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21 fabulous things to do in Paphos, Cyprus

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, Cyprus.

Paphos Fort
Paphos Fort, Cyprus

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and makes for a perfect beach holiday. But what to do in Paphos (Pafos) 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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man with balloons
Paphos, Cyprus

We spent our five-day 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.

Is Paphos worth visiting?

Paphos is worth visiting if you enjoy beautiful Mediterranean beaches, Cypriot cuisine, UNESCO World Heritage sites, Roman ruins and mosaics, ancient tombs, a sunny climate, coastal walks and more. Tempted by Paphos, Cyprus?

What to see and do in Paphos

Beaches in Paphos

If you’re heading to Cyprus and the gorgeous Paphos weather, 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

Sodap Beach Paphos, Cyprus

Known as Sodap Beach by locals, this Blue Flag beach lies east of Paphos harbour. Sodap is a 200-metre-long sandy beach with a rocky backdrop and palm trees which can be reached by stairs or ramp.

Sodap was the nearest beach to the Amavi Hotel, where we stayed, and around a ten-minute walk from the harbour. There’s everything you need for a relaxing day on the beach, with sunbeds and parasols available to hire.

Alykes Beach

Located close to the harbour in the heart of Paphos, Alykes Beach is often known as Paphos Beach. It’s surrounded by hotels, bars, shops and restaurants and facilities at the beach include showers and toilets.

Sun loungers and parasols are available to rent, and the soft sand and calm waters make this beach perfect for paddling.

Coral Bay

This is probably the best beach in Paphos and the most popular, so it gets busy. The beach is 6 km north of the city, but it’s worth the drive for the beautiful soft sand, shallow waters and gorgeous scenery.

Rocky headlands shelter the bay, and the sea caves on this part of the coast are ideal for exploring on boat trips. You’ll also find two restaurants and a water sports outlet at Coral Bay.

Things to do in Paphos

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

We took a short taxi ride at one point but there was so much to see locally that we were happy to walk most of the time. If you want to explore further afield, you could book a Troodos Mountains day tour.

Visit Kato Paphos Archaeological Park

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

Visit Paphos Archaeological Park on a guided tour to learn more about this and other unique places in Paphos.

House of Theseus, Paphos, Cyprus
House of Theseus, Paphos, Cyprus

The Mosaics

Some of the Mediterranean’s most impressive and best-preserved mosaics can be found at Kato Paphos Archaeological Park. Can you believe they were accidentally discovered by a farmer 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.

The nearby House of Theseus is also worth a visit for its impressive columns and the south wing mosaic depicting Theseus at battle with a Minotaur.

Theseus battle with Minotaur Mosaic Paphos, Cyprus
Theseus 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 a mosaic representing the personification of the four seasons, which dates back to the first half of the third century AD. Could this mosaic possibly have been the inspiration for the Instagram grid?

House of Four Seasons Mosaic, Paphos, Cyprus
The House of the Four Seasons Mosaic

Agora and Odeon

Visit the remains of a small Roman theatre and the area which was the Agora, a Roman marketplace. Some rows of seating survive in the theatre, along with parts of the columns. The modern Paphos lighthouse can also be seen nearby.

The Lighthouse in Paphos, Cyprus
Paphos Lighthouse

The great value entrance fees make Paphos Archaeological Park a must for your itinerary. There’s not much shade in the park, and the afternoon sun is scorching, so be sure to take water and sunscreen.

  • Open every day
  • Winter opening hours: 8.30am to 5.00pm (16th September until 15th April)
  • Summer opening hours: 8.30am to 7.30pm (16th April until 15th September)
  • Entrance: €4.50 for adults, with concessions for seniors and children
  • Address: Kyriakou Nikolaou Street, Paphos Archaeological Site, Kato Paphos

A visit to Paphos Archaeological Museum is also worth a visit if you’re interested in the island’s history.

Check out Paphos Harbour

Paphos Harbour, Cyprus
Paphos Harbour, Cyprus

A walk along Paphos harbour will probably happen while you’re en route to some of the top Paphos sights. It’s worth allowing a little time to linger.

You’ll pass many cafes, bars and restaurants, including some that have tables right next to the sea and offer a lovely spot for a bite of local cuisine or a cold beer at sunset. There are also plenty of shops selling souvenirs, local products and handicrafts.

