Nestled between the coast and the Troodos Mountains at the southwestern tip of Cyprus, Paphos is best known as the birthplace of Aphrodite. Here, even the place where the goddess seemed to have appeared from the foam is especially noted. Although compared to other attractions of the resort, the stone is resting. The tombs of the kings, the mosaic in the villa of Theseus, the catacombs of St. Solomon… it was no coincidence that the ancient city of Paphos was taken under the protection of UNESCO by the very first in Cyprus, back in 1980. Check JIBIN123 for Cyprus customs regulations and visa requirements.
And, of course, Paphos fully justifies its name: it is the most elite resort on the island, where mostly wealthy people relax. The resort is not focused on children’s recreation, there are no children’s animation programs or playgrounds, but cozy bays and secluded beaches, first-class restaurants and other components of the “beautiful life” infrastructure would be more than enough for the whole of Cyprus.
How to get to Paphos
There are direct flights from Moscow to Paphos, but there are very few of them, and ticket prices are going through the roof, especially during the season. Most tourists fly to Larnaca, and from there they get to the resort by transfer, taxi or public transport, which is represented by intercity buses. The distance between cities is 130 km. Unfortunately, you can’t get there directly. You need to go either through Limassol, or take the express train connecting Paphos and Larnaca airports. In both cases, transfers and loss of time waiting are inevitable.
In addition to the developed tourist infrastructure, the city attracts tourists from all over the world with its cultural heritage, because its history goes back more than 5 thousand years. It was founded by one of the commanders who took part in the Trojan battles, Agapenor. A temple was erected here in honor of the goddess of love, which attracted people from different cities, which, in turn, contributed to the growth of the significance of Paphos and increased its power. Later, another city ruler, Nikokles, decided to slightly change the location of the city, placing it closer to the coastline; this is how the division into the new and the old city arose, which today are connected by St. Paul Avenue. Then the city was taken over by the Romans, who not only did not diminish its importance, but were able to enrich it. During the Byzantine Empire, Paphos lost its title of capital.
During this time, the city experienced times of prosperity and decline, was called differently, but never lost its grandeur and charm.
Fashionable Paphos boasts the highest concentration of luxury hotels per square kilometer in all of Cyprus. Indeed, local hotels for the most part “wear” honorary 5 or 4 “stars” on their facades and offer guests an almost limitless number of services. Such pleasure costs, of course, a lot – from 100 EUR for a double room (with breakfast). However, if you want to stay in Paphos and not go broke, you can find a couple of nice complexes, accommodation in which will cost from 50 EUR per day..
Even more budgetary is a guesthouse in the villages nearby Paphos, for example, in Amargeti or Geroskipou.
The area is Paphos
Modern Paphos is divided into two parts: the upper one is located on a hill, and this is a kind of commercial center of the city, with a market and administration; and in the lower, Kato Paphos, are the main archaeological sites, most of the hotels and taverns.
In recent years, local authorities have made a titanic effort to make Kato Paphos, where hotels, bars and restaurants are concentrated on several kilometers of coastline, even more attractive. In particular, a new promenade has been built here, which leads to the marina and offers stunning views.
You can easily move around Paphos on your own two, bicycle or buses. The latter run quite often, in the summer – every 10-20 minutes.
The most popular routes are: No. 615 from the port to the Coral Bay beach and the Tombs of the Kings, No. 610 from Kato Paphos to the city center and the market, and No. 631 to the very stone of Aphrodite. All routes can be found on the official website of the carrier.
Fare – 1.5 EUR, day pass – 5 EUR (valid until 23:00), night bus ticket – 2.5 EUR (from 23:00 to 6:00). Weekly pass (only for daily flights) – 15 EUR. All tickets are purchased from the driver upon boarding. Read more: Paphos buses: routes, timetables.
Taxi in Cyprus is not cheap: a trip around the city center can cost from 5 to 20 EUR. It is better not to take a taxi outside the city – it is very expensive.
Bright red double-decker tourist buses, already familiar to many tourists, famously roll around Paphos. The route passes along all the main attractions of the resort, on the way the audio guide broadcasts in English about all the beauties (only a brief summary is issued in Russian). You can enter and exit throughout the day as many times as you like at any of the 11 stops along the way. Ticket price for 24 hours: 15 EUR, children – 5 EUR.
Rent a Car
A car is not really needed in Paphos, given that buses run constantly on all important routes and to popular beaches. But if you want to drive around the area, it will be more profitable and more convenient to rent a car. The conditions are standard, the rental price is from 30 EUR per day, depending on the class of the car and the duration of the rental, the only important nuance is that in Cyprus there is left-hand traffic. Rental companies are found throughout the resort, both local (for example, Pentaras) and international networks – Avis or Sixt.
There are no problems with parking: you can find free parking near some shops or restaurants (for visitors), or leave your car in one of the paid parking lots.
Paphos has sandy and rocky beaches, the entrance to the sea is not always convenient and is often complicated by a rocky coast. At the same time, hotels are located in such a way that sometimes a “three-ruble note” has a good entrance to the sea, and a 5 * hotel is very mediocre. This is due to the fact that initially the resort was focused on the Germans and the British, who traditionally prefer the pool to the sea.
The best sandy beach is located in Coral Bay, and on the shores of the secluded Lara Bay there is one of the most beautiful beaches of the island with a reserve of sea green turtles.
What to bring
Paphos souvenirs are standard throughout Cyprus. Edible – wine, olives, oil, commandaria dessert wine, halloumi goat cheese, Turkish delight and halva. For a long memory – handmade lace and silver, ship models, dolls in national costumes, leather goods, fur coats, jewelry. Perhaps only the figurine of Aphrodite, diligently sold all over the island, can be called the most authentic in Paphos – after all, it came out of the sea foam nowhere else but here.
Buying Cypriot goodies is better not in stores (more expensive and often not so tasty), but in a small fruit market bordering the Paphos covered bazaar. Here, by the way, fruits and berries are sold from local farmers who come from neighboring villages from early morning until about one or two in the afternoon. Other souvenirs and branded shopping can be found at Pafou Chrysanthou shopping street or Kings Avenue Mall.
Cuisine and restaurants in Paphos
The resort has many catering establishments – from chain and ubiquitous to authentic and truly Cypriot. Of course, it was not without Italian pizzas and Middle Eastern falafel kebabs. In search of something special, you should go a little further from the coastline – to the villages surrounding Paphos. Here, in the medieval taverns, a cozy rural atmosphere reigns, and the dishes are not as refined as on the coast, but very tasty and exceptionally large (you can take for two, you won’t lose). The cost of a three-course dinner with homemade wine is 25-35 EUR. The upscale restaurants of Paphos, which are also lacking in the resort, take an order of magnitude more: for a luxurious dinner, you will have to leave at least 110 EUR.
In tourist cafes, a cup of strong local coffee with a glass of water – from 2-2.5 EUR, popular frappe – from 2 EUR. If you delve into Old Paphos and find an institution where local dons lazily exchange words while leafing through a newspaper, the price tag will probably be half as much.