Near the ancient site, dominated by its fort, the port of Paphos is a pleasant place for a stroll and various tourist activities.
Located on the western coast of Cyprus, Paphos is a thriving seaside resort which has the same artificial ambience as the big tourist centres of the island. It is smaller than Larnaca and Limassol, has a fishing port and city centre that is not covered in concrete, meaning that the area is quite attractive. However, the main asset of Paphos is its location, in the heart of a region still exuding authenticity. Between the mountain villages of the Troodos region and the natural beauty of the Akamas peninsula, those who seek to escape the crowds will be delighted here and, incidentally, may follow the trail of the legendary Aphrodite, the goddess of love. There are no construction sites, shopping malls, crowds of tourists, but sandy beaches (Polis, Coral Bay), peaceful villages (Lachi, Polis), the wilderness, the Akamas peninsula, the beach of Petra tou Romiou and the village of Pissouri.
The hotels on the island offer a decent level of comfort and amenities. Drinks ordered during meals are always at extra cost to the client. The thematic buffets offered in the evening sometimes come at an extra cost, so are optional.
The beaches are public. Water sports mostly depend on private companies installed on the beach, usually nearby hotels, and are therefore subject to a fee. If you travel to Paphos you will find that in general, there is no diving club on the hotel's beach, though if you ask you will be recommended a good diving centre.
Take the B-roads north of Paphos towards the Bay of Chrysochou. The destination is a few hours away, but the road along the coastline from Latsi to Karavostasi is very pleasant and relatively quiet during the week. Take a bathing suit, towel and picnic, and Cyprus is now yours, without the holidaymakers. To have lunch on a terrace, stop at Pomos. The setting is intact: an azure blue sea and a village with small houses and fishing boats.
Numerous archaeological sites such as the ancient city of Nea Paphos, the tombs of the kings (Hellenistic period) and the site located next to the church of Chryssopolitissa are all in Paphos. Close by, you can pay a visit to the monastery of Agios Neofytos. Plan an afternoon to go on an excursion to Petra Tou Romiou, where Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, was allegedly born. The rocky coast is beautiful at sunset.
Those who studied ancient Greek will be happy to be able to read the signs: it is the same alphabet! The others do not have to worry, road signs are in English as well. Driving is on the left hand side of the road in Cyprus.
Avoid the port of Paphos. As a result of the proliferation of souvenir shops, snack bars and pleasure-boats, it is becoming less and less typically Cypriot. Also avoid Paphos for its beaches. They are small and grey-black in colour, because of the soil having a volcanic origin.
Taste the kleftiko dish, this is one of the most traditional dishes of the island, but unfortunately the majority of British tourists usually prefer pizzas and hamburgers. So, in order to enjoy this lamb that has simmered for hours in the oven, do not hesitate to call in at a local inn to try your luck. For lack of it, try the Cypriote moussaka: served in a pottery fondue dish, it has a pleasant rustic taste. If you're after beautiful settings though, head for the villages.
Wine. The island of Cyprus produces interesting wines to taste at home, a fine way to recreate the ambience of the island. The most renowned wines include the white wines of Omodos and Kilani on the slopes of the Troodos, and the red wines from Ahera or Semeli. Also bring back crystallised fruits and vegetables (aubergines, quinces), honey and jams of unusual flavours (green fig or bergamot). As for souvenirs, Cyprus is renowned for its Lefkara lace, its basketry and pottery.
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