From beautiful Mediterranean beaches to exploring UNESCO sites and feasting on fabulous food, it’s time to check out the best things to do in Paphos.

The Fort, Paphos, CyprusPaphos Fort

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and makes for a perfect beach holiday. But what to do in Paphos after you’ve bathed in crystal clear waters, relaxed on the sandy blue flag beaches and eaten your fill of the island’s fabulous food? Quite a lot actually.

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We spent five days on our Jet2 holiday to Paphos exploring a world of ancient history, enjoying the island’s rich culture and soaking up its stunning scenery. With so much to do you won’t be short of ideas when deciding what to see, do and explore. Read on for the best things to do in Paphos, Cyprus.

Want to explore more of Cyprus? Try this free self-guided walking tour of Nicosia.

What to see and do in Paphos

Beaches in Paphos

If you’re heading to Cyprus and the gorgeous Paphos weather then the beach is bound to be on your agenda. So let’s start there…  Cyprus has an array of beautiful beaches and at least twelve Paphos beaches have been awarded Blue Flag status which means they are clean and safe for bathing.

Vrisoudia A Beach

Known as Sodap Beach by locals, this is a Blue Flag beach east of the harbour. Sodap is a 200 metre long sandy beach reached by stairs or a ramp with a rocky backdrop and palm trees. Sodap was the nearest beach to the Amavi Hotel where we stayed and around a ten-minute walk from the harbour. Sun beds and parasols are available to hire.

Read more: Spotting flamingoes at Salt Lake, Larnaca

Vrisoudia B Beach

Alykes Beach

Located in the heart of Paphos near to the harbour Alykes Beach is often known as Paphos Beach. It’s surrounded by hotels, bars, shops and restaurants and facilities include showers and toilets. Sun loungers and parasols are available to rent and the beach has soft sand and calm waters.

Coral Bay

This is probably the best beach in Paphos and the most popular so it gets busy. The beach is 6km north of the city but worth the drive for the beautiful soft sand, shallow waters and scenery. This part of the coast is made up of rocky headlands which shelter the bay and there are sea caves which are good for exploring on boat trips. Coral Bay has two restaurants and a water sports outlet.

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Things to do in Paphos

We considered hiring a car for our trip but we found so many things to do in Paphos within easy walking distance that we didn’t bother. There are many Paphos attractions within walking distance of the harbour and the main Paphos hotels strip along the coast to the east of the harbour.

Visit Kato Paphos Archaeological Park

History lovers will enjoy Paphos Archaeological Park, one of the most important sites in Cyprus. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a top tourist attraction in Paphos.

House of Theseus, Paphos, CyprusPaphos Archaeological Park

 

The Mosaics

Some of the Mediterranean’s most impressive and best preserved mosaics can be found at Kato Paphos Archaeological Park and were accidentally discovered by a farmer out ploughing his fields in 1962.

The remains of five Roman villas are also on the site although there’s little of them remaining except for some pillars, low walls and foundations. Colourful Roman mosaics are the stars and we spent a couple of hours exploring them. The incredible mosaics show scenes of ancient Greek mythology and everyday life.

Nearby is the House of Theseus which is worth a visit for the south wing mosaic depicting Theseus at battle with a Minotaur. It’s also known for its columns.

Theseus battle with Minotaur Mosaic Paphos, CyprusTheseus at battle with a Minotaur mosaic

The House of the Four Seasons. This house lies to the north of the House of Orpheus. It was named after the mosaic that represents the personification of the four seasons, which dates back to the first half of the third century A.D. Could this mosaic possibly have been the inspiration for the Instagram grid?

House of Four Seasons Mosaic, Paphos, CyprusThe House of the Four Seasons Mosaic

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Agora and Odeon

Visit the remains of a small Roman theatre and an area which was the Agora, a Roman marketplace. Some rows of seating survive along with parts of the columns. Nearby is the modern Paphos lighthouse.

The Lighthouse in Paphos, CyprusPaphos Lighthouse

There’s not much shade in the park and because it gets very hot be sure to take water and sunscreen.

