Looking for a place where you can spice up your vacation break? Then you should include Ayia Napa in your travel plans. Ayia Napa holidays are perfect for those who want to enjoy a superb beach setting, indulge in good food, and mingle with friendly people. The majority of restaurants serve traditional Cypriot cuisine which is very similar to Greek but with stronger Turkish and Italian influences. The menus, though exciting and exotic, can be rather difficult to decipher for a first time visitor so here’s a short guide to help out.


Salad vegetables are served with every meal but vary depending on the season. Bamies, also known as okra or ladies’ fingers, are very popular and cooked with oil and tomato. Vazania, or aubergines, are another favourite, particularly when stuffed with other vegetables or mince meat.


Lountza, smoked pork tenderloin in a red wine marinade, is a truly traditional Cypriot dish. It can be served alone or as part of a meze. Lamb and goat meat are also very common as well as preserved beef, all of which are heavily salted.


Considering its location, it’s no surprise that the people of Ayia Napa love their seafood! The most commonly found fish is salt cod which is traditionally served with potatoes and tomatoes. Calamari is also a popular choice and octopus is often found in a stiffado, a Cypriot stew with red wine and vegetables.


Mezedes covers a wide selection of dishes served in modest portions, like Spanish tapas but with a Cypriot twist. Traditionally, the small plates are brought out in a carefully devised sequence which begins with olives, breads and dips, followed by the main bulk of cheese and meats, and ends finally with fresh fruit and nuts. The idea is that each course is a progression of the last in terms of taste and texture.


In Ayia Napa you’ll find plenty of desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth. Authentic Cypriot treats include Ravani, a lemon flavoured semolina cake, Loukoumades, fried doughballs in syrup, and Baklavas, a layered pastry delight filled with nuts and honey.

Understandably, Cypriots are most skilled at cooking Cypriot food so the authentic local restaurants are where you’ll find the best meals. However, Ayia Napa is designed for tourists worldwide and caters to all kinds of taste buds.

photo credit: @CyprusPictures via photopin cc