28 Best Things to Do in Paphos, Cyprus

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by Maggie Turansky

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As one of the most popular towns to visit on the island, there are countless things to do in Paphos – a place famed for its ancient history, beautiful beaches, and being the birthplace of the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. If you’re planning a trip to Cyprus, it is highly likely that you’ve included a stop in Paphos on your itinerary through this Mediterranean country.

Paphos is an excellent place to base yourself while on holiday in Cyprus as it is in close proximity to activities to suit any kind of personality. If all you’re interested in is maximising your beach time and getting a great tan, then Paphos has beaches and sunshine to make you swoon.

Are you fascinated by ancient ruins and history? There are numerous things to do in and around Paphos that are sure to pique your interest. After an active holiday? There are countless hiking trails and watersports available throughout the town and its vicinity.

Getting To & Around Paphos

If you’re planning a holiday to Paphos, it is also likely that you’re going to want to know how to get to and around the city as well. Well, luckily, it is simple enough.

Paphos is home to an international airport and, though it is not as high-traffic as Cyprus’ largest in Larnaca, it does serve several budget airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet and affordably connects numerous European cities to Paphos.

The airport is located only 15 kilometres south of the Paphos city centre. If you don’t hire a car, there is an easy bus (number 612) that can shuttle you from the airport to the city centre. You can also book a private transfer here.

It is also likely that you end up flying into Larnaca airport rather than the Paphos airport. Because Cyprus is such a small country, it really is not a big problem to fly into an airport that is on the other side of the island from your destination.

It is only about an hour and a half drive from Larnaca to Paphos and there are numerous fun and interesting stops to make along the way. There is also a bus from Larnaca airport to Paphos.

Once you are in Paphos, you’re going to want to know how to get around while you’re there. Though there is a bus network that can shuttle you around Paphos and some of the nearby villages, it is far easier and more efficient to have your own car, especially if you want to explore a little bit further afield.

Driving in Cyprus is easy and the road quality on the main thoroughfares and motorways is really good. However, if you plan to head to more of the hard-to-reach areas like the Blue Lagoon, Adonis Baths, or Lara Beach, it might be advisable to look into renting a 4WD vehicle.

It is generally possible to reach these places in a normal rental car (we did), but you might feel more comfortable in a 4WD. Generally speaking though, the vast majority of roads in and around Paphos are of perfect quality, even the windy mountain roads.

If you plan to rent a car in Paphos (which we recommend!), we suggest using Rentalcars.com to compare prices from major car hire companies. Alternatively, check out Localrent to hire from local companies or private individuals.

You should also look into taking out an excess insurance policy with iCarHireInsurance in order to protect you from any high deductibles or inflated insurance costs imposed from the car rental company.

Ruins at Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
Ruins at Kato Paphos Archaeological Park

28 Best Things to Do in Paphos

1. Tombs of the Kings

One of the top sites in the area, no visit to Paphos is complete without heading to the Tombs of the Kings. This incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to the Hellenistic period (323 – 31 BCE) and is a very interesting place to visit.

Located in a large outdoor area close to the sea and Paphos city centre, this is a collection of ancient tombs that were excavated in 1977. Some of the tombs’ architecture is elaborate and this is an excellent place to see ancient Greek columns, pillars and structures.

Entry into the park is €2.50 per person. Though you can enter some of the tombs to escape the heat, there is little shade and the entirety of the park is uncovered, so make sure to wear sunscreen and bring lots of water if you’re visiting in the warmer months.

The Tombs of the Kings is one of the best things to do in Paphos
The Tombs of the Kings

2. Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa

To add to the list of historical ruins in Paphos is the Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa. This 13th-century church was built over the ruins of numerous churches over the years, dating back to the 4th century.

Located in the centre of old Paphos, the church is still in use today and it is free to enter for visitors. It is particularly famous for its beautiful mosaic floors.

3. Kato Paphos Archaeological Park

Another must-visit archaeological site in Paphos is the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park. An open-air museum, this park contains the remains of ancient Paphos with remnants dating from the Hellenistic to the Ottoman period of Cypriot history.

Though there are numerous things to see in this area — plan to spend an hour or two here at least — the most stunning are the beautifully preserved Hellenistic mosaics.

The mosaics are on display in several ruined houses and depict both geometric patterns and various scenes from Greek mythology. There are ample plaques explaining what you are looking at, however, it can be good to brush up on your classical knowledge before visiting if you want to have a deeper understanding of their significance.

