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Holiday in Paphos, Cyprus

By Colin Hall

ABOUT PAPHOS

Situated in the South-west of Cyprus, Paphos has an interesting harbour with lots of fishing and pleasure boats and the Saturday market in the old town should not be missed. Just inland are three championship golf courses, where slightly cooler temperatures mean that you can tee off comfortably throughout the year. Other sights include the Tomb of the Kings and the Paphos mosaics. A few kilometres to the north, Coral Bay has an excellent beach, while Peyia is a firm favourite with many visitors. For a quiet, low-key holiday you could head a little further north to the Akamas peninsula, famous for its turtles, and the very pleasant fishing village of Latchi.

KATO PAPHOS - HARBOUR AREA

Situated 2 miles south of Paphos town, Kato Paphos was an important port during the 4th Century BC. The whole area is scattered with remains of the past and is an archaeological paradise for any visitor. The tourist area of Kato Paphos stretches along a shoreline boulevard from the large hotels to the east of the resort to the harbour, and then from the harbour along the coast on the Kings Road to the Tomb of the Kings. The distance from one end to the other takes just over an hour to walk, which has resulted in the formation of two distinguishable tourist areas namely the harbour area and the Tomb of the Kings area.

The majority of the holiday accommodation in the harbour area is situated in Universal Gardens, a 10-15 minute walk inland. There is a beach within walking distance of the harbour and Universal Gardens.

Places of Interest

The Harbour

Full of colourful fishing boats and yachts from all over Europe.

St Paul's Pillar

Situated to the west of Ayia Kyriaki Church, the pillars were named after St Pauls visit to Paphos in 45 AD

Paphos Museum

Attractive collection of Cypriot antiquities from the Paphos area, dating from the Neolithic Age to 1700 AD.

The Mosaics of Paphos

House of Dionysos, House of Theseus and the recently excavated House of Aion. The amazing mosaic floors, of these 3rd century AD noblemen's villas, are considered among the finest in the Eastern Mediterranean. They mostly depict scenes from Greek mythology and are beautifully executed.

Paphos Medieval Castle

Originally built as a Byzantine fort to protect the harbour, it was rebuilt by the Lusignans in the 13th century, then dismantled by the Venetians in 1570, who found themselves unable to defend it against the Ottomans, who in their turn restored and strengthened it after they captured the island.

Paphos Odeon

A small 2nd century Odeon entirely built of limestone blocks. It was uncovered by the Cyprus Department of Antiquities in 1973 and is now regularly used for musical and theatrical performances.

Theoskepasti Church

Theoskepasti means 'Veiled by God' and according to tradition, God sent down a fog to protect the original church during the Arab raids. The modern church was built in 1923.

Restaurant Recommendations

Pavarotti's

Close to the Alexander the Great Hotel. This is probably the best restaurant in Pafos and you must book in advance. It is the ideal place for a special occasion and prices are similar to top restaurants in the UK. Tel: 00357 26912588

Grazie

Situated opposite Theoskepastis church, just off Bar Street. A quality Italian restaurant with good service.

Apomero

One of the best meze houses and great food at reasonable prices. They also offer all of the local main courses as starters so it is a great place to experiment. Closed on Monday and only open in the evenings.

Demokritos

A traditional Cypriot restaurant with Greek dancers. The 18-course meze is very good value and food from the grill is also good. Opposite the Robin Hood on Bar Street.

Koh-I-Noor

A quality curry house opposite the Alexander the Great Hotel

Eidleweiss

A traditional Cypriot restaurant with friendly service

Plaka

varied menu with reasonable prices. Near the Amathus Beach hotel

Napoleon

Excellent French restaurant but can be expensive. Near the Avanti hotel

Rendezvous

Varied menu and often have 3-course offers. Near the Avanti hotel

Gabor

Classy French restaurant but expensive. Near the Amathus Beach hotel

Oleastra

Classy modern European. Near the Amathus Beach hotel

Deep Blue

Excellent fish restaurant

La Spaghetteria

A popular Italian Restaurant with a varied selection of dishes

Chloe's

One of the best Chinese restaurants in Paphos. Same road as Alexander the Great on left from harbour.

KATO PAPHOS - TOMB OF THE KINGS AREA

Situated 2 miles south of Paphos town, Kato Paphos was an important port during the 4th Century BC. The whole area is scattered with remains of the past and is an archaeological paradise for any visitor. The tourist area of Kato Paphos stretches along a shoreline boulevard from the large hotels to the east of the resort to the harbour, and then from the harbour along the coast on the Kings Road to the Tomb of the Kings. The distance from one end to the other takes just over an hour to walk, which has resulted in the formation of two distinguishable tourist areas namely the harbour area and the Tomb of the Kings area.

