After traveling and vacationing all over the world for the past 30 years, we find Paphos to be the most relaxing and easy-going place to spend a vacation in Europe.
Here you can enjoy the advantages of a European city with good infrastructure, stores, restaurants, pubs, pharmacies, etc., but still be at a relatively rural Mediterranean vacation region. Just few minutes drive and you are at the most beautiful beaches – some sandy for swimming, some magnificent rocky seashore for hiking. Whether you like to be surrounded by nature in the Troodos Mountains, visiting ancient historical sites…. or just laying on the beach with lots of sun…it’s all here!!! All in the Paphos area.
Some people like to spend their vacation at a huge luxury hotel right in the center of town, but for us the best family or friends’ vacation has always been renting a private luxury villa not too far from the main tourist hubs and get the best of all worlds, for a much better price.
Our advice for the best vacation with your family and friends; rent a nice villa with a private pool in the Paphos area and a small car at the airport, and experience a private vacation as it should be!
Obviously, you may want to spend some of your days in the sun at your private villa swimming pool or at a nearby sandy beach, but if you want to explore the area, we strongly recommend taking a short drive and checking out some of the other attractions –
The Troodos Mountains:
Our subjective favorite attraction in the Paphos area is to spend a day exploring the Troodos Mountain range with its traditional picturesque villages.
The fact that the Troodos Mountains rise to almost 2,000 meters over sea level, means that within a relatively short drive (from the Paphos area to the heights of the mountains) you can basically change your surrounding atmosphere; from the hot and humid Mediterranean coastal landscape to cool and green lush mountain landscape. Up on the mountains you will find beautiful streams surrounded by cedar trees and small mountain villages with charming tavernas to sit in for lunch or coffee. What a wonderful way to spend a day on your vacation!
Here is a link with all needed information about the Troodos – http://chooseyourcyprus.com/discover-cyprus/troodos-mountains.html
We love to walk and experience nature personally. The Paphos area offers numerus hiking alternatives –
- The Troodos mountains offer many beautiful trails, from very easy to the most challenging ones. You can use this site to select one that is most suitable for you – http://www.lovetroodos.com/discover-troodos/troodos-walking-trails.html
Here are some of the recommended hike and walking trails that are closer to the Paphos tourist hubs –
- The Promenade in Paphos town (very low difficulty) is a nice short walk by the water, starting from the old port and ending by the “Alexander the Great” hotel. Many restaurants and coffee houses will make sure you are well cared for.
- The Sea Caves Peyia shoreline (low difficulty) is a nice easy walk by the shore at the Sea Caves area of Peyia, just a few minutes drive from Coral Bay. Take a walk on the shore and watch the different structures and caves made by constant pounding of sea waves against the limestone rock. After walking on the shoreline, sit for a cup of coffee at “Oniro by the Sea” watching the Edro-III shipwreck.
- The Avakas Gorge (moderate difficulty) is a popular hiking trail, located just a few minutes drive from the main tourist hub of Coral Bay, Paphos. This hike offers dramatic canyon and water views. There is a circular trail which you can follow of about 8-9 km, which will take you 3-4 hours to walk comfortably. There is a parking place at the entrance of the canyon. Follow the water until the end of the canyon, then follow the trail right up to the plateau and down back to your car. You can see a map of the trail at – https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/cyprus-avakas-gorge-251303
- The Aphrodite Nature Trail (moderate difficulty) offers magnificent coastal vistas of the Akamas Peninsula National Park. The location of the hike is about 40 minutes drive from Coral Bay and is definitely worth the drive. The trail starts near the Baths of Aphrodite restaurant, north of the peninsula, where you can park your car. Walk through the botanical gardens to see the “baths of Aphrodite” cave and then up towards the Pyrgos Tis Rigainas archeological site, where the trail forks in two directions – The Aphrodite trail to the right and the Adonis trail to the left. The circular hike is about 8 km and will take you 3-4 hours of relaxed walking. You can see a map of the trail at – http://www.visitcyprus.com/images/nature_trails/Akamas_EN_lrg.jpg
If you have young kids to entertain and you need some addition ideas beside the regular pool / beach routine, the Paphos area can offer some very good alternatives –
- The Paphos Zoo– Great place to spend a few hours with the kids. All the information at – https://www.pafoszoo.com/
- The Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark– This is a great place to spend a day with both young and older kids. See all info on their site – https://aphroditewaterpark.com/
- Sparti Rope Park– Is great fun place to spend time with the older kids. It is located about one-hour drive from Paphos. See all information on their website – http://spartipark.com/en/
- Donkey rides & Other activities– https://www.isango.com/paphos
- Horse riding – http://www.horseridingpaphos.com/
Cyprus has a well-documented history of thousands of years. The Greek, Roman and Ottoman empires have left their clear marks on the island, so if you find history fascinating, the Paphos area offers some top archeological sites to visit, such as –
- Kato Paphos Archaeological Park: a large archeological park located within the city of Paphos. If you like history, this is a must-see for you. The park offers many magnificent Roman mosaics and structures. It is a large park so make sure you schedule few hours for the visit. For more information see – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paphos_Archaeological_Park
- Tombs of the Kings, also located in Paphos, just few minutes walk from the major Kato archaeological park. This site is also a must-see if you are a history buff. For more information see – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tombs_of_the_Kings_(Paphos)
For the young at heart, looking for some night entertainment, be sure that the Paphos area offers a very much alive “pub and club” scene (at least in the high season, some open during low season as well).
There are two prime locations to try out for most selection of restaurants, pubs and clubs; one is in Paphos town and the other in Coral Bay center –
- The Kato Paphos neighborhood in Paphos town is the main night-life location in the city. Kato is bursting with restaurants and pubs, our recommendation for a great night out is to walk down BAR SREET, which is where most of the pubs and clubs are located and choose your most appealing place. The best way to reach BAR STREET is to walk on the promenade from the port and turn left on Alkminis street, then walk down until reaching Bar Street.
- Another place that you might like to spend an evening at is the “The Strip”, which is the nickname given to Coral-Bay Avenue in Coral Bay. The strip is also full of numerous restaurants and bars. No major night clubs but most of the places at the strip will offer some night entertainment like a Cypriot style music, or a more modern band and singer.
Here are some recommended places:
- The wooden pub – https://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/Attraction_Review-g190384-d7035070-Reviews-The_Wooden_Pub-Paphos_Paphos_District.html
- Black and White reload – https://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/Attraction_Review-g190384-d8840920-Reviews-Black_White_Reload-Paphos_Paphos_District.html
- The Flairs Cocktail Dance Bar – https://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/Attraction_Review-g190384-d5488673-Reviews-Flairs_Cocktail_Bar-Paphos_Paphos_District.html