On the East coast of Cyprus near to the border with the ghost town of Famagusta is the bustling little town of Paralimni. In fact it isn’t that little anymore because it is growing on the back of the ongoing Cyprus development boom. New shop units are springing up along the main highway and investment in holiday property continues to grow. Although the town center is about three miles from the coast the outskirts have seen some substantial development in the last few years especially in the form of luxury apartments. As the Cyprus developers have pushed land prices up on the coast places like Paralimni have benefited from more investment themselves. If buyers are clever they will find some great value apartments between Kapparis and Paralimni within walking distance of the beach which could generate some lucrative rental income.
Despite the amount of new development in progress on the outskirts Paralimni town centre retains it’s charm. There is a beautiful town square dominated by the church and a newer plaza across the road complete with an ornate fountain. The newer square is bordered by some trendy cafe bars and traditional taverns too where you can relax with the locals watching life go by. If its retail therapy you are after there are plenty of boutiques, shoe shops and even a Marks and Spencers. The towns streets are quaint and there is an air of timelessness about the place which is enhanced by the pavement cafe’s where the locals spend the warm Cyprus afternoons drinking coffee and playing backgammon. The one way traffic slowly winds through the narrow streets mixing with the shoppers who use the roads too because the cafe bars spill out onto any available space on the pavement.
Behind the main square is Paralimni town hall which has become a popular venue for Cyprus weddings amongst other things. Next door is an open place used for concerts and dramas in the summer. The shopping closes for a few hours in the afternoon and Wednesdays are half day closing so unless its just coffee you want save that day for the beach. The town has more than enough parking but the locals still prefer to dump their cars just about anywhere so you may need to squeeze through some tight gaps. There are some great restaurants in Paralimni including one that claims to have been there almost as long as the town itself. For the junk food addicts there’s a KFC and a branch of Pizza Hut too. Eating in the town tends to work out cheaper than on the holiday resorts and you get to try out some genuine Cypriot cooking.
Beyound the town center is the main road that leads to Agia Napa and the coastal motorway and back the other way into the smaller town of Derinya. This stretch is known as April 1st Avenue and it is thronged with countless shops, bars and businesses of all kinds. There are some trendy houswares shops along this stretch and two of Paralimni’s main supermarkets too. The road stretches for about 3 miles and makes up the main commercial area of the town. This is the area where most of the new development is taking place including business premises and several small shopping centers too. Everything from cars to shoes can be purchased on April 1st Avenue so it is worth at least a brief visit. Watch out for the traffic though because it appears that trafficators are an option in Cyprus and its O.K. to just pull out and go especially when driving around Paralimni town.