Read more: Spotting flamingoes at Salt Lake, Larnaca

Take a Boat Trip

The crystal clear waters of the Blue Lagoon are perfect for a boat trip from Paphos, and hotel pick-ups make it easy to spend a relaxing day cruising the Mediterranean.

You can swim in the Blue Lagoon, snorkel, canoe or explore the sea caves. And enjoy relaxing on the boat as you pass the scenic Akamas Peninsula and the picturesque Latchi harbour.

If you’re travelling with the family, this boat tour is great for kids. They’ll love the lively entertainment programme and meeting the friendly ‘pirates’.

Boats in Paphos Harbour, Cyprus
Paphos Harbour

 Climb Paphos Fort

Paphos Fort, Cyprus
Paphos Fort, Cyprus

Paphos Fort, also known as Paphos Castle, is a distinctive landmark that was 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 breathtaking views across the Mediterranean and the harbour area. You’ll probably not spend more than 30 minutes in the fort, but its worth the €2.50 entry fee just for the views.

If you visit Paphos in September, you may be able to attend the Aphrodite Festival, which stages an opera using the fort as a backdrop and scenery.

  • Open every day except public holidays
  • Winter opening hours: 8.30am to 5.00pm (16th September until 15th April)
  • Summer opening hours: 8.30am to 7.30pm (16th April until 15th September)

Explore Paphos Old Town

When Paphos was named European Capital of Culture 2017, the Old Town of Paphos was given a makeover, and it’s definitely worth exploring.

Seek out the street art in old town Paphos, check out local handicrafts at The Place, or visit the Municipal Market in the pedestrian zone of Ktima, which sells everything from fruit and vegetables to clothing, pottery and jewellery.

Paphos Old Town sits high above the rest of the town, so stop for a coffee or a glass of local wine at one of the cafes for panoramic views over the countryside to the coast.

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

To see more of the island’s villages, go on a village and mountain ATV safari.

Visit The Place

The Place is, err, the place for you if you like locally made arts and crafts. You can pick up gorgeous traditionally handcrafted items like glassware, paintings, woven rugs and jewellery here. They’d make a perfect reminder of your holiday in Paphos or a great gift to take home.

The Place is a cultural centre in Paphos Old Town, with workshops that are home to various artists. You can learn how they create their artworks and even have a go yourself. Afterwards, the courtyard is a pretty place to stop for a coffee.

The Place opens at 9am daily except Sundays.

Go Tomb Hopping

Tomb hopping at the Tombs of the Kings is one of the top things to see in Paphos and was one of the highlights of our trip. The necropolis is a series of caves and sandstone rock-cut chambers about 2 km north of Paphos Harbour.

The tombs, another of Paphos’ UNESCO sites, date back to the fourth century BC. The site is the final resting place for local dignitaries and high-ranking officials, but despite the name, no kings were ever buried in the seven tombs.

By the way, tomb number three, with its Doric pillars, is the one not to miss.

The views out to the Med from the Tombs of the Kings are stunning, with the rusting hulk of the grounded EDRO III cargo ship sitting on the horizon. Talk about tombs with a view!

  • Kato Pafos, Tombs of the Kings Avenue
  • Open every day except Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Easter Sunday (Greek Orthodox calendar)
  • Winter opening hours: 8.30am to 5.00pm (16th September until 15th April)
  • Summer opening hours: 8.30am to 7.30pm (16th April until 15th September)
  • Entrance: €2.50
Tombs of the Kings Paphos
Tombs of the Kings, Paphos – tomb number 3

See the EDRO III Shipwreck

The coast of Cyprus is littered with shipwrecks, but most of them are submerged and only visible if you go diving. The Norwegian cargo ship EDRO III is a rare shipwreck above water, making it an excellent location for a sunset photoshoot.

The EDRO III ran aground during a storm in October 2011. A distress call went out to the British Army based at Limassol, and the crew was airlifted to safety. But despite several attempts to move the wreck, the ship remains stuck on the coast near Paphos. 

