Are you looking for a Mediterranean escape with plenty of history, culture, and natural beauty? Look no further than Paphos, a city on the southwestern coast of Cyprus that offers something for every type of traveler.
Steeped in ancient mythology and rich history, Paphos is known as the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite and is home to some of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world. But it’s not just the past that draws visitors to Paphos – the city also boasts stunning beaches, world-class wineries, and a vibrant cultural scene.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top things to do in Paphos. From exploring ancient ruins to sipping local wines and soaking up the sun, there’s no shortage of activities to keep you busy during your stay. So grab your sunscreen and let’s dive into all that Paphos has to offer!
Explore the Tombs of the Kings
This isn’t your typical cemetery. The Tombs of the Kings are a series of underground burial chambers that date back to the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The tombs are carved out of solid rock and are filled with intricate frescoes and carvings. It’s like stepping back in time.
Wander Through Paphos Old Town
Paphos Old Town is a charming maze of narrow streets and alleys that are packed with shops, cafes, and restaurants. Take a stroll through the winding streets and get a feel for what life was like in ancient times. Stop for a coffee or a snack at one of the many cafes and watch the world go by.
Relax on the Beach
Paphos has some of the most beautiful beaches in Cyprus. From sandy stretches like Coral Bay to secluded coves like Lara Beach, there’s a beach for everyone. Spend a day soaking up the sun, swimming in the crystal-clear water, and enjoying the laid-back island lifestyle.
Sample the Local Cuisine
Cypriot cuisine is a delicious blend of Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern influences. Try traditional dishes like souvlaki (grilled meat skewers), kleftiko (slow-cooked lamb), moussaka, pastitsio, halloumi cheese and baklava. Wash it all down with a glass of locally produced wine or ouzo.
Visit the Paphos Archaeological Park
This sprawling park is home to some of the most impressive ruins in Cyprus, including the House of Dionysus, the House of Theseus, and the Agora. Here you can also see mosaics that are some of the finest examples of ancient Roman art in the world. The intricate designs depict scenes from mythology and daily life, and are a testament to the skill of the craftsmen who created them. You can easily spend an entire day exploring the park and learning about the ancient history of Paphos.
Visit the Birthplace of Aphrodite
Okay, I know I said there’s more to Paphos than Aphrodite’s birthplace, but hear me out. This mythical goddess of love and beauty was said to have risen from the waves off the coast of Paphos. Today, you can visit the archaeological site that’s dedicated to her and learn about the fascinating mythology surrounding her.
Take a Dip in the Aphrodite Rock Pool
Located near the Baths of Aphrodite, this natural rock pool is said to be where Aphrodite used to bathe. The water is crystal clear and refreshing, making it the perfect spot to cool off on a hot day.
Hike the Akamas Peninsula
For nature lovers, the Akamas Peninsula is a must-visit. This protected area is home to a variety of plant and animal species, including the rare loggerhead sea turtle. There are several hiking trails that wind through the peninsula, offering stunning views of the coast and the surrounding countryside.
Take a Wine Tasting Tour
The Paphos region is known for its excellent wines, and there are several wineries that offer tours and tastings. Sample some of the local varieties, including the dry white Xynisteri and the fruity red Maratheftiko.
Visit the Paphos Castle
This imposing castle sits on the edge of the harbor and dates back to the 13th century. It has served as a fort, a prison, and even a warehouse over the years. Today, it’s a popular spot for taking photos and watching the sunset.
Go Scuba Diving
The crystal-clear waters around Paphos are perfect for scuba diving. Explore underwater caves, see colorful fish and marine life, and even visit a sunken shipwreck. There are several dive shops in the area that offer courses and guided dives for all skill levels.
Attend a Cultural Event
Throughout the year, Paphos hosts a variety of cultural events, including music festivals, art exhibitions, and theatrical performances. Check the local calendar to see what’s happening during your visit and experience the vibrant arts scene in the city.
As our journey through the top things to do in Paphos comes to a close, we hope we’ve inspired you to add this incredible city to your travel bucket list. From exploring the ancient ruins of the Archaeological Park to hiking the Akamas Peninsula and relaxing on the beautiful beaches, there’s something for everyone in Paphos.
With its rich history, natural beauty, and warm Mediterranean climate, Paphos is a destination that will leave a lasting impression on any traveler. Whether you’re interested in ancient history, wine tasting, outdoor adventure, or simply soaking up the sun on the beach, this city has it all.
So why wait? Start planning your trip to Paphos today and get ready to experience all the magic that this incredible city has to offer. We guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!