Summer holiday season is among us, or at least it should be. Paphos is an incredible trip, and an all round pleaser. This is the place where I get off the plane and it’s like, awh, home. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve been going for a long ole time or because its just a magical, sparkly place. I can’t really describe it; Cyprus as a whole…it makes you believe in Olympus, it’s so beautiful. It’s more sandy cliffs and bright blue sea than lavish rolling hills, so if that’s your thing, Paphos might not be for you.
Paphos is probably the only place outside my semi-local area in the UK that I feel I know the place like a native. So, here are my do’s, don’ts and tips for Paphos.
Aphrodite’s Rock or Petra tou Romiou: About 20 minutes from the centre of town, this is the most incredible blue vista of just Meditteranian as far as you can see. So so worth the trip.
Ayios Neophytos Monastery: Again, about 15 miles out but a beautiful place to wander around. It looks like Dorne from Game Of Thrones. Also, the cafe is excellent for lunch.
Paphos Harbour: A hub of the town, the Harbour is stunning, especially at sunset time; just at the day is cooling off, it’s a lovely place for walk and a drink. It also is home to Paphos castle, an iconic landmark, which is free to roam between 8:30 and 19:30 in summer season. Absolutely hilarious to judge hilarious wedding poses too.
The Mosaics: Are just next to the Harbour and are truly stunning. Mosaics of five ancient Houses, that tell stories of Gods and Wars. I’d go as far to say that they’re the under-rated floor version of the Sistine Chapel, if that makes sense?
Kato Paphos Markets: There is absolutely no point in going somewhere and not interacting with the locals, the markets are now an amalgamation of tradition and modern: silver stools next to a watermelon van and then a table selling bats and balls. It’s eclectic and a morning well spent.
Day Trips: You can get to Nicosia and Limassol for a day trip, however I recommend a drive over the Troudous to Latchi; still a very traditional taverna-and-fish village, sadly something I don’t think is going to last much longer.
Ignore the culture, if you’ve gone on a strict beach holiday, you’re missing out on so much. The sand and the sun is beautiful, but so are the ruins and the people. One of my biggest pet peeves are All-Inclusive hotels, especially the five identical, five-star resorts lined up against the beach.
Having said that, the Cyps can spot an ignorant Englishman from a mile off, don’t let them rip you off, particularly if you’re hiring a car. Beware of Cypriots driving though, they don’t quite understand the roundabout concept yet.
Another cultural no-no is going to the beautiful monasteries beach-ready. Cover your shoulders and legs…my Grandma tells the most hilarious story including a priest, a frenchmen and a tiny tour guide arguing because they were hardly dressed.
This one is for women; supermarkets, stools, restaurants etc are still extremely patriarchal. If a man walks up to the counter even though you’ve been in line for 10 minutes, he’ll be served first. Don’t let them get away with it.
And that’s it. My list of where to eat and drink would be endless, I could plan a holiday itinerary based on just the best food. If you don’t like seafood, Paphos might be a bit wasted on you.
If you’ve ever been, let me know what you thought of the beautiful island!