Stretching for two miles from the Catacombs to the Tomb of the Kings the holiday accommodation is on either side of the costal road. Walking distance to the harbour is from 15-30 minutes and this area is very close to the beach.

Places of Interest

Tombs of the Kings

Wide area containing underground tombs carved out of solid rock dating to 4th century BC, many decorated with Doric pillars. Whether Kings were buried here or not, the magnificence of the tombs gave the locality its name.

Restaurant Recommendations

Fat Mama's

The fillet steak is superb and the portions are massive. The restaurant offers "entertainment throughout your meal. You can't book so just turn up.

Peach Blossom

Excellent Chinese/Japanese/Thai Restaurant. One of the best in Paphos. Opposite Fat Mamas

Phukett

Another excellent Chinese restaurant

Alteo

Classy modern European restaurant

Sisyfos

Offers local and international cuisine and is reasonably priced

CORAL BAY

Coral Bay is 10km from Kato Paphos and has developed into a tourist area and holiday village with houses owned by locals as well as many British, who have established a well organised community. There are a number of tavernas and restaurants and the sandy beaches are some of the best in the area. The water is very shallow so it is ideal for young children and non-swimmers and there is a wealth of water sports facilities on the beach.

Places of Interest

Maa-Paleokastro

An early bronze age settlement which was fortified and believed to be a major disembarkation point for the first Greek settlers to the island.

Restaurant Recommendations

Coral King

Situated in the heart of Coral Bay this restaurant offer a lovely setting with efficient, friendly waiter service

Viklari

Located near Avakas Gorge. In the summer you can sit out in the sun on the top of a mountain with a cool breeze blowing through the vines. Viklari is made out of the remains of an old castle (The Last Castle) with grape vines hanging above your head. The grapes are served as a desert if you want them. The food is mainly Cypriot salads and BBQ'S-absolutely delicious! A very nice restaurant! It is advisable to try to get here with an off-road vehicle. Open in season, but probably best to telephone first on 26 991088 or 99 489000.

Phideas Tavern

Is a must for any visit to Coral Bay. Your host will be Phideas, an evenings entertainment in himself. As you will see when you walk through his door, he has a collection of tea towels from around the world, so if you are coming pack a tea towel with some sort of local design in your suitcase, he will get you to personally sign it before hanging it with the hundreds of others he has in his collection. The food is meze, which means he will bring you various Cypriot dishes one after another until you tell him to stop, you get everything from salads, cheeses, grilled meats, sausages, it's truly an experience to remember!!

PEYIA

The picturesque village of Peyia tumbles down a hillside overlooking the sea. The village has a church and some interesting little houses and is of Byzantine origin. Most of the accommodation in Peyia are villas situated between the village and Coral Bay.

Places of Interest

Jail Pub

Situated in the village and used to be a regional prison in Ottoman times

Restaurant Recommendations

Kyrenia

Serves a good fixed meze

Peyia

Generous-portioned appetizers and nearly always full

YEROSKIPOU

The village of Yeroskipou is 2km from Kato Paphos. The worship of Aphrodite brought great importance to this village where her Holy Gardens (Yieros Kipos) was where pilgrims stopped to relax before continuing there journey to the Holy Temple of Paleapaphos. The village square, with cafes and souvenir shops, is always busy with people.

Places of Interest

Folk Art Museum

The name of the village comes from the Greek word "Hieroskepos", the sacred Garden of Aphrodite. Fascinating collection of Cyprus folk arts and crafts gathered together in the house known as Hadjismith.

Ayia Paraskevi Church

One of the most interesting and attractive Byzantine Churches on the island, dating to the 10th century, with a vaulted basilica, a nave and two aisles surmounted by five domes, with later frescoes dating to the 15th century.

Restaurant Recommendations

Seven St Georges Tavern

Experience a truly authentic Cypriot evening (closed Monday)

CHLORAKAS

The village is 5km from Kato Paphos and is where ancient tombs were found. It is located just off the coastal road to Coral Bay. Many properties in the village have sea views.

Places of Interest

Panayia Khryseleousa Church

Dating back to the 13th century and one of the rarest of its type in Cyprus

Restaurant Recommendations

Petros

Petros the owner also cooks and waits. Very pleasant service which opens from breakfast till late into the night. A few tables situated outside on the small balcony. Menu is typical Cypriot but you can also pop in there during the day to make a special request or ask Mrs.Petros to make a vegetarian dish. Very reasonably priced and good village wine.

Railway Tavern

Good British pub food

KISSONERGA

The village is 7km from Kato Paphos and was built in the middle ages as an agricultural estate, although remains have been found of even earlier civilisations. It is a centre for banana plantations and similar to Chlorakas, is just off the coastal road with sea views.

