The History of Ayia Napa

Historically called the ''Holy Wooded Valley''

Welcome to Ayia Napa

The Cognomen Village Of The Virgin Mary!

Ayia Napa is the most popular place in Cyprus. It attracts many tourists from all over the world, mostly at summer. It is an amazing place with picturesque beaches and has an extraordinary nightlife.

According to local legend, the now renowned original icon was accidentally discovered by a hunter in pursuit of his prey. Upon discovery, the icon of the Virgin Mary was called Virgin Mary of Napa, eventually shortened and now known as Ayia Napa. The present monastery, built in 1500, was built around the cave, in honor of the Virgin Mary of Ayia Napa. According to local tradition, until 1790 no one lived within close vicinity of Ayia Napa. The first inhabitants who actually appeared and settled were twenty men from Salonica, Greece.

AD (Anno Domini – The year of our Lord)
1366 AD:
Agia Napa is mentioned for the first time by Leontios Mahaeras. After the Turkish occupation (1570 AD): the monastery of Agia Napa it was converted to a men's monastery and continued to flourish as such for almost a hundred years until 1758 when, for reasons unknown, it ceased to be occupied by permanent monks.
16th century AD: Agia Napa was mentioned again, by Venetian documents and maps. The monastery and the village took their name from the ancient Greek word "Nape", which means "wooded valley". The monastery of Agia Napa flourished during the 16th century and continued to hold a position of importance up until the end of the Venetian occupation of Cyprus.
1790 AD: The area around the monastery of Agia Napa was not inhabited. The first inhabitants of Agia Napa were a young couple from Panagia village.
1975 – 1985 AD: In this decade, Ayia Napa started to grow up as a tourist attraction and turn up to be the most desire place for holidays in Cyprus.
1990 AD: The new church was built southwest of the monastery. Its interior walls are covered with beautiful Byzantine-style icons, were completed in August of 1994.

Geographically, Ayia Napa lies near Cape Greco at the eastern part of Cyprus, just south of Famagusta and forms part of a larger area known as Kokkinochoria (a name derived from the red color of its soil). It is a town of Famagusta District, in the remaining southern part of the district not occupied by Turkish forces in 1974. Ayia Napa is about 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) from Protaras, a town that has recently seen similar development, but still manages to remain low-key and remains more favorable for families and Cypriot locals.