Hi all. I learnt a lot from this forum before our holiday, and am now hoping to help others prior to their future holiday in Paphos – thanks to all who have previously contributed. We have just returned from our first holiday in Cyprus and stayed at the Paphinia Seaview Apartments.
Weather: The first week in October hit 35 degrees (I was told). Too hot for me as I holiday late in the year for cooler temperatures! After a storm and a day of rain, the temperature evened out at about 29 degrees for our second week – again, a little too hot for me and very humid! Apparently, even the locals have commented that the weather at the moment is uncharacteristic for this time of year. When the heat really started to build up, I was absolutely mesmerised by the storm clouds that developed – they seemed so close, but with a brilliant blue sky behind them!
Paphos: We loved it. It was very vibrant and lively. It is lovely to walk along the front and into the harbour area during the evenings (and most people do). We had a look at the Bar Street area during the day and night, but as people have previously stated, it did not really inspire us to spend much time there. Apart from people watching from our balcony, we spent some of our evenings at the Paphinia pub (the little square in front of Pizza Express). There was live music and dancing every evening, and the barbecue grill meal was beautiful at 14 euros, and was enough for two with a side salad. The staff were brilliant, and they told us that the owner did not work as a business; rather, the Paphinia Pub was his life.
Swimming in Paphos: Most of the places to swim in the main strip of Paphos (near the Harbour) are via steps over the rocks, and the sea is deep – however, if you walk just around the corner from the Municipal beach (where there are showers and changing cubicles), there is a little area where you can walk into the sea and it is relatively shallow. I loved it here, as I am not a great swimmer, and the rocks enclosed it to seemingly make a sheltered bathing area. There are better beaches further up the Poseidonos area, and you can get the Geroskipou bus from the Harbour to take you there.
Self Catering: The Papantoniou Supermarket has everything you need. I mainly cook when we are away, and was able to reproduce many of the local dishes, as all ingredients were available here. There are 2 floors and I bought a brilliant non- stick pan for only E3.40 (badly needed for cooking my fresh fish!). Full English breakfasts are also available on the front in Paphos for as little as E2.60 in the main strip.
Beer & Cigarettes/Tobacco: Cheapest local beer (usually Keo) was E1.80 a pint. Cigarettes (numerous makes) were around E3.50 for 20; and tobacco E3.20 for 40g.
Buses: Paphos Harbour bus station is brilliant. People are on hand to help you with your journey, and you can ask for a bus timetable booklet which is ideal if you do not rent a car. If you want to venture further, then you need to go to Karavella bus station in Ktima – this is not the greatest bus station, and is difficult to find if you get the bus to the market in Ktima (if you are intending doing your touring by bus, then I advise you to take some time to familiarise yourself with a route from the market to Karavella). The bus to and from Paphos airport to Paphos Harbour is only 1 euro (we used it both ways).
Paphos Airport: There was a shop open at 10pm on our arrival for drinks, snacks, tobacco etc. On our return, after going through security, there is a ‘Garden Bar’ at the side of terminal 1 which is open air, and you are allowed to smoke in there.
Mossaics and Tomb of the Kings: E3.60 & E1.80 entrance. Worth going if you like that sort of thing, but if it is hot, you will benefit from a parasol or hat. Across the road from the Tomb of the Kings is a taverna called Karlina’s. Very nice meal and staff, and seems to be a very popular eating place.
Agia Solomoni Christian Catacomb: There is a tree (decorated with white handkerchiefs etc) on the Tomb of the Kings road, and there are some tombs underneath it. It is free to enter. It is said that if you hang something white on the tree then you will be cured from an illness! Take a torch, as there were some steps we couldn’t go down as it was too dark.
Pegeia: A small village you can get to by bus to from the Corallia Beach terminus (lovely beach). OK for a couple of hours in the afternoon; it also seems to be a popular destination for ex-pats who love it there.
Baths of Aphrodite: You get a bus from Karavella to Chrysochou, and then a bus that takes you through Latsi and up to the Baths. Whilst the Aphrodite bath is a nice enough walk; the meals at the taverna are very good value, and there is a beautiful view. Underneath the taverna are showers and changing cubicles if you want to walk down the 100+ steps to swim in the beautiful sea. There are also free sunbeds and umbrellas. An absolutely beautiful place. We saw a couple of people buy a take-away meal from the taverna, and take it down to the little beach with them.
Nicosia (Lefkosia): We took the Express bus from Karavella (9 euros return). The organised trips cost 19 euros, and you have less time there. The bus drops you off right by the famous Ledra Street/Yitonia and we walked to the Farmagusta Gate (15 minutes). At the top of Ledra Street you can take the Shakolah Tower lift in Debenhams (11th floor), and for 2 euros, can look out over the town. In the distance, you will see the Turkish flag seemingly imprinted on the hillside. Your ticket gets you 20% off a meal in the cafe. I got a small plate salad bar meal – loaded with chicken and crabstick salad for E3.20. We had our passports with us, and crossed over the ‘Green line’ into Turkey at the top of Ledra Street. There, they have shops and cafes. What was a refreshing change was that we were not pestered to buy; so it was nice to be able to browse, window shop, and buy if we wanted to.
Coach Trip Farmagusta/Agia Napa: 23 euros each, and we had to pay 5 euros each to cross the border (we were not informed about this when we booked). Very interesting, but a long time on the coach. We also visited the Salamis ruins – this was good as our courier gave a guided tour, and brought to life the history of the place. On this tour, do not expect to see the abandoned hotels – apparently, the area is too dangerous as balconies etc are starting to fall down. You do see abandoned villages and schools. However, if you want to see the beach and abandoned hotels, you can only do this from a boat trip from Agia Napa.
Weddings in Cyprus: The wedding open topped double decker buses passed by our apartment on a daily basis, and headed to the same reception venue on the harbour (sorry, I have forgotten its name). However, there are many wedding ceremony venues on the beach front of the Poseidonos Road, and also on the beach front of the Tomb of the Kings Road. We walked from the Harbour up to the Pioneer Beach (and maybe passed it – I’m not sure), and also walked from the Harbour to the Venus Beach Hotel on the other side. I lost count of the actual wedding ceremony venues that we passed, but one stuck in my mind along the top end of the Poseidonos Road area (sorry, I don’t know which Hotel) – it was beautiful. Some overlooked beach umbrellas which seemed to spoil the setting. My advice is, if you can, try and have a short holiday in Paphos and do the walk that we did before you choose your wedding ceremony venue – one of them will be for you.
Coral Bay: We preferred Paphos to Coral Bay because although there is a nice strip of tavernas etc. the actual beach seemed to be a bit of a walk away, and was down hill. Maybe better for families, because there is not really a beach in Paphos for children.
Overall: We enjoyed our holiday in Paphos, and would particularly recommend self catering as there are so many nice places to eat, and I was even surprised that some of the restaurants on the harbour were reasonably priced – E10 for a fish meal at the Pelican for example. I hope that my review has helped you in your future holiday. And many happy holidays in Paphos to all.