Are you planning a trip to Cyprus and wondering what to do in Paphos? This charming coastal city is located in the western part of the island and is full of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you are interested in exploring ancient ruins, relaxing on the beach, or trying out delicious local cuisine, Paphos has something to offer for everyone.
Interesting facts about Paphos:
- Paphos is believed to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. According to legend, Aphrodite emerged from the sea foam near the rocks of Paphos.
- The city of Paphos has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and has been ruled by various civilizations throughout its history, including the Mycenaeans, Persians, and Romans.
- Paphos was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, in recognition of its rich cultural and historical significance. The city is home to a number of well-preserved ancient ruins, including the House of Dionysus and the Paphos Archaeological Park.
- Paphos is one of the sunniest cities in Europe, with an average of over 300 days of sunshine per year. The city’s warm, dry climate makes it an ideal destination for sun-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts.
- The Paphos International Airport is the second largest airport in Cyprus, and serves as a gateway to the city for visitors from all over the world.
- Paphos is home to a number of beautiful beaches, including Coral Bay, Lara Beach, and Pachyammos Beach. These beaches are known for their crystal-clear waters and pristine sand, and offer a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy, including swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.
- Paphos is also known for its delicious cuisine, which blends Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors to create a unique and flavorful dining experience. Local specialties include souvlaki, moussaka, and halloumi cheese, as well as fresh seafood dishes.
- The Troodos Mountains, which are located near Paphos, are home to several charming villages, including Platres and Kakopetria. These villages offer a glimpse into traditional Cypriot life, and are known for their stunning natural beauty and quaint architecture.
- Paphos is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons, thanks to its romantic atmosphere and beautiful scenery. Many hotels and resorts offer wedding packages, and the city’s stunning beaches and ancient ruins provide the perfect backdrop for a romantic celebration.
- The city of Paphos hosts several cultural events throughout the year, including music festivals, theater performances, and art exhibitions. These events attract visitors from all over the world, and are a great way to experience the city’s rich cultural heritage.
In this article, we have compiled a list of the top 20 things to do in Paphos, so you can make the most out of your visit.
Visit the Tombs of the Kings
The Tombs of the Kings is an ancient burial site located just outside the city center of Paphos. Visitors can explore the underground tombs and marvel at the intricate frescoes and carvings on the walls. The site dates back to the 4th century BC and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tombs were built for wealthy and powerful figures of the time, and many of them feature intricate architectural details and decorations. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the past and a must-visit attraction for history buffs.
Explore the Paphos Archaeological Park
The Paphos Archaeological Park is a sprawling park that houses some of the most impressive ancient ruins on the island. The park is home to the famous House of Dionysus, which features well-preserved mosaics and frescoes depicting scenes from Greek mythology. Visitors can also explore the ancient theater, the Agora, and the Saranta Kolones fortress. The park is a great place to learn about the island’s rich history and immerse yourself in ancient culture.
Visit the Paphos Castle
The Paphos Castle is a picturesque fortress located at the edge of Paphos Harbor. It dates back to the 13th century and offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. Visitors can explore the castle grounds and take in the beauty of the surrounding area. The castle has played an important role in the island’s history and is a popular destination for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts.
Discover the House of Dionysus
The House of Dionysus is one of the most popular attractions in the Paphos Archaeological Park. This ancient Roman villa is known for its well-preserved mosaics, which depict scenes from Greek mythology. Visitors can explore the villa’s intricate architecture and admire the colorful mosaics that have survived for centuries. The House of Dionysus is a fascinating glimpse into ancient Roman life and a must-visit attraction for art and history enthusiasts.
Walk Along the Paphos Harbor
The Paphos Harbor is a lively spot where visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll and take in the stunning views of the sea. The harbor is home to many restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy a delicious meal or a refreshing drink. It’s also a popular spot for fishing and boat trips, so visitors can get a taste of the local maritime culture.
Relax on the Beaches of Paphos
Paphos is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Cyprus. Visitors can enjoy the sun, sand, and sea at beaches like Coral Bay, Lara Beach, and Pachyammos Beach. Each beach has its own unique character and atmosphere, so visitors can find a spot that suits their preferences.
Take a Dip in the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is a stunning natural pool located near the Akamas Peninsula. Visitors can swim in the crystal-clear waters and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding cliffs and rock formations. The Blue Lagoon is a popular destination for snorkeling and diving, as the water is home to a variety of marine life.
Explore the Akamas Peninsula
The Akamas Peninsula is a protected area of natural beauty located in the northwestern part of Paphos. Visitors can explore the rugged terrain by hiking, biking, or driving through the park, and enjoy stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding landscape. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including the endangered loggerhead sea turtle.