Other incredible sites in this vast area include ancient Roman villas and a fascinating Roman odeon to explore, along with ruined pillars, temples and other fascinating sites. There really is no doubt that this is a top attraction in Paphos.

The archaeological park is open daily and costs €4.50 per person for entry. Like with the Tombs of the Kings, make sure to stay hydrated as there is little shade here. And if you want to learn more about the ancient city while staying inside, heading to the Paphos Archaeological Museum is a great option, as well.

Mosaics in Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
Mosaics in Kato Paphos Archaeological Park

4. Paphos Castle

Located on the edge of Paphos harbour, the Paphos Castle is another of the most famous sites to see in the city. This fortress was originally constructed by the Byzantines and has been destroyed (both by earthquakes and Venetians) and reconstructed by almost every major power to have been in Cyprus throughout history.

It is possible to enter the castle for €2.50, however, you can also get good views of it from the outside of the building.

5. Paphos Harbour

If you need a break from all of the archaeological sites, then one of the best things to do is to stroll along the Paphos Harbour.

Lined with numerous bars and cafes, this is the ideal place to seek respite from the heat or to grab a drink while watching the sunset on the Mediterranean. Heading to the harbour area is one of the best things to do in Paphos at night, as well.

6. Paphos Old Town

Though there are numerous archaeological sites to see and seaside to bask by, don’t ignore the Old Town when you are wondering what to do in Paphos. The old town area is pleasant to stroll through with numerous restaurants, shops, and inviting cafes lining the streets.

There is also a surprising amount of street art and murals that are beautiful to scope out and add a touch of modernity to the antique streets. Taking the time just to wander around and explore Paphos is never a bad idea.

Street art in Old Town Paphos
Street art in Old Town Paphos

7. Traditional Eats at Laona

If you’re looking for a place to eat in the Paphos Old Town, then you cannot go wrong with Laona. A traditional Cypriot tavern, they serve delicious daily specials at good prices. Portion sizes are large, service is friendly, and the food is tasty and authentic.

8. Akamas Peninsula

If you’re looking for an easy — and beautiful! — day trip from Paphos, then you really cannot go wrong with the Akamas Peninsula. A national park in Cyprus, this peninsula is located only a short way north of Paphos city centre and has a lot to offer visitors.

There are some secluded beaches, a few hiking trails (like the easy Aphrodite trail – so named because Paphos is the mythological birthplace of Aphrodite), and wonderful views to be had out in nature.

We recommend heading to the Baths of Aphrodite, which is on the northern side of the peninsula. This is where you can find the trailhead for the Aphrodite trail and also find a great beach for swimming in calm waters. There are also showers and changing areas available here and entry is free of charge.

En route to the Akamas peninsula and just outside Paphos proper you could also opt to stop at the beautiful sea caves in the town of Peyia. These are similar to the sea cave system found near Ayia Napa on the Eastern side of the island.

Akamas Peninsula is a great day trip from Paphos
Akamas Peninsula

9. Blue Lagoon

If you venture to the Akamas Peninsula, one of the most popular things to do is to visit the Blue Lagoon. There are countless ways you can reach this crystal-clear swimming lagoon and it is located only a few kilometres from the Baths of Aphrodite.

You can walk there, but it can be very hot in the peak summer months. It is also possible to take a 4WD shuttle service (the road there is unpaved and not suitable for regular cars), or you can opt to take a boat trip.

The shuttle service from the Baths of Aphrodite costs €15 per person for a return trip and you can spend as long as you would like at the lagoon — this is the most affordable option. If you would rather see the Akamas Peninsula and the Blue Lagoon from the water, check out this day trip, which will pick you up from your accommodation in Paphos.

10. Lunch at Yiannis Sandwiches

If you’re hungry while visiting the Akamas Penisula, skip the tourist restaurants lining the seaside and instead head to Yiannis Sandwich Place, a stand located in the town of Latchi.

This place is incredibly popular amongst locals and the sandwiches served here are some of the best you will taste. Prices are also very affordable and the owners are very friendly.

11. Lara Beach

A bit south of the Akamas Peninsula and north of Paphos city centre, Lara Beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful and secluded beaches near Paphos.

A protected area for sea turtle nesting, it is prohibited to have sun lounges or umbrellas on this beach lest you damage the sea turtle eggs. At certain times of the year, it is even possible to see the baby sea turtles rush toward the sea in the early morning or evening hours.

