On a recent road trip in Cyprus, I spent some time in the coastal town of Paphos. Here’s my favourite things to do in Paphos, Cyprus.
Things to do in Paphos, Cyprus
Situated on the western coast of Cyprus, Paphos is a harbour town that like the rest of the country boasts churches, archaeological sites, mosaics, white-sand beaches and amazing views of the land and the sea. What isn't there to love?! Here's just some of the things to do in Paphos, Cyprus.
Immerse Yourself in Rich History and Architecture
Paphos is home to a number of historical buildings, archaeological sites, ruins of ancient civilizations, and stunning art, which is why visiting some of the following spots should be on your to-do list:
- Kato Paphos Archaeological Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site that contains impressive Roman architecture and well-preserved mosaics dating back to prehistoric times
- Tombs of the Kings – a remarkable collection of underground tombs that were carved out of solid rock dating back to the 4th century BC
- House of Dionysus – the preserved ruin of Roman villas that are known for its colourful mosaics that depict scenes from Greek mythology
- Hrysopolitissa Basilica – once the largest basilica in Paphos during the Byzantine era, Hrysopolitissa Basilica is now marked by a few scattered columns and some remnants of once beautiful mosaics
Go Cycling, Hiking and Mountain Climbing
Paphos’s terrain makes it ideal for adventure-seekers whose idea of exploring a new place is biking, hiking or mountain climbing. The town itself has various cycling paths, one of which goes up to the Tombs of the Kings. The nearby Akamas Peninsula, Troodos Mountains, and the Avakas Gorge are also perfect for outdoor activities, and afford some of the best views you’ll ever see in your life! Keep in mind that Cyprus can get a touch on the warm side though, especially in August! During my trip, I was really inspired to go cycling in Cyprus, but I didn't have the time. A future trip maybe!
Get a Taste of Local Delicacies
One of the things Cyprus is known for is its delicious food. You’ve probably heard about Halloumi, a type of cheese that is perfect for grilling or frying because of its high melting point, but there’s more to Cypriot cuisine that you should try when you visit Paphos. Here are some of them:
- Sheftalia – a type of sausage parcel that is filled with minced pork or lamb, onion, parsley, salt, and pepper, and traditionally grilled over charcoal
- Lokmades – also referred to as honey doughnuts, these are deep-fried dough balls are soaked in honey before being coated in cinnamon, crushed nuts, or sesame seeds
- Kibbeh – a cylindrical-shaped croquette that is made of bulgur and filled with minced meat flavored with Middle Eastern spices
Enjoy Some Peace and Quiet in Fyti
A good way to escape the hustle and bustle of the town centre is to go on a half-day trip to Fyti, where you’ll feel as if you’ve gone back in time as you walk along the narrow streets and see the sturdy stone houses.
While there, you can visit the Folk Art Museum to learn how traditional textile was made and to buy cotton products as well as fine silk that you can take home as souvenirs. There's a short video of Fyti above.
Check out a Shipwreck
We saw two shipwrecks along the coastline near Paphos, one of which is very near to the shoreline. The Edro III ran aground in 2011, and can be found in the sea caves area. If you have hired a car to see the tourist attractions in Cyprus, it's definitely worth the trip out!
Spend Time at One of its Many Gorgeous Beaches
With around 27 stunningly beautiful beaches nearby, it’s no wonder why spending time by the sea is one of the top things to do in Paphos. For your peace of mind, you can visit the 12 beaches that have been awarded Blue Flag status, which certifies that they are not only clean but also safe for swimming. In Cyprus, many of the beaches are organised, which means they are full of parasols and sunbeds for hire. This is not really my cup of tea, but you can still find stretches of beach which are free. Visiting in September, we enjoyed our time on this beach, with virtually no-one else to be seen!
Paphos is a land for the romantics where the prehistoric and modern times meet. But whether you’re visiting the area to know more about its culture and history or just to bask in the beauty of the surroundings, you won’t run out of wonderful things to do in Paphos.