The historic city of Ammochostos, now known as Famagusta, is on the
east coast and has been occupied by the Turkish Army from 15th August
1974. About 39,000 Greek Cypriot inhabitants were forced to flee and take refuge
in the area of free Cyprus.
Today, the Turkish Cypriot inhabitants of the old city, Turkish Cypriots from
the government-controlled area of Cyprus and settlers from Turkey, reside in the
city, but the modern city of Varosha, has been left a ghost town by the
occupation authorities with very few inhabitants.
In the same area within the government controlled region, lies the most
popular tourist resort of the island of Ayia Napa. The golden sandy beaches of
the Ayia Napa district gently embrace the eastern corner of the island. The
charming scenery includes the tiny fishing harbour in the heart of the village;
the windmills and small churches in the surrounding villages spreading out to
Paralimni and Protaras.
Ayia Napa, once a small fishing village, boasts of a superb Venetian
monastery dedicated to 'Our Lady of the Forests' has a central octagonal
fountain offering cultural character to the village. The 16th century church is
partly underground and cut into the rock and the ancient sycamore in front of
its south gate is believed to be over 600 years old. A small Marine Life Museum
presents exhibits of past and present marine fauna.