Paphos is a charmer when it comes to holidays in the sunny Med. Tucked along Cyprus’ southern coast, the centuries-old town is cloaked in history, mythology and a whole lot of opportunities for sightseeing. That’s why it’s our destination of the month.
Paphos at a glance
Paphos’ history is long, winding and surrounded by myth, beginning somewhere back in the Neolithic period. Fast forward a couple thousand years, and you’ll find a cosmopolitan city still very much connected to its roots. A glittering jewel in any holidaymaker’s crown, Paphos has even been named European Capital of Culture for 2017.
Nowadays, Paphos is divided in two, its halves aptly-named Old Paphos and New Paphos. Each is packed with its fair share of ancient relics and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Cyprus is in the Mediterranean, so it’s treated to year-round warmth that’s no stranger to humidity come summertime. All the better for lounging on the beach – there are some 27 beaches covering 50-kilometres of coastline in Paphos.
5 fun facts about Paphos
- Paphos is rumoured to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty. According to myth, she rose from the sea near Old Paphos, which soon became a big spot for worshipping her.
- Legend has it that anyone who swims around the Rock of Aphrodite, a sea stack just off the main road from Paphos to nearby Limassol, will be blessed with eternal beauty.
- The entire city of Paphos has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its ancient finds.
- Halloumi is the national cheese of Cyprus, and can be sampled just about everywhere in Paphos.
- Over the years, Paphos has been ruled by the Romans, Greeks, Turks, Venetians and Brits, among many others.
Things to do
Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
This name is an umbrella term for the park that encompasses four Roman villas with gorgeous mosaic floors, a fortress and basilica, an ancient theatre and the ‘Tombs of the Kings’. The relics here range in origin from prehistoric times all the way through to the Middle Ages.
House of Dionysus
The House of Dionysus is one of the Roman villas within the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, and most likely belonged to a member of the Roman upper class. Its incredible floor mosaics are its main draw, as they’re amazingly well-preserved. Many depict Dionysus, the God of wine, hence the name.
Tomb of the Kings
While no kings were actually buried here – it was actually the final resting place for local aristocrats of the time – the Tomb of the Kings was certainly built with royal flair. The entire structure is carved into solid rock, and was erected in the 3rd century.
Found in the centre of town is a daily market that’s prime for authentic souvenir shopping. The indoor bits are bazaar-style, featuring everything from jewellery to lace tablecloths and leather goods. Outside is where the fresh fruit and veg is sold.
Coral Bay is arguably the most popular beach in Paphos. Its Blue Flag award-winning shores stretch for 600-metres, and are fringed by hotels, restaurants and beach bars.
What began as a private building to house someone’s collection of birds soon became a full-blown zoo that now provides solace to animals such as lions, giraffes, tigers and monkeys. The zoo’s collection of parrots and venomous snakes is one of the biggest in Europe.
Eat at the port
The port in Paphos is where you’ll find a selection of restaurants and cafes whose chairs are nestled right up against the waterfront. They also overlook the medieval castle just on the other side of the boats. Cypriot food is known for its international influences, so expect an eclectic assortment of flavours from Turkey, Greece and the Middle East.
Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark
The Paphos Aprodite Waterpark is one of the biggest in Cyprus, packed with slides, raft rides, a lazy river, splash park and wave pool. And the year-round warmth means there’s never a bad day to visit.
Here are some of our top money-saving deals on holidays to Paphos.
Holiday Village Aliathon
7 nights, All Inclusive
The Holiday Village Aliathon is laid out just like that – a village. The huge pool separates an island-like restaurant equipped with a lighthouse, but that’s only the beginning of the culinary options here. There are three in total, not to mention an Aerial Adventure course, splash park and football academy.
Online Discount = today’s online saving on TUI’s in-store price
Atlantica Golden Beach Hotel
7 nights, Half Board
The only thing that separates this adults-only hotel from the water is a grassy grove and a line of banana trees, giving it an especially secluded air. In reality, Paphos harbour is only 8 kilometres away. The Atlantica Golden Beach comes equipped with a massive lagoon-style pool and a wide range of dining options, as well as a ritzy, marbled interior.
Damon Hotel and Apartments
7 nights, All Inclusive
Location, location, location. That’s what these apartments boast loudest about, as they’re within close proximity to the coast and central Paphos. There’s a buffet restaurant and daily evening entertainment, plus a nearby bus stop if you want to broaden your horizons.
Discount = today’s online saving on TUI’s in-store price, plus any applicable further reduction against this holiday’s launch price
Now you’ve had a taster of what Paphos has to offer, book yourself a relaxing holiday away to this divine city and escape those autumn blues. Look out for upcoming posts this month including ‘Paphos City’s Best Bakes’ and ‘Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in Paphos’.