Weather Averages for Paphos in January
Averages for Paphos in January
Paphos is a coastal city in the south-west of Cyprus, and is the capital of the Paphos district, and houses Paphos International Airport which is the second biggest airport on Cyprus. The economy of Paphos is strongly dependent on tourism and has four main resorts: Kato Paphos, Coral Bay, Latchi, and Aphrodite Hills. The city is particularly well-served by reliably lovely weather (for much of the year) and a large number of historic sites and attractions, arts and sports making it a popular holiday destination.
Paphos has a subtropical Mediterranean climate, with mild and fairly wet winters, and hot, dry and sunny summers. The moderation from the surrounding seas means that significant fluctuations in temperature are rare. Frost and snow are very rare during the winter months, but are not completely unheard of, and a widespread snowfall occurs on an average of roughly one in ten seasons. Snow is quite frequent, however, up in the nearby Troodos mountain range, where skiing holidays are possible in February and March.
The mean maximum temperature ranges from 17°C in January to 30°C in July and August, and significant heatwaves occasionally crop up, when southerly winds pull up hot air from northern Africa. Unlike in inland parts of the island, Paphos does not usually experience temperatures in excess of 40°C, thanks to its coastal location and moderation from the nearby sea, but temperatures as high as 38°C have been recorded.
The climate is sunny and dry even by normal Mediterranean standards, which can lead to problems with drought during summer and early autumn. The mean annual precipitation is just 387mm, most of which falls between November and February inclusive, and rainfall amounts during the wet season can vary considerably depending on how far south the jet stream is, and consequently, how far south Atlantic low pressure systems track. From May to September inclusive, on average, less than 10mm of precipitation per month falls and the months of July and August usually remain completely dry.
Sunshine totals average 3415 hours per year, which is over 75% of the possible total. Even during the wet months sunshine is quite abundant, and the cloudiest month of the year, December, boasts an average of 186 hours per December (6 hours per day) which is on a par with average May, June and July sunshine totals over much of northern England, in spite of shorter hours of daylight. During the summer months, average daily sunshine durations of 11 to 13 hours are typical.
Although the climate is very dry in the summer half-year, mean relative humidity levels are typically moderate, thanks to the proximity to the surrounding seas. On average mean humidity levels peak at 76% during January, but the summer months are often quite humid too. The average sea temperature ranges from 17°C in January and February to 27°C in August, which makes diving and snorkelling attractive during late spring, summer and early to mid autumn.
January is the second-coldest month of the year in Paphos, marginally warmer than February on average, but the temperatures are usually mild, with an average daytime maximum temperature of 17°C and an average minimum of 8°C overnight. Frosts are rare, with air frosts on an average of just one year in ten, though there is an average of one day per January with a ground frost. There was an unusual snowfall in many parts of Cyprus in early January 2013 which included Paphos, though it did not last for long.
January is traditionally one of the wettest months of the year with a mean precipitation total of 80mm, spread over an average of 13 wet days per month. Rainfall varies considerably depending on how far south the jet stream lies, and during the period 1991-2005, the wettest January had 219mm, and the driest had just 5mm. When it rains, the rain is sometimes heavy and can occasionally trigger flooding events. Nearby Lamaca suffered significant floods in early January 2011 due to a few hours of torrential rain.
Despite some Januarys being rather wet, sunshine is quite reliable, helped by the fact that the rain is often heavier and over with more quickly than is normal in central and northern Europe. The mean monthly sunshine total is 195 hours, an average of 6.3 hours per day. January is normally a moderately humid month with a mean relative humidity of 76%. The average sea temperature in January is 18°C, which is rather cool for swimming in.
Dates for the diary
Paphos celebrates Epiphany on the 6th January each year, which is also celebrated generally around coastal towns and cities in Cyprus. The festival features processions and a church service and young men dive to retrieve the cross which is cast into the seaside water by the local Church prelate. In Limassol, approximately 36 miles away from Paphos and accessible by shuttle bus, the New Year International Regatta is organised by the Paphos Yachting Association and features yacht race competitions, typically within the first two weeks of January and spanning just under a week.
Things to do
Since the weather in January is fairly unreliable but usually contains significant fine spells and is not particularly hot, January is quite a good time to visit Paphos’s many historical sites. The Paphos Archaeological Park boasts numerous ruins and mosaics that date back to Roman times. The centrepiece of the park is four Roman villas with mosaic floors, and there are numerous other attractions at the park.
Ruins at the Paphos archeological Park.
Visitors can try out the Tombs of the Kings, which feature impressive underground tombs in which high officials rather than kings were buried (despite the title of the tombs), or the mosaics at the House of Theseus and the House of Orpheus, among other locations. Other attractions within the park include Saranta Kolones, which is a ruined castle that was built in the 13th century and was destroyed by an earthquake but many ruins still stand.
There are some good bus tours in and around Paphos. The City Sightseeing Tours at Kato Paphos, Harbour Coach Park offer “hop on and off” bus trips around some of the main attractions within Paphos, while for a quirkier option, George’s Fun Bus at P.O. Box 61314, Kata Paphos, offers a trip to a prehistoric settlement, art college, the Ayios Neophytos Monastery, the Adonis Waterfall, Mavrokolymbos Dam and some sea caves. Barbeque type food is provided at the sea caves. The George’s Fun Bus trips won a Certificate of Excellence at TripAdvisor in 2011 and 2012.
Tomb of the Kings, Paphos.
Where to eat & drink
There are many good restaurants in and around Paphos, and the choice is a matter of taste. For good Cypriot cuisine, the Seagull Restaurant at 5, Posidonos Avenue, Paphos boasts a good view overlooking the Port, and features a Mediterranean theme. A good British-style restaurant is Tea for Two at 50 Tombs of the Kings Road, sells English breakfasts and many British-style meals, with large portions at relatively low prices.
Paphos also boasts many good cocktail bars, including the Flintstones Bar at Dionisiou 2 Kato Paphos, which is particularly suitable for special occasions as it contains some expensive but high-quality cocktails. The First & Last Pub at Konstantias Street serves a variety of well-received pub food, breakfasts and Sunday roast dinners, and has a wide range of entertainment including TV screens broadcasting sporting events, pub quizzes and karaoke nights, so fans of traditional pub entertainment should have plenty of enjoyment.
Hit the beach
January is not one of the better times of year to visit one of the many beaches at Paphos but the weather can still be reasonable enough during a fine spell. Latchi Beach is situated by Latchi fishing village in the Akamas Peninsula, and is a good fishing spot as well as offering relaxation opportunities. Aphrodite’s Rock, one of the main landmarks in Paphos, is well worth seeing, and has some secluded pebble beaches nearby.
Where to stay
Paphos has a large assortment of good hotels, catering for a wide range of tastes. The Louis King Jason at Pentadaktylou St, Kato Paphos, is a series of luxury 4-star apartments which as of 2012 and 2013 have been very highly rated on TripAdvisor, and has numerous facilities. For a good spa hotel, the Coral Beach Hotel & Resort, situated at P.O.Box 62422, is worth considering for its Health & Beauty Spa. The Cynthiana Beach Hotel at P.O.Box 60023, CY 8100, is a good resort for an inexpensive romantic retreat.
Those on a tight budget are quite well catered for and can consider the surprisingly good 2-star Pyramos Hotel at 4 Agias Anastasias Street. Fans of self-catering can make use of the self-catering options at the three-star Damon Hotel Apartments at Tombs of the Kings Road.