There’s something a little bit peculiar about Cyprus. We noticed it immediately in Paphos, our first stop on our road trip. Even though Cyprus gained independence over 50 years ago, there’s still very much an English influence on their society. Every local we met spoke in excellent English, the road system is a carbon copy of ours and they have the same high street shops. Our most surreal moment was having a full English and teacakes whilst listening to Magic FM in a roadside café. We quickly understood the appeal for British retirees in this super friendly and warm country.
As we thought Paphos was relatively small, we only gave ourselves a few days there. I think you can get a lot more out of the surrounding area, but we still managed to fit in a lot in two days!
Tombs of the Kings
These slightly spooky underground caverns that once were a burial ground for nobles and the upper classes are slightly sparse, but it’s still an intriguing place to explore hidden chambers and large drops! If you can find it, our favourite tomb was tomb no. 3 with its Roman columns.
I’d say this is the number 1 spot to visit in Paphos. Kato Pafos is a large archaeological park near the town centre with impressive Roman mosaics in the remains of large houses. It’s almost hard to believe how well they’ve been preserved for 2000 years! We spent a good few hours here snapping pictures of the landscape and the very un-Roman (but pretty) lighthouse. Definitely a destination for budding photographers!
Cypriot mezes and lamb kleftiko
The whole point of travelling to Cyprus was to gorge on good food and it wouldn’t be us if we didn’t try to suss out the best eating spots! Unfortunately, in a cruel twist of fate, most of the best places seemed to be shut whilst we were in Paphos (the whole town centre was under major construction of some kind – it is the off season). We still managed to get our foodie kicks though by trying Cypriot mezes (including dips, olives, stuffed aubergine, BBQ veg) and an extremely tender roasted lamb kleftiko. Can’t get enough of those dips!
Coral Bay is a pretty little beach just 30 minutes drive away from Paphos (it’s spots like these that are worth hiring a car for). Another beach that we didn’t go to, but would probably be amazing to go during summer is Lara Bay – they have turtles!
Petra tou Romiou
Our joint favourite in terms of how beautiful and scenic it was. The apparent birthplace of Aphrodite (goddess of love, beauty and fertility), she rose out of the sea foam being carried in a clam driven by dolphins – how crazy is that image! Its extremely interesting reading the myths and traditions that relate to the rocks along this little piece of coast. If you’re a confident swimmer, we spotted the clearest blue water along some cool rock formations around the coast.