- Coastline Sunny port with a past
- Coast life Swim, stroll, sightsee
Occupied since prehistoric times, and inhabited by the Romans, the Venetians and the cult followers of Aphrodite, the fort-guarded harbour town of Paphos (aka Pafos) has a colourful history.
Today, the resort's taverna-lined waterfront, pleasant sea promenade and strip of hotels attract sun-seekers, holidaymakers and families looking for blue skies and easy-going days. But you don't have to go far to find superlative splendours: a Unesco-protected archaeological site provides a tantalising glimpse back across the millennia; to the north, beyond forests and vineyards, the Troodos Mountains offer hiking and adventure – even skiing in winter; and to the west, soft sand beaches line safe-for-swimming seas and stretch up to the beautiful and unspoilt Akamas Peninsula.
Do go/Don’t go
This far east (nestled under Turkey and near the Lebanon), there are no less than 300 days of sunshine a year, so there's no bad time to go – however, the low-season months do see night-time temperatures dipping low enough to make al fresco less fun. The Troodos Mountains are sprinkled with snow in winter - so you can sunbathe and ski in the same day at some times of year. But from Spring until Autumn, days are warm and skies are generally blue.
Planes Paphos airport is only 15km (20 minutes' drive) from the centre of town, with regular budget flights from the UK. Larnaca airport is a little further (170km – about 90 minutes), but has more frequent scheduled flights from across Europe.
Boats There are currently no passenger or car ferry services to southern Cyprus; flying is your only real option here.
Automobiles Driving is easy on Cyprus, which has decent roads and where traffic drives on the left (as it does in the UK). If you are staying longer than a few days, and getting to a decent beach is important to you, you'll want a hire car – there are plenty of rental companies. From Paphos airport, take the airport road west, following signs to Paphos town. From Larnaca (where there are also hire car desks), the drive will take a couple of hours on the coastal A roads.