Paphos is a large city in the west coast of Cyprus. It is best known as the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of beauty, pleasure, love, and passion. But not just mythology, there is a lot of history in the city as well. Old Paphos or Kouklia has been inhabited since the Neolithic times. The entire city is now UNESCO Heritage listed. Paphos also won the European Capital of Culture award for 2017.
There is much more than history here. The newer sections of the city are modern. It has a fascinating palm-fringed seafront with many waterside bars and seafood taverns. There are modern roads and boulevards. You will find many hotels, resorts, shops, and luxury villas for rent. The city can be divided into two parts. Lower Paphos is called Kato Paphos – this is the modern town beside the sea. Upper Paphos is the old town. this is also called Ktima, where you will find many catacombs and medieval baths.
Visit the Paphos Archaeological Park to see ancient Roman ruins that go back to the 3 rd century. See some of the best preserved mosaics, Doric columns, the Roman Odeon, Paphos Castle, Forty Columns Fortress, House of Dionysus, House of Aion, and other archeological treasures. Aphrodite’s Rock, a famous landmark on the island is a short distance to the south from here. To the north is the Tombs of the Kings.
Paphos has the longest coastline in Cyprus, so there are many great beaches. There are several good beaches around the city as well. Coral Bay to the north, for instance, is one of the best beaches on the island.
Paphos – Quick Facts
- Paphos is a coastal city in the west coast of Cyrpus
- The entire city is UNESCO Heritage listed
- Many ancient historic spots and places of archeological importance
- Paphos was selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2017
- 27 beaches around the city, out of which 12 are Blue Flag beaches
- Many events and festivals, including the Aphrodite Festival in September
- There are many wineries and vineyards around the city
- Close to hills, golf resort, and a beautiful gorge
Best Time to Visit
Paphos enjoys a sub-tropical climate. The best time to visit Paphos is between June and September. Expect a lot of sunshine, clear skies, and warm temperatures in the summer months. Temperatures can rise to 31ᵒC in the summers, with the minimum hovering around 26ᵒC.
Cyprus receives 300 days of sunshine in a year, so you can expect a lot of sunny weather no matter when you visit. The summer season is however, dryer, hot, and short. The winter is mild. June to September is the hottest time of the year. There is rarely any rain during these months.
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How to Reach Paphos?
- By Air – The city has an international airport, which is 20 km southeast from the city center. It takes 20 minutes. This is the second-largest airport on the island after the airport at Larnaca. It is connected by British Airways, easyJet, Lufthansa, Ryanair, Scandinavian Airlines, Transavia, TUI Airways, Ural Airlines, and many other carriers. You will find shuttles and taxis just outside. You can also disembark at Larnaca and travel to Paphos by car. It will take about 90 minutes.
- By Road – It takes 1.5 hours to travel from Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, to Paphos. The distance is 150 kms. You can also visit the city from Peyia and Coral Bay in the north and from Limassol. Traveling through the coastal region is easy.
10 Top Places to Visit in Paphos
- Kato Paphos Archaeology Park – The top historical attraction of the city. See ancient Roman ruins that go back to the 3rd century. Highlights include very well preserved mosaics, Doric columns, the Roman Odeon, Paphos Castle, Forty Columns Fortress, House of Dionysus, House of Aion, and other archeological treasures.
- Tombs of the Kings - Underground tombs, going back to the 4th century BC. A UNESCO World Heritage since 1980. Not the kings, high ranking officials and aristocrats are buried here. Many of them are decorated with Doric pillars. It is believed that many tombs contained treasures once, like the ones in Egypt.
- Aphrodite’s Rock – An iconic rock beside the sea. This is a very popular place to take a picture. Many like to swim in the warm water of the sea beside the rock believing this will improve their love life and passion.
- Aphrodite Water Park – Very popular for families. There are many slides, a wave pool, and lazy river. Buy a day pass to save money. There are DJs, lifeguards, many snacks and drinks counters.
- Paphos Zoo – The home of 200 bird species, lions, giraffes, meerkats, kangaroos, crocodiles, parrots, and many other animal species.
