Paralimni is a town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

 situated in the South East of Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, a little way inland, within the Famagusta District
Famagusta District
Famagusta District is one of the six districts of Cyprus. Its main town is the island's most important port, Famagusta. The city of Famagusta is currently controlled by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus ....

. Since the Turkish invasion and occupation of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974, it has increased in size and status, due to the migration of many refugees fleeing from the North. Many of the people who work in the tourist industry of Protaras and Agia Napa live in Paralimni, which is the now temporary administrative centre of the Famagusta District
Famagusta District
Famagusta District is one of the six districts of Cyprus. Its main town is the island's most important port, Famagusta. The city of Famagusta is currently controlled by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus ....

 and the biggest municipality of the Greek Cypriot controlled area of the district. It has become what it seems a small capital city of the non-occupied Famagusta area.


The word Paralimni means "by the lake". Historically, Paralimni was built on the shores of a shallow lake, which filled with water only in the wintertime.

In the beginning of the 20th century, as a result of reclamation work, the whole of the lakebed was reclaimed for agricultural purposes. Paralimni has not always been where it is now. Originally it was built on a hill, which was situated between Deryneia
Dherynia is a large village in the island of Cyprus. It is located at the east side of the island, south of the city of Famagusta . In 2007, the village had a population of approximately 7,500 inhabitants and it consists a municipality since 1994. Current mayor is Antreas Shiapanis...

 and its present location.

However, in the 15th century, it was moved inland to avoid detection by the sea pirates. It is said that the first people to settle at Paralimni arrived just after the capture of the near town of Famagusta by the Ottoman Turks
Cyprus under the Ottoman Empire
The Eyalet of Cyprus was created in 1571, and changed its status frequently. It was a sanjak of the Eyalet of the Archipelago from 1660 to 1703, and again from 1784 onwards; a fief of the Grand Vizier , and again an eyalet for the short period 1745-1748.- Ottoman raids and conquest :Throughout the...

 in 1571. The first settlement was called Saint Demetrius and this place still bears his name today.

In 1986, after a referendum, Paralimni was declared a municipality with the name "Paralimni". In May 1986 the first elections were held for the office of mayor and municipal council. Nikos Vlittis was elected the first mayor and served from 1986-2006. In December 2006, Nikos Vlittis lost the mayoralty to Andreas Evaggelou who will serve as a mayor until 2011.

Architecturally, Paralimni has been nondescript, little if anything remains of the original village. Outside of the town centre the houses are not very attractive, little more than squat rectangular blocks. This is more than compensated for by their very attractive gardens, especially when the trees are in blossom or fruit. However, it seems that the new and emerging generations who earn higher salaries than their parents and grandparents, spend larger amounts of money in building modern and picturesque houses.

Right at the heart of Paralimni, lies a moderate yet fulfilling shopping centre with many shops and a small entertainment scene including modern cafes and bars. Due to the fact that Paralimni has rapidly grown in size, the island's biggest food retailers have built or rented branches there including Carrefour, Orfanides. There are also many local supermarkets such as Kokkinos.
The countryside surrounding Paralimni has rich red soil and is famous for its picturesque windmills - used to draw water from underground aquifers to irrigate the surrounding land. Sadly, many of these are now derelict having been replaced by electric or diesel-powered pumps. Before the rise of tourism, the rich agricultural land surrounding Paralimni was the source of Paralimni's wealth, and is still of great importance.


Enosis Neon Paralimni FC
Enosis Neon Paralimni FC
Enosis Neon Paralimni is a Cypriot football team from Paralimni. Currently playing in the first division, it holds home games at the Paralimni Municipal Stadium "Tasos Marcou", which holds 5,800 people.-History:...

, which plays in Cypriot First Division
Cypriot First Division
The Cypriot Championship First Division is the top tier football league competition in Cyprus. As of 2007 it is sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank and is hence officially known as Marfin Laiki League .-Format:...

 is the football team of the town. Michalis Konstantinou
Michalis Konstantinou
Michalis Konstantinou is a Cypriot football striker. He plays for the Cyprus national football team, and is already the all-time leading scorer with 32 goals in 80 appearances....