Places of Interest

Banana plantation

Stretching along the coastline between the village and the sea

Restaurant Recommendations

The Pithary

In the village with an extensive international menu

Apothiki (The Old Barn Tavern)

a rustic-looking place, but good food, including a fantastic meze

Tweedie's

Lovely food and atmosphere. Booking is essential

EMBA

The village is 6km from Kato Paphos and in the spring the countryside around the village is full of wild flowers and cyclamen. Many properties in the village have sea views.

Places of Interest

Church of Panagia Chrydeleousa

Dating back to the 12th century contains wall paintings of the 12th to 16th century

Restaurant Recommendations

Big Brother Tavern

Traditional food in a friendly environment

LATCHI

Latchi a picturesque fishing village situated on the North West Coast. Before tourism had discovered Latchi its main industry apart from fishing was the exportation of sea sponges. The main focal point of Latchi is the fishing harbour sporting fishing boats bobbing gently on the clear waters weighed down with nets, wicker baskets and the catch of the day. Fresh fish can be sampled in one of the many small stone build tavernas surrounding the harbour; a popular eating place for the locals. Sun worshippers and beach goers will appreciate the sandy/pebbly beaches nestling on the Akamas National Park. Cool waters and gentle summer breezes. By night Latchi becomes a hive of activity with night cruises, local discoth"que and a selection of bars and restaurants to choose from.

Places of Interest

Baths of Aphrodite

A small semi-cave draped with cool vegetation. Water drips from a spring at the top into a pool of water. It is believed that bathing in the pool would bestow eternal youth, but unfortunately it is not permitted to enter the water

Latchi Harbour

Populated with small fishing boats this is slowly becoming one of the most important attractions of the Paphos district

Restaurant Recommendations

Yangos and Peter's

The oldest restaurant in Latchi serving fresh seafood

Periyali

Traditional Cypriot restaurant

Finikas

Traditional Cypriot restaurant in Polis old town

Akhontariki

Traditional Cypriot restaurant in Polis old town

POLIS

This country town derives its name from the Greek word for city, and is the shortened version of Polis Chrysohou, which translated, means "the City of the Golden Land thus named for the fertile land surrounding the river Chrysochou. There are no large hotels so travellers can step into a world away from the usual tourist attractions and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this small but attractive village. The main feature of Polis has to be the village square boasting cobbled streets, souvenir shops, banks, jewellers, chemists and bars where thirsty travellers can sample locally made wines, including Command aria a sweet dessert wine favoured by "Richard the Lion Heart and used as a holy communion wine. Traditional restaurants surrounding the square offer tantalising home baked cuisine. Ice cream parlours, tiny coffee shops are a few of the delights on offer in Polis. Walking enthusiasts will love the many walks available in the area.

Places of Interest

The Archaeological Museum

Two galleries worth of grave finds from nearby Marion and Arsine

Adios Andronicus

A little sixteenth century church

Restaurant Recommendations

Mystery

A family tavern offering good maze

Moustakallis Tavern

For a good Souvla off the Polis Square just say the word Moustakallis and you're there!

Mylos Tavern

Mylos Restaurant in Pano Gialia welcomes you to a traditional Cyprus Taverna. Mylos is one of those hidden tavernas you must discover and visit in your quest for the real Cyprus

Savvas Bar

For a good breakfast try this restaurant in Polis square. Savvas and Demetris offer various local, continental and of course for the shy, English breakfast.

NEO CHORIO

Situated 1500m from Latchi, the inland turning leads to a hillside village dotted with luxury villas. The village is famous for its Easter Sunday Festival.

Places of Interest

Petratis Gorge

Famous for its bat cave (one of two caverns here) filmed by David Attenborough in 1985

Restaurant Recommendations

Prangos

The Stone Tavern

Assorted oven dishes, roasts and meze

ARGAKA

Situated on the coast 7km north of Polis Argaka is a small traditional Cypriot farming village with a church and a few tavernas. The nearest beach is a short walk from all of our properties and the popular resorts of Latchi and Polis are a short drive away

Places of Interest

Ayios Merkourios Monastery

Agia Harbour

Restaurant Recommendations

Lizas Place Tavern

This tavern is only 500meters from the villas offering local Cuisine in a nice atmosphere.

GOLF

Cyprus is the new jewel in the crown for golfers seeking golfing breaks in the warmth of the eastern Mediterranean. It offers golfers challenging world-class championship courses, top quality hotels, safety, warm hospitality and almost year round sunshine. There are currently three golf courses within a short drive of Paphos.

Aphrodite Hills Golf Club

This spectacular Resort Course designed by Cabell Robinson really puts Cyprus on the golfing map. It is located on two stunning plateaus with views of the Med. Its fantastic condition provides for a great golfing experience. Must play course when in Cyprus - on a par with top resort courses in Europe. 20km from Kato Paphos.

