Paphos Attractions Guide

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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 is a particularly good resort for water sports, for many companies have set up attractive facilities and packages taking advantage of the favourable climate, with its reliably sunny weather and warm seas in the summer half-year. The resort also boasts many and varied historical and religious sites and displays of ancient formations that date back as far as Roman times.  There are many good tours, by boat, bus, jeep, quad bike and mountain bike, and there are many scenic attractions along the sea front too.

Sporting facilities are relatively sparse but there are some good options, including three golf courses, two ten pin bowling alleys and a good horse riding organisation.

Theme parks

Super Aphrodite Water Park, situated at Poseidnos Avenue, features a large rafting ride and numerous slides, a wave pool and massages, among other attractions. The Paphos Bird and Animal Park has a large array of animals, including a reptile house, and an indoor amphitheatre which has regular parrot and owl shows.

Go-karting

Go-karting enthusiasts are quite well catered for in the Paphos area. Paphos Karting Centre has one of the biggest kart tracks on Europe and offers the use of junior karts, senior karts and twin engine pro karts, catering for novices and experts. Coral Bay Karting Centre at Coral Bay Road is the main alternative, and features a winding circuit with increasingly tight corners.

Bowling

There are two main ten pin bowling centres in Paphos. The Cockatoos Bowling Centre contains a computerised and air-conditioned ten pin bowling alley with 10 lanes, and a bowling academy which offers training. The Cosmic Bowling Centre at the centre of Paphos has 18 lanes and numerous on-site facilities including a pro shop, a cafeteria and restaurant, and video games.

Horse riding

Horse-riding fans can try out Ride in Cyprus Ltd, situated at Stavros tis Psokas Rd, Lysos. The main headquarters have spectacular views over towards Pano Panayia and offer a wide range of horse rides. The longer treks operate mostly during spring and autumn, but some of the shorter ones operate all year around.

Golf

There are a couple of reasonable golf courses at Paphos. Elea Golf Club at 1 Eleon Avenue is a par 71 and 18-hole golf course designed by Nick Faldo, which is generally highly-regarded, if rather pricey, and it contains good facilities on-site. Minth Hills Golf Club (previously known as Tsada Golf Club) at Polis Road, Tsada is the main alternative, and is relatively cheap but with fewer facilities. The Aphrodite Golf Course is another 18 hole golf course which also contains a spa and tennis facilities.

Cycling & mountain/quad biking

Paphos Segway Experience, located at 21 Artemidos Street, Paphos, is an attractive way to get around Paphos via Segway, which involves gliding on special two-wheel forms of transport.  Trips to Paphos Harbour and the nearby mountain region are offered. Mountain Bikes Cyprus offer mountain biking tours in the Akamas and Toodos regions, and also road tours and cycling holidays  Chris Andreou- Quad Biking Safari at Cyprotel Cypria Maris Kato Paphos is a good bet for quad biking fans, which offers a 1.5 hour off-road quad bike tour for which no driving licence is required (though children must be supervised by an adult). Safaris are also available in the Akamas area. Scooter and bike rent are also available, along with buggy safaris and some water sports.

Jeep safari

Daktari Jeep Safari specialises in off-road trips to locations on the island that would normally be difficult to access. There are two main trips offered, to the Akamas Peninsula or to the Troodos Mountains.  In the case of the Akamas trip, visitors are shown various attractions in the area and have a lot of choice over which routes are taken, and you can choose main roads or off-road trails. 

Water sports  

Paphos is an excellent resort for water sports, helped by its climate and the warmth of the neighbouring seas during the summer half-year. PowerDiving at PO Box 64682, Paphos offers an introductory diving and snorkelling trip which is suitable for everyone aged 8 years and older, which includes a dive to a maximum depth of 6 metres. A good traditional PADI dive centre is Coral Bay Divers at Aristo Complex 1, Shop 8, Paphos. There are diving courses available for all ages and abilities and full day trips including a trip to the Wreck of the Zenobia or the Jubilee Shoals.  Marine Divers Dive Centre at 4 Aristo Coral Bay is another good choice, which features a range of PADI-certified dive courses and it also offers a few day trips, including one to Zenobia. Another good alternative is CyDive at 1 Poseidon Avenue, Myrra Complex, which offer a range of dive courses and trips as well and are also highly-rated by visitors.

