What to visit in Paphos
Updated: Aug 12, 2022
Paphos, a town and port on the southwest coast of Cyprus, washed by the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, is steeped in Greek mythological legends. Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and conception, is said to have been born here. Uranus' genitals landed on Petra to Ramiou beach in particular. They were transformed into foam, which gave life to the sleeping beauty. Paphos is one of Cyprus's most popular and beautiful resorts. Even though it receives many visitors each year, it has retained its character with a touch of history. With several traditional villages, vineyards, and banana plantations, the local nature abounds in many picturesque corners and breathtaking scenery.
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What not to miss?
Paphos Archaeological Park, considered the most important archaeological site in Cyprus, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Within it, you can see the ruins of a once-important ancient Greek and Roman city, and spending a morning or afternoon wandering around its sun-baked bricks transports you back to these prosperous times.
Some of the Mediterranean's most impressive and well-preserved mosaics can be found at Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, which was discovered by chance in 1962 by a farmer plowing his fields. The ruins of five Roman villas can also be found on the site, though only a few pillars, low walls, and foundations remain. The colorful Roman mosaics are the main attraction, and we spent several hours exploring them. The incredible mosaics depict scenes from Greek mythology as well as everyday life. The House of Theseus is nearby and worth a visit for the south wing mosaic depicting Theseus fighting a Minotaur. It is also famous for its columns.
Agora and Odeon
The Pafos Odeon is located in Kato Pafos, right in the heart of the tourist district. It is a small Odeon from the second century made entirely of hand-hewn limestone blocks. It is now used for musical and theatrical performances during the summer. The remains of the ancient city walls, the Roman Agora, and a building dedicated to Asklipeios, the god of medicine, are all nearby.
A stroll along Paphos harbor is likely to occur while you're en route to some of the best Paphos attractions. Allowing some time to linger is worthwhile. There will be plenty of cafes, bars, and restaurants along the way, some of which have tables right next to the sea and are a lovely spot for a bite of local cuisine or a cold beer at sunset. There are numerous shops selling souvenirs, local products, and handicrafts.
Take a Boat Trip
The Blue Lagoon's crystal clear waters are ideal for a boat trip from Paphos. A relaxing day of cruising the Mediterranean is made possible by hotel pick-ups. Swim in the Blue Lagoon, snorkel, or canoe through the sea caves. Relax on the boat as you pass the picturesque Akamas Peninsula and Latchi Harbour. A lunch buffet and open bar are included. From the harbor, take a half-day boat trip. The friendly 'pirates' and the lively entertainment program will delight children. This boat tour is ideal for children.
What else to visit?
Climb Paphos Fort
Paphos Fort is a distinctive landmark that was destroyed and rebuilt numerous times before being restored by the Ottomans in 1592. It was built to protect the harbor and is now one of Paphos' many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Cross the bridged moat and climb the fort for panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the harbor area. You'll probably spend no more than 30 minutes in the defense, but the views are worth the 2.50€ admission fee for adults.
Discover Art Installations in Kato Paphos
The Paphos coastal path connects the lighthouse to Alykes Beach and features 12 works of art by five Cypriot artists. The pieces were commissioned in 2017 as part of the town's European City of Culture year. Aphrodite is represented by the statue 'Sol Alter' by Yiota Ioannidou, located near the fort. "Views of Infinity," a geometric marble installation by Harry Paspallis, is located further away from the lighthouse. On our walks, we saw four others.
Explore Paphos Old Town
Paphos was named the European Capital of Culture in 2017, and the old town received a facelift. The Municipal Market, located in Ktima's pedestrian zone, sells everything from fruits and vegetables to clothing, pottery, and jewelry. Paphos' old town is high up, so stop in one of the cafes for a coffee or a glass of local wine. Some have breathtaking views of the countryside and the coast. Look for street art in Paphos Old Town or local handicrafts at The Place.
Enjoy Jimmy's Jeep Adventure
If you want to enjoy your vacation 100%, we definitely recommend using trips with Jimmy's Jeep Adventure. You will definitely not regret it and you will experience a real adventure!
How to travel there?
Cyprus can only be reached by plane. There are no regularly scheduled ferries to Cyprus. Low-cost airlines to Cyprus began to appear around 2017, significantly lowering average ticket prices from Europe to this island. The Republic of Cyprus has two international airports:
Larnaca Airport is the largest and connects to all of Europe and the Middle East. Cyprus Airways and Wizz Air are among the airlines that fly here.
Paphos Airport is Cyprus's second international airport, and Ryanair dominates it.
You will need a car to travel outside the cities and to more remote areas of Cyprus. Because there is a lot of competition among car rental companies on the island, you can rent cars at a low cost. The cost of borrowing for one day ranges between 25 - 55€.
Buses are the only mode of public transportation in Cyprus. There are no railways, trams, or even subways in this city. However, bus transportation is simple and costs a flat rate of 1,50€ per trip.
When to travel there?