You can reach this beach by car, but it will take about a 40-minute drive on an unpaved road. If you’re in an ordinary vehicle, it is going to be best if you take it slow to avoid any damage or getting stuck. Many visitors opt to rent a 4WD or go on a jeep tour to reach here instead.

12. EDRO III Shipwreck

EDRO III was a cargo ship bound from Limassol to Rhodes that ran aground near Peyia, just a few kilometres north of Paphos, on 8 December 2011. Though none of the 9 crew members were injured in the crash and all were airlifted to safety, the ship remains in the area where it ran aground to this day. You can visit the spot and see the wreck for yourself.

EDRO III Shipwreck
EDRO III Shipwreck

13. Coral Bay Beach

One of the most popular things to do while visiting Paphos is to head to the beach and one of the most popular beaches is Coral Bay. Located a few kilometres to the north of old Paphos, this beach is one of the most built up in Paphos and is one of the busiest.

It also has many beach bars and facilities for visitors to use along with numerous lounges and umbrellas available to hire. If you want to spend an entire day at the beach, Coral Bay is a good option because of all of the facilities. However, don’t expect to have it all to yourself.

14. Indulge at Santa Marina Fish & Chips

If you’re hungry and you happen to be near Coral Bay, then make sure to stop in for a meal at Santa Marina Fish & Chips. As the restaurant name suggests, this seafood restaurant not only serves delicious fish & chips but numerous seafood items at affordable prices.

Though they do churn out a British favourite, this also isn’t a tourist trap and many locals enjoy the restaurant as well.

Delicious Fish Lunch from Santa Marina
Fish Lunch from Santa Marina Fish & Chips

15. Potima Beach

If you’re looking for a less busy beach in close proximity to the Paphos city centre, then you really cannot go wrong with Potima Beach.

This sandy beach sees only a fraction of the crowds of Coral Bay, however, there are still a handful of sun lounges and umbrellas available for hire, a lifeguard is present, and there is a small beach bar where you can get some refreshments.

The water does get a bit rougher here than in Coral Bay, however, it isn’t normally too bad.

16. Aphrodite’s Rock

As one of Cyprus’ most iconic sites, one of the top Paphos attractions is to visit Aphrodite’s Rock. This small beach and rock formation is said to be the birthplace of the Ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite.

Though it is unclear in ancient myth where she was actually born (and the Greek island of Kythira also claims to be her mythological birthplace) there is no denying that this is a gorgeous spot fit for the birth of Venus.

You can go swimming at Aphrodite’s Rock and there are also changing facilities and showers located off of the car park. The beach is located about a twenty-minute drive south of Paphos city centre.

Aphrodite's Rock
Beautiful Aphrodite’s Rock

17. Adonis Baths

If you’re willing to brave the unpaved road to get here, then you might be interested in visiting the Adonis Baths and waterfall as it is considered to be one of the top things to do in Cyprus.

The drive here is mostly on a pothole-ridden dirt road, however, it is possible to drive here in all types of cars. Because of the nature of the road, it will take about 30 minutes to get there from central Paphos despite the fact that the baths are only about 14 kilometres from the city centre.

Entry into this natural swimming spot and waterfall is €10 per person and if you plan to get in the water, keep in mind that it is much colder than the sea temperatures.

18. Tala Monastery Cat Park

Located just above the Paphos city centre is a true heaven for cat lovers: the Tala Monastery Cat Park. A sanctuary created for the multitude of stray cats around the island of Cyprus, this is one of the top things to do near Paphos if you’re an animal lover.

Completely volunteer-run and funded, this cat sanctuary takes care of hundreds of cats and makes sure that they are happy, fed and cared for. You can enter this special place free of charge (though there is a donation box), and take the time to get some love from some of their feline residents.

Sit down anywhere and you will almost certainly have a least a couple of furry friends vying for your attention — or space on your lap!

Just a few of the cats at Tala Monastery Cat Park
Just a few of the cats at Tala Monastery Cat Park

19. Troodos Mountains

If you’re looking for some things to do that get you away from the sea, then make sure to venture into the Troodos Mountains.

Though Cyprus is most popular with tourists for its ample coastline, the country has a lot to offer in its mountain villages, as well. Here you will find cooler temperatures, local eats, and a different energy that you would on the coast.

