A guide to things to do in Paphos

Aside from the array of beautiful beaches up the almost 50-kilometre stretch of coastline, there’s an abundance of impressive archaeological sites in Paphos dating back thousands of years. Nature lovers can explore the lush interior of the island, capped by the Troodos Mountains and towering Olympus at their centre, while there are plenty of adventure parks, zoos and sporting amenities to keep the entire family occupied.

Travel back in time

This part of Cyprus is so chock full of archaeological attractions that history buffs will be in their absolute element on Paphos holidays. Within the town itself, the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s home to the spectacular Paphos mosaics on the waterfront and some impressive examples of Roman architecture.

Slightly further up the coast, there are the Tombs of the Kings – underground chambers where aristocrats were buried nearly 2,000 years ago. And a little further away is the ancient city of Amathus Bay, a site of divine worship and once a major stronghold on the southern Cypriot coast.

Between the Blue Flag and the deep blue sea

With 27 beaches along Paphos’ 50 kilometres of shoreline, you’ll have no trouble finding a spot to lay your towel and soak up some rays. Those who prioritise tourist amenities such as sunloungers and parasols would do well to hit the popular Coral Bay.

If you prefer your sands a little more secluded, the campsite at Dasoudi Beach is the perfect place to fall asleep under the stars and wake up to the lapping of the waves. And of course, a trip to Paphos wouldn’t be complete without paying homage to Aphrodite’s Rock. Legend has it that if you swim round it three times, the gods will look favourably upon your love life.

Fill your belly and your boots

Food is an important part of Cyprus holidays, no matter which part you’re visiting. Though closely associated with Greek gastronomy, Cypriot cuisine is an exquisite entity in its own right. There are few better ways to spend some hours in the Mediterranean sun than at one of the many taverns in the Paphos region. You can put away mezze after mezze as the tiny dishes arrive in a never-ending stream of culinary deliciousness.

Make sure you try local delicacies such as sheftalia sausages and halloumi cheese, washing it all down with a lovely glass of Commandaria – purportedly the oldest wine in the world. Or if you fancy a stiffer drink, sample zivania, the grape-based brandy liquor. Go on, you’re on holiday.

Get your adrenaline fix at an adventure park

It doesn’t matter whether you brought little ones with you or not, Paphos has an extensive array of parks, zoos and eco-tours to keep everyone occupied. There’s the adrenaline-fuelled Super Aphrodite Waterpark for fun on the flumes, while Luna Parks is a dry amusement centre close to Geroskipou.

If you love animals, see a whole host of creatures on show at Pafos Zoo, including tigers, elephants, giraffes, monkeys and many more. Alternatively, you could take an eco-tour into the wilderness behind Paphos town to explore the flora and fauna in its natural habitat.

Follow your nose into the hinterland

There are a variety of excursions which explore the bounteous beauty of Cyprus‘ interior. With a wide range of transportation available, you can trundle through the sleepy town of Kelokedara on the back of a donkey, ramble in the deep wilderness of the Troodos Mountains or explore Paphos’ rugged peninsula, Akamas.

The latter two areas are so overgrown with nature that they’re best navigated by 4×4. Their remoteness only enhances their attraction, as your chances of sighting a rare bird, animal or plant escalate the further behind you leave civilisation.