The island Republic of Cyprus, a former British colony located in the Mediterranean Sea south of Turkey, is an independent nation, although its northern third -- an area renowned for its beaches -- is recognised by Turkey as the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus." Peace reigns despite the disagreement over Cyprus' governance, and the island is renowned as a vacation destination as much for its natural splendour as its affordable prices.
Deniz Kizi Beach
Located in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Deniz Kizi beach is a private beach renowned for its sandy bays. A large crop of 4-star and 5-star hotels, including the iconic DenizKizi Royal, are credited with keeping the beaches clean, and tourists are charged a daily fee to access the shore that generally includes full-service amenities such as towels, showers and umbrellas, and helps keep this beach's crowds at bay.
This public beach doesn't charge any user fees -- it's supported by the government -- and unlike Deniz Kiwi, is accessible to everyone. Anyone can drive to Altinkaya Beach and visitors are welcome to bring their own food. The extremely shallow waters -- caused by a sand-shelf sheltering this beach from the greater sea -- makes it an ideal setting to bring very young children, elderly relatives, or anyone who dislikes big waves and deep water.
The Ayia Napa beach, ranked #1 by Trip Advisor's ranking for Top 10 Best Beaches in Europe, maintains a bit of a spring break feeling, with young people dancing and drinking on its shores. It's easy accessibility from Europe, combined with low prices, make this a popular party destination. Family-oriented vacationers to Ayia Napa could distract the kids with a trip to the local water park, Water World, the largest water park in Europe.
Ranked #3 on the Top 10 Beaches in Europe list by Trip Advisor, Protaras contains the wholesome, family-friendly atmosphere Ayia Napa lacks. While the fine sand is the main attraction, children will love looking for the legendary "Sea Monster" living in these waters, while adults will enjoy a huge assortment of seafood restaurants. Surrounded by white buildings with terra cotta rooftops, in the local architectural tradition, Protaras maintains the feel of a bustling village.