The most popular village to visit in the Troodos Mountains would arguably be Omodos, which also happens to be one of the most tourist-friendly. Located at the foot of the mountains and surrounded by numerous wineries, the beautiful village is well worth strolling through and browsing the many shops selling local produce and handicrafts.

If you’re looking to venture a bit further into the Troodos on a day trip from Paphos, consider visiting the charming village of Kakopetria, which is just lovely to stroll through and hosts far fewer tourists than Omodos.

And if you’d like the explore the region with the help of a local guide, then this full-day tour will take you to a number of lovely Troodos villages – and there’s even a cheese tasting included!

Omodos Village
The beautiful village of Omodos

20. Wine Tasting

If you’re looking for a leisurely and fun day trip from Paphos, then consider heading to a local winery. An excellent addition to any journey into the Troodos mountains (particularly to the village of Omodos), countless wineries are open to visitors and will offer tastings. Make sure to sample local grape varieties like the white Xynisteri and rare Spourtiko or the red Mavro and Maratheftiko.

Of course, it is also necessary to try the world-renowned Comandarria dessert wine. Believed to be the oldest named wine in the world and dating back to the 12th century, this sweet fortified wine is made from a mixture of sun-dried Xynisteri and Mavro grapes and can only be produced in the foothills of the Troodos mountains.

If you’d like to visit some wineries and local food producers with the help of a local guide, then this full-day food and wine tour will take you to multiple villages and include tastings with local producers. For something similar, this full-day tour could be a great option.

Alternatively, this wine tour is another great option that will take you for tastings at three family-run wineries in the Troodos mountains.

21. Agios Neophytos Monastery

If you want to experience a bit of religious history in Paphos but don’t want to venture too far from the centre, then make sure to visit the Agios Neophytos Monastery.

This 12th-century monastery is located near the village of Tala, about 9 kilometres north of central Paphos. There is a small museum that you can tour, however, the most striking aspect of this monastic site are the Byzantine-era frescoes, which are said to be some of the finest on the island of Cyprus.

22. Kykkos Monastery

If you’re looking for a great day trip from Paphos, then the gorgeous Kykkos Monastery is an excellent option. Located about an hour and 45 minute drive north of central Paphos, this beautiful monastery tucked in the mountains of the Paphos Forest is one of the most notable on the island.

Considered to be the wealthiest and most lavish of Cypriot monasteries, Kykkos is a bit of a drive from Paphos but is entirely worth visiting. Entry into the monastery itself is free and robes are provided to cover your shoulders and legs. There is a museum in the monastery, as well.

Kykkos Monastery
Kykkos Monastery

23. Paphos Forest

If you’re interested in seeing some of the inland nature of Cyprus, then head to the lush Paphos forest — one of the best day trips from Paphos.

While many visitors to Cyprus only associate the island nation with its sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, there are also beautiful mountains and lush forest on this small Mediterranean island.

Located in the eastern part of the Troodos mountains, the Paphos Forest is one of the greenest places in Cyprus and there are numerous hiking trails available for those who want to explore more of nature. If you want some respite from the heat, the Paphos forest is also one of the coolest places on the island due to its higher elevation.

24. Caledonia Waterfalls

Located just outside of the Paphos forest in the Troodos mountains are the Caledonia Waterfalls, beautiful natural falls within easy walking from the village of Pano Platres.

The waterfalls are about 12 metres in height and must be reached by a hiking trail from Platres village. The trail is only a little bit more than a kilometre one-way and is fairly easy, however, it is still recommended to bring good shoes to prevent injury.

25. Eat at Agios Demetrios

After visiting the Caledonia Waterfall — or even if you’re just doing a driving tour of the Troodos mountains — make sure to stop for lunch at Agios Demetrios restaurant in the village of Pano Platres.

This traditional Cypriot tavern is a truly local and delicious spot to try hearty Cypriot dishes and delicious. Any order will also include a complementary array of dips and salads that could fill you up on its own.

This place is really a hidden gem and stands out as one of our favourite places that we ate in Cyprus.

Dips from Agios Demetrios
Complementary dips & salads from Agios Demetrios

26. Fish Mezze at Psarou

If you are after some delicious local seafood with friendly service and affordable prices, then you really cannot go wrong with getting dinner at Psarou in central Paphos.

This restaurant may not look like much from the outside, however, they have an extensive menu filled with freshly caught seafood and other Cypriot favourites that is sure to knock your socks off.