Summer activities and swimming
As previously stated, Cyprus has a long summer season. You can visit Cyprus for a typical beach vacation anytime between the end of May and the end of October when the seas and air temperatures are hot. Keep in mind the summer vacation months of July and August. Temperatures can reach an extreme of 40 °C during these months, making them ideal for a beach vacation. Logically, the highest prices for lodging and services are also during this time, rising to double average prices. If you are not convinced whether to go to Paphos in the summer, check out @paphos_cy because here you will find all the beauties of Paphos that are waiting for you!
Tourism and exploration
Non-beach activities are available all year in Cyprus. You can visit cities and monuments whenever you want. If hiking is the main focus of your vacation, visit Cyprus between March and May, or from October to November, when the weather is most pleasant. If you want to experience something truly unique and use Europe's southernmost ski resort, go in January or February.
The low-budget traveler prepares his meals or eats at local buffets or fast food restaurants. He shops at Lidl or other low-cost supermarkets and takes the bus. You can find free lodging by Couchsurfing or by using Airbnb services. During the day, food and drink will cost around 20€. A hostel or Airbnb will set you back about 20€. The daily cost will be 40€ per person per day.
The standard traveler will stay in a typical hotel room with breakfast that will cost around 60€. Renting a car for four people costs around 25€ per day, and adding gasoline brings the total to 40€ per car. We'll spend about 25€ on food for the entire day. We are provided with a daily budget of 150€ per person.
The luxury traveler wants to eat at the best restaurants while staying in a villa or a six-star hotel; budget 200€ per day for four people renting a villa and 120€ for lunch and dinner at a luxury restaurant. You can spend up to 610€ per person/day here if you rent a boat or the best car.
Where to eat?
The Almyra Hotel's Ouzeri Restaurant. The restaurant is situated on the seafront, on the outskirts of the hotel, with stunning views and plenty of opportunities for people-watching. The menu is brief and straightforward, focusing on the highlights of local cuisine. We tried the Lobster Pasta, which was delicious, as well as the chicken gyros with tzatziki.
Locals recommended Muse Restaurant to us because it is the type of place where locals hand out, and they have great food. Muse is located in central Paphos on a hill with panoramic views of the city and the harbor. A large outdoor seating area and a cozy indoor section of the restaurant dominate the generous space. The menu has everything you want: beautiful burgers, fresh salads, delectable seafood, and plenty of cocktails to wash it all down. Grilled salmon with saffron risotto and clams is our favorite. You should give it a shot!
Oniro by the Sea has long been a favorite of locals and tourists. There used to be a few chairs and tables where you could grab a sandwich and coffee, but now it is the official summer hot spot. Because the restaurant is in the middle of nowhere, all you can hear are the waves crashing onto the rocks below. The premises were exquisitely decorated, with no detail overlooked. BUT! Even more exciting is the food! The menu is very modern and includes a few surprises. No bland staple dishes are found in every restaurant; instead, everything has been given a modern twist—fresh ingredients presented in a lovely way.
Paphos Aphrodite Festival
Opera fans should not miss the annual Paphos Aphrodite Festival, which takes place each September in the coastal city. The festival organizers invite a well-known opera troupe to perform an opera in the city every year. Verdi's "La Traviata" and "Aida," Bizet's "Carmen," and Puccini's "Turandot" have all been performed in the past. The Paphos Aphrodite Festival was first held in 1999 and has since grown to become one of Cyprus's most popular events. The Paphos Aphrodite Festival's location creates the ideal mood and environment for almost any opera performance. The event is held in the open air on the square in front of Paphos' medieval castle.
Every year at the end of the hot summer, the Paphos district village of Stroumbi hosts a festival in honor of Dionysus, the famous Greek god of wine. As a result, the Dionysia Festival is a celebration of the island's fine wines. The first Dionysia Festival was held in 1967 when a group of community members organized the "Dance of the Grape," which took place in the village square and lasted one day. Later, the event grew into a three-day festival, becoming one of the country's largest and most important events of its kind. The Dionysia's program includes numerous wine displays, traditional Cypriot and foreign dances, songs, games, local arts and crafts, fruits, vine-produce, and flower displays. Plenty of grapes and palouze (must jelly) are provided for free throughout the festival. On the festival's final night, a "Star Dionysia" and a "Miss Grape" are chosen through a dance competition.
In August, visit the Paphos region village of Kallepeia, which comes alive for the annual Arkadia Festival. This event celebrates the area's beauty and is a fun day for the whole family. Foreigners join locals to enjoy traditional Cypriot hospitality at the Arkadia Festival, which includes live music, traditional dancing, and the region's famous food.
We hope you have enjoyed Paphos with us! We fell in love with this island, and we hope you will too as a result of our recommendations! We also have other places for you to visit, such as Split, Mykonos, and Gozo. Do not forget to follow us @thewalkingparrot to be always updated on the new releases. Let us know what you liked the most in Paphos if you decide to visit!