Holidays on the west coast of Cyprus provide plenty in the way of sun, culture, and history. Though there are several tourist resorts scattered along the coastline, Paphos is considered by many to be the jewel in the crown.
Once the capital of Cyprus, it is now recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is full of reminders of historic Greek and Roman times, and is also said to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.
If you’re considering a trip to Paphos, this visitors’ guide will help you to plan your itinerary.
The pretty harbour at Kato Paphos is one of the resort’s most popular areas. Known for its resident pelicans, it combines history with classical style and elegance.
The site is home to a vast number of monuments from prehistoric times, which will enthral history lovers. Visitors should make a special effort to see the Odeon and Agora statues. For a truly special experience, pay a visit to Petra tou Romiou, a rock off the shore along the main road from Paphos to Limassol. It’s the exact place where Aphrodite first rose from the waves.
With tourism being Kato Paphos’ main industry, there is plenty to choose from in the way of entertainment. There are also many apartments, hotels and villas as well as good offers on car hire and other tourist essentials.
There are several great quality fish tavernas along the waterside, serving freshly caught produce that’s cooked to perfection, as well as many hotels, trendy bars, and souvenir shops. In many ways, this mix of history and culture with excellent facilities is part of Paphos’ charm. To explore more of the harbour, book one of the sailing trips that run daily. The sea air can provide a welcome respite from the sweltering Cypriot sun during the summer months.
A monument in Kato, Paphos.
A few miles inland from Kato Paphos is Ktima. A quaint and authentic Mediterranean town, it appears to be largely untouched by tourism, despite its popularity with visitors who wish to see the most traditional part of the area.
It’s made up of hundreds of tiny cobbled streets, and spending a day getting lost can be a great way to soak up the local atmosphere. If you love splashing the cash, be sure to check out the local boutiques. There’s an excellent selection of high quality Cypriot goods, including handmade leather items.
There’s also a regular craft market which is full of special one-off pieces that make brilliant presents for friends and family back at home, as well as a fresh fruit and vegetable market showcasing some of the finest local produce.
A holiday in Cyprus is not complete without spending some time on one of the beautiful beaches. Coral Bay, situated just fifteen minutes from Paphos, is ideal for the whole family. Fine yellow sands and crystal clear waters make the area one of stunning natural beauty. There are plenty of facilities nearby, including a café, and sun loungers and umbrellas are available to rent for a small fee.
Though the beach gets exceptionally busy during the peak summer season, there are quiet corners and coves for those seeking relaxation. If you arrive early in the day, you’re almost guaranteed to get a great spot.
Coral Bay beach.
Paphos can provide the perfect summer holiday. Whether you’re travelling with children and are looking for great beaches and nearby facilities, or you’re a history buff looking for a dose of culture, there’s something that will appeal to everyone.
Image credits: glenbowman, and su-may