Paphos, on the island of Cyprus, is a city awash in myth. For the ancient Greeks it was the supposed birthplace of Aphrodite, goddess of love so where better to head for a romantic break? Paphos today is a welcoming, vibrant city that mixes a long history with a passion for the good life. While Paphos is popular with tourists in the summer, its climate makes it an ideal holiday destination year-round. Music from live performances fills the streets most nights. One of the city’s annual highlights is the Paphos Aphrodite Festival. Set against the backdrop of Paphos Castle, each year the festival features one of opera’s greatest works. Such is Paphos’ reputation for embracing the arts, that it has been named the European Capital of Culture for 2017.
Where to go
Culture junkies should start their day exploring the spectacular ruins of Old Paphos, including the hilltop Temple of Aphrodite. Also close, and equally impressive, is the Tomb of the Kings, burial place of local nobility for thousands of years. Paphos Harbour is dominated by its crusader-era castle and the old town rewards wandering, unearthing stylish boutiques and cosy cafes for a lazy lunch. Those visiting the small village of Lemba will find a thriving community of artists and artisans with wares to sell.
The year-round temperate climate allows sun-lovers to soak up the rays throughout most of the year and where better place to do it than by the sea. A stay wouldn’t be the same without visiting the islands and their coves; take a boat out for the day and head to Cape Arnaoutis on the tip of the Akamas peninsula. Of course, most of our boutique hotels have a number of pools to lie beside.
Food & Drink
A stalwart of Cypriot cuisine is the ‘meze’, a tapas-like selection of meat, seafood and vegetable dishes meant for sharing. Accompany your meal with a Brandy Sour or two - the nation’s unofficial drink. Chic Retreats recommends the Seven St Georges (Georgíou M Sávva 37), a local institution renowned for its meze that is sourced from local produce. Seafood lovers should try Nicos Tyrimos (Agapínoros 71), that has a well-earned reputation for its squid and octopus dishes.
The majority of Paphos’ nightlife is clustered around Paphos’ harbour, and why not - it affords spectacular views. The climate and lifestyle of Paphos lends itself to drinking with friends in the dusk, with music and entertainment getting started later in the night. Suite48 (48 Poseidonos Ave) sits right on the beach and is a great place to start your evening while Different (Bar Street) offers classic cocktails with a twist and a dancefloor that goes well into the night.
Where to stay
The Annabelle is the place to stay if you are after a sumptuous breakfast with sea views. This luxury hotel is one of the best in Paphos and can be found right on the sea front surrounded by lush gardens.
, three of our beachside hotels in Paphos have pools to relax by and with excellent poolside service you may not want to move. All three hotels offer spa treatments to revitalize and refresh body and soul. Beach babes should take the bus or hotel shuttle to one of the outstanding beaches, Coral Bay and Pachyammos are two of our favourites, and enjoy a day of watersports.
How to get there
Easyjet, Ryanair and Thomas Cook Airlines all fly direct to Paphos daily. The city and harbour is only a short bus or cab ride from the airport.