Paphos Cyprus: Your Sunshine Destination
Set in the far south of the Mediterranean, Cyprus has, arguably, one of the best climates in Europe:
- Blue skies come as standard,
- The island sees a massive 340 days of sunshine a year,
- Swimsuit temperatures kick in as early as April, when the mercury rises into the low 20°s.
- Things get much hotter in the summer – 30° is normal, although don’t be surprised if the thermometer creeps closer to 40° on some days.
- Autumn is slightly cooler, so it’s perfect for sightseeing or hiking in the Troodos Mountains.
- Cyprus gets most of its rain between December and March, but it’s not much, and temperatures are still pretty mild.
Situated on the south-west coast of Cyprus, Paphos is the ideal holiday destination for families seeking sunshine, relaxation, good food, places of interest and, perhaps, a little culture.
Paphos’ Medieval fortress is the picture-perfect setting for the Aphrodite Festival, which is an annual opera extravaganza. A wooden stage is hoisted onto the old ramparts, and blue chairs are laid out in front. Then the orchestra tunes up and the production begins – Othello, Tosca and Madame Butterfly have all featured in the past. Tickets can be bought online, cost from €35 to €80.
The harbour has a full line-up of restaurants, but if you head to the Ktima area, to the west of the Church of St John, you can eat out with the locals. They love their meze at the Tavernas here, so dig into fried squid, pickled capers and fried Saganaki cheese. Dinner is a real social event, so don’t be surprised to see huge groups tucking in around you.
About 5 minutes’ drive from town is the Vouni Panayia Winery. Here you can look around the state-of-the-art fermentation area and the cellars, where half a million bottles are ageing. Of course, wine tasting is included in the trip. Those with a good nose reckon the rich Plakota red and Pampela dry rosé are particularly good. There’s also a restaurant here.
The old town has a covered market every weekend, and it’s a great place for wandering the stalls in search of souvenirs. Cypriot specialities include Lefkaritika lace and hand-made tablecloths, and you should also find top-quality leather and silverware here. Or, for a different sort of browsing, try the Duck Pond Market near the Tombs of the Kings for its Sunday car boot sale.
Just 10 minutes from the resort is Coral Bay at Peyia. This Blue Flag beach is a lovely sandy stretch covered in thatched parasols and backed by upscale bars. It’s got all the watersports you could need, from pedalos and banana boats to jet-skis. You can also try parascending here – which is a bit like parachuting backwards – or learn to scuba at the dive school.
There’s something for everyone at Fassouri waterpark, whether you’re after the adrenalin rush on the speed slides or craving the relaxation of the pool. Daredevils will scream with delight as they race down the kamikaze. Sun lovers will enjoy kicking back on a sunbed and working on that all important tan. And with plenty to keep the kids busy too, this is a great day out for the family.
And, of course, when you go to Cyprus it is always worth visiting Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, to find out about the turbulent history of the world’s last divided city. You’ll be taken on a walking tour across the UN buffer zone into northern Cyprus, to rummage through the shops or check out the city views from the observation tower. Your guide will give you its history and low-down as you tick off its best bits. We’re talking sights like Ayias Sofia Church and the Market Square.