Paphos is located on the southwest coast of the island and is sheltered from the north by the Troodos mountains. It has a temperate climate, one of the healthiest in the Mediterranean. Beautiful countryside, a cosmopolitan resort, historical sights as well as sporting activities, the Paphos region has something for everyone at any time of year. Paphos, with its pleasant harbour and medieval fort, combines a dynamic holiday resort with spectacular countryside, unspoiled nature and sensational history. The region offers the possibility of enjoying both sea and mountains, as well as getting a taste of the island’s culture with its many archaeological sites. Feel the romance floating through the air in the place where Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, once roamed. Swim in the sea by the rocks known as Petra tou Romiou, where she was believed to have risen from the waves, make a pilgrimage to her sanctuary at Kouklia, or visit the grotto near Polis where she supposedly bathed. Whatever you desire - activity, tranquillity, good food, fine wine, spas, nature, walking, golf, culture, nature, bird watching - the Paphos region offers it all.
Take a trip to the mountains to discover an alternate view of the island. Rising to almost 2,000 metres above sea level, the Troodos peaks provide panoramic views of all corners of the island, a cool retreat from the heat of the coast and a popular destination for taking in the healthy mountain air and enjoying nature in all its majesty. Charming villages, some with cobbled streets and preserved folk architecture, nestle on terraced slopes among pines or amid vineyards and orchards. Wander through the village roads in the Solea Valley, known as the “apple valley” and Marathasa, known as “valley with cherry trees”. Those areas are renowned for their traditional architecture and their Byzantine churches and monasteries. Explore the traditional character of the villages of the picturesque Pitsilia, the interesting churches and the hospitality of their inhabitants and also the Wine Villages (Krasochoria), renowned for their vineyards and wine. A number of small wineries welcome visitors on wine tasting tours. Burbling mountain streams and nightingale’s songs are often the only sounds to fill in the air in a region that poets have waxed lyrical over. The Troodos mountains are where the painted churches of Cyprus can be found, superb examples of Byzantine art, ten of which have been listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage wonders. There’s much you can do, from mountain biking to playing tennis, angling in one of the dams, or even skiing in winter. A series of walking trails will take you through areas of exceptional beauty among scented pines, running streams and the occasional waterfall, stopping at a shady picnic site. Some of these form part of the European path E4, an international network of long-distance walking routes crossing the whole of Europe. The specific climatic conditions created by the high altitudes and the peculiar geological substratum may have contributed to the unique flora found in Troodos with nearly 800 different plant species, 12 of which found nowhere else in the world. Occasionally, if lucky, one may spot a Cyprus mouflon, a kind of wild sheep which roams free in the extensive forests. Birdwatchers may spot the rare and protected eagles or the colourful hoopoe with a pink body, a black and white crest and a call which can be heard from miles around.
Larnaca is where East meets West, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world and a fascinating blend of the many civilizations that shaped its history. This quiet seafront city, situated on the southeastern coast of Cyprus, near the island’s main airport, is a perfect starting point from which to explore Cyprus and its endless possibilities. Villages offering agrotourism, beautiful beaches, sports and recreation options, cultural events, religious tourism and authentic Cyprus taverns are just some of the choices in and around town. Welcome to Larnaca, the gateway to Cyprus. See the Old Town and enjoy the sun and sea at the seafront. Here, there are many clubs lounges and bars. The ruins of Kition, founded by Noak’s grandchild Khittim, and the 17th-century fort are certainly worth seeing. After Mecca and Medina, the Tekke mosque, built in honour of the prophet Mohammed’s relative is one of the Muslims’ most important destinations for pilgrimages. A most-fascinating site is Choirokoitia, a settlement from the earliest period of the Stone Age.