- Troodos Mountains – The tallest peak in Cyprus, Mount Olympus is located here. Enjoy the scenic beauty as you climb up. For some cultural insights, visit the Byzantine churches and monasteries. There is skiing in the winter.
- Paphos Archaeological Museum – There are many interesting exhibits from the Neolithic age. Each room in the museum depicts a certain era.
- Wine Tour – There are many vineyards and wineries around the city. The native Xynisteri grape produces some fantastic white wines. You can go on a wine-tasting tour and learn how they make the produce.
- The Akamas Peninsula – The north-western end of the island. It is less than an hour’s drive north from Paphos. Visit it on a day trip. Find loggerhead turtles and green turtles key nesting areas. The Lara beach is nearby.
- Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa – This is one of the world’s oldest functioning Christian churches. The basilica goes back to the 4th century AD.
Paphos has 50 km of coastline, which makes it the longest on the island. There are 27 beaches in and around the city, out of which 12 are Blue flag beaches. Blue Lagoon, Polis, Coral Bay, and Lara Bay are the top choices. Some of the beaches are busy, while the others are remote. Many have good infrastructure for tourists and lifeguards.
- Petra Tou Romiou – According to mythology, Goddess Aphrodite rose from the sea here. See the Aphrodite’s Rock. It is believed that if you swim around the rock thrice, you will be blessed by eternal beauty.
- Polis Beach – Good for relaxation. There are campsites and restaurants.
- Coral Bay – Only 6 km north of Paphos. This is one of the top beaches in Cyprus.
- Pachyammos Beach – Narrow, sandy beach, popular for water sports. There are many loungers and umbrellas.
- Ta Bania – It has everything, changing rooms, showers, restaurants, cafes, and lounge bars.
Shopping at Paphos
There are many places to shop and buy memorabilia at Paphos. You can visit the King’s Avenue Mall for high-street fashion and boutique wear. The Town Market in the town’s older section is good for souvenir hunting. You will also find leather goods, beachwear, and clothing items. You can also head to the Poseidonos Avenue and the Apostolou Pavlou Street, which is the city’s busiest road. Visit the Kivotos Gallery for authentic Cypriot arts and crafts.
The best things to buy at Paphos are pottery and rare handicrafts. Visit the Fold Art and Handicraft Center for wool, textiles, cotton, and precious stones. The harbor side shopping district sells handbags and leather goods.
Ayia Napa is the nightlife capital of the island. But you will still find some after-evening adventure here. Head to the Agiou Antoniou Street or The Strip for all the fun. The locals call it by various names like Bar Street, Nightlife Street and Entertainment Street.
Some of the top nightclubs are Decades, Robin Hood Pub, and Loft Club. Enjoy, Greek, electronic, and pop in these places. There is live music at Boogies Karaoke & Disco Club, Pingouino Café, and The Rose Pub.
Top 6 Restaurants in Paphos
1. Muse Restaurant – Located in central Paphos. Try their burgers, fresh salads, grilled Salmon with risotto.
2. Oniro By the Sea – Enjoy coffee and sandwich. There is a modern menu that includes a lot of items.
3. Suite 48 – Popular for their sandwiches, salads, grilled dishes, cocktails, and smoothies.
4. Gabor – This French restaurant serves the best pancakes in the region. Get the classic dining experience.
5. Minthis Hills – A very good Sunday buffet.
6. Porto Bello – Gourmet Italian cuisine.
There are many hotels and resorts in Paphos, most of them along the city’s beachfront. You will find accommodation to suit every need and budget.
Villas for Rent
Luxury villas for rent in Paphos are some of the best places to stay. Stay together as a group in complete privacy. You will have your own private pool, Jacuzzi, tropical garden, manicured lawn, housekeeping and concierge service, personal chef, and security. The villas have bigger bedrooms and more space with luxurious indoors and beautiful outdoors.
Located in Aphrodite’s exclusive community, Villa Weston is the perfect vacation paradise for you, your family and friends. With fantastic ocean views, this 4 bedroom, 4 and a half bath, luxury villa has everything you would need for the ideal Cyprus getaway, including an expansive terrace, heated pool, and hot tub.
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