An array of stunning Blue Flag beaches, an ancient world of history to explore and an impressive 340 days of sunshine per year. It’s not hard to see why Paphos makes for the perfect holiday destination, no matter what time of year you’re thinking of going. I visited just a couple of years back and fell head over heals in love with the place. Read on to find out what I think some of the top things to do in Paphos are.
For the Beach Lovers
There are around 27 beaches in the Paphos area. And, as previously mentioned, at least 12 of these beaches have been awarded Blue Flag status, giving you peace of mind that these beaches are safe, clean and among some of the best in the world. Perhaps one of the most popular beaches to visit for any beach lover would be Coral Bay. Located just to the north of Paphos, the beach boasts beautiful soft sand, excellent swimming conditions and a whole host of facilities close by.
For the History Buffs
There’s so much ancient history to delve into whilst visiting Paphos, it’s hard to know where to start! So let’s start right in the centre. Just next to the harbour, you’ll find Kato Paphos Archaeological Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to prehistoric times and contains impressive Roman architecture and stunningly preserved mosaics.
Heading slightly along the coast, you’ll find the Tombs of the Kings, which are remarkable underground tombs dating back to the 4th century BC. And venturing further afield, you can explore the ancient city of Amathus or visit the famous Aphrodite’s Rock, where it is said to be the birthplace of the goddess.
For the Culture Vultures
Aside from the excellent weather and fascinating history, another thing Cyprus is known for is its delicious local cuisines. With everything from Halloumi cheese and Sheftalia sausages to succulent kleftiko and even ostrich, you’re sure to find something new and exciting to fall in love with.
Head just to the east of Paphos and you’ll find the small coastal town of Geroskipou. This is the place to be if you love ‘Loukoumia’, which is Cyprus’ answer to Turkish delights. Many of the shops sell this local delicacy in every flavour imaginable. You can even watch it being made. It makes for the perfect gift for friends and family back home. Especially when you can share the story of where it came from.
For the Whole Family
You’ll be surprised at how much there is for the whole family to enjoy in and around Paphos. For the adults, there are four well-known golf courses in the region. But if you want to get the kids involved, you need to be teeing off at the fun-filled Island Cove Adventure Mini Golf. If you prefer life in the fast lane, then the only place to be is the Paphos Karting Centre. There’s also Super Aphrodite Waterpark, Pafos Zoo with its great range of animals and fantastic bird show and Luna Parks, which is an amusement park close to the public beach at Geroskipou.
If the weather gets a bit too hot for you or your little ones, then make your way to Paphos’ Kings Avenue Shopping Mall and indulge in a little bit of retail therapy. You’ll find 120 shops to browse as well as a variety of dining options and a cinema. And if the kids behave themselves, you can give them a treat at the Kidsland activity centre.
For the Explorers
Paphos is the ideal place to base yourself if you love to explore not only your immediate surroundings but a little further afield as well. Paphos itself has so much to discover, with all of its archaeological ruins and endless stretches of stunning coastline. In recent years, it has now become possible to do the harbour walk right along the coast from – you guessed it – the harbour. This is perfect if you time it right to coincide with one of Paphos’ breath-taking sunsets. Make sure you allow time to visit the iconic castle before you start your walk as well.
Travel north of Paphos and you will eventually reach the Akamas Paninsula National Park, which is well worth a visit should time be on your side. It is a protected area of outstanding natural beauty where loggerhead turtles go to lay their eggs and is a beautiful place to visit. Or head inland to the traditional village of Kalopanayiotis, famous for its healing waters.
Already been to Paphos? What’s your opinion on the best things to see and do on the island? Let me know in the comments below and share with your friends and family who might be thinking of visiting.