Lefkosia (Nicosia), the island’s capital, combines both old and new in a busy modern commercial and business centre and a centuries-old culture. The centre of the city comprehends its old quarter surrounded by a Venetian sandstone fortress wall with a moat and heart-shaped bastions. Mosques and palm trees give an oriental atmosphere to the old city. Wander along narrow streets with overhanging balconies and beautifully restored pedestrian precincts with craft shops, cafes and taverns. Make sure you stop off at St John’s cathedral with its frescoes and the marvellous museum of Byzantine icons. In the evening catch a concert or an exhibition at the Famagusta Gate, one of the three original entrances into the old city, which has now been restored and it is used as a cultural centre. The new town spreads beyond the walls with a modern European-like centre of high-rise buildings, office blocks, shops and cafes, expanding into suburban residential areas. Lefkosia offers the best in shopping with Stassicratous Street as the destination for an ultimate shopping experience. Of the city’s main sights, Cyprus Museum houses the best collection of archaeological artefacts on the island, including a first century AD Roman statuette of Aphrodite of Soli and the original mosaic of Leda and the Swan, while the Leventis museum depicts the history of the town.
Once sleepy fishing villages, the fabulous beaches of fine white sand of Agia Napa and Protaras, and the coastal area of Paralimni with its hundreds of windmills, nowadays buzz with life. This area is known collectively as the “Kokkinochoria“, “red soil villages”, because of the rich red earth in which Cyprus’ famous potatoes are grown. Culture lovers can explore the medieval churches found in villages like Sotira or go round the folk art museums displaying rural artefacts in Deryneia and Avgorou. Children will love the Marine Life museum or the new Sea Museum, “Thalassa”, in Agia Napa, which has an amazing replica of a 4th century trading ship which sunk off the coast of Kyrenia. Or you could stop at the tiny estuary known by the locals as “Potamos” and watch the fishing boats haul in their catch in their multi-coloured baskets. Spend the day sunbathing at the beach, swimming in warm turquoise waters or taking a short cruise along the coast. Some of the best snorkelling and diving spots are at Cape Gkreko, the national forest park, with its secluded coves and rocky outcrops, impressive cliff top views and sea caves. In the evening dine at one of the many restaurants, especially the local ones in Paralimni, or jive to the latest sounds at one of the numerous nightclubs.
Located in the southern coast of the island, Limassol is geographically the largest city in Cyprus and the second largest in population after Nicosia. Its central position offers easy access to all major cities as well as the Troodos Mountains within a 35 to 45 minute-drive. It is also conveniently situated only 35 minutes away from both Larnaca and Paphos airports. It is a fascinating area with a diversified character which caters to a variety of tastes and preferences: A sunlover’s heaven with its 16 kilometers of sandy beaches, this cosmopolitan destination also boasts high quality accommodation options, countless activities and a wide array of vibrant events and festivals throughout the year. In the midst of its lively nightlife and entertainment, one can still appreciate the cultural aspect with visits to archaeological sites and colourful wine villages.
Cyprus in more recent times has emerged as one of the leading spa destinations in the Mediterranean area, offering a diverse choice of spas, including Day Spas , Mineral Spring Spas, Thalassotherapy, Wellness and Recuperation. Whether the guest is looking for holistic wellness, boot camp motivation or pure unadulterated pampering, the top class spa facilities satisfy all needs.
Well known events and festivals create a vibrant and colourful atmosphere all over the island. One of the brightest events is the Carnival, taking place in February/March in all towns, or the Flower Festival, that, occurring every May, celebrates the beauty of spring with a floral exhibition boasting the rich variety of Cyprus’ authentic wild flora. Throughout the year, Music, Dance and Theatre Festivals, operas, ancient drama and modern ballets enrich Cyprus cultural calendar. Athletic events such as Regattas, cycling races, the Cyprus Rally, the international Open Marathon, beach volley tournaments and sporting events with competitions in boxing, karate, triathlon, marathon, shooting, rhythmic gymnastics and cycling are just a few of the annual athletic events that take place in every corner of Cyprus.
