Paphos, legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, sits on the rugged west coast of Cyprus. The Goddess of Love and Beauty acts as an ever-present force in the city, and brings visitors in their thousands each year.
A city of two very distinct sides, one a tourist hotspot and the other traditionally Cypriot. That said, culture vultures will fall in love with the former, due to its historical treasures and archaeological sites offering a link to the ancient world. The wonderful Tomb of the Kings, a necropolis carved from solid rock to hold the remains of Paphitic aristocrats, is a must-see. Watch a summer concert at the beautiful Odeon amphitheatre, before heading to the harbour to sample the delectable freshly-caught seafood with a glass of local wine. Those who wish to see more of Cyprus should visit Limmasol, for its stunning beaches, or escape to sleepy Polis to see the Baths of Aphrodite on the Akamas Peninsula. Our flights to Paphos run during the summer months, so get booked in now.
Paphos is a city of juxtaposition, where age-old archaeological treasures sit alongside resorts built in the latter part of the 20th century. Split into two separate parts, Kato Paphos and Ktima Paphos, you’ll find historic wonders and tourism in the former and a more traditional Cypriot lifestyle in Ktima. High on your list to visit should be the world-renowned Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which amongst other gems, contains four Roman villas with exquisite and largely complete mosaic flooring.
Limassol, Cyprus’ second largest city and its financial centre, is more cosmopolitan than Paphos. With a definite modern, yet tourism-friendly, atmosphere Limassol has a more frenetic feel than the smaller towns along the coast. It has plenty of sophisticated restaurants, high-street style shops and lively bars and clubs to occupy your time. Visit Limassol Castle and the old town, before relaxing on one of the many white sand beaches and taking a dip in the shallow turquoise waters. Stay at the luxury Amathus Beach Hotel to experience the best Limassol has to offer.
The picturesque town of Polis is an ideal place to escape the bustle of Paphos or Limassol. Polis has beautiful sandy beaches and an unspoilt shoreline, but it is renowned locally for the Baths of Aphrodite – a historic natural wonder. Take a stroll along its charming waterfront, or travel to Latsi’s port for delectable seafood, especially the grilled octopus and calamari. Enjoy watersports and diving – the world-famous Zenobia wreck is located just offshore. While landlubbers will appreciate the beauty of the Akamas peninsula and its rugged hiking opportunities.
Visit Pissouri, just 30 kilometres west of Limassol, to discover an authentic Cypriot town. Sit and drink coffee with the locals, and enjoy the many traditional restaurants and bars. You’ll find superb meze and seafood at one of the quaint tavernas, perfect for an evening after a day at a Blue Flag beach. Stay at the Columbia Beach Hotel, on the coast near Pissouri, for a luxurious treat. Not to be missed is a show at the Amphitheatre, before an evening of fruity local wine in the village.
Head north from Limassol and you’ll reach the stunning Troodos Mountains, a vast swathe of pine forest dotted with beautiful but isolated monasteries. Traditionally an area of protection from oppression, it was a stronghold of the Orthodox Church. Now acting as a place away from the sometimes-oppressive heat, the cooling pines offer a respite from the Cypriot sun. Stay at the wonderful Casale Panayiotis, a spa retreat high in the hills overlooking the rural St John Lampadistis monastery. This is a truly relaxing area, not to be missed.