For those after something a bit different, Undersea Walkers, based at Cynthiana Beach Hotel, Tomb of the Kings Road, offer a guided trip walking on the sea bed, for which no prior experience of diving is required.  BOB diving (on an underwater scooter) and scuba diving trips are also offered.  Kayaking trips are provided by Zephyros Adventure Sports, located at Shop 7, Royal Complex, Tombs of the Kings Road. 

Boat trips

Paphos Sea Cruises at Paphos Harbour offer a wide range of cruises, including half day, full day, pirate, fireworks, wedding receptions and water sports cruises.  There are opportunities to go diving and snorkelling as part of some of the cruises.  Wave Dancer Boat Trips, also based at Paphos Harbour, also offer a variety of cruises including a fireworks night cruise, a half day BBQ cruise and a disco night cruise, catering for numerous tastes. Those who fancy something fast and furious and a little bit different can try the Tiger Boat trips, which features twists and turns and wave jumping.

Natural attractions & landmarks

Aphrodite's Rock near Paphos is a popular attraction with visitors and is surrounded by a pebble beach and is known as the birthplace of Aphrodite's. The Lara Bay Turtle Conservation Station at Akamas is a pleasant turtle beach in which the turtles are specially conserved (especially the Chelonia mydas species, which is in danger of extinction) and there is a hut telling visitors about the turtles. The Baths of Aphrodite are, according to legend, where the Goddess of Love bathed, and represent a pool grotto surrounded by greenery, at the end of a nature trail.

The Paphos Bird and Animal Park has many traditional Cypriot buildings and has a large array of animals, including a reptile house, and an indoor amphitheatre which has regular parrot and owl shows.  Snake George's Reptile Park is a park dedicated mainly to conservation of reptiles, some of which are endangered species.  The Akamas Peninsula is a good place to go for a wide range of unusual wildlife and a good area for walking around, and there are pine, juniper and maquis forests.

Historic/religious sites & landmarks

Paphos Archaeological Park at Kato Paphos contains numerous ancient mosaics and ruins, many of which date back to the Roman period. The central part of the park features four Roman villas with mosaic floors, while there are numerous other attractions including the House of Orpheus and the Tombs of the Kings, and an ancient theatre. The Medieval Castle of Paphos at the Kato Paphos Harbour does not have a great deal inside but the top of the castle offers spectacular views over the harbour and nearby area. The Panagia Chrysopolitissa Church at Kato Paphos, which is open daily, features numerous ruins and also St. Paul's Pillar, who received 40 lashes for evangelising on Cyprus. 

The Royal Manor of Kouklia, to the south-west of Kouklia Village, houses the Aphrodite's Temple which contains a museum with many displays of excavations. Also recommended is the Saint Neophytos Monastery near Tala village, which features Byzantine icons in the monastery's main church and also a museum with ancient and Byzantine exhibits.  St. Solomons' Catacombs are a small attraction with a church and some underground passages, although there is not much information provided regarding their history. The Kato Paphos Lighthouse Area is also worth a visit.

Museums, mosaics & galleries

The Paphos Archaeological Museum has numerous Cypriot antiquities which date back as far as the Neolithic era. There are five rooms boasting exhibits from a number of different historic periods and these include tombstones and antiques and decorations. The Ethnographical Museum at 1 Exo Vrisis Street, Paphos is worth seeing for its exhibits stemming from George Eliades, which include costumes, wooden furniture and archaeological finds.The Byzantine Museum at 5 Andrea Ioannou Street is also worth checking out for its collection of exhibits from the Byzantine period, dating as far back as the 7th or 8th century, and this showcases some art from the period.

The Steni Museum of Village Life at Steni provides displays of the history of life in the village, which features traditional costumes and discussions of the manual labour that was required in the old days. Paphos Archaeological Park at Kato Paphos contains numerous ancient mosaics dating back to Roman times, which are well worth checking out as part of a general visit to the park. The Aphrodite's Temple contains many historic excavations at a site that dates as far back as the 12th century BC.