Ten years ago AYIA NAPA was a sleepy fishing village , noted for its 16th. century monastery . Today it is arguably the busiest of all the island's seaside resorts and much development has taken place to provide accommodation and services for the thousands of visitors that throng the area in Summer .

In the centre of the village lies the MONASTERY OF AYIA NAPA , built by the Venetians behind strong stone walls .There is an attractive marble fountain covered by a dome resting on four pillars in the courtyard . The church of the monastery is partly underground and is entered by descending a flight of steps . From the small Latin chapel one can go down to the 600 year old Sycamore tree which stands next to a large cistern .

The sandy beaches of Ayia Napa resemble those of the now-inaccessible Famagusta and are a major attraction , those of Nissi Beach , Makronisos Beach , Sandy Beach and Ayia Napa Main Beach being the most popular . Eight kilometres to the East in the area known as Protaras lies another well-known beauty spot , that of Fig Tree Bay , famous for its wonderfully clear water and golden sands .

The Protaras area is dotted with windmills and visitors tend to cycle rather than walk or drive along the narrow roads . Not far from Cape Greco is the CHURCH OF PROPHITIS ELIAS perched high on an outcrop of rock , close to which a very attractive "holiday village" has been built .

Close to the village of Xylophagou , three kilometres west of Ayia Napa , is the picturesque fishing shelter of Potamos which is certainly worth a visit .

Ayia Napa is rapidly becoming as popular with The Cypriots as it is with foreign tourists as a holiday resort and the scenery of the district is changing all the time as new hotels and apartment blocks go up . The danger of over-development is not far away but it is hoped that the area's traditional character will not be sacrificed for commercial ends .