Translated as “By the Lake”, Paralimni is a historic town originally built on the shores of a shallow lake, which has since been reclaimed for agricultural purposes. It’s now one of the largest towns in the Famagusta district, with a family-friendly aquarium and several beaches among its attractions.
Things to do in Paralímni
Perched atop a hill south-east of Paralimni is the Church of Profitis Ilias, a charming Greek Orthodox church constructed in 1984 on the site of a Byzantine chapel. Climb the 156 stairs that lead to its stone entrance and soak up the panoramic views across Fig Tree Bay, then step inside to admire the icons and paintings depicting scenes from the Bible that decorate the interior.
If you’re travelling with kids, don’t miss a visit to the Protaras Ocean Aquarium, which is home to more than 1,000 marine animals and a lush tropical garden. Get up close to sea turtles, Humboldt penguins and Nile crocodiles while exploring the aquarium’s underwater worlds. Afterwards, spot colourful macaws, North American raccoons and green monkeys in the rainforest exhibit.
A short stroll from the Protaras Ocean Aquarium is Trinity Beach, a picturesque stretch of golden sand watched over by a whitewashed church. You can rent sun loungers and umbrellas or take a dip in the warm Mediterranean waters, with undersea scooters offered by the team at Undersea Adventures. Around a rocky headland lies Malama Beach, which is a popular spot for snorkelling.
Getting around Paralímni
Paralimni is around 45 minutes’ drive from the centre of Larnaca and 35 minutes from Larnaca International Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe and the Middle East. Regular buses connect Paralimni to towns and villages across Famagusta while the centre of town is compact enough to explore on foot.