The south-eastern coast of Cyprus houses some of the best-known holiday destinations around, and Protaras, the purpose-built resort, is one of them.
As such, it is a thriving tourist area and has a bit of everything to suit everybody. It is home to one of the best beaches in the whole country, making it both lively and family-friendly, appealing to children and adults alike. And, if you really want to cut loose, Ayia Napa is a mere 10 minutes down the road.
Protaras has a traditional Mediterranean climate, meaning the warm sunshine can be enjoyed pretty much the whole year-round. In the summer months, temperatures peak at around 35°C and you can expect around 12 hours of sunlight per day.
January is the coldest time of the year, when temperatures can fall to just 7°C at night-time, but average wintertime temperatures are a far more pleasant 17°C.
Those of you braving the summer months and finding yourselves there in June will no doubt run into the Festival of Kataklysmos that takes place on the beach. This annual water festival, including boat races, swimming, singing and folk dancing, offers a great excuse for people to throw water over one another.
If you want to stay a little drier, springtime brings with it Anthestiria, a flower festival that includes a parade where the streets are taken over by florally decorated floats.
This part of Cyprus is renowned for its beautiful array of beaches. The most famous, and therefore most popular, of these is Fig Tree Bay. Adventurous swimmers can even explore the rocky island that sits just a few hundred meters from the beach.
If you’d prefer to avoid the summer crowds, you’ll find Green Bay less packed. The facilities and options are sparse when compared to its bigger brother, but if all you’re looking for is a quiet(ish) spot to lay your head and take a leisurely dip, this will likely be more up your street.
Want some fantastic food and don’t mind booking in advance? The nearby La Cultura Del Gusto is highly popular and fashionable, as well as having an innovative menu on-hand.
An international line-up of cuisines can be found on Protaras Avenue, the town’s main street, ranging from Mexican, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and, of course, Greek-Cypriot dishes. To sample some local cuisine, head over to Cypriot Taverna and order the meze to get a little bit of everything.
There’s no shortage of DJs, live bands, karaoke and even Elvis impersonators.
The Love Boat is far better than its name suggests, with friendly staff, live acts and potent cocktails. If that doesn’t sound right for you, the sleek Bliss Bar, with its onyx bar and white sofas, might be more your kind of cool.
Before turning into a tourist resort, it was largely uninhabited and therefore Protaras is a little short on cultural significance. The landscape does however feature a vast assembly of windmills, which does add character to the back-drop.
It is also believed, based on artefacts uncovered that date back to the Greco-Roman era, that the ancient town of Leukolla used to sit where Protaras now does.
In addition to Fig Tree Bay being quite gorgeous, it is also the main hub for water sports in the area, including surfing, jet-skiing, paragliding, water-skiing, and naturally, banana boats.
It is also one of the most popular diving destinations in the country, with Green Bay in particular being very popular among first-time scuba-divers.
Traversing Protaras on foot is fairly easy; pretty much everything you could need is within a 25-minute walk and there’s a wooden pathway parallel to the sea that runs from Protaras to Pernera. There are also taxis and buses also available.
The climate is typically Mediterranean and due to its location can work out as one of the hottest parts of the region during the summer. Summers are hot and dry (they can be completely rainless from May - mid-September), the summer skies are generally cloudless. Inland the Troodos and Kyrenia mountain ranges are refreshingly cooler. During the winter months, the weather is still pleasant although some rainfall may be experienced with anywhere between 117 - 133mm for Dec and Jan. Cyprus is generally a very sunny island, this goes for winter too with the sun out for approximately 6 hours per day. In summer there can be 12 to 13 hours of sun per day.