Well hello there mateys. I took a sneaky little trip to Cyprus a while ago but never put up any posts about it because I’m a silly billy. Cyprus has a really interesting dynamic and feel to it as a country. I wasn’t sure how obvious the divide was going to but the relations between the two is very adamant and almost builds into the character of the place. You feel it a lot in Nicosia where there is an actual border control between the two sides but even in costal towns like Paphos you get a sense through small things like merchandise and restaurant menu items. I was there for just three days so did a quick whirlwind trip hitting up the highlights (mainly on the Greek Cypriot side). Accommodation was decently priced and to travel betweens towns I used their bus system (more on that in another post). Without further ado let’s go see the seaside.
Paphos is a seaside town in southern Cyprus. After doing some research it seemed like a pretty magical place with lots of heritage, amazing ancient remains and a ton of culture to it. Yes all those things are there but tourism has hit it hard, especially the ‘Brits abroad’. A bunch of retirees have moved to Paphos for easy living and sunshine (there’s even a Marks and Spencer there). Walking along the marina it felt like I was in Magaluf or Ibiza but for older families. Normally I avoid those places with a passion but weirdly I enjoyed being out of my comfort zone – maybe because the people weren’t super rowdy as they all had zimmer frames. It still has all the historical and fascinating places but with a few sprinkles of tack.
The harbour is a lovely place for a stroll. There are lots of restaurants, cafes and of course kitsch gift shops. The water is beautiful and the actual promenade is really nice and clearly been done up recently. At the very edge is Paphos Castle, a former fort. It’s pretty cheap to go inside (and should be as there really isn’t anything to see) but as one of the main attractions for the town it’s worth an explore. The view from the top is really gorgeous and being inside the stonework is a cool shelter for those exceptionally hot days.
Right by the harbour is Kato Pafos Archaeological Park, which although is still under excavation, contains a ton of Greek and Roman history to it already. Many of the houses have their original wall structure still standing and the mosaic floors are superbly preserved. Walking around you get a real sense for the community and grandeur of the place. Give yourself some time here as the site is very large and well worth the exploration. Also nearby are the Tombs of the Kings that are underground supposed burial sites for famous aristocrats/officials.
I don’t remember exactly where this was but naturally you have to get some delicious food whilst in Cyprus. The mix is quite eclectic from Greek dishes like moussaka and halloumi to Turkish meats. For me the best thing to order is a meze full of breads, dips, salads and treats. Be prepared to loosen up your belt buckle and put on those stretchy joggers after the trip.
Other than that the main things to do in Paphos would be walks, beaching and splurging all your money on shopping. There are a few day trips you can do (which I’ll share soon) but otherwise it’s a very relaxed place – note the retirees. Nonetheless I enjoyed myself and anywhere I can wear shorts and eat ice-cream comes up tops.