The word Paralimni means "by the lake". Historically, Paralimni was built on the shores of a shallow lake, which filled with water only in the winter. At the beginning of the 20th century, the whole lakebed was reclaimed for agricultural purposes. Paralimni has not always been where it is now, it was built originally on a hill, which was situated between Deryneia and its present location. In the 15th century, it was moved inland to avoid detection by sea pirates. It is said that the first people to settle at Paralimni arrived just after the capture of the nearby town of Famagusta by the Ottoman Turks in 1571. The first settlement was called Saint Demetrius and this place still bears his name today.
In 1986, after a referendum, it was declared a municipality with the name "Paralimni". In May 1986, the first elections were held for the office of mayor and municipal council - Nikos Vlittis was elected the first mayor, and served from 1986 to 2006. In December 2006, Vlittis lost the mayoralty to Andreas Evaggelou, who served as mayor until 2011.
Architecturally, Paralimni has been nondescript, as very little remains of the original village. Outside of the town centre, the houses are little more than small rectangular blocks, but this is compensated for by their attractive gardens, especially when the trees are in blossom. The new and emerging generations who earn higher salaries than before are spending larger amounts of money in building modern and picturesque houses.
Paralimni received its municipal Charter on March 18, 1986 and it forms the largest city in the Famagusta region, in terms of land area, population and services provided to the public. It is situated on the southeastern fringe of Cyprus and has the blessing of the first sunrise in Europe. Paralimni was named after the seasonal lake that exists in the west part of the city, which belongs to the NATURA 2000 network as it hosts one of the world's most endangered species, the watersnake "natrix natrix cypriaca".
Address: 6 Antonis Papadopoulos Street, Paralimni, Famagusta Cyprus
At the heart of Paralimni lies a shopping centre and a small entertainment scene, including modern cafes and bars. Because Paralimni has rapidly grown in size, the island's biggest food retailers, such as Carrefour, have built or rented branches there. There are also many local supermarkets, such as Kokkinos.
The countryside surrounding Paralimni has rich red soil and is famous for growing Cyprus potatoes, as well as its picturesque windmills, which are used to draw water from underground aquifers to irrigate the surrounding land. Many of these windmills are now derelict, having been replaced by electric or diesel-powered pumps. Before the rise of tourism, the rich agricultural land surrounding Paralimni was the source of its wealth, and is still of great importance today.
Protaras, the tourist area, extends along the eastern coast of Paralimni and stretches for 10km from the district of ‘Kapparis’ to the location of ‘Konnos’. Hundreds of windmills grant its landscape a quaint, tranquil beauty. Fantastic sandy beaches with crystal clear waters are found along this coast, most of them accredited with the prestigious Blue Flag status. Fig Tree Bay is the most precious gem on this coastal tiara as it ranks among the five best beaches in Europe and the twenty best beaches in the world, thus accrediting Paralimni-Protaras as the ultimate holiday destination.