The wreck of the EDRO II is close to the sea caves and the Blue Lagoon, so it’s easy to combine with a visit to these popular Paphos landmarks. If you want to use the shipwreck as a backdrop for photos, it’s best to visit in the early morning or in the evening, when the hull is transformed by the golden light of sunset.

There’s free parking close to the ship and quite a few cafes nearby, or you could take a picnic with you.

Walk Paphos Coastal Path

A paved coastal path runs from Geroskipou Beach east of the harbour, past the Archaeological Park and all the way to the Tombs of the Kings. We took a couple of walks along the trail during our April visit, enjoying the beautiful sea views and Spring flowers.

The coastal walk and countryside beyond were painted with vivid splashes of colour from the spring flowers. Yellow Crown Daisies, lilac Sea Lavender, vibrant red poppies and African daisies were all in bloom and, of course, where there are flowers, there are butterflies too.

African daisies against a blue sea
Paphos Coastal Path
Spring Flowers, Paphos Cyprus
Spring Flowers in 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 along the way, you can discover 12 works of art from five Cypriot artists. The works were commissioned as part of the town’s year as European City of Culture in 2017.

Near the fort, you’ll find a statue of a woman, ‘Sol Alter’ by Yiota Ioannidou, that’s dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite. Further towards the lighthouse is “Views of Infinity”, a geometric marble installation by Harry Paspallis, and we spotted four others on our walks.

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

Explore Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa

Paphos, Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa
Agia 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.

The church was built over a Byzantine Basilica ruin and is the site of St. Paul’s Pillar. This is where St Paul is said to have been bound and suffered 39 lashings for preaching Christianity. Part of the Basilica’s beautifully tiled mosaic floor still remains, together with various pillars and ruins.

  • Address: Pafias Afroditis Street, Kato Paphos
  • Open every day
  • Winter opening hours: 8.00am to 4.00pm (16th September until 15th April)
  • Summer opening hours: 8.00am to 5.00pm (16th April until 15th September)
  • Entry is free

Pay a visit to Aphrodite’s Rock

Petra tou Romiou Aphrodite’s legendary birthplace in Paphos, Cyprus.

Aphrodite’s Rock, or Petra tou Romiou (Rock of the Roman), is a sea stack located around 25 km along the main road from Paphos to Limassol.

According to one legend, this area is the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite, while another legend says it’s where the Achaeans came ashore when they returned from Troy. Whichever tale you believe, this is a stunning area that attracts vast numbers of tourists each year.

Tradition also says that swimming around Aphrodite’s rock three times will bless you with beauty, good luck, fertility, true love and eternal youth. That’s a lot of blessings, so you might be tempted to take a dip, but the beach at Aphrodite’s Rock is pebbly and the deep waters are sometimes rough. So be sure to take care.

Because this is such a popular tourist attraction, it tends to get very busy throughout the day. Arrive early in the morning if you want to avoid the crowds. There’s a shop selling food and drink which has showers and changing facilities, and you’ll also find a restaurant nearby with stunning views over the coastline.

You’ll need to drive or take a taxi to Aphrodite’s Rock, or alternatively, you could visit it as part of a guided tour of Limasol.

Take a dip in the Blue Lagoon

Tourist attractions with romantic names can sometimes be a let-down, but there’s nothing disappointing about the Blue Lagoon at Paphos. The waters really are as blue and crystal clear as you imagine they might be!

OK, it’s not technically a lagoon, more of a sheltered bay, but that’s just splitting hairs. What really matters is that the view is stunning, and the gorgeous warm waters of Blue Lagoon are perfect for swimming and snorkelling. This makes the Blue Lagoon incredibly popular in the summer.

A boat tour is probably the best way to explore the stunning coastline around the Akamas Peninsula National Park. There are plenty of day tours from Paphos and sunset cruises to choose from, and many of them stop at the Blue Lagoon.

This Blue Lagoon excursion from Paphos combines a three-hour boat trip to the Blue Lagoon and a wine-tasting tour of a local winery. You’ll have plenty of time for swimming, snorkelling or just relaxing in the crystal-clear waters.

Parascend in Paphos

As well as boat tours, there are plenty of water sports providers along the beachfront offering parascending, canoes, stand-up paddle boarding and charter fishing trips.

