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Things to do in Paphos

What would you choose from among the top things to do in Paphos? Sun-kissed beaches or a walk on the pleasant seaside promenade? A culturally-enriching visit to the UNESCO sites or a hike from a traditional village to the forested mountaintops of Troodos? Or would you instead visit a monastery to see rare mosaics and other religious artefacts of great value? Maybe you would like to explore the ancient sites of Paphos to take in their broad sense of sacred, or, perhaps, a hike on the region’s thematic routes will grant you a more in-depth insight into the Cypriot lifestyle. Begin your Paphos journey here.

The ancient sites of Paphos

The entire Paphos District occupies more than 15% of the island, and it’s a fascinating area. Paphos itself is one of the three Cyprus destinations to be included in the official UNESCO list of cultural and natural treasures of the world's heritage – notably the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, which is the most important stop on the Aphrodite Cultural Route. But this is not the only ancient site to count among the top things to do in Paphos. Other captivating landmarks like the Paphos Castle, the Tombs of the Kings, the Agia Solomoni Church and Catacombs, and the Saint Paul's Pillar at Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa count among the ancient sites that you should not miss either.

The sun-kissed beaches of Paphos

Spending several hours taking in the sun at the beach is the activity that ranks the highest among the top things to do in Paphos for many visitors. The island sees about 300 days of sunshine every year, so its magnetic appeal among sun-seekers makes sense. The entire area of Paphos boasts 27 public beaches, many parading a Blue Flag eco-label, which is the highest recognition for safety and quality awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). Among the most sought-after beaches of Paphos: Coral Bay, Lara Beach, Latsi Beach, the Municipal Beach, the beach of Petra tou Romiou, and the Geroskipou Municipal Beach offer stunning views, twinkling crystal waters, and room to relax by the sea in a pleasant, clean environment.

Sense of sacred: the monasteries of Paphos

In the first century AD, St. Paul’s earliest missionary journey reached Paphos and history changed its course: from an island ruled by Aphrodite, Cyprus would become a cradle of Christianity. You can still see the pillar where St. Paul was flogged by the Romans in the courtyard of Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa. Today, the island is mainly Greek Orthodox, and the mark of the faith is strong, with churches in every village and superb monasteries that attract hundreds of pilgrims and visitors every year. A couple of such religious monuments are considered among the top things to do in Paphos: the Agios Neophytos Monastery, and the Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery dedicated to Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate.

The wine route: the wineries of Paphos

Commandaria is the oldest named wine in the world. The Guinness Book of World Records traces its roots back to 2000 BC, although the first recorded mentions date from 1191 when King Richard the Lionheart called it “the wine of kings and the King of wines.” In 1223, King Phillipe of France called it “the Apostle of wines,” and following this new superlative, the wine became famous all over Europe. This quintessential Cypriot dessert wine is still produced according to tradition on the island so don’t miss the chance to sample the original when you visit Cyprus. Wine is an essential component of the Cypriot diet. They even have wine routes to enrich your journey of discovery. And, in the Paphos region, you will find some of the best wineries on the island: Tsalapatis Winery, Fikardos Winery, Kolios Winery, Tsangarides Winery, and Vasilikon Winery.

Besides the obvious top things to do in Paphos, Cyprus, you can also spend time shopping, visit the local zoo or a donkey farm with the little ones, explore the Old Town, and even get in a round of golf. Because Paphos is a place where you can do so much, you will always leave it with a smile on your face.

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Ancient Sites
Paphos Castle
Paphos Castle
The Medieval fort guarding the harbour

Like any landmark steeped in history, the Medieval Castle of Paphos has a frantic past. Built as a Byzantine fort, it was systematically destroyed and rebuilt and served a variety of purposes. Today, it stands as the symbol of the city.

Tombs of the Kings
Tombs of the Kings
Hellenistic and Roman aristocracy’s last resting place

Despite the name of this ancient site of Paphos, there are no kings buried in the vast underground necropolis that stretches just under Nea Paphos (Aphrodite’s Sacred City). This site was used as a resting place for the local aristocracy from the Hellenistic period (3rd century BC) until the beginning of the 4th century AD. Tafoi ton Vasileon is also recognized among the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites as part of the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park.

Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
Kato Paphos Archaeological Park
UNESCO-listed treasure on the Aphrodite Cultural Route

The Kato Paphos Archaeological Park is the most important stop on the Aphrodite Cultural Route, which also includes Amathous, near Lemesos, and Kition, in Larnaka. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980 this is where you should start your journey of heritage discovery. Besides the Tombs of the Kings, the site includes other noteworthy monuments.

Agia Solomoni
Agia Solomoni
Church and Christian catacombs

This is one of the pious ancient sites of Paphos. Although modest, this is the burial site of the seven Machabee brothers; Abim, Antonius, Gurias, Eleazar, Eusebonus, Alimus, and Marcellus, and their mother Solomonia, who was among the first on Cyprus to reject idolatry and to embrace Christianity.

Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa and the Pillar of St. Paul
Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa and the Pillar of St. Paul
Church and the Pillar of St. Paul

Modest and unassuming, this 13th century church still preserves beautiful mosaics on its floors. In the courtyard, St. Paul’s Pillar, a time-corroded marble column where the Apostle allegedly received five times forty lashes less one, is a thought-provoking marker.

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Beaches
Coral Bay
Coral Bay

The Coral Bay Beach is located about six kilometres north of Paphos city. Although the coast here is rugged, the beach itself has soft white sands and is safe for family outings. Favourite pastimes include swimming, diving, parascending, and water skiing.

Lara Beach
Lara Beach

Lara Beach at Lara Bay is often described as a tiny paradise. Its waters are crystal clear, the sand is soft, the vistas are beyond compare, and the bay is delightful. Note that you will spot many green turtles here, as well as wild goats. This is a protected area. Don’t visit it for long stretches of time without supplies (food, water, sunscreen).

Latsi Beach
Latsi Beach

Latsi Beach is about 45 minutes from Paphos city, in an area known as Polis Chrysochous. It’s a pebble beach, so wear appropriate footwear. The waters are a brilliant azure and bright, and there are even some managed spots around local cafes, offering sunbeds and umbrellas, as well as lifeguards on duty.

Paphos Municipal Baths
Paphos Municipal Baths

The Municipal Baths Beach is a favourite of the locals. It is the perfect spot if you want to experience this destination far from the crowds. Also called Kato Paphos beach, this strip of sand stretches from Yeroskipou towards the Paphos harbour. Look for the public area “Ta Bania.”

Geroskipou Municipal Beach
Geroskipou Municipal Beach

The Geroskipou Municipal Beach is a Blue Flag beach with clean shallow waters perfect for a dip. Its sands are golden-green. It’s a well-organized beach with lifeguards on duty from April until October.

Petra Tou Romiou
Petra Tou Romiou

Petra tou Romiou is the most photographed beach of Paphos. According to legend, this is where the goddess Aphrodite was born from the foam of the sea. The Greek name of the site, Petra tou Romiou translates as “the rock of the Greek,” and is associated with a Byzantine hero, Digenis Akritas. His legendary strength kept the island safe from the marauding Saracen Arabs.

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Food & Restaurants
Mourayio Greek Taverna
Mourayio Greek Taverna

Mourayio Greek Taverna at Leonardo Plaza Cypria Maris Beach Hotel & Spa is celebrated for its inspired natural setting amidst the beautifully landscaped Mediterranean gardens of the resort. The menu is designed to offer the authentic culinary journey you expect from Greek hospitality: good comfort food, and fresh ingredients in a setting that celebrates the beauty of the island.

Egao Asian Restaurant
Egao Asian Restaurant

Egao Asian Restaurant celebrates the union between Asian tradition and sustainable seafood from the Mediterranean. The chefs use the freshest fish and market-fresh produce to prepare delectable bites served al fresco in the welcoming environment of Leonardo Plaza Cypria Maris Beach Hotel & Spa’s gardens, overlooking the sea.

Risto La Piazza
Risto La Piazza

Risto La Piazza is an award-winning Italian restaurant that blends tradition and innovation to deliver impeccable dishes created by Professor Raffaele Santoro from Venice. The menu celebrates both Italian classics and more daring specialties.