Par: 71, Yardage: 6815, Maximum handicap: 28

Website: www.aphroditehills.com/golf

Tsada Golf Club

Founded in 1994 on the hills of Tsada, the Tsada Golf Club is set in the grounds of a 12th century monastery, in a gentle valley. Situated on the outskirts of Paphos on an altitude of 550m above sea level, it ensures cool breezes during the summer months. From the 7th tee a monk can often be seen in the garden of the monastery. The course, designed by Donald Steel in two loops of nine, reveals the subtle hand of a man who always allows a course to blend into its natural surroundings. 10km from Paphos.

Par: 72, Yardage: 6060, Maximum handicap: 28

Website: www.cyprusgolf.com

Secret Valley Golf Club

It lies in a scenic valley with grand trees adding to the course`s maturity and the beautiful scalped natural rock formations offer panoramic views to the golfer. It`s believed that the course lies by "Petra tou Romiou" the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love.

The front nine offers four holes for warming up, two birdie opportunities and a dog leg. The back nine plays longer than the first nine and the challenge starts immediately - no warm-up holes on this side. 18km from Paphos.

Par: 72, Yardage: 6120, Maximum handicap: 28

Website: www.cyprusgolf.com

SCUBA DIVING

Paphos makes a good destination for divers and Paphos Lettings recommends leading dive centre Cydive. Cydive has been established in Paphos for over 25 years and was the first dive centre in Cyprus to achieve PADI IDC five-star accreditation.

Cydive offer a wide range of dives, training courses and packages including diving for children. They visit over 50 dive sites throughout the year and at any one time they have 24 unique sites in their fortnightly timetable.

Cyprus is a good place to learn to dive with some basic sites on offer, as well as progression onto the simple wrecks then onto the more adventurous wreck, cave and tunnel and night dives. Most dive sites are only a few minutes boat journey and there are a number of shore dives available. The Zenobia is one of the best wreck dives in the world and the wreck is worth a trip to Cyprus for alone. There are also sites where artefacts such as Roman pottery can be found on the seabed.

Please call us on 08700 429147 or email at address below to receive a 5% discount and a representative from Cydive will contact you.

SKIING

It has to rate as one of the strangest places to find a ski run, but Mt Olympos, the highest point on Cyprus, boasts not one but four pistes. In addition, there are three T-bar ski lifts, a ski school, a shop hiring out skis and boots and a restaurant. Nobody comes to Cyprus specifically to ski, but if you are here at the right time of year (December to February) and fancy a quick slalom in between the islands more traditional sights, it is certainly a unique place in which to strap on the skis.

Hera - 350m long - Beginner

Aphrodite - 150m long - Beginner

Hermes - 150m long - Intermediate

Zeus - 500m long - Advanced

At both the North Face (Zeus lift) and especially the Sun Valley area of the resort, there is ski equipment rental via the Cyprus Ski Club. It pays to get there early as the rental equipment ranges from excellent high quality latest models to mediocre relics of 20+ years ago, and on busy weekends they all go pretty fast!

A daily ski-pass costs around CY"13, Lessons CY"11 and equipment hire CY"10

WATER PARK

Located close to the sea front within the tourist area of Kato Paphos. Nestling amidst 3500sqm of landscaped grounds, it allows comfortable spread of its wide range of attractions, facilities and food & beverage outlets. Perfect engineering and the latest technology guarantees a high level of safety and water hygiene. There are all types of water slides, shutes and even kamikaze style slides for those who enjoy speed. If you prefer taking life at a more leisurely pace, that is equally possible on the `Lazy River` and as water fun is hungry work, there are plenty of places to enjoy a snack and cool drink before going on your favourite ride - just one more time

www.aphroditewaterpark.com

WALKING

Paphos offers a number of walks the most popular of which are as follows:

The Aphrodite Trail - 7.5km - 3 hours duration

Starts at the Baths of Aphrodite with views of Polis and the Paphos Forest.

The Adonis Trail - 7.5km - 3 hours duration

Starts at the Baths of Aphrodite with views of Lara, Tzioni and Karavopetres beaches.

The Smigies Trail - 2.5km - 1-hour duration or 5km - 2-hour duration

Starts at Neo Chorio with views east of Polis Chrysochous Bay, Latchi, Pachyammos and Paphos Forest.

Pissouromouttis Trail - 3km - 1.5 hours duration

Starts at Neo Chorio with views of Polis Bay and the beaches of the Akamas.

Kathikas Trail - 2km - 1-hour duration

Starts near Kathikas and passes a stone-built fountain and the chapel at Agia Marina

The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (Tel 020 7569 8800) publish a guide called Nature Trails which lists a number of other trails on the island.

KARTING

There is karting in Kato Paphos (near the water park) and in Coral bay.

About The Author

Colin Hall is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Paphos Lettings who are experts in arranging tailor-made accommodation in Paphos, Cyprus

For more information on Paphos, Cyprus or to book holiday accommodation visit our website: www.villas-paphos.com


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