At a glance
Famous for its spellbinding sunsets and rich cultural heritage, Paphos is perhaps Cyprus’s most diverse and enchanting district, especially when it comes to natural beauty, great food and history.
Separated from the rest of the island by the Troodos massif, the region of Paphos has been relatively isolated and slow to develop, and only started to catch up with the rest of the island in the late 20th century. As a result, its hills and plains are dotted with villages that possess a distinct character, while farming and traditional crafts are still very much alive here.
The small town of Paphos is the district’s capital and home to approximately 35,000 residents—but its small size belies its once glorious past as the island’s capital and its historical significance to Cyprus as a whole.
In Paphos, a joy for life shines through every social and cultural event, from the frequent traditional food festivals and music fiestas to the local concerts, opera productions and theatres. The town’s cultural scene has received a significant boost in recent years, since it was designated as Cultural Capital of Europe in 2017, together with the city of Aarhus.
As a result, many cultural venues have been renovated, streets and buildings have been touched up, some areas have been pedestrianised and an international audience has arrived to attend a diverse programme of performances and other art events.
The city’s culinary scene is of course as vibrant as ever, and Paphos is the perfect place to taste authentic local cheeses, wine and other traditional delicacies; being an internationally known resort town, Paphos can also offer fine dining and sophisticated cooking, to be enjoyed at the many 5-star hotels and restaurants scattered around the region.
What makes Paphos really stand out from other Cypriot districts is its diverse and abundant natural beauty.
As you move around Paphos, the landscape changes from one moment to the next, shifting from staggering coastal cliffs to rolling hillsides covered with vineyards, and from dense centenarian pine forests to brilliant bays with crystal-clear waters and beaches of shiny pebble.
Adventure-lovers will be spoilt for choice here, as the district is a popular destination for hikers, mountain-bikers, road-trippers and scuba-divers, especially in the nature reserve of the Akamas peninsula. Meanwhile, the nearby town of Polis Chrysochous and its surrounding villages each have a different tale to tell, and are ideal for daily excursions or even staying overnight at the many small guesthouses.
Much like its brilliant Roman mosaics and multicoloured hills and beaches, Paphos is a kaleidoscope of experience that has something for everyone, a region waiting to be explored all year round.