Vai beach sits at the foot of the Vai palm forest, the largest of its sort in Europe. There are various stories of how the palm trees came to be here ranging from Arab pirates spitting date stones ashore to Phoenician traders planting them. The truth is though, they were always here and as a protected site will hopefully remain. Such a backdrop gives Vai beach a distinctly tropical feel and this wasn’t lost on the chocolate company who filmed the Bounty bar “taste of paradise” here in the early 1980s.
Besides the palm groves Vai has plenty of other charms. This curve of golden sand facing into the sparkling clear waters of the Mediterranean has been deemed worthy of a prestigious Blue Flag award. This is a guarantee of not only cleanliness but all the facilities you could need for a family day at the beach.
This wasn’t the case in the 1970s when the beach became a hippy enclave after they were turfed out of Matala. Unlike the eco-minded sandal-wearers of today this lot turned their permenant campsite into a refuse-strewn tip. Fortunately in the 1980s Vai was designated a protected area and cleaned up with camping strictly forbidden.
There is no denying Vai beach is a popular spot and the sun-loungers with their iconic straw umbrellas quickly fill up in the summer. Cooling down isn’t a problem as there are plenty of water based activities including snorkeling / scuba, jet-skis and windsurfing all of which are available for hire. And for those still wanting to live the 18-30 dream there’s the banana boat!