Parascending from a boat
Parascending in Paphos

Splash out at Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark

If you’re looking for a change from the chilled-out vibe of your Paphos holiday, Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark is great for a fun-filled day out. It’s a unique aqua adventure centre packed with thrilling water rides and amusements to entertain visitors of all ages.

For thrill-seekers, there are high-speed water slides like the Kamikaze, the Twister and the Free Fall, while kids will love their own play pools and the pirate ship. Other highlights at the waterpark include floating down the Lazy River on a raft, riding the waves in the Waves Surge Pool, and plenty of chutes and swimming areas.

Sunbeds, lockers and swimming floats are available to rent, and there’s a choice of restaurants for a relaxing meal or fast food outlets to grab a quick bite.

You’ll find Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark on the coastal road, and it’s really easy to reach by car, taxi or bus.

Take in a Paphos Sunset

Forget Santorini – a prime location on the southwest coast of Cyprus makes Paphos the perfect place to catch a spectacular Mediterranean sunset.

Sit on the beach or head to the harbour and watch as the sky is flooded in shades of pink, peach, orange and purple. Then toast the end of the day with a tipple as the sun sinks behind Paphos fort.

Sunset, Paphos, Cyprus
Paphos Sunset

Indulge in great food in Paphos

If you love good food, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Paphos, with everything from traditional Cypriot dishes and fresh seafood to Mediterranean classics and great wine. A Taste of Cyprus day trip is an excellent way to explore Cypriot food.

Enjoy Paphos excursions

If you fancy venturing further afield, you can be picked up from your hotel and spend a morning, afternoon or full day exploring.

There are plenty of Paphos excursions, from day trips to Limasol and visits to the beautiful Troodos Mountains, to tours of secluded monasteries and vineyards where you’ll taste the best of Cyprus wines.

Check out more Paphos excursions and day trips

Where is Paphos

Paphos is on the southwest coast of Cyprus and has two distinct 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, where you’ll find the hotels, restaurants and UNESCO sites.

When is the best time to go to Paphos

Spring Flowers in Paphos

The ‘shoulder seasons’ on either side of the main tourist summer season are the best time to visit Paphos because it’s not too busy. At the height of the summer, Cyprus can get crowded, and the high temperatures may feel uncomfortable.

Visiting Paphos in Spring to early June or in Autumn until the end of October is ideal because the weather is warm but not too hot, and the sea is warm enough for swimming.

Ready to plan your trip?

Where to stay in Paphos

The Amavi Hotel is one of the newest five-star hotels in Paphos, and we stayed there as part of our Jet2Holidays trip. It’s a couples-only hotel, and I highly recommend it.

Read my review of our Jet2 Holidays trip and our stay at the fabulous Amavi Hotel to learn more.

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, you definitely need to add Cyprus to your travel wish list.

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

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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.

Minnie Reed

Saturday 4th of February 2023

Stay and help walk the rescued dogs or donate and also help the cats, the cruelty here is horrendous.


Thursday 23rd of June 2022

Easy reading , and , very interesting points for our upcoming trip in a few weeks time. We are also staying at the AMAVi, which is fortunate. I look forward to the old town, a boat trip and harbour. Thank you

Suzanne Jones

Thursday 23rd of June 2022

Glad to hear you found it useful. We loved the Amavi and hope you have a fabulous trip. I'm just back from Larnaca, if you get time do take a day trip to Omodos and visit one of the wineries there for a tasting.

Mati mati

Monday 16th of September 2019

Very nice artricle!!


Wednesday 22nd of May 2019

Paphos sounds like my kinda place. I especially love the look of the Old Town; love finding out more about how people lived in ages gone by. And, of course, the food would no doubt be a real highlight for me too!

Suzanne Jones

Wednesday 22nd of May 2019

There was a lot to see and do within walking distance which was great because it meant we walked off all those fab Greek dishes!

Kathryn Burrington

Monday 13th of May 2019

It looks fabulous! I particularly love the mosaics. It's far too long since I've been to Greece!

Suzanne Jones

Tuesday 21st of May 2019

The mosaics were so well preserved - a little window into the lives the ancients led. Interestingly the Republic of Cyprus isn't part of Greece. The southern part of the island is in the EU and the northern part is Turkish although the culture is very Greek!

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