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Area: 9,251 sq km
Capital: Nicosia
Language: Greek, Turkish
Currency: Euro
  Turkish Lira
Population: 784,301
Coastline: 648 sq km

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Protaras

A narrow coastal plain lining about 5 km northwest of Cape Greco to the east of Paralimni has been given the name "Protaras". It is a well-known tourist centre covered with many beautiful beaches.

A bit of history

Protaras as we can see it today is quite possibly the site of ancient Lefkolla, the small cove with fine-grained sand and the little island which was originally called "Fig Tree Bay" by the British. Visitors from abroad know little about the ancient town of Lefkolla that had formerly a role of a city-port. Mentioned by Strabo, the place is where Cesnola discovered artifacts of Greco-roman origins. This very site is one of the ancient sites on the island. A dozens of tiny islands groom the coast of Protaras , known locally as "Nissia". Recent excavations at Nissia showed 28 houses and a wall. Also pottery, stone implements as well as deer horns have been revealed. The settlement is dated to be Neolithic.

The church of Profitis Ilias

On a solitary top outcrop one can spot an isolated chapel of Profitis Ilias that is set in carved reddish limestone. The exterior of the church that we can see today was refurbished in 1984, on the foundations of the old church which had been lying in ruins. Small, elegant and with no extra ornaments, the church carries the Byzantine architecture, with plates built into the walls. The church houses a tiny iconostasis depicting the life of Christ. From the limestone outcrop one can experience a wonderful view.

Natural scenery

The coast lined with jagged and grafted cliffs and the bays, little isles and isolated pieces of rocks, sea caves and arches eroded by the waves, these are all natural peculiarities of Protaras. A nice picture of landscape refills a few scattered irrigated plots of fruit trees and vegetables. Thousands of windmills that still make a slight move under the gust of wind and plenty of ponds with frogs croaking at night complete a lovely atmosphere of the area.

Holidays in Protaras

The famous and much visited resort is supplied with ever-rising wall-to-wall hotels and restaurants. From mid-May onwards tourists travel to spend their holidays here, among them many Scandinavians and a few British families. Protaras is well-geared for couples and families with swimming pools, substantial enough to house the crowds. If you stay at one the hotels, recreation facilities like water-skiing and paragliding and other services are most handy. The holiday resort is studded with tourist apartments, catering facilities, souvenir shops, supermarkets, and many other tourist-related establishments.

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