A graceful green island pops up from shallow, crystalline waters. Holiday-makers lie down on the white, sandy shore that stretches along the 500m beach. Wind-surfers hurtle on the sea and volleyball players keep themselves fit at the beach volleyball courts. White pelicans hover with elegance above the sea-line, plunging rapidly into blue water. It's not a dream, it's Nissi beach.
Nestled between Limassol and Pahos, Aphrodite's Beach is permeated by a romantic atmosphere, in a suggestive backdrop that is hardly forgettable. Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, chose the rock that stands imposingly in the beach's shallow waters to begin her life, donating a mythological aura to its shore.
Governor's Beach is situated off the well-trodden path, where a wall of white-washed cliffs plunge into the shore, standing out from the surroundings. Restaurants and facilities are located throughout its length, and the nearby hills offer some suggestive walking trials.
This excellent Cypriot restaurant is located in the fun-loving Ayia Napa, and is also one of the place’s oldest restaurants. Markos has specialized in local fresh seafood, but also offers steak, pizza, pasta, sliced potatoes and open sandwiches, developing from the small eatery it used to be in the 50s to a gourmand's favourite.
Sitting on a bed of hills, Aphrodite’s Rock Brewery has served handcrafted brews for generations. The atmospheric location and the outstanding products recalls a tradition that has a long history, with experts in the brewing industry pairing their food menu with beers.
A restaurant that focuses mainly on mouth-watering seafood specialties, a welcoming atmosphere and reasonable prices - Pyxida embodies the concept of the old-style fish-tavern re-interpreted with a modern touch. Featuring a restaurant and an Oyster Bar in Nicosia and one in Limassol, Pyxida has become an institution in town.
The spectacular location on Tomb of King's Road, just a few steps away from the seaside, and an outside seating area that has gained popularity throughout Fat Mama's twenty years of service are some of the highlights of one of Paphos' favourites. Serving American-Italian cuisine, Fat Mama's is unrivalled in taste.
A name that reflects the distinctive character of the restaurant: Ambience invariably delivers a memorable experience shaped by the magical atmosphere and an outside terrace that rises up on a platform above the Cypriot sea. At Ambience numerous cuisines blend together in a mixture of French, Turkish and Greek specialties that will melt in your mouth.
A restaurant that plays heavily on vegetarian mezze and mixed grill, comprehending a wide insight into specialties of the Lebanese tradition - Maqam Al Sultan offers hearty dishes and excellent hospitality skills. Pop in on a Friday or Saturday night, when belly dancing and exotic Lebanese-style interiors contribute in creating a one-of-a-kind experience.
A delightful, old-fashioned café (and piano bar) that serves many different kinds of coffee along with breakfast, lunch or dinner in Central Nicosia. The melt-in-mouth consistency of the Mediterranean dishes of the menu characterized Batione Cafè, in a breakfast spot that has its own, elegant charm.
One of Limassol’s most fashionable lounge restaurants and cafe, Ousia blends traditional Cyprus style with a modern twist and the result is remarkably pleasant. The cafè is located opposite the medieval Limassol Castle, where the area has turned into a buzzing hub, of bars and restaurants.
An imaginative assortment of fresh fruit smoothies, local ice creams, frozen yogurt and of course coffee, frappuccino and sandwiches. Take a stroll down the promenade that from the harbour along the coastline will lead you to the Lighthouse Bar and take a soothing break by sipping a coffee or a refreshing beer.
Sitting on a bed of hills, Aphrodite’s Rock Brewery has served handcrafted brews for generations. The atmospheric location and the outstanding products recall a tradition that has a long history, with experts in the brewing industry pairing their food menu with beers.
The bustling Ayia Napa sees another outstanding disco-bar popping up in the Cyprian heart of the club scene - Senior Frog's is the place to go for guaranteed fun. Look out for the giant frog's head and the colourful facade, this dynamic bar and disco club is where the night starts.
