The first Winter Swimmers Festival took place in Ayia Napa on Sunday. Deputy Minister of Tourism, Kostas Koumis promised to support winter swimmers, so that the festival will gain an international status. Up to 200 winter swimmers from all over Cyprus participated in the festival.
The festival was organised by the Winter Swimmers Club of Ayia Napa, with the Municipality of Ayia Napa as a co-organiser. In his remarks, Koumis said that most people in Cyprus stops visiting the island’s coasts when Summer ends, describing this as one of the disadvantages of Cyprus tourism. He referred to ways to get more people involved and said the Deputy Ministry has a special grant scheme aimed at local authorities, in order to give them the opportunity to upgrade the services offered in their beaches.
In his welcoming remarks, the Mayor of Ayia Napa, Christos Zannettou, said that the Municipality responded to the requests of organized swimmers and staffed Makronissos beach with lifeguards during the winter season, in order to provide safety to people swimming in the sea throughout the year.
The Ayia Napa Winter Swimmers Club intends to organize this particular festival every January. Andreas Larkou, President of the Club said that they aim to create a Cyprus Association of Winter Swimmers and for the Club to register on the International Association of Winter Swimmers.
He said that, starting in 2025, the festival will be branded as “international” and winter swimmers from aboard will also participate. He also said that the duration of the festival will increase in days, in order to swim in a different beach each day.