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Find information on Paralimni in our Travel Guide covering sights, foods and nightlife plus more...
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Paralimni was a small, sleepy town until 1974 when large numbers of Greek Cypriots left Famagusta and came south over the new border created by partition. Although not on the beach itself, Paralimni is close to some of the best sandy beaches on the east coast of Cyprus. It is a good base from which to explore the north, as well as the south of the island.
Cyprus is a beautiful island and as it takes only two hours to travel its length it is possible to see most of its attractions in a fairly short time. Being fairly central on the eastern side of the island, Paralimni is ideally placed for sightseeing. There many fine sandy beaches offering safe bathing and a variety of water sports within a short distance of the town.
Paralimni appeals to most age groups with the exception of families with young children who may wish to be closer to the beach. There is a vibrant nightlife with many lively bars and restaurants.
The summer season begins in April when the temperature is a pleasant seventy degrees. This can soar to the high eighties from June until September. Winters are pleasant at sea level but it is the rainy season and there can be snow in the mountains.
Paralimni has suffered a little through haphazard planning and rapid expansion in 1974 when the island was partitioned. It does however retain some of its traditional charm particularly in the area around the main square. Even in areas where the architecture is mundane, residents beautify their homes with an amazing array of colourful gardens and terraces. There are no less than three churches in the square and an open air theatre. The oldest church now houses a museum containing religious robes and icons. There are many pavement cafes and small restaurants around the square and in the narrow winding streets.
The village of Dherinia is close to Paralimni and people visit here in order to view the ghost town of Famagusta, once a thriving tourist centre.
The beaches are one of Cyprus’s main assets and Paralimni is close to some of the best. Their fine gold and silver sands glisten in the bright sunshine and the clear blue sea invites more than a toe in the water. There are all kinds of water sports from water skiing to paragliding and from sailing to scuba diving.
A Paralimni holiday provides all the necessary ingredients for an enjoyable summer break.
Although the nightlife in Paralimni is lively, it retains a traditional atmosphere, unlike the frenetic evening entertainment in nearby Ayia Napa. Paralimni’s bars and restaurants offer pleasant evenings in friendly surroundings catering for families and couples of all ages.
Paralimni has good shopping facilities with boutiques and specialist shops. Cyprus excels in handcrafted goods and the government has recognised the value of this by creating the Cyprus Handicraft Service. Official shops compete with the unofficial shops but all of them sell quality goods at reasonable prices. Popular gifts and holiday mementoes are the embroidered linens, the Lefkara lace and ceramic pots.
There are some excellent restaurants in Paralimni serving a wide variety of food and catering for most tastes. Paralimni is well known for its tavernas selling delicious grilled fish.
The nearby coastal resorts have numerous bars and restaurants serving all manner of food. There are English and Irish pubs serving familiar fare for the less adventurous palate. Fish features prominently on all Cypriot menus with calamari, red mullet and sea bass being particularly popular. Halloumi, a cheese made from goat and sheep’s milk is an island speciality. It is often served grilled and served as an appetiser. The Cypriot equivalent of the Spanish tapas is mezze and it is a good way to sample the variety of local food.
Local wines are tasty and inexpensive.