Government in Cyprus is in support of Blue Flag program, which promotes clean and environmentally friendly beaches. This program is owned and run by one independent and non-profit organization, named Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). On the basis of implementing safety measures, service quality, environmentally friendly principles of water quality and sewage management, in addition to their unspoiled natural beauty, I have made a modest selection of 7 beaches.
Beaches listed as family friendly have been awarded with Blue Flag award, while the remaining beaches have been selected primarily due to their impressive natural beauty.
Family friendly beaches:
1. Dhekelia Beach (Larnaca) – located in village of Oroklini in Larnaca district. This is one of those beautiful, environmentally friendly gems that offer clean waters, sandy surroundings, safe environment (lifeguards), disabled access, bars and restaurants and is easily accessible on foot, bicycle or a car. Additional attractions are in form of water sports offered, such as: scuba diving, wind-surfing, fishing etc.
2. McKenzie beach (Larnaca) – located in Larnaca municipality, the beach starts shortly as you leave Larnaca airport, unfolding in front of you as you drive in the direction of the town. The beach is quieter version, compared to Phinikoudes beach, which is the main beach that fronts the promenade. McKenzie beach is known for its white sand, shallow and clean sea. On offer are vast selection of restaurants, tavernas, water-sports facilities (scuba diving, surfing) with good selection of small hotels and private apartments nearby.
3. Fig Tree Bay (Protaras) – based in Protaras District. This beach is named by British in remembrance of a lone, centuries old Fig Tree that grows just up from the Beach. This is a very popular beach in the Protaras District, for those who know about it. It was not sign-posted from nearby roads, so look for signs indicating location of Salparo Hotel apartments and that will bring you close to the beach itself. The beach offers water skiing facilities, paragliding or you can just enjoy its clean waters blending with sandy surroundings.
4. Nissi Beach (Ayia Napa) on a tranquil Nissi Bay is a magnificent sandy beach with calm, clean, eye catching turquoise sea waters and great views. Geographically it is configured in such a way that it is sheltered from the wind. Being only three kilometers away from Ayia Napa, it is much quieter then the town beach itself.
“Nature at it’s best” type of beaches:
5. Lara bay (Paphos) – located where developer’s hand has not yet fully reached, on the north-west coastal side of the island – on the Akamas Peninsula. Lara bay is situated on the Paphos side, approximately 8 km from Ayios Georgios. It is accessible only by 4×4 or by hiking. This is a ‘nature at its best’, almost deserted sandy beach. It is one of the few remaining havens for the green and loggerhead Turtle to nest. The beach is restricted in high summer as the turtles are nesting. Not recommended for children.
6. Coral Bay (Paphos) – is one of best known beaches in Western Cyprus. Being located in the Peyia Municipality of Paphos, the beach is about ten minutes drive from Paphos. The beach has a lovely long curved stretch of golden sand that falls in between two headlands. Shallow and calm waters offer safe swimming environment for swimmers-novices and children. For those looking for a water adventure, well equipped diving, water skiing and canoeing clubs are widely available.
7. “Relax” Beach (Pomos): This tiny Cyprus beach is tucked away in front of the equally tiny Pomos fishing harbour with its even tinier yet colourful fishing boats. Small but perfectly formed amid the rocks, the only other visitors you are likely to see will be a few locals outside of the busy summer months. Two tavernas on either side of the bay offer a selection of fresh, mouth watering, fish dishes. Driving down to Mansoura, on a clear day, breaks the view into a spectacular scenery of Morpou bay and the Kyrenian mountains, in the distance.