In May I stayed in the Athena Beach in Paphos with family for 2 weeks. I had never been to Cyprus before but so many of my friends have spoken so animatedly of it and return year after year, so I had high hopes. Our hotel is located on the main road leading up to the harbour, just one of many lining the street, side by side, overlooking the beach behind. In all honesty, I was pretty surprised that most of these hotels had 4-5* ratings. They didn’t look it at all. Most were dated and in desperate need of a refurb! Our hotel’s furniture was tatty and some carpets were threadbare. With the exception of 2 hotels along this road, all were the same; living the dream of 5* status they were awarded around the same time as the man first landed on the moon I think!
The Paphos area seemed very popular with older travellers and bowling is popular in the big hotels. The hotel food was standard, nothing to write home about, and the beach was shingle and pebble, so all in all my first impressions weren’t great. However, as the holiday went on I found the hotel’s service to be impeccable, the people were really friendly and the hygiene standards were unbeatable. A waiter quickly noticed that I wasn’t eating much at lunch time, and seemed really concerned. When I explained that I didn’t like the food on offer, he promptly went away and reappeared with freshly cooked omelette, especially for me!
The area itself is varied. Yes, the beach wasn’t comfortable to walk along barefoot, and at times there was a very cool breeze across it, but down by the marina there were some divine little cafes and bars. We went on a boat trip from here and it was very civilised and interesting, not the lousy booze cruise we were expecting! There was even a live band aboard, and on the way home they played us some tropical acoustic music.
Judging by what my friends have told me about the other side of Cyprus I think Paphos has the historical attractions, classic features and nice scenery to suit people not wanting to party every night and sleep through the day. It’s not booze mad like Ayia Napa or only hotel based like other south coast resorts. There is culture to be explored and plenty of restaurants catering to most tastes. It’s too mature and not lively enough for me though, so although my holiday was really enjoyable, I don’t think I’ll be rushing back to Paphos Though if you want a quiet and peaceful holiday with plenty to see and do and great people and service, then I would recommend it. Do your research to make sure you know what’s on offer and what to expect from this place, and you will be fully prepared to enjoy your holiday to Cyprus, and all it has to offer.
By Julie P