Where the restaurant really excels, however, is in its fish mezze. For €25 per person, you will receive a wide array of fresh seafood including fried and grilled octopus, squid and prawns, seafood risotto, sardines, local dips, fresh salad, and even a whole grilled fresh fish.

It is fantastic value for money along with being absolutely delicious.

27. Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark

If you’re looking for a fun and interactive place to cool off, heading to the Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark is a great idea.

This waterpark, located close to the city centre, offers everything from water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and more and is sure to keep both young and old occupied, making it one of the best things to do in Paphos with families.

You can book your entry easily online and the waterpark imposes a wristband system where you can charge anything you purchase by scanning your wristband and pay when you leave. This prevents having to worry about the security of your cash while you’re wandering around only in your swimsuit!

28. Day Trip to Nicosia

If you’re looking for one of the best day trips from Paphos that you should do beyond all others, then you should absolutely head to the capital city of Nicosia.

Too many visitors to Cyprus pass over this fascinating capital in lieu of the coast, however, we recommend planning to spend at least one day in Nicosia in order to see a different side of Cyprus to the coastal cities.

Nicosia is located an easy hour and 45-minute drive from Paphos along the main motorway. Plan to leave early in order to pack in all of the great things to see and do in the Cypriot capital. You can also go on an organised tour.

Church of Panagia Faneromeni
Church of Panagia Faneromeni in Nicosia

Where to Stay in Paphos

Casa Mespilea — This small hotel is an excellent option for budget-conscious travellers visiting Paphos. They are centrally located, have a handful of clean and comfortable rooms available, and there is a hearty buffet breakfast included in the room rate.

Pyramos Hotel — This small boutique hotel is a great option if you’re looking for a chic place to stay in Paphos. There are comfortable rooms available, a swimming pool on site, and breakfast is included in the nightly rate.

Anemi Hotel & Suites — If you’re looking for a luxury option in Paphos, then this is the hotel for you. Located on the beach and boasting several amenities including a beautiful swimming pool and on-site fitness centre, they also have numerous plush rooms available.

Private Rental — If you would like to have your own space in Paphos then there are several options to suit different budgets such as this ground-floor apartment.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Paphos hotels!

Potima Beach in Paphos
Potima Beach in Paphos

When to Visit Paphos

Due to its southern Mediterranean location, you can expect Paphos to be sunny and warm pretty much year-round, however, there are some times of year that are better to visit than others.

The most popular (and warmest) time of year to visit Paphos is definitely during the summer months. This is when you will get the longest days, the warmest temperatures, and the biggest crowds. Accommodation prices will be at their highest, as will the mercury as average high temperatures in June-August can reach well over 30°C.

Paphos clings to summer temperatures well into the autumn months, as well, and this is arguably the best time of year to visit. With average high temperatures in September-November still clocking in at about 25°C. Sea temperatures are also at their warmest during the month of September as it has had time to heat up all summer long.

If you want to escape the winter chill of home and head to Cyprus during the months of December-February, expect temperatures to be cool, however, it is still one of the warmest places to visit in Europe.

The average high temperature during the winter months 17°C, though this is the rainiest season. Cyprus sees over 300 days of sunshine throughout the year and most of the rain falls in the month of January.

However, seeing as you’re unlikely to be hanging out on the beach in the middle of winter, regardless of the higher-than-average temperatures, this probably does not make too much of an impact on your Paphos holiday.

If you’re sensitive to the heat but want a bit warmer temperatures than in the winter, then your best bet is to try and visit Paphos in the spring. Average highs during the months of March-May is 21°C with plenty of sunshine to go around.

Paphos Forest
Lush Paphos Forest

How Many Days in Paphos?

There are lots of things to do in Paphos and if you’re an active traveller who isn’t all that interested in spending your days lounging on the beach, then I would recommend planning on spending at least two or three full days in Paphos.

If you want to make sure that you have at least one or two solid beach days during your time in Paphos while also taking advantage of all of the things to do in the city, then I would suggest planning to spend five to seven days in the city.

Many visitors to Cyprus use Paphos as a base to explore the rest of the island, so spending a longer period in this city will allow you to kick back and experience everything you might want to at a more leisurely pace.

No matter how many days you end up spending, there are so many things to do in the city that you are sure to be entertained and occupied throughout your stay in Paphos.

There are so many great attractions in Paphos that you’re sure to be occupied and active no matter how long you plan to stay in this lovely seaside Cypriot city.

Are you wondering what to do in Paphos? Have any questions about visiting? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

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