Paralimni Varosha Travel Guide and Information

The modern city of Paralimni bears little resemblance to the sleepy rural backwater of the early 1970s. Paralimni’s metamorphosis began in 1974 when the town of Famagusta’s Greek Cypriot population fled south during partition. Paralimni grew exponentially overnight and soon became the regional administrative capital. Town planning has never been high on Paralimni’s agenda and today’s urban sprawl holds little interest for tourists. However, the town has retained a friendly utilitarian charm that warrants a couple of hours of anybody’s time.

Paralimni’s inland location means that it can get unbearably hot during the summer months. In the not too distant past the surrounding area was irrigated by an intricate system of windmill driven waterways, which today sit motionless and derelict. Matters aren’t helped by the fact that each morning Paralimni empties itself of people as the local population commutes to work in the nearby tourists resorts. For such a sizeable town, Paralimni has an eerily ghostly feel and daytime visitors won’t find much of interest beyond the attractive town square and a handful of handicraft shops. However, in the evening things liven up and Paralimni represents a refreshing alternative for anyone who is tired of the relentless beats that accompany every aspect of life in nearby Ayia Napa.

Gastronomically curious visitors will no doubt be interested in sampling a local delicacy known as ambelopoulia (pickled songbird eaten whole). However, this popular dish is illegal and visitors are advised to steer well clear. Locals put a lot of energy into their gardens, which lend a welcome splash of colour to the otherwise drab surroundings. North of Paralimni the abandoned town of Varosha is a melancholy reminder of the island’s troubled political situation, while to the east you’ll find some of Cyprus’ best beaches and most animated nightlife.