This southwest corner of Cyprus has an ambiance all of its own: Soft breezes, old stone, elusive enchantment, and an air of antiquity. This is the kingdom of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and her presence seems to linger. Paphos itself is really two towns, each with its own character; Ktima on the cliff and Kato Paphos by the sea, two kilometres down the road. The one is unchanged over centuries and thoroughly Cypriot while the other has expanded over the last decade from a sleepy fishing village and harbour into a bustling, busy, sprawling cosmopolitan resort which is still growing.
Roman Paphos was the island’s capital, and the 3rd-century mosaics here are the finest in the Mediterranean. The atmosphere is funloving and friendly, with plenty of bars, pubs, discos, a few nightclubs and innumerable eating places providing anything from choice Italian cuisine to sizzling souvlaki off the spit.
Swimming in the bay’s deep, clear waters is very pleasing. The coastline to the north is peppered with small sandy coves but the area’s best beach is a 15-minute drive away at Coral Bay. Paphos is an ideal centre from which to explore this region of wild coastline, unspoilt hillside villages and natural beauty; yet it takes less than an hour by car to reach Limassol.
Paphos combines both culture and entertainment in a conveniently sized package. In Paphos, you will find some of Cyprus’ most stunning archaeological gems such as its Roman mosaics and Tomb of the Kings situated amongst beach-front resort hotels and golden beaches. Cultivated bananas grow in profusion along the south-western litoral, yet the Akamas Peninsula is one of the island’s last unspoilt wildernesses and is home to flora and fauna species found only on Cyprus. Small beach resorts that have not yet succumbed entirely to commercialization await discerning travelers and there are abundant land and sea-based activities to suit every taste. While Limassol is brash and Larnaka is demure, Paphos is quite friendly and is one of Cyprus’ most desirable cities. Kato Paphos (Lower Paphos) is the port annex of Pano Paphos (Upper Paphos) and is home to the greatest number of archaeological sites in the area. It provides a lively and friendly ambiance in its renovated port area where visitors, unlike elsewhere in Cyprus’ ports, can actually swim. With its palm tree-lined boulevards, tasteful public and private buildings, Paphos is a pleasant place to spend a holiday. There are ample restaurants and watering holes and if you tire of the beach annex you can always retire to Pano Paphos for an afternoon stroll or evening meal.
The following rental locations are available for renting a car in Paphos:
- Paphos Airport
- Paphos Hotels