Go Hiking in the Troodos Mountains
The Troodos Mountains are located in the heart of Cyprus and are known for their rugged terrain and stunning natural beauty. Visitors can go hiking or mountain biking through the pine forests and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. The Troodos Mountains are also home to several quaint villages, where visitors can experience traditional Cypriot life and cuisine.
Visit the Kykkos Monastery
The Kykkos Monastery is one of the most important religious sites in Cyprus and is located in the Troodos Mountains. Visitors can explore the monastery’s stunning Byzantine architecture and admire its intricate mosaics and frescoes. The monastery is also home to a museum that houses a collection of religious artifacts and icons.
Take a Day Trip to Nicosia
Nicosia is the capital city of Cyprus and is located just a short drive from Paphos. Visitors can explore the city’s ancient walls and landmarks, including the famous Ledra Street pedestrian zone, which is known for its shops and restaurants. Nicosia is also home to several museums and art galleries, as well as a bustling nightlife scene.
Enjoy Water Sports in Paphos
Paphos is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts, with a variety of activities available, including jet skiing, windsurfing, and parasailing. Visitors can also go scuba diving or snorkeling to explore the rich marine life in the Mediterranean Sea.
Taste the Delicious Cypriot Cuisine
Cypriot cuisine is known for its delicious blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors, with dishes like souvlaki, moussaka, and halloumi cheese being popular favorites. Visitors can enjoy these dishes and more at local restaurants and cafes throughout Paphos. The city is also known for its fresh seafood, so be sure to try some of the local catch of the day.
Explore the Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark
The Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark is a fun-filled destination for families and thrill-seekers. The park features a variety of water slides and pools, as well as a lazy river and a wave pool. Visitors can also enjoy live entertainment and shows throughout the day.
Visit the Paphos Bird and Animal Park
The Paphos Bird and Animal Park is a popular attraction for animal lovers, with a variety of exotic birds, mammals, and reptiles on display. Visitors can enjoy feeding the animals and taking part in interactive experiences throughout the park.
Enjoy the Nightlife in Paphos
Paphos has a vibrant nightlife scene, with a variety of bars and clubs catering to all tastes. Visitors can enjoy live music, dance parties, and themed nights throughout the city. The harbor area is particularly lively at night, with many bars and clubs staying open until the early hours of the morning.
Shop at the Local Markets
Paphos is home to a variety of local markets, where visitors can shop for souvenirs, handmade crafts, and fresh produce. The Paphos Market is one of the most popular markets in the city, offering a wide range of goods at affordable prices. Visitors can also find local wines and spirits, as well as traditional Cypriot sweets and pastries.
Attend a Cultural Event in Paphos
Paphos is known for its rich cultural heritage, with a variety of events and festivals taking place throughout the year. Visitors can attend music concerts, theater performances, and art exhibitions, as well as traditional celebrations like the Carnival and the Grape Festival. The city also hosts an annual International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama, which attracts theater lovers from all over the world.
Relax at a Spa
Paphos is home to several luxurious spas that offer a range of treatments and therapies to help visitors relax and unwind. Many of the spas are located within hotels and resorts, and offer a variety of packages that include massages, facials, and body treatments. Visitors can also enjoy the use of the spa’s facilities, including saunas, steam rooms, and hydrotherapy pools.
Take a Wine Tour
Cyprus is known for its excellent wines, and Paphos is home to several wineries and vineyards. Visitors can take a wine tour and learn about the island’s wine-making history, as well as sample some of the delicious local wines. Many of the wineries offer guided tours that include tastings and food pairings, making for a fun and educational day out.
Paphos is a charming destination that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. From exploring ancient ruins and natural landscapes to enjoying delicious cuisine and vibrant nightlife, Paphos has something to offer for everyone. We hope that this guide has helped you plan your visit to Paphos and make the most out of your trip.
What is the best time of year to visit Paphos?
The best time to visit Paphos is from March to May or from September to November, when the weather is mild and crowds are smaller.
How do I get to Paphos?
Paphos has its own international airport, which receives flights from various European cities. Alternatively, visitors can fly into Larnaca Airport and take a bus or taxi to Paphos.
What are some of the best beaches in Paphos?
Some of the best beaches in Paphos include Coral Bay, Lara Beach, and Pachyammos Beach.
Is it easy to get around Paphos?
Yes, Paphos is a relatively small city and is easy to navigate on foot, by bike, or by public transport.
What are some of the best restaurants in Paphos?
Some of the best restaurants in Paphos include 7 St. Georges Tavern, Muse Restaurant, and Gourmet Taverna. Visitors can also enjoy traditional Cypriot cuisine at local tavernas throughout the city.