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.