Paphos, the coastal city located in the southwest of Cyprus has been inhabited since Neolithic time – hence its attraction from history lovers. Here you will find a harbour in addition to ancient tomb ruins, fortresses and villas at Paphos Archaeological Park. In addition to its historical highlights, there are beaches to frequent, coastal paths to take and local produce to savour.
There is a promenade that carves a path between the water’s edge and many bars, restaurants and shops. From the most northern end, this coastal broadwalk takes you from the proximity of the ancient Tomb of the Kings and weaves down past Lighthouse Beach, Paphos Point and the castle, ending at the harbour. You can then recommence your walk for the next section of the promenade from the Municipal Baths to as far as St Nicholas Church. In all, taking the promenade from nearby the Tomb of the Kings to the church will take over an hour. It’s on the second leg of your walk where you’ll find most of the city’s beaches.
Aphrodite’s Rock, otherwise known as Petra tou Romiou is undoubtedly the most picturesque scene in all of Paphos. It’s here where myth states that the Greek goddess of love rose from the sea and ashore here. The opportunity to find “Insta”-fame through your photo shares is best achieved while pointing and clicking at the rock stack at sunset. This famous beach is located around 20 minutes southeast from the centre of the city.
A similar distance from town, albeit heading north, is Coral Bay. This horseshoe-shaped cove is sheltered by limestone cliffs, ensuring the sea remains calm for swimming safely. Kid-friendly watersport facilities are available here too. Therefore, this is a highly-recommended spot for families.
Further on up the coast from Coral Bay is Lara Beach where you’ll also find the sea caves en-route. Geographically, this is pretty much the gateway to the incredible Akamas Peninsular too. In the summer months, the natural Lara Beach is home to nesting loggerhead and green turtles that come to lay their eggs. It’s considered a bit of an adventure to visit here as a 4WD vehicle is strongly recommended and it’s definitely not considered a place where you’ll find the maddening crowds.
Beaches located in town are those that can be seen from the promenade including Faros Beach, Municipal Baths, Alykes Beach, Vrisoudia ΙΙ, Pachyammos and Rikkos Beach.
Paphos Castle and harbour
You can check out the historic castle and harbour in one fell swoop. Along this stretch are a number of places to eat and drink including ice cream kiosks, cafes, bars and restaurants. Entry to the castle is cheap, housing a museum which features locals arts and great surrounding views from the roof. At night, the castle does look great when illuminated and makes for an iconic backdrop to an evening stroll. If you plan on dining here, we suggest looking up the fish restaurant options.
Kato Paphos Archaeological Park and Tomb of the Kings
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most important archaeological sites in Cyprus and can be found just to the north of the harbour. The open-air site makes for an excellent place to visit before or after the sun hits its peak as exploring the ancient park can be a rather scorching affair otherwise. The well-preserved, Roman-era mosaics are an incredible spectacle to behold as are the ancient odeon and pillars. The Tomb of the Kings, carved from solid stone, date back to the fourth century BC, however the first archaeological excavations weren’t conducted until 1870. The tombs continue to be carefully excavated to this day.