  • Open Daily:
  • Winter hours (16th September – 15th April): 8.30 – 17.00
  • Summer hours (16th April – 15th September): 8.30 – 19.30
  • Entrance: €4.50 adults with concessions for seniors and children (such good value).
  • Address: Kyriakou Nikolaou Street, Paphos Archaeological Site, Kato Paphos

Check out Paphos Harbour

Paphos Harbour, CyprusPaphos Harbour

A walk along Paphos harbour is probably going to happen whilst you’re en-route to some of the top Paphos sights. It’s worth allowing a little time to linger. You’ll pass plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants, some of which have tables right next to the sea and are a nice spot for a bite of local cuisine or a cold beer at sunset. There are plenty of shops selling souvenirs and local products and handicrafts.

Boats in Paphos Harbour, CyprusPaphos Harbour

 

Climb Paphos Fort

Paphos Fort, CyprusPaphos Fort, Cyprus

Paphos Fort is a distinct landmark which has been destroyed and rebuilt many times before finally being restored by the Ottomans in 1592. Built to protect the harbour it is now one of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Paphos. Cross over the bridged moat and climb the fort for views across the Mediterranean and the harbour area. You’ll probably not spend more than 30 minutes in the fort but at €2.50 for adults it’s worth it for the views.

Each September the fort is the location for the Aphrodite Festival which stages an opera using the fort as a backdrop and scenery.

  • Open daily:
  • Winter hours (16th September – 15th April): 8.30 – 17.00
  • Summer hours (16th April – 15th September): 8.30 – 19.30

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Spring Flowers, Paphos Cyprus

Discover Art Installations in Kato Paphos

Views of Infinity by Harry Paspallis. Paphos, Cyprus“Views of Infinity”, a geometric marble installation by Harry Paspallis

Paphos coastal path runs between the lighthouse and Alykes Beach and you’ll discover 12 works of art along the way from five Cypriot artists. The works were commissioned as part of the town’s European City of Culture year in 2017. Near to the fort is a statue of a woman ‘Sol Alter’ by Yiota Ioannidou that’s dedicated to Aphrodite. Further towards the lighthouse is “Views of Infinity”, a geometric marble installation by Harry Paspallis. We spotted four others on our walks.

‘Sol Alter’ Statue Paphos, CyprusSol Alter’ by Yiota Ioannidou

 

Explore Paphos Old Town

Paphos was voted the European Capital of Culture 2017 and the old town got a bit of a makeover as a result. The Municipal Market in the pedestrian zone of Ktima sells everything from fruit and vegetables to clothing, pottery and jewellery.

Paphos Old Town

The old town sits high up so stop for a coffee or a glass of local wine at one of the cafes. Some have panoramic views over the countryside to the coast. Seek out the street art in Paphos Old Town or check out local handicrafts at The Place.

 

Visit The Place

The Place, Paphos Old Town

The Place is the, err, place for you if you like locally made arts and crafts. Beautiful traditionally handcrafted items like glassware, paintings, woven rugs and jewellery are sold here. The Place is a cultural centre with workshops and is home to various artists. You can learn about how the pieces are made and even have a go yourself. The courtyard is a pretty place to stop for a coffee.

The Place opens at 9am daily except Sundays.

It took us about an hour to walk from the harbour to the Old Town so you may want to get the bus or a taxi. We got a taxi back which cost around €10.

Go Tomb Hopping

Tombs of the Kings

Tomb hopping at Tombs of the Kings was one of the highlights of our trip and is one of the top things to see in Paphos. The necropolis is a series of caves and sandstone rock-cut chambers about 2 km north of Paphos Harbour. The views out to the Med are stunning with the rusting hulk of a grounded ship sitting on the horizon. Tombs with a view! The tombs, which are another of Paphos’ UNESCO sites, date back to the fourth century BC. The site is the final resting places for local dignitaries and high-ranking officials but no kings were buried in any of the seven tombs. Tomb number three with Doric pillars is the one not to miss.

