Paphos

by Ucman Scher
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3 Days For Paphos Gay Travel

Paphos is my favourite part of Cyprus, it is well developed, beautiful, has culture, history and it is a bit more forward-looking. It shares a lot of things with the East side of the island but the time I spent here was definitely better the time I spent in Larnaca, Nicosia or even Ayia Napa. The city is quite beautiful and it is quite easy to navigate around and there are multiple places of interest not far from Paphos.

Check out this itinerary options for Cyprus along with my country guide for Cyprus for a perfect trip.

Paphos Travel Vlog

Getting to Paphos

Paphos has its own international airport which is quite easy to get to and from. It is a small airport but it has the facilities needed. I arrived in Paphos by bus from Larnaca, you can check the schedule on Intercity Buses Website here. I took my flight back to London from the airport though. It is not close to the city like Larnaca airport is but there are plenty of options to get to the city from the airport. I recommend getting a car from the airport to avoid the hassle.

Public Transport in Paphos

Public transport is generally a bit of a joke in Cyprus, I tried to use it but failed miserably and gave up. there is no centralised source for information and timings are all over the places. I just ended up getting a rented car which proved very helpful. There are a few things about insurance you must know before though, you can read about them here.

 

Food in Paphos

Paphos has a lot of great food options from local laid back restaurants to funky brunch spots. I really enjoyed the food here especially the brunches. The best souvlaki and sheftalia I have had on the island was also in Paphos along with the best kebabs. If you are looking for recommendations about restaurants, check my Food in Paphos article which provides all the best food spots that you cannot afford to miss.

Must Bring

Driving license, sunscreen, sunglasses, flip flops, swimming shorts.

Check out my top 10 travel essentials I never leave home without.

Where to Stay in Paphos? Gaybourhood in Paphos

There is no gay area or gaybourhood in Paphos. I stayed near the new harbour area which was a good spot to stay because of many options in terms of restaurants and the archaeological park was just around the corner. You can also stay in the old town but it is quite hilly and getting to the beach requires a bit of navigation through the town. There a lot of bungalows, apartments and hotels in Paphos and if you really want some luxury and want to splurge, stay in Almyra which is a gorgeous hotel with amazing pools and spa.

Almyra hotel during my spa visit

Best Time to Visit Paphos

The best time to visit Paphos like the rest of the country is spring or late summer. It is ridiculously hot here in summer and overcrowded by tourists. The prices also go through the roof in summer and you have to queue for everything. I visited in late October and the weather was perfect with temperature in the late twenties.

How Many Days for Paphos

You can easily do Paphos in 3 to 4 days at a leisurely pace. There are a few spots which are great for archaeological exploration but the rest of the places are all around the coast in the west or north.

Gay Paphos/ Paphos Gay Travel

Paphos is generally a bit more liberated than the rest of the country but that doesn’t mean the locals are any keener to engage. I spoke to a few people and the only Cypriot I met during my trip was here but there is something which keeps them distant and I was very surprised about this. Like I tatted before, there is no gaybourhood in Paphos but there are also no LGBT venues except for a bar called Different Bar on the bar street. It is not visited by locals and the impression I got was that the local gay population is actually against it.


It is only frequented by tourists which means it is usually closed offseason. There is a gay nudist beach but it isn’t the best beach to spend time on in my opinion. If you want a more detailed review of gay life in Cyprus, check my Gay Cyprus article.

Free Walking Tour Paphos

There is only one free walking tour for Paphos which runs only on Thursday morning at 9:30am. You can check the details here. Considering how mismanaged information on official websites is, I would highly recommend emailing or calling them to see if it is still running. I couldn’t take it because I got to Paphos late on Wednesday and didn’t realise it was that early the next morning only once a week.

3 Day Itinerary for Paphos

Day 1

Paphos

Paphos City, Old Centre of the Town, Tomb of the Kings and Aphrodite’s Rock.

Day 2

Latsi & Blue Lagoon

Latsi Beach, Aphrodite’s Baths, Blue Lagoon (possibly Adonis Baths)

Day 3

Peyia

The Edro III Shipwreck, Peyia Sea Caves, Moria bridge and Ina beach.

Check out my itinerary for Paphos here for more details.

Top Things To Do In Paphos

Paphos is definitely a well-rounded experience with beach, history and adventure. Here are my favourite top things to do in Paphos:

Aphrodite’s Rock

I am a total geek when it comes to Greek mythology. Cyprus was the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of female fertility. She had no mother and according to mythology, she was born on this rock when a piece of titan Uranus was cut off by his son Cronus and fell here. Despite being staunchly Christian, Cypriots have a special place for Aphrodite in their culture.