Cavallini Ristorante Italiano
Cavallini Ristorante Italiano

Cavallini is an Italian restaurant with tradition. It’s an elegant space with unfussy interiors, perfect for casual dining. They have a strong focus on presentation, and the food tastes as good as it looks. Save room for one of their decadent desserts too.

Ta Perix Taverna
Ta Perix Taverna

One of the most celebrated Paphos mezze destinations is Ta Perix Taverna. The menu changes seasonally, but it’s not unusual to spot authentic specials that raise eyebrows with the more conventional diners. Are you brave enough to order the sheep’s head or baby pigeon? The rest of the menu is pretty standard.

Imperial Chinese Restaurant
Imperial Chinese Restaurant

Imperial is a modern Chinese restaurant with an extensive menu featuring all kinds of soups and starters, as well as pork, chicken, beef, duck, and fish specials, plus rice and noodles. There’s also a short selection of Thai dishes. Ask for the wine list too: it’s quite extensive, itemizing both local and international vintages.

Balkanika
Balkanika

Balkanika is a Bulgarian restaurant serving authentic Balkan cuisine, and you have plenty to choose from. They have a passion for meat, but they serve vegetable goodies too. The restaurant is highly recommended weekends when the stage a live show with ethnic music and dance.

Theo’s Restaurant
Theo’s Restaurant

Theo’s Restaurant is one of the most celebrated fish restaurants in Paphos. It enjoys a fortunate location at the heart of the harbour, offering the perfect setting for you to observe the boats moored near you and the sea. They serve mezze-style fish specials – catch of the day – flawlessly prepared.

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Bars & Nightlife
Muse Cafe Kitchen Bar
Muse Cafe Kitchen Bar

Muse Cafe Kitchen Bar, or just Muse, is a Mousallas destination for food with a view, fancy drinks, and parties. It stays open a couple of hours after midnight, and it gets busy around sunset. Mood-enhancing lights make the beautiful outdoor setting of Muse very appealing after dark.

Ta Mpania
Ta Mpania

Ta Mpania is a restaurant, café, and lounge bar, all under the same roof. It enjoys a fantastic seafront location in Kato Paphos. It is a daytime swimmers’ favourite, and, at night, it attracts young party goers, who hang around chatting and drinking until 3:00 am.

La Boite 67
La Boite 67

La Boite 67 – named so because it was established in 1967 – is one of the oldest restaurant-clubs in Paphos. It is also a popular destination for night owls because it stages all kinds of live musical events. Generally known as an artists’ hangout, this historical venue will surprise you with its timeless charm.

Robin Hood
Robin Hood

A hip stop on the Bar Street, Robin Hood is easy to find because its façade reminds of a Medieval fortress and the interior décor reminds of feudal times too. They are quite famous for their margaritas, but the signature Robin Hood cocktail is even better. They close long after midnight – usually, 2:30 am or 3:30 am, depending on the day of the week.

Loft Club
Loft Club

The Loft Club is a vibrant, casual nightspot, at the heart of the Paphos nightlife since 2003. They are only open on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays because they need time to stage some of the best parties on the island.

Alea
Alea

Alea Cafe-Lounge Bar is an everyday draw, but partygoers will enjoy it the most on Fridays and Saturdays when DJs spin whatever pleases the crowds. The views from Alea are fantastic too: the blue of the sea is the ideal backdrop for a night you will never forget.

Oniro by the sea
Oniro by the sea

Oniro by the Sea is a chillout bar that enjoys a fantastic location on the clifftop close to the sea caves of Paphos and the wreck of the Edro III freighter. It is a family-friendly venue, offering good food, drinks, and a view like no other. It is an off-the-beaten-path address, however rather busy, due to its strong reputation.

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Shopping
Kings Avenue Mall
Kings Avenue Mall

The Kings Avenue Mall is an ultra-modern space, the leading destination for designer labels in Paphos. Anchored brands include Massimo Dutti, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Mavris Leather, Intimissimi, Bershka, Bagatt, and the list goes on.

