Walking through Paphos is like unlocking a treasure chest of history and rooting around what’s inside. It’s epic – from the rocky landscapes to the time-honoured sights. But that’s just the start.
Cyprus is a destination on the rise and it’s largely got its heritage to thank for becoming a thriving hotspot. Its great weather all year round hasn’t harmed it either. There are some stunning hotels to choose from along the coast of Paphos as well. Tempted yet?
There’s absolutely masses to dig up while you’re visiting! Tick off all the top things to do in Paphos with our great guide.
- Paphos Waterpark
- Paphos Archaeological Park
- Tombs of the Kings
- Coral Bay
- Aphrodite’s Rock
- Paphos Castle
- Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa
- Ayios Neophytos Monastery
- Hrysopolitissa Basilica
- Paphos Harbour
1. Paphos Waterpark
You can’t get better than Paphos Waterpark for non-stop fun. Whether you’re taking the kids or are just a big kid yourself, you’ll be in for a laugh or two. The Aphrodite Waterpark is fab for groups as well as families and you can even secure free spots for little ones under three!
Let’s get down to the rides. Between the mighty 50ft plummet of the Free Fall and the crazy plunge of the Nautilous Screw, your mettle will be tested.
2. Paphos Archaeological Park
Cyprus has so many excavations that stretch across not just Paphos but the whole island, you could be walking on something yet to be uncovered! Paphos Archaeological Park is a huge area that caps off loads of key sites like the Asklepieion, Odeon and even the Tombs of the Kings is part of it. It’s also had UNESCO World Heritage Site status since 1980.
You could spend more than a full day getting around, but if you only do one thing, make a beeline for the House of Dionysus. In there, you’ll see Roman mosaics depicting tales of Greek mythology, like Echo and Narcissus, as well as one of the four seasons.
3. Tombs of the Kings
There’s something pretty remarkable about the Tombs of the Kings – it’s one of the best things to do in Paphos. You’ll be surprised how local these ancient plots are to the regular town streets, shops and restaurants. The ochre-coloured burial sites date back to the Hellenistic and Roman eras and are chambers that were built to house the rich or aristocrats once they’d passed. It’s quite surreal that you can walk through the tunnelled-off tombs. You can also see holes in the ceiling where robbers had looted items (gold was a big one!) that were buried with their owners.
What’s even more impressive yet is that the nearby Kings Avenue Mall apparently even has some tombs underneath! There’s a lot more to be revealed from below the surface, that’s for sure.
4. Coral Bay
There’s a big focus on R&R here. Coral Bay is one of the most charming seafront stretches. Hire sun beds and parasols, tuck into fresh fish in one of the surrounding tavernas and drink in all the natural beauty. Going with the kids? It’s ranked one of the best spots for families, so that’s a bonus.
5. Aphrodite’s Rock
Between Paphos and Limassol, you’ll find the infamous Aphrodite’s Rock (or ‘Petra tou Romiou’ to locals) jutting out from the sea. The myth has it that the goddess was born there, which is why it’s so regularly visited. The area itself is pretty stunning as well, so it’s worth a pit stop and a wander by the shore at the very least.
6. Paphos Castle
This Byzantine fort might be a castle by name, but you’ll only find a small chunk of it has survived throughout the centuries. Take a walk down to the end of Paphos Harbour and you’ll find an Ottoman tower by the water’s edge.
Peer inside and you’ll see the ground floor’s central room, which used to be cells. The main area of the first floor was originally designed as a mosque, while there are 12 ramparts for the old cannons as well. It’s a humble piece of Paphos’ history, so grab an ice cream and check it out.
7. Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa
There’s plenty of history to soak up when you visit this little Latin church. What exists now was built in the 13th century on the site of what was destroyed by an earthquake in 59 AD and has since been recognised as the Byzantine cathedral of Kato Paphos. Meander around the walkways to admire the striking ruins.
8. Ayios Neophytos Monastery
Journey 9km north of central Paphos and pay a visit to one of the island’s most well-known monasteries. It was founded by the Cypriot writer Neophytos back in the 12th century and pulls in the crowds all these centuries later. You’ll now spy a museum that’s built into the cave, which has a few ecclesiastical icons and items to look at. You’ll be dazzled by the breathtaking landscapes that envelope the monastery, so don’t forget your camera!
9. Hrysopolitissa Basilica
If you were intrigued by Agia Kyriaki above, then explore the time-worn religious ruins of this basilica, as it’s part of a larger site. There’s not an awful lot left of the 4th-century building, but you’ll see impressive marble columns and mosaics scattered around the area.
10. Paphos Harbour
Dreamy strolls don’t get much more idyllic. This working harbour is a glitzy mix of gleaming yachts and dainty moored fishing boats. You can sit down to a seafood lunch by the water’s edge or even just have a break with a coffee. You’ll find Paphos Castle at the end of the walkway.
No matter what time of year you go, you can really get to grips with all the city’s history and culture with these top things to do in Paphos. Can’t wait to experience it all for yourself?
Posted: 16th Jan 2020.