The rock of Aphrodite is located on 25 minutes drive from Paphos on the way to Limassol. I drove there on a nice, slightly cloudy morning, the drive was smooth. It is quite a different area compared to the rest of the island. the waters get muddier as they get close to the beach, the waves become angrier and the air gets heavier. It was quite windy when I got there but things settled down. The beach around isn’t really a recommended place for swimming because the sea can be rough here.

I climbed the rock and enjoyed the view for a bit, meditated for a bit and imagined the birth of Aphrodite laying on the same rock, she emerged from. Liberating and weird it was! How weird can our imagination be and where curiosity takes us has no bounds, we truly are different.

There is no entrance ticket and you can sit and enjoy as long as you want, it took me 3 hours to decide to get up and head back towards Paphos.

Fun Fact: Google has some very conflicting images when you search Aphrodite’s rock. It is the big rock in the middle and not the small ones around it as depicted by most Google searches.

Experience A Sunset In A Spa

What’s better than a stunning spa next to the beach with gorgeous views and a very certain stunning sky at sunset? Nothing! The spa at Almyra hotel is one of the most beautiful spas I have been to (and I have been to a lot trust me).

I booked myself a nice massage followed by a sauna visit which aligned perfectly with the sunset. The massage was perfect, even the massage room had an amazing view followed by some time in the pool. The sun was setting and the sky was changing a thousand shades of orange. There is a certain sense of calmness with the colours and the water flowing down the side of infinity pool like classical music. It was the best evening I spent in Paphos and despite it being my last evening, it certainly wasn’t sad.

The spa is high end and costs serious bucks; €120 for an hour massage and the use of spa comes free with it, you can’t just use the spa and pool. The only thing I found a bit weird was how deconstructed the spa was but it was still a great experience. I do recommend advance booking though, you can check more details here.

Archaeological Park & The Tombs of The Kings

The Kato Paphos Archeological Park is one impressive place if you are a fan of archaeology and ancient Greek and Roman history. The best part is the four ancient villas that were unearthed during excavations. All of them have beautiful mosaics. These are the House of Aion, the House of Theseus, the House of Dionysos and the House of Orpheus. It might not seem like it but it actually spans quite a large area.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the best part is the Tombs of the Kings. It is quite unique for the area because the tombs were carved from solid rock and most of them are now beneath surface level.

Fun Fact: Despite the name, there are no kings buried in The Tombs of the Kings, the burial site was actually for the aristocracy.

I arrived on my first day after the brunch and after paying the €2.50 I pretty much had the whole place to myself. The tombs are quite scattered and the entire area is a bit of contrast; the deep red soil next to the beautiful blue sea. I even did a little bit of yoga for fun.

Harbour & Castle

The seaside of Paphos is quite beautiful and lined with bars and restaurants as expected. It makes for a great walk after dinner. I walked one evening from Almyra Hotel after dinner all the way to the castle which looks very beautiful at night. It was closed for refurbishment at the time but generally, it is a small structure made of stone. I doubt it has some groundbreaking artefacts inside.

Paphos Old Town

The old town of Paphos is really beautiful especially the central square. It has been recently refurbished and the central square that hosts the town hall, the municipal library and the three oldest schools of Paphos deserve a visit after dark. It instantly made me feel like I was back in ancient Greece and Rome with the beautiful buildings, columns, statues and architecture. I was almost spellbound when I first went because it was like a fantasy come true. There are no other buildings around to ruin the view. My favourite was the fountain of cupid.

Behind the old town, there is an entire street with the municipal market which is quite quirky along with the bar street. There are multiple restaurants, bars and cafes which are favourite amongst locals. The whole area can be explored in an hour or two and definitely worth a visit. Like most old towns, just walk around and get lost to discover the best and I did the same.

Latsi Beach/Latchi Beach & Blue Lagoon

Latsi or Latchi is a beach town on the north-west side of Cyprus about an hour’s drive from Paphos. While the beach in Latchi is not the most beautiful beach The area is very beautiful.

I actually diverted from the main road on the way and ended up going through some villages inland which was a great experience. The seaside of Latchi town is lined with beautiful bungalows and it is much greener here compared to the rest of the island.

The sea is clear but the beach is no. Though, the main reason for coming here was to take the boat to the blue lagoon. This is the safest way to do it because the road to Blue Lagoon is really bad, in fact, it is not a road rather a dirt pathway for buggies and quite dangerous. I was told by the car rental company if I take their car there it would invalidate my insurance so I drove to Latchi, parked up in the harbour area and took the boat to the blue lagoon.

