Paphos (Pafos locally) is a city on the west coast of Cyprus, in the Mediterranean. It is the home to some of the largest and most important archaeological sites on the island and has a busy tourist section with a strong UK influence.  

With a sub-tropical Mediterranean climate, Paphos has beautiful weather all year round, especially during the summer, making it a top holiday destination. Known for it's historic landmarks, sandy beaches and clear blue waters, there's many popular attractions to visit. 

The Kato Archaeological park, Tomb of Kings and Paphos Castle are just a few top landmarks to explore when visiting Paphos. Bursting of culture and history, they make the perfect day out for those of you searching for adventure. Not only does Paphos have a variety of historic landmarks, they have stunning beaches, perfect for couples, families and solos. Coral Bay is favourite among tourists and locals!
 

Overview

The city is effectively divided into two: Lower Paphos and Upper Paphos. Lower Paphos includes the tourist centre of Kato Paphos, which is packed with bars, restaurants and clubs serving an international, but particularly British, set of visitors. 
Upper Paphos has more Cypriot character. Ktima is the busiest spot, the centre of the old town, and has some impressive buildings and smart hotels. 

History is everywhere in Paphos, including in Kato Paphos, there really is no way of getting away from it even if you wanted to. Of course, most people come to enjoy it and Paphos is one of the best locations in Europe for fans of ancient history, and also has important medieval buildings. 

The coast is stunning. There are 27 beaches along the 50km of coast around Paphos, and a dozen or so have Blue Flag awards for water quality. Around the resort you’ll find good facilities for sunbathers, water sports, and boat excursions. Move away from the towns to find more isolated delights. Coral Bay is a favourite, pleasantly quiet in the off season, busy with bars and restaurants in the summer. 
To the north of Paphos is the important Akamas Peninsula National Park, one of the island’s natural wonders, that’s best accessed by boat. The central Troodos Mountains are also easy to reach for a day trip. Cyprus is now providing much more for walkers, cyclists and other adventurous spirits. 

The climate on Cyprus is attractive all year round. The summers can be very hot, and will certainly see temperatures into the 30s, though Paphos’ coastal perch can lower those highs by a couple of degrees. Winter is pleasantly mild, usually over 10°C. Autumn and spring are good times to visit, particularly for active travellers. The temperatures are in the 20s, and spring sees the mountains transformed with spectacular displays of wild flowers.

Key Facts

  • Currency: EUR: Euro
    Language: Greek, Turkish, English widely spoken
    Approximate flight time from UK: 4.5 hours
    Time zone: GMT +2

Great For

British Visitors: Paphos has long links with the British Isles and parts of the resort are bursting with English-language facilities, British food, and entertainments. 
History: Purported birthplace of Aphrodite, the Ancient Greek goddess of love, Paphos is a world-class archaeological site. 
Off-season Breaks: If the heat of the Cyprus summer seems too much for you take a look at autumn and spring breaks. It should be warm – in the 20s – and Cyprus is blessed with year-round sun. Winters are mild, though not usually hot enough to swim. 
Beaches: Paphos itself has a large collection of good quality beaches. The coast away from the resort is also spoiled for beautiful coast. The beaches of the Akamas Peninsula are home to a spectacular annual visit of rare sea turtles.

Kato Paphos Archaeological Park

This huge archaeological park is one of the most important in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spanning a period from prehistory to the middle ages, the most important ruins and remains of Kato Paphos are Roman, including wonderful mosaics, an amphitheatre, and underground catacombs. It’s incredibly good value for such a large site. There isn’t a great deal of shade and the ground is rocky and uneven so time your visit to avoid the hottest parts of the day and bring good sun protection and shoes. 
Address: Paphos, Cyprus
Opening hours: 16th September – 15th April: 8.30am to 5pm. 16th April – 15th September: 8.30am to 7.30pm
Cost: €4.50
Website: http://www.visitpafos.org.cy/Archaeological_Park.aspx#_=_

 

Lara Bay Turtle Conservation Station

Definitely worth a visit if you’re going to travel to the Akamas Peninsula, this small information centre (not much more than a hut) helps explain the importance of the endangered turtle populations that visit to lay their eggs each summer. The area is wild, and it may be necessary to arrange a trip or use a 4X4 vehicle. The beaches of the peninsula are stunning, but not all are safe for swimming. The turtles are protected and care should be taken not to disturb them. There’s a small restaurant near the beach. 
Address: Akamas, Paphos, Cyprus
Cost: Free
Website: http://www.aboutcyprus.org.cy/en/turtles-and-conservation-in-cyprus

 

Aphrodite Waterpark

The largest water park in the Paphos region is a good family day out and easily accessible from the resort hotels along the coast, including by public transport. It has the usual slides, rides and pools, is reportedly clean, and the food is of decent quality and not too expensive. Aphrodite Waterpark gets good online feedback, but there can be queues at busy times. 
Address: Tourist area, off Poseidonos Ave., Paphos 8133, Cyprus
Opening hours: May 1st - June 31st and September 1st - October 31st, 10:30am to 5.30pm. July 1st - August 31st, 10am to 6pm. 
Cost: Day tickets: Adult, €30; children (under 12s) €17. Numerous packages for families, groups and longer periods can be found online, and discounts for online purchase too. 
Website: https://aphroditewaterpark.com

 

Coral Bay

The perfect curve of the bay and the white sands of the beach have made Coral Bay, just to the north of the main town of Paphos, very popular. It’s still possible to find some peace and quiet here though, particularly in the winter, when it’s still a pretty place to visit and enjoy coastal walks. There are very good facilities for sun bathers, and bars, cafes and nightclubs along the sea-front “Strip”, including Greek and international cuisine. 
Address: Paphos, Cyprus
Website: http://www.coral-bay-cyprus.com

 

Tombs of the Kings

The name promotes the officials who were in fact buried here, but the tombs of this massive 4th-century BCE complex were so spectacular that locals assumed it must contain monarchs. The tombs are cut into the rock and beautifully designed. A visit is good value but there isn’t much in the way of interpretation information so a guide book is a good investment. 
Address: Kato Paphos, Cyprus, Tomb of the kings Ave.
Opening hours: 16th September – 15th April, 8.30am to 5pm. 16th April – 15th September, 8.30am to 7.30pm. 
Cost: €2.50
Website: http://www.visitpafos.org.cy/Tombs_of_the_Kings.aspx#_=_

 

Have you been to Paphos recently? What are the must-do experiences that you'd suggest? Do you have tips on how to stretch that holiday budget a bit further or know of a hidden-gem that’s easy to miss?


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