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From exploring UNESCO heritage sites to soaking up the sun on sweeping golden beaches and wandering along the lively waterfront, there are so many things to do in Paphos that a whole week in this beautiful Cypriot city can be gone before you know it. Of course there’s much to see on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus beyond Paphos, including bygone castles, secluded grottos, significant archaeological sites and dramatic mountain ranges, which makes it worth setting time aside for a few day trips.
Being a relatively small country, much of Cyprus is accessible from Paphos since the A6 highway provides quick connections to southern cities like Larnaca and Limassol, and the adorable towns in between (we’re looking at you, Pano Lefkara!). Spectacular waterfall hikes and wine regions are only a one hour drive away, and it’s just as quick to travel all the way up the coast to enjoy the sandy bays and crystal clear water found along the western beaches. Here are some of the best Cyprus excursions from Paphos.
Coral Bay, the Sea Caves and Agios Georgios
Found just 20 minutes from the city centre, Coral Bay is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach. This holiday village boasts a beautiful beachfront, and streets packed with the likes of souvenir shops, bumpin’ bars, seafood restaurants, tour operators and boutique hotels. It’s also beloved by water sport enthusiasts, as the clear water and sheltered bay provides the perfect environment for snorkelling, paddleboarding, or even exhilarating parasailing rides.
Take a dip or book a boat tour, then head over to the picture-perfect Sea Caves where turquoise water pools around carved-out cliffs that jut out into the bay. Be sure to hold on to your hat–it can get crazy windy here!
Just a few minutes farther down the road is Agios Georgios, a small village with gorgeous coastal views that’s the gateway to the Akamas Peninsula. The highlights are its quiet beach, harbour dotted with white sailboats, and a charming stone church dating back to the 13th century. Don’t miss nearly-deserted archaeological site tucked behind it, which includes tombs from the Roman period, the ruins of a 6th century basilica and a partially-exposed mosaic floor.
The Avakas Gorge is one of the most untouched spots on the island, and the perfect spot for those craving a nature fix and a bit of adventure while exploring Cyprus. A river once flowed through this area, gradually eroding the limestone rock until a stunning 100-foot gorge was formed. It’s best explored by braving the two mile long hiking trail that winds in and around the tall rock formations, highlighting some beautiful Cypriot flora and fauna. But be warned: water shoes are key here, as the trail can be rocky, wet and muddy in some parts.
Baths of Aphrodite
One of the most popular Paphos excursions is a trip out to the Baths of Aphrodite, which sits on the eastern edge of the Akamas Peninsula. Legend has it this is the spot where the goddess is said to have met Adonis, her greatest love. Most visitors come to see the shallow pool which is tucked into a stone grotto and surrounded by ferns, but the real show stopper is the hike through the nature reserve behind it, which features meadows bursting with wildflowers, goats grazing on the alpine trails, and spectacular sea views.
Vineyards? Check. An adorable, historic town? Check. Steep mountain ranges, waterfalls, and vantage points so stunning you’ll be constantly tempted to pull your car off the narrow highway to give yourself a chance to soak it all in: check, check and check. It’s no wonder a trip out to Omodos is one of the best day trips from Paphos, combining outdoor adventures with a culinary and cultural twist.
Just a one hour drive from Paphos, the region surrounding Omodos is famous for its vineyards, making it one of the country’s most popular routes for wine tasting tours. The E601 roadway winds through vine-covered, rolling hillsides and past orchards with apple and pear trees, all framed by the peaks of the Troödos Mountains. Wineries including Ktima Gerolemo and Linos Tou Charilaou are sure to impress, and you don’t want to miss Oenou Yi winery which is an absolute show-stopper thanks to its grand, modern entrance, sweeping views from the sleek terrace, and luxe dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows that make the most of the surrounding view.
Omodos itself is well worth exploring, as its stone houses, narrow laneways and flowers pouring out of window boxes make it feel like the kind of place that time forgot. Built into the side of a mountain, most of the action is centred around the large town square bordering with rows of eateries, handicraft stalls and a monastery.
If time allows, there’s one final stop worth making during your day trip from Paphos: a quick hike up to the Caledonia Waterfall, which is one of the highest waterfalls in Cyprus. Also called Kalidonia, the mild hike to its base is only about 1.5 miles on a well-marked path through a serene forest, making it a great option for families. To access the trailhead which is in the village of Pano Platres, head up the main road and park when you see the trout farm and restaurant (the pathway starts to the left of the lot, heading up the hill).
As the second-largest city in Cyprus and less than an hour’s drive away, Limassol is a great option for Paphos day trips. Combining the best bits of a beach holiday with a dose of history thrown in, visitors can stroll along the picturesque seaside promenade, discover the old port with its medieval castle, or head over to the flashy new port surrounded by luxury high-rises and superyachts.
For a taste of more laid-back Cyprus, consider a day trip to Larnaca which is located a scenic 90-minute drive from Paphos. Another of the country’s premier seaside resort locations, Larnaca is perhaps best known for its rich Byzantine heritage, the large saltwater lake frequented by vibrant pink flamingos, and the Halan Sultan Tekke mosque that sits on its shoreline.
A city of contrasts, Larnaca is the kind of place where boutique-shopping stores blend with the handicraft stalls of traditional ceramic artisans, and modern eateries are scattered amongst the ruins of the ancient Mycenaean city. Make sure to stay until sundown, when Larnaca’s historic harbour is transformed into a romantic hideaway with candlelit walkways and alfresco dining options.
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