Ayia Napa with 11yo dd - getting nervous!(16 Posts)
Hi, me and my 11yo are off to Ayia Napa, Cyprus at the end of this month for my friend's wedding. We're making a holiday out of it and staying for 7 nights.
Just wondering if anyone can recommend things for us to do? I've never been on a beach holiday before (i'm very pale and don't tan and tend to get bored just lazing around) but it's something DD has always wanted to do.
Our transfers from the airport to the hotel are included in the package price we paid but I'm wondering if there is somewhere near the hotel where I could hire a car instead of at the airport? Will we need a car? The gov.uk site says that driving standards are really poor in Cyprus so I'm actually a bit worried about being on the roads (and definitely don't feel up to doing the 2 hr drive from Lanarca airport!). But will hire a car if essential near the hotel to get around (public transport is apparently not great) if needed.
There seems to be a really cool waterpark but DD can't swim! She tried lessons at 9yo, hated them and refused to go back. But she does like to go to our local swimming for a 'wade' and to go on the flumes that open into shallow water. So will this waterpark be appropriate for non-swimmers?
Our hotel (Alion) is right next to Glyki Nero beach. Is this nice? I'd really rather not spend all day sitting at a beach though.
I'm really struggling to see how to pad out a full 7 days. The wedding will be one day, then spending time with friends/relatives the next day before they head back home. So for the last 5 days it will just be me and DD.
I'm also worried about all the party goers as Ayia Napa is a bit of a 'nightlife' zone, is it not? It doesn't seem like the best spot in Cyprus for a family holiday. The hotel seems really nice and 'coupley' though so hopefully not the place where all the young ones will be staying who are there for 'a lad's hol'. I'm also fretting that we should have booked a different hotel as this one doesn't seem very child-friendly! Oh, i'm just worrying about everything. i just thought it would be easier staying in the same hotel where the wedding will be taking place.
Starting to really regret extending our stay for a week but much too late now to do anything about it except think of ways to best enjoy our trip.
Thanks for any recommendations.
I've also just found a site for a fun fair place - parko paliatso luna park - if anyone has experience of this? It's a 20 minute walk from our hotel.
I haven't been in Cyprus in 20 years but nothing beats a holiday. At that time of year it will be mainly older couples and people with pre-schoolers so you won't get gangs of lads on tour.
As to how to occupy yourself, the temperatures won't be that hot so you could always sit under an umbrella with a good book while Dd amuses herself in the pool. Although if she can't swim maybe that is not such a good idea. Could you get her some private one on one lessons while you are there? Most hotels offer them.
Also there will be plenty of places to eat out for lunch/dinner.
All the hotels provide details of local excursions offered by companies who will collect you in a mini-bus (water parks, shopping trips, historical sites, local markets etc). You can book them when you arrive.
Relax and enjoy your holiday. I am sure you and Dd will have a great time.
Just looked up your hotel. It is 5 star with sea views and good reviews. What is not to like?
Thanks for replying Kat.
It looks to be a gorgeous hotel. And is where the wedding is taking place so i don't need to worry about travelling to and from the venue. But it seems very quiet and grown up and I'm worried that other guests might be bothered by children being present in the evenings in the restaurant or in the pool etc. The website doesn't say much about children/families. It all seems geared towards couples.
I'm wondering if another hotel with a kids club or playpark might have been better suited for DD (who is quite a 'young' 11yo). It really is just me worrying over silly things. I'm sure it will be absolutely fine. I'm writing together a little list of things we can do. I'm very much a fan of lists and plans so will feel better if i can get a bit of structure to the five free days we'll have after the wedding.
11 year old is not a young child though and certainly not suited to a kid's club which are for younger children.
The first review on trip advisor the reviewer has a 4 year old and gave the hotel a glowing review.
DD is behind a few years developmentally and still enjoys going to clubs and parks (and soft play) geared towards younger children.
I am aware the hotel seems fantastic but my concern is that it's going to be very quiet and is aimed at couples rather than families. E.g. the website goes on and about spas and nice restaurants but there is no mention of kids' activities or things to do. I booked the hotel as i wanted to be in the same location as the wedding but now having some last minute wobbles that maybe i should have just spent 2 nights at this one then moved somewhere where there is more for DD to do for the last 5 nights.
The hotel isn't my major worry anyway. It's finding things to do that are within walking distance of our hotel. So far i have found:
*Water park - but don't know if this is suitable for non-swimmer DD
*Beach near the hotel
So I'm worrying that there isn't that much to do over the course of 5 days unless i hire a car and take us on day trips etc (which i'd really rather not do as gov.uk says driving standards are very poor in Cyprus).
As said in my OP, our previous holidays have all been geared towards young families and full of activities and planned events. We've never been on a relaxing beach hol before as a) i'm extremely pale and don't tan b) i get bored just lying about not doing anything.
But it's something DD has always wanted to try and we don't get much nice weather or beaches were we live, so thought this would be a nice change from normal for her.
I'm really quite nervous about going here without a 'plan' so if anyone can share personal experiences of things in ayia napa to do, that would be great.
Also, i've been on the ayia napa tripdvisor forum but the majority of posts are from young adults asking about nightlife stuff which is making me really quite nervous. But i'm hoping end of April will be off peak for them and so the beach will be relatively quiet.
I don't know that area but I'd expect you dont need to hire a car.
