By Katie Monk
Located along Cyprus’s picturesque west coast, Paphos is the perfect blend of sun-soaked beach life, rich history, and vibrant culture. From the shores of Coral Bay to the markets and bars in the Old Town, Paphos is spread out but easily explored using the affordable and reliable local bus system.
As the former capital of Cyprus, and the 2017 European Capital of Culture, the town is steeped in culture and history, and is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders. Its ancient UNESCO sites – villas, palaces, mosaics, theatres, fortresses and tombs – bear testament to its storied past and make for an interesting afternoon’s sightseeing.
Staying at Asimina Suites Hotel
Situated in Kato Paphos, between the Harbour and the airport, is the five-star Constantinou Bros Asimina Suites Hotel. Its prime seafront location with a promenade on its doorstep and bus stop close by make it a good choice for exploring the city and its surrounding area. Renowned for its warm Cypriot hospitality, Asimina Suites hotel stands out with its attentive staff who go the extra mile to make guests feel at home. The little touches, such as refreshing smoothies and cooling towels by the sunbeds, made my stay truly memorable.
As well as beach access you also have the choice of two outdoor freshwater pools, along with an indoor pool with a jacuzzi. The Elixir spa offers a variety of therapies, plus there’s a hairdresser’s salon and a well-equipped gym. This adult-only property ensures a peaceful and tranquil environment so you can properly switch off.
Rooms: The 110 well-appointed suites, ranging from one-bedroom to executive-size with a private pool and jacuzzi, offer luxurious amenities like marble bathrooms, bath tubs, rain showers, and views over the sea. They provide the perfect retreat from the warm Cypriot sun, and the balconies allow you to enjoy a glass of wine as you watch a stunning Paphos sunset. The best way to end the day.
Dining: The hotel has four bars and three restaurants, including Kymata with its sea-view dining, Estia for buffet breakfast and dinner, and A La Carte for fine dining. The latter requires you to book in advance. And to top off your stay, there’s evening entertainment in the form of live music and dancing.
Visiting Omodos, the Troödos Mountains and Mount Olympus
To explore further afield, I recommend hiring a car and taking a drive up to the Troödos Mountains, especially around the charming town of Omodos. We stopped in at Linos Winery, owned by the Herodotou family for the past 200 years. Passed down from generation to generation, it still welcomes guests for tastings and tours to this day.
We tried a selection of their wines, from a delicious Commandaria – a sweet dessert wine and one of the oldest wines in the world – to Linos’s famous Mediterranean Blu – a bright turquoise wine that’s reminiscent of the Cypriot ocean, made from 99% Xynisteri and 1% Alicante and Mataro grape juice. The colour comes from a substance called anthocyanin, found in the skin of red grapes.
From here, we took a drive up to the snowy Mount Olympus – the highest point in Cyprus – although you’re not able to reach the summit due to the British still owning a military base up here. But it was fun to walk in the snow before heading back down to the warmth of the Mediterranean Sea.
Getting to the Blue Lagoon and Akamas Peninsula National Park from Paphos
Another day trip I can recommend is to the Blue Lagoon, part of Akamas Peninsula National Park on the north west of the island. You can park close to the Baths of Aphrodite then walk the rest of the way. Unfortunately you can’t drive further unless you have a jeep as the road is very rocky, and rental companies don’t want you to drive along it. This means that the walk is generally quite peaceful, unless you happen to time it when the jeep tours are making their way to the lagoon. So I recommend you go early.
The other option is to take bus 645 from Paphos to Polis Chrysochou, then bus 622 to Latchi and the Baths of Aphrodite. If that feels too much hassle, you can join a boat/jeep tour from Paphos and enjoy the scenic coastal views from the water. The boats then moor close to the bay so everyone can jump in and enjoy the crystal-blue waters before heading back.
Visiting Coral Bay, the Sea Caves and a Shipwreck
Before you leave Paphos, don’t forget also to check out the Sierra Leone-flagged EDRO III shipwreck, which ran aground off Pegeia on 8 September 2011. Also the nearby sea caves, located a little farther up the coast past Coral Bay. To get there, you can take the 615 bus to Coral Bay then walk. Or catch the 616 bus from Coral Bay to St George’s Chapel then walk back on yourself. If you choose this option, you’ll also get to see an ancient tree (marked on Google Maps as “old tree”) but you’ll also find yourself snarled up in a vast hotel complex. Don’t worry – keep walking and you’ll soon find yourself back on the main road, from which you take a detour back to the cliff-top walk.
Constantinou Bros Asimina Suites Hotel, Paphos, Cyprus.
Details: Prices from £899 per person for 7 night departures in April 2024 in a Junior Suite land view room with breakfast and flights from Gatwick, including private transfers. Early booking discount: save 20% for all bookings until 28th February 2024.
For further information please call the Constantinou Bros Hotels UK Sales office on 01924 380160, or visit www.cbh-cyprus.com
Let me know in the comments if you’ve taken a trip to Paphos, and what you enjoyed about it!