it picked up a Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Award in 2016). Like most of the beaches in Cyprus, Fig Tree Bay has Blue Flag status so you can expect good facilities. Strong swimmers can head to the rocky islet seen from the beach, hop onto jet-skis or even hire a speed boat to explore the area properly.
Protaras itself can offer an experience as authentic as you’d like it to be. Head up the hills to the Church of Profitis Elias with its 100m panoramic view over the town or keep it modern in the many shops, cafes and restaurants of the town. The picture perfect Agios Nikolaos church or the ‘little church of Saint Nicholas’ overlooking Louma beach with its white and blue domes so redolent of Cyprus is a popular wedding venue. And if you have energy to spare after the climb, take the coastal walkway from Protaras to Pernera, a modern boardwalk which is particularly pleasant in the evening as the sun begins to set.
Further afield, hedging towards Ayia Napa is the Cape Greco Forest National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty. With many hiking trails, Cape Greco is a haven for locals wanting to fish and tourists looking for a day of cycling, walking and exploring. The park’s many caves along its coastline are a big attraction, dive into the azure waters to reach the Palace and Smugglers caves.
Nearby Konnos beach is a hidden bay sheltered by the hillside dotted with pines, enjoy the ubiquitous water-sports and or take to the water on a floating sun lounger! For an even quieter option, the picturesque spots of Sirena Bay, Ayia Triada and Kapparis make for ideal swimming venues. And don’t be put off a visit to Ayia Napa itself as its pedestrianised harbour area and mellow vibe isn’t all its reputation suggests it to be! Right in the centre of Ayia Napa town is the Thalassa Museum, a modern marble, onyx, wood and metal building offering seven floors of paleontological, geological, archaeological and marine life exhibits, alongside special art exhibitions showcasing local work. One of the most popular exhibits at the museum is the The Kyrenia II ship, an enormous exact replica of its 400BC predecessor.
Back at Protaras Bay View Villa, the modern interior of the villa will no doubt be a welcome sight after a busy day of sightseeing. The lounge is bedecked with white leather sofas and wood burning sofa for if the nights turn a little cooler and like the outside, inside they’ve done their best to create lots of different relaxing spaces which is always good for multi-generational parties or when holidaying with friends. The very sleek chrome filled kitchen has everything you need to whip up a tasty Cypriot inspired meal, whilst the bathrooms and bedrooms wouldn’t look out of place in a boutique hotel. All in all, an extremely luxurious villa to spend your Cyprus holiday in.
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