Old Market
Old Market

Old Market is a bazaar-style indoor market selling clothing, handbags and leather goods, lace, tablecloths, knitwear, embroidered slippers, all kinds of souvenirs, shoes, handicrafts, and much more. It is large enough to keep you busy for a couple of hours. Outside, you’ll find the area reserved for the grocery market, selling local fruits and vegetables, oils, wine, cheeses, and more.

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Monasteries
Ayios Neophytos Monastery
Ayios Neophytos Monastery

The Ayios Neophytos Monastery, dedicated to Saint Neophytos (the Recluse), is the most important monastery in Paphos. In 1159, Neophytos himself found refuge in a small natural cave, which he turned into a little chapel with a hermit’s cell. Later, after 1170, when the Bishop of Paphos convinced him to take in a novice, the cave became a small monastic community. In time, the Agios Neophytos Monastery grew into a large Engleistra decorated with priceless artworks.

Panagia Chrysorroyiatissa Monastery
Panagia Chrysorroyiatissa Monastery

The Panagia Chrysorroyiatissa Monastery was founded in the 12th century when a monk called Ignatius brought here an icon of the Virgin Mary supposedly painted by St. Luke the Evangelist. Legend has it that, to be protected from destruction, the holy icon was thrown in the sea in Asia Minor during the first period of the Byzantine Iconoclasm and reached safety on the coast of Paphos. The monastery is dedicated to the Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate and its current building dates from 1770.

Panayia Chrysopolitissa Church
Panayia Chrysopolitissa Church

On an island where most of the population is Greek Orthodox, the church of Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa is a dream come true for many Catholic couples who want to tie the knot in paradise. It’s a beautiful church, which traces its roots back to the largest basilica of Cyprus in the 4th century AD.

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Wineries
Tsalapatis Winery
Tsalapatis Winery
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In business for over 20 years, the Tsalapatis Winery enjoys a fortunate location in one of the best grape-growing regions of Cyprus and produces excellent Xynisteri and Lefkada, as well as Mataro and Sauvignon Blanc. You can tour the winery and taste wines straight from the barrel.

Fikardos Winery
Fikardos Winery
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Founded in 1990 by Theodoros Fikardos, Fikardos Winery grows Gannoudi, Maratheftiko, and Xinisteri indigenous grapes predominantly, in two vineyards at Pano Arodes and Choulou. The rest of the grapes used in production are sourced from grape growers in Tsada, Stroumpi, Polemi, Letimpou, Kathikas, and Killi.

Kolios Winery
Kolios Winery
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Kolios Winery in Statos-Ayios Fotios is one of the largest wineries of Paphos. It’s a family business, founded in 1999 by Marios Kolios. It produces about 400 000 bottles annually. It’s a must-see also for its beautiful location and impressive landscape views.

Tsangarides Winery
Tsangarides Winery
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Run by Loukia and Anglos Tsangarides, the Tsangarides Winery is a successful family business in Lemona. They brew modern wines from Mataro and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, among other selections.

Vasilikon Winery
Vasilikon Winery
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One of the oldest Paphos wineries, the Vasilikon Winery was established in 1993 by Heracles, Georgios, and Giannis Kyriakides. The estate is located in Kathikas and the Akamas Laona areas of Paphos. Their Methy Cabernet Sauvignon aged in French oak barrels is a must for connoisseurs.

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Trips & Excursions
Paphos Castle
Paphos Castle

The Pafos Zoo is an unexpected wildlife sanctuary. Christos Christoforou’s work of love extensive collections of parrots and venomous snakes.

Golf
Golf

Golfing enthusiasts staying at any of the three Leonardo Hotels & Resorts in Cyprus will enjoy excellent golfing challenges nearby. Four championship courses convey not only the traditions of the timeless game but enhance play experiences the Cypriot way.

Stroll in the Old Town of Paphos
Stroll in the Old Town of Paphos

The Paphos Old Town is quite a small area: a cluster of pedestrian ways around Kennedy Square. Because in 2017 Paphos shared the distinction of being the European Capital of Culture with the Danish city of Aarhus, local authorities conducted ample works to revamp the Old Town.

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