Is there a beach within walking distance? A stroll along the promenade is always nice. Or a marina? Have a look round the posh boats?
Have a walk, have an ice cream, have a lesuirely lunch somewhere. Crazy golf, swimming etc. That's what that kind of holiday is about to me.
Could you get your daughter a paddle board to hold on to? You're looking for swim facilities with 'zero entrance' or shallow all the way through so she'd be able to stand. Would you be happy going down slides with her on your lap/in front of you? Lazy river type rides would work for non swimmers too. You can keep hold of her/her raft the whole time. Also - water jets are fun for non swimmers too.
I would think the hotel would be fine, it's the screaming toddlers that other guests may have issues with. Can't imagine anyone being offended just by the sight of a child. If it's got a spa - would your daughter like some kind of treatment? A pedicure? Something like that?
You sound like a worrier. I'm sure you will have lots of fun. Having lots of people around you the first few days for the wedding will be great, will let you get into the swing of it with others first. Let us know how you got on?
Walk along the coast to nissi beach, the sea there is enclosed in a small bay and is only waist deep for a long way out, ideal for a non swimmer. You can get a bus to protaras resort a few miles away, and you could get off the bus and have a walk round the headland, great views.
A trip to the capital, Nicosia, is nice. If you take your passport you can walk across the border into the Turkish side.
Ayia Napa wont be full of partygoers end of april and in any case the night club area is away from the beach.
The water Park is a bus ride away and I've been there many times. There are pools and activities suitable for all ages from toddlers to adult white knuckle rides so I am sure your DD would find something to suit her. However it won't be that hot in April. Warm and sunny probably but not really water park weather IMO.
Ayia Napa won't be filled with 18 year old clubbers in April. I wouldn't set foot there in August but at this time it will be quiet.
I am sure there will be other children at the hotel if it's school holidays, they tend to make friends easily around a big hotel. I can't see how other guests would be bothered by an 11 year old.
I am sure it will be fine - I have a 9 yr old and she would be more than happy lazing around with a book interspured with regular food and drink breaks.
I am a little shocked though that you have an 11 yr old than cannot swim at all. I wouldn't be able to relax on holiday around water if DD was a non swimmer. Luckily she swims like a fish so she goes off and plays with friends she has made in the water (although in April the water will be absolutely freezing).
Ignore that last remark about a 11 year old who can't swim, my son is 11 and only just swimming. He went in the pools many times on holiday with myself or Hubbie present, never once drowned. Children aren't stupid. Also other adults always look out as well. Children have never been a problem in hotels, just grumpy guests, ignore any remarks, it is your daughter's holiday as well and I bet you paid for 2 adults and not single parent deal. She has every right to be there. Ignore everyone else and just enjoy. I've been to Cyprus and loved it. Happy holiday
We've been to Cyprus several times over the last 20 years. When we first started going Ayia Napa had a repution for being a rowdy party place and was in fact very busy. Having not visited since dd was 2 we returned when she was 10 in 2013
We went in May and Ayia napa is not what it used to be. A lot of the bars/clubs and shops have closed down and it wasn't as busy as it used to be. But having said that we never had any issues previously with rowdy behaviour.
Going in April will be quiet as the party goers tend to go in the height of the summer. I looked your hotel up and it seems that their sister hotel Nissi Beach is geared up towards families and entertains children. You can most certainly use their facilities both during the day and in the evening.
The Greek Cypriots are very family orientenated and they love children. Dcs loved the Luna park at varying ages over the years. The same goes for the water park regardless of their swimming abilities. I also recommend Nissi Beach, water very shallow quite far out so brilliliant for wading/ paddling.
You probably won't need to hire a car as you are just a ten minute walk from town, Protaras is just a short bus/taxi ride away. We usually split our time between the two.
TBH we have never had any issues driving there (always hire a car) the airport is only about 45 minutes from Ayia Napa
Last time we were there, we took a glass bottom boat tour which the dcs enjoyed. We did the red bus tour into Famagusta Old Town also known as the ghost town due to it no longer being habited. The history behind it is really interesting. Trip up into the troodos mountains was good.
Did a day out to Nicosia one year but the heat was unbearable about 45 degrees so had to cut that short as dc were struggling.
There is plenty to do, you just have to look for it, the hotel should have plenty of tourist/ excursion information.
We've always had good weather in April/May but some days may be overcast or a bit damp.
I love Cyprus and me and dh are off there in four weeks-without the dcs, I can't bloody wait!
You mentioned the hotel Spa, you could both get your nails done together, you don't always have to go out and about. Make it a girly day with afternoon tea.
I'd take a swimming woggle too, a long float tube thing that's light to pack. Much cheaper to buy here rather that at a resort.
The sea may well still be cold as you are going in April and the waterpark may not open until May anyway.
We went to Cyprus in April a few years ago and it was very much the start of the season. Shops and restaurants were being opened for the first time that year. Lots closed over Winter.
We had a great time though. It was warm but not too hot at all. My children enjoyed the beach and rock pools, we hired a speed boat for a couple of hours, we did a glass bottom boat trip, lots of nice shops to look around, nice cafes and restaurants, ancient ruins to look at. We used the bus to get to an ancient site that was further away. It was fine and the bus seemed to run regularly and the bus driver made sure we knew where to get off. We did also hire a car for a day to go up the mountains.
Have a lovely time. I'm sure you will enjoy it. Cyprus is a lovely place with lots to see and do apart from lying on a beach.
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