Tombs of the Kings PaphosTombs of the Kings

  • Kato Pafos, Tombs of the Kings Avenue
  • Open daily:
  • Winter hours (16th  September – 15th  April): 8.30 – 17.00
  • Summer hours (16th  April – 15th September): 8.30 – 19.30
  • Entrance: €2.50

Walk Paphos Coastal Path

From Geroskipou Beach east of the harbour, past the Archaeological Park and all the way to the Tombs of the Kings is a paved coastal path. We took a couple of walks along the path enjoying the beautiful sea views and Spring flowers (we visited in April). All along the coastal walk and across the countryside we saw splashes of colour as the spring flowers bloomed. Yellow Crown Daisies, lilac Sea Lavender, vibrant red poppies and African daisies were if flower and, of course, where there are flowers there are butterflies too.

Things to do in PaphosPaphos Coastal Path

Get out on the water

There are plenty of water sport providers along the beach front offering parascending, canoes, boat trips, stand up paddle boarding and charter fishing trips. Or you could…

Parascending Paphos, CyprusParascending in Paphos

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Take a Boat Trip

Paphos is a good place to join a boat trip to the crystal clear waters of the Blue Lagoon.

Hotel pick-ups make it a relaxing day of cruising the Mediterranean. Swim in the Blue Lagoon, snorkel and canoe and explore the sea caves. Enjoy relaxing on the boat as you pass the scenic Akamas Peninsula and the picturesque Latchi harbour. Includes a buffet lunch and open bar.

Boat trips to Blue Lagoon – Check rates and availability

 

Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa

Paphos, Agia Kyriaki ChrysopolitissaAgia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa

This pretty little church was constructed in the thirteenth century and appears to be guarded by the local cats. It’s worth taking a peek inside at the pretty interior but the main event is outside. It’s the site of St. Paul’s Pillar where St Paul is said to have been bound and suffered 39 lashings for preaching Christianity. The church was built over a Byzantine Basilica ruin with a beautifully tiled mosaic floor, parts of which remain, together with various pillars and ruins.

 

  • Address: Pafias Afroditis Street, Kato Paphos
  • Open daily:
  • Winter hours (16th September – 15th April): 8.30 – 17.00
  • Summer hours (16th April – 15th September): 8.30 – 19.30
  • Entry is free

Take in a Paphos Sunset

Set on the southwest coast of Cyprus, Paphos is the perfect place to catch a spectacular sunset. Colours range from pink and purple to orange, peach and pink. Sit on the beach and watch the sun go down or head to the harbour and find a nice spot by the water. Toast the end of the day with a tipple as the sun sets behind the fort.

Sunset, Paphos, CyprusPaphos Sunset

 

Paphos Excursions

There are plenty of excursions where you’ll be picked up from your hotel and enjoy a morning, afternoon or full day exploring further afield. From day trips to Limasol or visiting waterfalls and the beautiful Troodos Mountains to secluded monasteries and vineyards where you’ll taste the best of Cyprus wines.

Find out more about Paphos excursions and day trips

Where is Paphos

Paphos is on the South West coast of Cyprus and has two individual areas. Ktima, the old town area, is inland and uphill with several museums, shops and the municipal market. The other part of town is Kato Paphos, the main tourist area near the harbour, with hotels, restaurants and UNESCO sites.

Spring flowers in Paphos

When is the best time to go to Paphos

The shoulder seasons are the best time to visit when it’s not too busy. Spring to early-June or autumn until the end of October are good because the weather is warm but not too hot and the sea is warm enough for swimming. At the height of the summer Cyprus can get crowded and the high temperatures uncomfortable.

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Where to stay in Paphos

The Amavi Hotel is one of the newest five star hotels in Paphos and we stayed as part of our Jet2 Holidays trip. It’s a couples’ only hotel and I can highly recommend it. To find out more read my review of our Jet2 Holidays trip and our stay at the fabulous Amavi Hotel.

Check rates and availability at the Amavi Hotel Paphos

There are loads of great things to do in Paphos during your holiday which means you can be as busy or chilled as you like. Many Paphos attractions are within walking distance and it’s easy to get around if you want to explore further afield. If you love history, good food and stunning scenery then you need to add Cyprus to your travel wish list.

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Paphos views Blue shutters with handicrafts hanging from them

Jet2 Holidays and the Amavi Hotel invited me to Paphos. However, all thoughts and impressions are my own and I retain free editorial rights to write exactly as I please about my experience.

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