With an emphasis on accessibility, the closest European island to the GCC boasts 57 Blue Flag beaches, making it the ideal getaway destination for a long-weekend
GCC residents in search of a quick getaway to cooler climates need look no further than the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which offers 57 award-wining beaches and crystal clear waters stretching across its dramatic coastline.
Within a three-four hour flight from the region, Cyprus provides the ideal long-weekend getaway to relax and unwind on the closest European destination to the GCC. Boasting 57 Blue Flag beaches, the island’s shores have been recognised internationally by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) for providing good quality waters, adequate environmental management, numerous health and rescue services, and accessibility for people with reduced mobility.
The island consistently receives accolades and top rankings for its water quality and safety, and has been crowned ‘Cleanest Bathing Waters in Europe,’ with a consistent 100% score, year after year. Committed to providing visitors with unforgettable experiences, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), which organises and promotes tourism within the Republic of Cyprus, actively encourages facilities for those with disabilities, priding itself with upholding 47 accessible beaches, with 26 fully accessible and 21 partially accessible.
CTO’s Acting Director General, Mr Marinos Menelaou, said: “For those who love the Mediterranean we offer a chance for all to enjoy the mild temperatures, warm waters and mesmerising Blue Flag beaches of Cyprus. Our beautiful coastline is for the enjoyment of everyone, and we pride ourselves in providing accessibility across some of Europe’s best beaches.”
Discover some of the islands top five accessible sapphire gems:
Coral Bay Beach
One of the loveliest coasts in Pafos enclosed by a pair of limestone headlands with abundant greenery. The beach stretches 500-metres and is known for its deep golden sands, as well as calm and shallow clean waters. A fully accessible beach perfect for the whole family with a variety of restaurants, fish taverns, cafes, bars, kiosks and accommodation in the area. Open daily through 31 October from 11am-5:30pm.
Akti Olympion A Beach
One of Cyprus’ most accessible beaches began as a thin strip of pebbly sand but now, after much regeneration, its dark grey sands and clean waters are transformed with plenty to see and do. The sea remains calm thanks to breakwaters on the adjacent promenade, making it suitable for all, including families with children. The pier of Enaerios is a popular square offering benches in a grassy area with lush trees. A fully accessible beach with free access to floating wheelchairs and Seatrac. Open daily through 31 October from 9am–5pm.
A short drive from Larnaca International Airport, the highly-popular beach is a one kilometre long strip with fine sands of varying shades, calm, clear and shallow seawaters, and stunning greenery. The beach offers a wide array of water sports, children’s playgrounds, and outdoor exercise equipment, as well as nearby restaurants and nightclubs. Concerts are held on the seafront stage throughout the year, while arts fairs and stalls are also held along the strip. Visitors can enjoy the fully accessible waters with free access to floating wheelchairs daily until 31 October from 10:30am-6pm.
One of the most famous beaches in the region, located in Ayia Napa, its fine, golden sands stretch 600-metres inside a natural sparkling sapphire bay. This beach attracts large crowds of visitors who enjoy water sports, music, bars and beach parties. A partially accessible beach open daily until 31 October from 9am-5pm.
Visit the popular holiday town of Protaras to soak in the sun at Fig Tree Bay. The breathtakingly and beautiful white sand beach takes its name from a single, solitary fig tree that has been there since the 17th century. Once known as the third best beach in Europe, the islet here is home to shallow waters and picturesque paddling pools, making it an ideal place for children. A fully accessible beach with free access to floating wheelchairs open daily until 31 October from 9am-5pm.
For more information about Cyrpus’ Blue Flag and Accessible beaches, visit: www.visitcyprus.com