Those people who rave about Paris don’t know what they’re talking about! Did Paris grow on the spot where the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, was born? No! But Paphos, a breathtakingly beautiful coastal town on the island of Cyprus did – and take it from us, there’s definitely something in the water… in a good way.
Explore theDiarizos River Valley if you’re a nature lover, or drive through Nikoklia village towards Troodos Mountains and enjoy the amazing views. And you can’t go to Cyprus without visiting some of the ancient sites that cradled Western civilisation. Well, actually, you can… because settling down in one of the many outdoor bars can be just as enlightening after a glass or three of the island’s finest wine!
Paphos’ Top 10
10. Agia Solomoni Catacombs A massive tree marks the entrance to the underground catacombs. Nothing marks the exit, however, which is surely more important…
5. Paphos Fort A fascinating history is contained within the walls of this fort and prison.
9. Akamas Peninsula Nature at its finest, from wooded headland to secluded beaches to turtles frolicking in azure waters.
4. The Tombs of the Kings A slightly misleading name as no kings are buried here, but still well worth the visit.
8. Aphrodite Water Park Slides, rivers and wave machines. Touristy, but still buckets of fun.
3. House of Theseus Famous for its mosaic and a fascinating insight into days of yore.
7. Odeon Within the Archaeological Park, this is a huge, ancient amphitheatre that still hosts performances.
2. House of Dionysos Dionysos was the Greek god of wine and partying. Sounds like his house is the place to be!
6. Paphos Bird Park Feathered friends and more live here. Ornithologists rejoice!
1. Paphos Archaeological Park So much to see. Ruins have never been so interesting.
- Paphos Archaeological Park – This stunning park houses a range of attractions, including the ruins of Roman villas.
- The Tombs of the Kings – This vast expanse of land provides an impression of life in the 4th century.
- Paphos Fort – Located near to the marina, this fort is associated with a colourful history.
- The Odeon – A classic Greek amphitheatre situated within an archaeological park.
- Our Lady of the Harbour Church – Built in the 5th century, the ruins of this church still exist.
Paphos Art & Culture
- Paphos Byzantine Museum – This museum houses a small collection of religious works.
- Paphos District Archaeological Museum – This ever-expanding museum houses a fascinating collection of Cypriot antiquities.
- Paphos Ethnographical Museum – This museum is home to finds from the Neolithic Age.
- Paphos Cultural Festival – Held in September, this festival showcases local and international theatrical and musical performance groups.
- Paphos Festival – This festival takes place 50 days before Easter.
- Kato Paphos Harbour - This harbour is home to countless handicraft shops.
- Ermes Department Store – A supermarket and departmental store in one.
- Paphos Open Air Market – Located in Timi village, this market is open every Sunday and sells local knick knacks.
- Cyprus Handicraft Centre – A handicrafts and pottery centre, home to products made from precious stones, metal, wood or such textiles as silk, wool and cotton.
- Paphos Market – Located near Agora Street, this colourful market is where locals sell their produce.
Gay & Lesbian Paphos
- Sea Caves Beach – This Coral Bay beach is a mixed beach, but is often frequented by gay tourists and locals.
- Different Bar – This modern, fashionable bar is located in the main tourist area of Paphos and boasts contemporary music and stylish interior design.
- Rainbow Disco – One of the oldest nightclubs in Paphos.
- Disco Bar – Boasts a ’70s and ’80s disco ambiance. Buy a bright wig and get groovy.
- Woodyz Music Bar – Not strictly a gay bar, but one of the most popular hangouts.
- Paphos Bird Park – A huge animal park located in the north of the region.
- Paphos Aphrodite Water Park – An impressive water park featuring an abundance of slides for all ages.
- Tala Village – A traditional village close to the Agios Neophytos Monastery.
- Pachyammos Beach – A blue-flag beach perfect for a lazy day in the sun.
- Aliathon Bowling Club – The bowling green is the perfect setting for both novice and experienced bowlers to test their skills.
- Pay a visit to the Geroskipou Sports Centre to watch the athletic stars of the future.
- Catch Dionysos, a volleyball team from Stroumpi, at the indoor Aphrodite Arena.
- Watch Pafiakos, Paphos’ volleyball champions, at the indoor Aphrodite Arena.
- Visit Aphrodite Hills Golf Club, a magnificent 18-hole golf course at which tournaments are often held.
- Catch the AEP Paphos football club at the Pafiako Stadium.
February bursts into colour with the Limassol Carnival, a 10-day long festival of colour and organised chaos.
The Flower Festival blooms in May to celebrate the arrival of spring.
Prepare your palate and be ready to swish and spit during July when the Koumandaria Festival celebrates the region’s latest vintage with some serious wine-tasting.
The Aphrodite Festival is an annual opera festival that takes place at Castle Square in September.
When To Go
- May to August is the warmest and busiest time. Temperatures are nice and warm, regularly topping 30°C (86°F) in August.
- November and December is still warm enough for swimming, although expect some rain.
- January and February are the true winter months, when the temperature can fall to as low as 7°C (45°F).
Walking is a great way to explore Paphos. It’s quite safe and you’ll discover attractions that you would otherwise miss.
If you want to explore further afield, you can take the local bus service.
Alternatively, you can always hire a bike, quad or car. It’s relatively cheap and well worth it as the buses can be a tad unreliable.
Paphos is one of many coastal gems on the island of Cyprus. The town of over 50,000 people is a popular destination because of a desirable climate and exquisite natural vistas but most notably for a slew of historic landmarks that in some cases, date back to antiquity. Legend has it that Paphos was the birthplace of the mythical goddess Aphrodite, who rose from the sea to beguile men with her wondrous beauty. The rock formation Petra Tou Romiou, or Rock of Aphrodite, marks the place of the deity's apparent ascent and draws scores of tourists to what is easily one of the most scenic spots in all of Cyprus.
Must-see attractions in Paphos that drew the attention of UNESCO include Paphos Castle, once a Byzantine fort as far back as the early 13th century. The awesome necropolis known as the Tombs of the Kings however, remains the most spectacular site in Paphos. With many underground tombs that date back to the 4th century BC, the excavation area is a veritable goldmine for archaeologists and a constant source of discovery.
Attractions & Activities
Restaurant & Nightlife
Paphos enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with brief, mild winters and long, hot summers.
- Winter (December to February) 8-18°C
- Spring (March to May) 8-23°C
- Summer (June to September) 17-29°C
- Fall (October to November) 12-25°
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