On the south-western tip of Cyprus, Paphos is one of the more popular towns with foreign visitors. Close to the coast and in the shadows of the Troodos Mountains, it’s a good place to spend a peaceful week or two away from the daily grind, but it’s also a great place to learn about ancient Greek history.
Paphos was apparently the birthplace of Aphrodite, while there’s also the Odeon, an open-air amphitheatre that lies within Cyprus’s largest archaeological park. You’re sure to learn plenty about the town’s history wherever you choose to tread or drive, while the climate is friendly too. In summer, temperatures can often reach a sweltering 33°C.
Many of the roads in Paphos are pretty narrow, so a small car is perfect for driving around the town centre and through the surrounding villages on the winding roads.
The Paphos Archaeological Park is home to many different attractions from Greek and Roman times including the House of Dionysus and House of Theseus, both former Roman villas famous for their mosaics. A walk around the park will help you to imagine the Paphos of old.
Within the park is the Odeon, a large amphitheatre which, despite its age, still hosts the odd play and concert. Performances at the Odeon usually take place in the summer when the weather is much better.
Paphos Fort, on the edge of the town’s marina, has an interesting backstory. Formerly used as a prison, the fort was built back in 1586 by the Turks in order to keep out foreign invaders. It was later used by British occupiers to hold any perceived criminals.
Tala Village, although not technically in Paphos, is just a short drive or walk away. It is home to the Agios Neophytos Monastery as well as many restaurants serving locally-sourced foods and traditional Cypriot drinks.
There is only one main dual carriageway that takes you out of Paphos and, at peak times, it can be a little clogged up. Most of the other roads here are in good condition though.
In summer, it can be almost insufferably hot in Paphos, so drivers are advised to take plenty of drinking water on every car journey.
The town’s main tourist office is on Gladstonos. It’s open every morning except on Sundays and in the afternoons on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Paphos International Airport is a relatively modern facility, located just four miles southeast of the town. It serves as one of two main international airports for Cyprus, attracting more than two million passengers last year. To get to the airport, the best way by car is to head to the B6 highway, which takes you straight into central Paphos, as well as further east towards Limassol. Traffic from the airport can be heavy at times.