Stunningly situated on the Mediterranean coast, Paphos is located in the southwest of Cyprus and boasts golden sunshine all year round. Divided into two parts, the city houses both an important fishing harbour in Kato Pafos and the main residential district of Ktima. Known as one of the most fascinating and beautiful destinations that Cyprus has to offer, you won’t be short of great things to do on holidays to Paphos in 2019 / 2020.
This coastal city is packed with great opportunities to enjoy the beauty and history of Cyprus. Gaze at the beautiful mosaics at the House of Dionysus, venture to the Troodos Mountains or spend a day on the sandy beaches. If you can’t resist a bit of retail therapy, Paphos old town has some lovely independent shops and boutiques where you can find that unique hand crafted gift to take home.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic holiday for two, or a fun-filled family break, Paphos has something for you all to enjoy. The area has a varied selection of bars, restaurants, beaches and scenery to take in, whatever your tastes.
At a glance
- Time Zone: GMT +
- Average flight time: 5h 10m
When to go
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Paphos is one of Europe’s liveliest destinations. Featuring rich history, stunning beaches and the best nightlife on the island, there are many things to do on your Paphos holiday. The old town sits on a hill overlooking the sea and is where you’ll find some wonderful traditional Cypriot restaurants.
Down at the harbour, Paphos becomes more modern and is lined with good bars and seafood restaurants. As Paphos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will also find plenty of historic sights here, including Paphos Castle. There’s also the Cyprus Museum with its archaeological exhibits for culture lovers.
You could spend a day wandering around the city to witness the impressive historical remains, like the beautiful mosaics of Nea Paphos. This ancient land is devoted to Aphrodite, who is said to have risen from the sea at Paphos. The old Baths of the Goddess are in the nearby town of Polis and well worth a visit.
A holiday to Paphos wouldn’t be complete without trying some traditional Cypriot dishes and delicacies. For an authentic meal head to small tavernas that serve dishes full of local produce.
Pay the traditional souvlaki shops a visit for the best chicken or pork kebabs and delicious gyros with beef. Paphos has plenty of places where you can sample all the exquisite cuisine Cyprus has to offer. The Konia Tavern features a menu of stunning Cypriot food at reasonable prices.
For those looking for something with a bit more international flavour and a bit of spice, the New Delhi Palace offers a variety of gourmet Indian dishes. The Youkoso Japanese Restaurant also caters for those who enjoy Asian cuisine, with a menu featuring a wide variety of sushi and sashimi. A taste of home can be found at the Rib Shack, which offers a range of tasty steaks and grilled food.
Paphos has something to offer all ages of holidaymaker. From the wealth of outdoor activities and historical sites, to the miles of beaches, make sure you do it all on your Paphos holiday.
Families will enjoy relaxing on some of the area’s stunning beaches, such as Nissi Beach or Fig Tree Bay. If you want to get up close and personal with animals, spend a day exploring Paphos Zoo. From kangaroos and flamingos to fruit bats and crocodiles, you and the little ones will be entertained for hours.
There is guaranteed fun for all the family at Coral Bay Karting. Or for a great day out with the family take a trip to the Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark for non-stop slides and rides. Nearby Coral Bay is known as a family-friendly town, with its beach full of pedalos, banana boats and parasails. At night, the tavernas offer kids’ menus, as well as entertainment including tribute shows and karaoke sessions.
Action & Adventure
If you’re an adventurous traveller, there are many things to do on a Paphos holiday that will excite you. At the foot of the Troodos Mountains and with Akamas Peninsula to the north, Paphos is ideally located for hikes to natural sites.
The stunning reefs situated around the coastline provide excellent locations for scuba divers. One of best locations is MS Zenobia, a Swedish-built ferry that sank on her maiden voyage in 1980. The site is full of varied sea life and is well worth a visit if you enjoy scuba diving.
Fasouri Watermania is a large water park near Limassol featuring a variety of flumes and water chutes, many of which are not for the fainthearted! The park will keep even the most hardened thrill seekers thoroughly entertained. If you’re looking for a more active way to enjoy the sunshine, try your hand at the many water sports on offer, such as windsurfing or parasailing.
The coastline of Paphos is blessed with dozens of beaches. Twelve of the beaches in the region have been awarded the Blue Flag, so you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Paphos’ main beach is dainty and only stretches around 150m. However, it’s right next to the town centre. At one end is a sandy stretch flanked by a wooden, decked area with plenty of sun loungers. At the other end, the beach has craggy rocks and is overlooked by a medieval castle.
Take a stroll down to the beaches of Coral Bay, which has some of the whitest sands and crystal clear waters Cyprus has to offer - ideal for swimming, diving and other water sports. For more secluded swimming, head to Cape Greco, a stunning headland surrounded by clear waters. Take a trip along the Pachyammos Bay and you will find Pachyammos Beach with its pristine sands and Blue Flag water quality.
Paphos is full to the brim of exciting nightlife and is considered one of Europe’s top destinations for clubbing. With a great selection of traditional tavernas, as well as modern bars and nightclubs, dotted along the glistening seafront, the area has a vibrant atmosphere. If you’re keen to chill, the Lighthouse Beach Bar features a waterfront location, perfect for relaxing whilst enjoying the local entertainment.
For something different head to Splash, the only club in Paphos to feature a pool in the middle of the venue. Robin Hood caters for all musical tastes, with each night of the week featuring a different musical theme. Tropical Nights is regularly considered one of the best nights in Paphos and is famous for its ‘Yard of Cocktails’.
If you’re in search of some variety, you can just pop up the coast to Ayia Napa, another Cypriot town famed for its world-famous nightlife.
As the mythological birthplace of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, romantic holidays in Paphos are made for couples. Enjoy a romantic swim at the secluded Cape Greco, where you can relax and rejuvenate in the crystal clear waters. You can even try a spot of scuba diving in the warm coastal seas or take a romantic stroll at Petra tou Romiou, which translates as ‘Aphrodite’s Rock’ and is breathtakingly scenic.
Or you could follow the circular ‘Aphrodite Trail’, voted one of the best nature trails by visitors. It has steep climbs and descents, however the sights of lagoons and mountains are definitely worth it. During summer nights, the harbour is set alight with fireworks. Sit and watch from a lavish dinner cruise or from high above at the medieval castle - it’ll be a sight to remember.
With history dating back to the Neolithic period and mythology that has captured the hearts of many, Paphos’ culture is fascinating. There’s a reason Paphos has been named European Capital of Culture for 2018 – it’s crammed with ancient culture and historical sites.
The Tomb of the Kings is an unforgettable destination for fans of ancient architecture. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and ancient necropolis, it is a must-see for those who want to marvel at the ancient history of Cyprus.
Paphos Castle is also some of the city’s most stunning architecture and was originally built as an ancient Byzantine fort, designed to protect the city from invasion. Paphos Archaeological Museum is the city’s main museum and features some of Paphos’ most ancient relics. Featuring pieces from as far back as the Neolithic Age, there is plenty of authentic historical exhibits to admire.