The boat ride cost €20 and the entire experience took 3 to 4 hours. It was an amazing experience the boat ride was quite slow and when we actually got there the clear water and beautiful coastline changed everything.

Luckily they had life vests and I managed to swim around. The beautiful water was still warm and we had plenty of time to enjoy the stunning surroundings with some local inhabitants. The boat crew through some bread in the water which brought quite a lot of fish and some birds. It was a great liberating feeling being in that beautiful water.

All in all, it was a great experience and an amazing full day exploring the island the harbour of Latchi and the stunning blue lagoon.

Aphrodite’s Baths

Before my boat left for Blue Lagoon I’ve had a couple of hours to kill so I headed to Aphrodite’s baths.

It is barely 10 minutes away from Latchi by car. I was expecting some hidden paradise in these beautiful parts worthy of a goddess like Aphrodite But it turns out but it turns out even goddesses can have dirty baths.

It was quite a rundown place with a very shabby looking small waterfall only thing that was somewhat interesting was the greenery around it. You can totally skip this one if you’re short on time you won’t be missing much.

If you have time though, do step into the restaurants along the seafront because the lunch there was absolutely amazing and with good food and views like that followed by a swim in the blue lagoon, you need nothing else to make your day more blessed.

Coral Bay

Coral Bay is located some 20 minutes away from Paphos. Now, as blessed as Paphos is, unfortunately, beautiful golden sand beaches aren’t a thing here, that’s only for Ayia Napa and most beaches in Paphos are very passable. The same goes for Coral bay. It was merely a step for me on the way for greener pastures. I stopped for a quick stop before deciding against spending a lot of time here and left after 30 minutes. The beach is quite overcrowded because it is surrounded by hotels and touristy spots and there were a few too many kids and families for my liking. (I love kids but I like some peace and quiet more, unfortunately).

The Edro III Shipwreck

I didn’t even know this place existed, I didn’t find anything about it on things to do list in Paphos either. The local guy told me not to miss this one so I made a stop on the way to the sea caves after Coral Bay. It was a little after lunch and the sun had already crossed into the west, the light was beautiful. The road got narrower and finally, I arrived, I was expecting a small ship further away but there it was; a giant ship stuck in the coastal rocks with beautiful Mediterranean water splashing around it.

It was a beautiful contrast; a rusting ship against white rocks surrounded by deep red soil. There weren’t many people around either which made it even better. I sat there and meditated for 20 minutes, it just felt like the place (highly recommended). I didn’t want to lose the sun so got up and headed to the last spot of the day; Peyia sea caves.

Peyia Sea Caves, Moria Bridge & Ina Beach

Peyia and its sea caves are slightly different from the sea caves near Cape Greco. Both are absolutely stunning but the caves near Cape Greco have a dead drop whereas you can see a steep incline with small beach type area. I couldn’t find a way down so I sat down after my 15 minutes drive from the shipwreck. It is roughly the continuation of the rocks around the shipwreck.

The caves were a bit inaccessible here and unlike the caves on the other side, the place was empty. The sunset was stunning and I felt blessed to have the chance to be there while most people were stuck indoors especially in London. I wanted to see the Moria bridge and the beaches around it but it was getting dark so I decided to come back the next morning.

Moria bridge

It was a good decision, the next day proved. It was my last day and it was the perfect way to cheer myself up. The way to the Moria Bridge and Ina beach was quite an adventure. There is no pathway or set path I just had to find the way there with hit and trial. I lost way twice and had to come back but the water was too enticing to give up. I finally got close to the Moria bridge which is an arch in the rocks.

The Ina Beach nearby also wasn’t really a sand beach but rather small pools and crevices in the same rocks with water lashing against them. I was a bit careful at first but I actually enjoyed this place a lot more than the sandy beaches. It was like having a collection of pools to myself. I splashed about until it was time to go. I wish i could say I was sad, I felt more like a man who’s had the best meal when he needed it!

Avakas Gorge and Lara Beach

Avakas Gorge is a 3km gorge on the very western side of the island and Lara beach is famous during turtle season. I decided against going because I was a bit wary of driving there and walking 2 hours to get a place for a further 6km walk for a gorge. I also don’t recommend Lara beach because it is quite an ordinary beach and we should leave it for the turtles. There are plenty of other beaches around to make up for this loss.

Paphos was definitely a visit totally worth it. Paphos gay travel was still a disappointment but I am hoping things will improve in the future and real soon. If you have been to Paphos, I’d love to hear more about your experience in the comments below.

 

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