Things to do in Paphos, Cyprus
By Richard Jones
With its year-round sunshine, golden sands, crystal blue waters, stunning scenery, and delicious food and drink served at quaint local tavernas, the southeastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus has long been a magnet for holidaymakers.
One of the 2017 European Capitals of Culture, Paphos, is located on the southwestern side of the ‘Island of love’ and is an excellent choice if you’re an active traveller, history buff, sun seeker, or all three.
Paphos is home to Cyprus’ second-busiest international airport – a hub for most short-haul airlines, making it very easy to reach from the UK. If you want to be comfortable for the duration of your four to five-hour journey, go for flights or packages with Jet2 rather than the slightly cheaper budget alternatives.
Strolling around Paphos’ pedestrianised promenade is a joy, while the seaside city is served by a limited public bus system which is adequate enough if you just want to get around Paphos itself. However, if you want to see more of what’s on offer in and around the area, you’re going to need a hire car. And as there are some places are only reachable by unpaved road, you may want to consider stumping up for a four-wheel drive.
Things to see
As the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite and an important city dating back thousands of years (Paphos is said to have been established by Greeks returning from the Trojan War), there are countless archaeological sites that will appeal to history buffs.
Some of the top attractions include the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, the Tombs of the Kings, the Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa, and Paphos Castle, a Byzantine fortress which stands grandly at the west end of the town’s harbour.
Among the beautiful natural sites near Paphos is Petra tou Romiou, AKA Aphrodite’s Rock, in Kouklia. This is said to be the place where the eponymous goddess was borne from the sea foam. There are plenty of lovely beaches nearby for swimming, as well as gorgeous Mediterranean views.
Things to do
The area around Paphos isn’t just known just for its historical sites. If you’re an animal lover, you can head to the Agios Neofytos CatPark which cares for hundreds of strays or go sea turtle-spotting at Lara Beach.
Scenery-wise, Cyprus is an island of contrasts – one day you’ll be on the beach, the next in the mountains. If you like to hike, head to Akamas Peninsula National Park for a coastal walk on the Aphrodite trail with its dramatic lagoon panoramas.
There are lots of easy day trips from Paphos, including visits to mountain villages, lush forests, historic monasteries or locally-run wineries, including the family-owned Fikardos, which produces wines from indigenous grapes like Xinisteri and Maratheftiko and international varieties like Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Finally, no trip to Paphos would be complete without heading up the coast to Coral Bay, the bustling resort full of traditional tavernas and lively bars, as well as a beautiful sandy beach to while away your time away.
Food and drink
The family-run Melania Restaurant serves a range of traditional Cypriot cuisine. You’ll find the classic local meze, fresh fish from the local Vasilis Fish Markets, and traditional Cypriot barbecues. Alternatively, grab a seat on the street and enjoy watching the sunset at Laona Restaurant, which offers a wide range of Mediterranean, European and Greek cuisine. The menu – on a blackboard – includes home-cooked traditional favourites, such as rabbit stifado.
As well as a strip where you will be tempted by cheap, strong drinks, Paphos has some top-notch cocktail bars like Mr Tippler in the Old Town which serves home-brewed products, like cocoa-infused bourbon and fig leaf-infused Campari.
Ambiance is the best gin bar in Paphos, with nearly 300 different varieties and bar staff who know each one inside and out.
Most people agree that the iconic Loft Club is the best club in Paphos. It has everything that you would expect from a decent Mediterranean nightspot – beautiful decor, Greek and English pop, strong drinks and a busy crowd.
Where to stay
The Ivi Mare located on the coastal front of Kato Paphos is part of Louis Hotels’ new Elegant Collection. The sumptuous five-star, adults-only property is awash with bright white and accessorised with the cooling blue hues of the nearby sea. It features the longest outdoor swimming pool in Paphos, a wellness spa, two bars and three restaurants (Palettes, Meze by Elliniko and Akakiko). Each of the 148 Superior, Deluxe rooms and Junior Suites blends style with natural panoramas to ensure a perfect couples’ escape.
Alternatively, the recently renovated Louis Paphos Breeze all-inclusive luxury resort on Chloraka Beach offers an excellent range of facilities. The swimming pools and extensive gardens provide a perfect haven for relaxation while the spa and children’s club ensure there is something for everyone. The hotel is in a fantastic location and is an excellent choice for those looking explore Cyprus’s outstanding natural beauty.
Jet2holidays (Jet2.com) offers seven nights bed and breakfast in Paphos, Cyprus, staying at 5-star The Ivi Mare from £829 per person. Price is based on two Adults sharing, departures from Leeds Bradford on June 27, 2022, and includes a 22kg baggage allowance and return transfers.
Alternatively, seven nights bed and breakfast at the 4-star Louis Paphos Breeze is priced at £869 per person, based on departures on June 17, 2022.
For more information on Louis Hotels go to: https://louishotels.com
To learn more about holidays in Paphos, go to: visitcyprus.com, contact the team at email@example.com or call 020 7321 4170.