Big designer names fill up the fashionable Ermou Street in Larnaca, but on Sunday, its sparkling charm is clouded by an even greater event that takes place in Ermou Street's parking lot. Larnaca's Sunday Market starts at 10am and features fruit, vegetables, souvenirs, clothes and knickknacks at unbeatable prices.
A modern shopping mall located in the dynamic capital of the island, The Mall of Cyprus is an incredible shopping destination, ideal for those whose shopping cravings accompany them on vacation. International and national clothing shops, groceries, restaurants and coffee shops fill up the aisles of the giant mall, in a vibrant beehive of shops and eateries.
The long promenade that stretches along the coastline in the touristy Aya Napa becomes the shopping hub of the area, and perhaps of the entire island. The trendy Nissi Avenue has seen numerous shops opening in recent years, becoming a must-visit in town. Souvenir shops are some of the most stormed by tourists, although designer clothing and beachwear shops are certainly well-known too.
The main shopping areas develop along Posidonos Avenue, Apostolou Pavlou Street and Makarios Avenue, featuring a main focus on pottery, souvenirs and clothes. Paphos' Market is also not to be missed - selling fresh products and knickknacks, it is one of the biggest and most interesting in the island. The flea markets that every now and again fill up some of the streets can be a true source of second-hand treasures, although you might have to haggle a bit to obtain a reasonable price. King's Avenue Mall, located nearby Tombs of the Kings, is a shopper's paradise: a real wealth of international shops and traditional restaurants makes it the ideal destination for an afternoon of crazy shopping.
There are many different bus routes in Cyprus, connecting both the towns to the airports and the towns one another. As the island has developed around tourism, there is a thick network of buses also available form town to rural areas. Northern Cyprus features a transport system that is not as developed as the southern one - if you are planning on getting around from one town to another the best option is to rent a car. From Larnaca Airport to Limassol and vice versa www.limassolairportexpress.eu From Larnaca Airport to Nicosia and vice versa www.kapnosairportshuttle.com From Pafos Airport to Pafos and Vice Versa www.pafosbuses.com From Pafos to other towns www.intercity-buses.com
This is a 24-hour service provided in all towns. Taxis can be booked by phone or be hailed on the street. Urban taxis are all provided with metres and charging commences upon entering the taxi. The transport of passengers by urban taxis without using the taximeter is not permitted. Acropolis Taxi Cyprus: Archiepiskopou Makariou III 1, Larnaca +357 24 622000 www.airportradiotaxi.com Taxis in Cyprus: +357 99 411905 Anthos Taxi Paphos Cyprus: Poseidonos Ave, Paphos +357 99 586218
The opening hours of the post offices in Cyprus normally reflect the laid-back attitude of the entire island, being open from 08.30am - 1pm and 3pm - 4.45pm except from May till August when the office closes at 1pm. Post offices are easy to spot thanks to the yellow sign that pops out of the wall. In the offices you will find stamps and postcards and you will be able to post letters. Mail boxes are also located throughout Cyprus and they are yellow and round-shaped. Stamps are also available in some kiosks.
Pharmacies are located all over the island, operating on a system that features an open pharmacy at night or weekends every day. Pharmacies have a green cross on the outside which makes them easy to find. 28D, Lykavitos Avenue, Makedonitissa +357 22 355 715 21A, Prodromou Avenue, Nicosia +357 22 66 4442 124, Lemesos Avenue, Nicosia +357 422 470
Larnaca Information Office - International Airport +357 24 008 368 [email protected] Tourist Information Office Larnaca Plateia Vasileos Pavlou, Larnaca +357 24 65 43 22 [email protected] Paphos Information Office-International Airport +357 26 007 368 [email protected] Tourist Information Office Paphos Gladstonos 3, Paphos +357 26 93 28 41 [email protected] Tourist Information Office in Lemesos Spyrou 115 A +357 25362756 [email protected] Tourist Information Office in Nicosia Address: Aristokyprou 11, Laiki Geitonia +357 22674264 [email protected]