When I think of travel, I think of adventure. Or a citytrip to soak up the local culture and hop from landmark to landmark. Relaxing at the beach is not what I'd usually seek out, but I did when I visited Paphos. And let me tell you, there was no shortage of sun & beaches!
Paphos is located in the south-west of Cyprus and has a population of only slightly over 30k. Even though that's pretty small, it's still one of the bigger cities of Cyprus.
We stayed at Hotel St. George Beach, which boasts an impressive lobby with its huge chandelier & cosy bar. This hotel has all one could wish for: the restaurant is very nice, there's an in-house spa, and lots of activities are organized for the guests & their children. It has its own amazing pool & pool bar, but is also right next to the beach, where there's plenty of activities to chose from: jetski, parasailing, diving, ... But even though the beach is lovely, I'm just not the type to spend all day there.
So we took the bus for about half an hour to Paphos town. And the archaeological sites. And the harbour. And what a most charming harbour it was! Chock-full of bars, restaurants, souvenir shops, and the picturesque Paphos Fort. I could sit here all night. And we did. More than once! I could get used to this laid-back atmosphere. The restaurants around here were amazing: there's a lot of different cuisines to choose from, with great quality. Not just in the harbour, but in all of Paphos.
The Paphos Town Market, on the other hand, disappointed. It's run-down and mostly just tourist souvenir shops. We did come back a couple of times, though, because we had discovered an abandoned litter of 5 of the cutest little kittens. We came back to feed them & play with them for awhile, as did some of the shop owners. One of them - a super nice lady - eventually took them to an animal shelter near the end of our vacation. I sure hope they found a good new home!
But there's more to Paphos than shops, bars & restaurants. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site after all, best known for the Paphos Archaeological Park. That Archaeological Park, near the Paphos harbour, has remains from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages, but the Roman remains are what it's all about. Particularly the Roman villas with their mosaic floors. Some of them are very well kept and very large. There's also a 2nd century classic Greek amphitheathe - the Odeon - that is still being used for musicals and performances. The Tombs of the Kings date back even further, to the 4th century BC. While no actual kings were buried here, these tombs are still an impressive feat: carved out of solid rock and decorated with pillars.
Just don't forget to bring your sunscreen & apply liberally: you'll be mostly outdoors and that sun sure is burning!