Cyprus Mail

Geroskipou beach upgrades aim to attract thousands of visitors

File photo

GEROSKIPOU beach aims to be the ‘best beach’ in Paphos, as massive upgrading works will make the area more appealing to swimmers and beach goers, according to the mayor.

Michalis Pavlides told the Sunday Mail that the slightly ramshackle appearance of the area will disappear as its’ smartened up, and new plans, which have been approved, will see the current road access (running from Riccos beach along to summer club) being made into a pedestrian only area.

“The road will be made only for on foot, there will then be a green area next to that on the side furthest from the sea, and next to that we will build a new road,” he said.

In addition, the municipality has rented a number of fields from the Turkish Cypriot Guardianship which will be turned into a parking area for one thousand cars.

“We have rented it for a long period of time, obviously if there is a solution to the Cyprus problem, we would reach a new agreement,” he said.

The municipality has also been granted licenses for three snack bars along the beach, which will all be reasonably small, around 150m2, and have toilets, changing rooms and other facilities, said Pavlides.

“These will be put out to tender and one of the three will be Riccos, which will be rebuilt.”

feature bejay - Riccos cafe will be rebuilt (Bejay Browne)

Ricco (Andreas Xenofontos) has had a cafe on the beach since 1975.The structure has already been pulled down twice and each time, the war veteran has put it up again.

The other two planned venues will also be on the beach but further along, he said.

“These premises will only sell drinks and snacks, such as sandwiches, they are not restaurants.”

The work on the structures will get underway in February, each will cost 120,000 euros and they will be ready to open to the public in May 2017.

“We need to be ready in time for the next summer season and we want to make our beach the main one that people go to,” he said.

At present there are a number of different beach bars dotted along the seafront, but according to the mayor, this is the last year they will be in operation.

“The people currently renting them are aware of the situation and that this is their last season. The cafes will take over from next year,” he said.

All three will be offered for tender in time for 2017, he noted.

The mayor added that the construction of six breakwaters in the sea off the Geroskipou coast got underway at the beginning of the year and will run from where work in the sea stopped three and a half years ago and continue to the east of Geroskipou.

“We already have six wave breakers in place and the new ones will cost three million euros. One has just been completed, and it took four months. It’s a time consuming process and this phase will be completed in one and a half years’ time,” he said.

In addition, plans for the next stage of breakwaters which will run from the sea at Geroskipou municipal beach and along to Bania in Kato Paphos are also planned.

“This will further improve the area,” said Pavlides. “There are plans for the next phase which will be in front of the hotels, we are undertaking this project with the municipality of Paphos and the cost will be split fifty/fifty.”

feature bejay - The road which runs alongside the beach will be pedestrianised (Bejay Browne)The mayor said that the project could include up to fifteen breakwaters, and in six months’ time all of the studies, including an environmental impact study, will have been completed.

“The study will cost two hundred thousand euros and altogether, the project will come in at around 8 million euros,” he said.

Their purpose is to prevent erosion and help to create safer areas for those using the sea.

The redevelopment of the municipality seafront area will also include a new ‘kids club’, which will have numerous activities and a play area, along with staff to look after the children.

“As well as an area for kids, we will also create an outdoor ‘gym’ where people will be able to come and exercise, it will help people to get fit.”

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