, the famous former football striker
Forwards, also known as strikers, are the players on a team in association football who play nearest to the opposing team's goal, and are therefore principally responsible for scoring goals...

 of Iraklis FC, Panathinaikos and Olympiacos, was born in Paralimni. He also began his career from the team of the town.
Also there is a Conference side in Paralimni called Anorthosis Paralimniou.


Protaras , is a predominantly tourist resort. It comes under the administrative jurisdiction of Paralimni Municipality. In ancient times, where now Protaras seems to be located stood the old city-state of Leukolla. The city possessed a small safe harbour where the Athenian Demetrius Poliorketes in the year 306 B.C. sought refuge, lying in wait for Ptolemeos
Ptolemy I Soter
Ptolemy I Soter I , also known as Ptolemy Lagides, c. 367 BC – c. 283 BC, was a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great, who became ruler of Egypt and founder of both the Ptolemaic Kingdom and the Ptolemaic Dynasty...

, one of the successors of Alexander the Great. In the ensuing battle Ptolemeos was defeated and fled to Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

, leaving Cyprus for a while in the hands of Demetrius
Demetrius, also spelled as Demetrios, Dimitrios, Demitri, and Dimitri , is a male given name.Demetrius and its variations may refer to the following:...


Protaras has lovely, sandy beaches with clear sky-blue waters and the most well known beach in the area is Fig Tree Bay. Protaras is also referred to as "the land of windmills" maintaining the nostalgic quality of the past.

On the back of the success of Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa is a resort at the far eastern end of the southern coast of Cyprus, famous for its sandy beaches. In recent years, apart from being a family holiday destination, it has become a 'party capital' together with Ibiza, Rimini and Mykonos...

 (which is only a few km away), it has exploded into a resort of considerable size with tens of high capacity hotels, hotel apartments, villas, restaurants, pubs and all sorts of facilities a modern holiday resort ought to have. Being quieter than Ayia Napa and having less of a club scene, it has a reputation of catering more for family and Cypriot tourism.

Cape Greco
Cape Greco
Cape Greco, also known as Cavo Greco , is a headland in the southeastern part of the island of Cyprus. It is at the southern end of Famagusta Bay....

 is a 10 minute drive from the centre of Protaras, and is considered one of the most beautiful places on the island.

In Cape Greco
Cape Greco
Cape Greco, also known as Cavo Greco , is a headland in the southeastern part of the island of Cyprus. It is at the southern end of Famagusta Bay....

 lives the reputed Ayia Napa Sea Monster
Ayia Napa sea monster
The Ayia Napa Sea Monster is a cryptid, claimed to inhabit the coast off of Ayia Napa in Cyprus, a popular tourist resort on the Mediterranean. Most sightings occur around Cape Greco . It is known by the local fishermen as "To Filiko Teras", which translates as "The Friendly Monster"...

 which is meant to resemble a cross between a porpoise
Porpoises are small cetaceans of the family Phocoenidae; they are related to whales and dolphins. They are distinct from dolphins, although the word "porpoise" has been used to refer to any small dolphin, especially by sailors and fishermen...

 and dragon
A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern...




The seasonal Paralimni Lake is the home to the harmless Cyprus grass snake
Grass Snake
The grass snake , sometimes called the ringed snake or water snake is a European non-venomous snake. It is often found near water and feeds almost exclusively on amphibians.-Etymology:...

(natrix natrix cypriaca) which was thought extinct from the 1960s, until 'Snake George' (H. Wiedl) re-discovered the species in the early 1990s.

As a result the lake was designated a Site of Community Interest (SCI). Despite this the Cyprus Government issued permission for over 300 home to be built on the site, resulting in the European Commission instigating court action against Cyprus.

Other hazards faced by the snake are moto-cross and man killing them through ignorance and superstition.

External links

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