Paphos is the gem of Cyprus, a seaside resort town in the southwest of Cyprus that is blessed with pleasant weather, ancient wonders, luxurious amenities and hospitality as warm as the sun that shines 340 days of the year. But perhaps Paphos’ biggest asset in the serene tempo of life. Here, visitors and locals alike experience a sense of calm and security that is unique in this modern and hectic world.
Paphos may one of the most relaxed places in the world, full of spectacular archaeological attractions and touting a rich history; yet it is anything from a quiet resort town. Kato Paphos (Lower Paphos) is where the tourists head, and where evenings are known for the endless array of bars, nightclubs and dining opportunities for both traditional and modern fare.
It's the beaches of Paphos that draw the biggest crowds by day, and in the summer, crowds of tourists and sunbathers flock to the beaches of Geroskipou, Faros, Kissonerga Bay and the legendary Coral Bay. The Municipal Beach is especially popular with locals going for their daily swim and socializing, and a top people-watching opportunity. Nearby you’ll find a number of leading scuba diving sites and old shipwrecks for the adventurous types, while for families there is the Paphos Bird Park and the Aphrodite Water Park.
Around the Paphos area, away from the beaches are some incredible historic World Heritage Sites that beckon tourists looking for something a little more cultural. So much that UNESCO has named the town of Paphos itself a World Heritage Site. Some of the attractions are the ancient remains at the Nea Paphos Archaeological Site, the Tombs of the Kings, St. Paul's Pillar and the most famous image of Paphos, the ancient medieval fort, know better as “The Castle.” Here also is the stage for the outdoor opera performed for the annual Aphrodite Festival. This event that has placed Paphos on the modern cultural map and has helped place it in the running for the European Capital of Culture 2017.
As well as the beaches of Paphos and ancient tourist sites, the town also features a number of quality museums and similar cultural attractions. Tourists usually enjoy spending time at the Agios Georgios Museum, the Archaeological Museum and the Ethnographical Museum, while visits to the neighbouring Steni Museum of Village Life come highly recommended as well. For those interested in Cypriot art, be sure to explore the Byzantine Museum and marvel at its religious paintings and historical treasures.
Travellers venturing outside of Paphos will soon discover that southwestern Cyprus is rich in natural and tourist attractions. The Akamas Peninsula in particular is a great place to lose oneself in nature, and is something of a Mediterranean treasure. Coral Bay, Limassol and Polis are also within reach, with an endless array of beaches and recreational activities ranging from hiking and mountain biking to cycling and water sports.